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Friday, March 03, 2006

The C of E and the singling out of Israel

After all, nobody can think that the archbishop and Lord Rogers are anti-Semites - or, for that matter, dupes of anti-Semites. They are concerned with human rights; perhaps even particularly concerned with Israel’s suppression of them because they hold it - as it does itself - to a higher standard than other states. And there is no question that Israel does behave oppressively to Palestinians, has killed non- combatants and does deserve criticism.

But the nag at the mind is this: why do their sins cry out for particular punishment? And what do people, with the best of motives, see as the result of such efforts to brand Israelis - scholars, architects or bulldozer traders - as uniquely unfit to be part of their international communities? What’s so especially awful about them, that we have to cease talking to them?

- from a recent piece by John Lloyd of the Financial Times (subscription-only, but the whole thing is here). Good that a prominent non-Jewish journo is sounding the alarm.

You think the C of E justified in singling out, from all the injustices committed around the world, those committed by the one small state that is run by Jews. You want to it do this even though you are unable to offer any coherent ethical case for doing so (sorry, but ‘The lands now known as Israel, Palestine and the West Bank are obviously very near and dear to the origins of Christianity’ won’t do at all - that was the Crusaders’ excuse). You want the Church to treat these injustices for all practical purposes as if they were the world’s worst, and thus encourage others to see them as such, even though they are manifestly nothing of the sort. You are content to see Israel put in the dock without Hamas standing alongside it. And, even though Christianity has a long, inglorious history of anti-Semitism, you expect that nobody will see anything remotely anti-Semitic in any of this – or at least nobody who is not making the accusation in bad faith.

How does the saying go? If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

Maybe someone can arrange to bring you face to face with a poor Zimbabwean whose house was flattened by Robert Mugabe’s bulldozers, or with a villager from Darfur whose family has been massacred by the Janjaweed, so that you can explain to them why their sufferings are ‘red herrings’.

- my response to a comment on Ruth Gledhill's Times blog.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Some more comments from around the internet by Mr Robin Bather at that Times blog:

Robin Bather
Dec-25-04 4:22P

I have a question:
Are the Israelis expunging "Happy Hanukka" (or however they say it in Hebrew) from their lexicon and substituting it with "Happy Holidays" (or however they say it in Hebrew)?
I think not, but I am ready to be corrected.
This stupid business of being politically correct is certainly spurred on by the disproportionate influence of a small percentage of jews in the US who want to stamp out anything to do with Christmas.
And as far as saying that the US has a JudeoChristian heritage, isn't that another way of seeing that the jewish propaganda machine is working well.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas (to the 95% of people in the US who identify with their Christian heritage).
Although I am now an aetheist, I have wonderful memories of real heart warming Christmasses with hot punch, church carol services, Dickens and general good will to our fellow men.
I am now off to sing Silent Night and We Three Kings around the Christmas tree with my children.

Israel, a country founded on terrorism (Presidents Begin and Ben Gurion and their ilk, the Stern Gang, the bombing of the British in the King David Hotel etc.)now seek the moral high ground by calling the oppressed Palestians "terrorists"!