Skip to comments.And Now... Idiots [CofE and Palestine]
Posted on 02/07/2006 6:21:08 PM PST by sionnsar
A whole church full of them, actually. The Church of England officially chooses sides:
The Church of England was on a collision course with Jewish leaders last night after it voted to disinvest in companies profiting from the illegal occupation of Palestinian land.
Nice loaded phrase, that.
The General Synod overwhelmingly backed calls for the Church Commissioners to remove funds from such firms, particularly its £2.2 million investment in Caterpillar, which manufactures tractors used to demolish Palestinian homes.
The vote, which was supported by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, is hugely symbolic, even if the Commissioners refuse to comply.
Keith Malcouronne, from Guildford, said he had received a letter of support for disinvestment from the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, the Rt Rev Riah Hanna Abu El-Assal.
The same Riah Hanna Abu El-Assal who once accused Israel of deliberately firing a missile at a Gaza church without any evidence whatsoever. Some of the moral bankruptcy in that Synod was breathtaking even by Anglican standards.
The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Rev John Gladwin, said Christians in Palestine were in despair, and he held the Israeli government to blame.
"Caterpillar may be a company being used for dreadful purposes across the world, but the problem is not Caterpillar. The problem is the situation in the Middle East and the government of Israel," he said.
The Rev Simon Butler, from Southwark, south London, warned Caterpillar that "in our understanding of sin, acts have consequences".
Not if you're Hamas as Ruth Gledhill points out.
But how much longer can people such as myself remain in a body that remains so steadfastly stuck in a mindset of the 1970s and 1980s? Have we really got to wait for all those wishy washy liberal baby-boomer ex- and extant hippies to reach the Churchs retirement age of 70 and step down before the Church can begin to confront the religious and terror realities of the 21st century? Where, asks Disgusted of Kew (me), is the Synods condemnation of Hamas tactics over previous years and its concern at recent developments? Where is the private members motion calling for Hamas to recognise Israel?
Ms. Gledhill is horrified by this vote.
It is a decision that looks naive, to say the least, especially in the light of the Palestinian victory of Hamas, a terrorist organisation dedicated in its charter to the destruction of Israel. But General Synod has gone ahead and done it. The Church of Englands established legislative body, which has the power to pass laws of equal status to those passed by the secular Parliament, has voted on a motion to divest from Caterpillar, the American tractor company that manufactures bulldozers used by both Israelis and Palestinians in land clearance and reconstruction projects in the occupied territories. As an Anglican myself, this decision provokes anger and shock in me, allied with shame and embarrassment. Have 2000 years of anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and the horrific death toll of suicide bombings in Israel taught us nothing?
Let's see where we are. Hamas, a group pledged to the destruction of the state of Israel, a group which has stated that it will never recognize Israel's existence and a group which has pledged to impose Islamic law in the area it controls has just been elected to head the "Palestinian" government. And secular whores like John Gladwin think the government of Israel is the problem in the Middle East while my gracious lord of Canterbury apparently agrees with him. Despite all that, Ms. Gledhill is not ready to walk away. Yet.
Fortunately, Anglicans such as myself who are unashamedly, although decidedly not blindly, pro-Israeli have a new organisation, Anglicans for Israel, to fight Israels corner, and this synod decision shows just how small and tight that corner is. This is a fight that will be won using debate, argument and reason, not by using the terror tactics by which Palestinian organisations such as Hamas have won notoriety. I still believe it is a fight that can be won, so I wont have to leave my church just yet.
I will. As I commented over at Kendall Harmon's:
But to my own discredit, I spent far too much of my Anglican life compromising and rationalizing and explaining things away and I cant do it anymore. Bottom line: I support Israel and I believe that if the Jews dont have the primary historical claim on that land, then no people has a historical claim to any land anywhere.
If the Palestinians truly wanted to live in peace with Israel, they could have done it generations ago. Given the fact that the Palestinians recently elected a government made up of a group(Hamas) which thinks that Palestine consists of the entire Holy Land and has sworn never to recognize the existence of a Jewish state, this action might be the single most criminally irresponsible thing the C of E has ever done and I cant permit myself even a remote, theoretical connection to it, regardless of what anyones reasons for it might be.
I used to think that a historical connection to Canterbury was something of value and something to hold on to. I don't anymore. Absent Canterbury coming to its senses, the chances of my dying any kind of "official" Anglican are gone.
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