Skip to comments.A Matter of Righteousness [ECUSA and Israel]
Posted on 08/30/2005 4:01:52 PM PDT by sionnsar
Important issues deserve expansive treatment, so I venture to add to the thread begun by the Rt. Rev. Edward Little II, Is the Episcopal Church Anti-Semitic, [TLC, Nov. 28] continued by letters to the editor, and opposed by the Rev. Robert Edmunds [TLC, July 3]. I come down firmly on Bishop Littles side. The Episcopal Churchs actions toward Israel constitute a sort of corporate anti-Semitism that overrules whatever personal regard the Church may express toward individual Jews. I am not talking about the Churchs talk the Church talks a good sort of talk but it certainly does not walk a good walk. Let me explain.
Fr. Edmunds disagrees with Bishop Little and spends most of his Guest Column pointing out shortcomings, indeed malfeasances, on the part of the government of Israel. He asserts that condemning the government is not like condemning individual Jews and therefore is not anti-Semitic (I am interpreting). I believe he misses the point, as does the Episcopal Church.
The issue here is not the righteousness of the government of Israel. The issue is the righteousness of the Episcopal Church.
Examine, as I have, the actions taken by the Episcopal Church toward Israel in the last few years. The Episcopal News Service has assured me that the Church carries many standing positions which might be years old but which are official until modified or rescinded by a General Convention, and that certain assurances by the Church that Jewish rights should be protected in Israel, while of long standing, are still valid. Following up on this, I have gone over ENS archives for the past six years and the legislation of the last two General Conventions with care. I regret that the results are disheartening. Hardly a month goes by without the Churchs saying or doing something condemnatory toward Israelfar more than toward any other nation. One must conclude that the Episcopal Church has some sort of endemic and systemic bias against Israel. That is, against Israel the state, and under the surface perhaps against Jews in general. Bishop Little calls this anti-Semitic. Lets not argue about this term. Either the Episcopal Church is acting in good faith and righteousness toward Israel or it isnt.
The Episcopal Church has a long history of criticisms of Israel, but the Church has never criticized the Palestinian Authority about human rights or anything else. Nor has it, since 1988, criticized Syria, nor Egypt, nor Saudi Arabia. When it comes to human rights, to condemn Israel while, if only by silence, giving those other entities a clean slate denotes either abysmal ignorance or some kind of prejudice against Israel. Also, before, during and after the two Iraq wars, the Church has been silent about Saddam Husseins horrendous atrocities against his own people, surely prime candidates for citation by any Christian body.
My research has indicated that the Episcopal Churchs Israel actions are guided by its Peace and Justice Ministry, which is hand-in-glove with the Anglican Peace and Justice Network, which in turn seems to be in the pocket of Anglican Bishop Riah of Jerusalem, who is overtly pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel.
Why is it that the one nation which receives the overwhelming weight of condemnation and disapproval of the Christian churches is a Jewish democracy? I can understand the Episcopal Churchs continuing emphasis on peace. While I have strong disagreements with the Churchs point of view on peace and war, there are points to be made on both sides. With regard to the current Israel-bashing, however, I see no justification. If the Church does nothing else, it should act with righteousness. I submit that the Episcopal Church is not acting with righteousness toward Israel and the Jews. And there may well be, as Bishop Little says, a sub rosa anti-Semitism going on here.
Our guest columnist is Brig. Gen. Geoffrey Cheadle, USAF (ret.), of McLean, Va. He attends Washington National Cathedral.
thank you for this article.
A sad commentary, isn't it?
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