Skip to comments.The Church's Dark Tradition [ACC and Pope on Israel]
Posted on 08/02/2005 7:59:37 AM PDT by sionnsar
The Anglican Consultative Council has issued a statement on the divestment controversy which achieves a truly egregious conflation of sanctimoniousness, disingenuousness and sheer moral humbug:
There has been much comment, and not a little misunderstanding, about what the resolution said about investments. It did not call for dis-investment in Israel. Instead, it commended the Episcopal Church (USA) for resolving to take appropriate action 'where it finds that its corporate investments support the occupation of Palestinian lands or violence against innocent Israelis' and encourages others to do likewise within the framework of their ethical investment strategies. It further 'encouraged strategies that support the infrastructure of a future Palestinian State', which I understand is Israeli government policy also.
So rather than saying the ACC endorsed divestment from Israel, it would be truer to say that it endorsed divestment from companies or organisations on the grounds that they refuse to condemn Israels attempt to defend itself against attack -- since thats what its occupation is all about, and of territory that is also not Palestinian but no mans land; companies or organisations which accordingly refuse to go along with the grotesque campaign of lies, libels and delegitimisation being mounted against Israel. For this principled stand, such companies are to be punished in the name of Christianity. The ACC then caps this moral corruption by a piece of stomach-turning piety:
Jewish-Christian relations, especially within Britain, are much valued by Anglicans, who have always been to the forefront of these dialogues, both national and local.
But its clear that such dialogue is itself to be conducted within a set of tramlines:
Anglicans make a clear distinction between Jewish / Christian dialogue which they value greatly, and the current policies of the Israeli government.
So the ACCs message to Jews is clear: we value you enormously, just as long as you dont support Israel. If you do support it, well treat you as a pariah. In other words, Jews are in one box, Israel is in another. This is to deny Jewish peoplehood. It is also to deny the anti-Jewish nature of its singling out of the Jewish state for pariah status.
Thank goodness there are Christians who can see through all this. Clifford Longley, who recently attended the annual conference of the International Council of Christians and Jews in Chicago, struck a much more rational and decent note on BBC Radio Fours Thought for the Day this morning:
Thirty years ago when I first started going to conferences like this there would have been many Jewish people there who had themselves survived the concentration camps, many Christians who had fought Hitler personally. It was a shared bond, not just psychologically but spiritually. That generation, united in seeing Israel as a Jewish refuge from persecution, has more or less passed. Christian responsibility for the pre-war rise in antisemitism no longer brings an automatic sense of shame, or colours how Christians see their duty towards the Jews. Good relations with Muslims, they would insist, are just as important as Christian relations with Jews.
Yes and No to that, I would say. It is too soon to forget what centuries of what is called the "teaching of contempt" towards Jews did to the Christian soul of Europe. It is a religious obligation - or to put it another way, it is what God wants - that Christians should try to undo the consequences of that dark tradition. That means denouncing anything that seems to call in question Israel's right to exist.
Well said. But the ACC has put the church back in the direct shadow of that dark tradition. And meanwhile, alas, the new Pope also appears to be taking the Catholic church backwards, as the Telegraph reports:
'The Pope will not be dictated to by Israel, the Vatican declared yesterday, as it hit back at officials of the Jewish state who criticised him for "failing" to condemn a Palestinian suicide bombing.
'A sharply worded Vatican statement said the Pope could not be expected to condemn every Palestinian bombing because Israel's retaliation for such attacks was "not always compatible with the rules of international law". It would be "impossible" to condemn a Palestinian attack while letting any Israeli military reaction "pass in silence".
'The staunch defence of the pontiff by Vatican officials came after the Israeli foreign ministry complained that he had "deliberately" failed to mention - during his Angelus prayer last Sunday - a suicide bombing in the town of Netanya. The Pope condemned recent terrorist strikes in Britain, Egypt, Iraq and Turkey, but not the attack that killed five Israelis on July 12.'
So to the Pope, Jewish victims are invisible -- because he doesn't like the fact that Israel defends itself. Far from undoing the consequences of its dark tradition in its dealings with the Jews, Christianity now seems hell-bent on reviving it.
Oh, give me a break!
Thanks. I was wondering about that.
Did that comment have the backing and support of Sharon? Nowhere have I seen anything about Ariel Sharon's involvement in this. Could it be possible that the Pope and the Vatican were being deliberatly "baited" by someone within the Israeli Foreign Ministry, and that Sharon was not consulted first about the feasibility and appropriateness of the remark? Just wondering.
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