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The Anglicans lose their way
Melanie Phillips' Diary ^ | 6/27/2005 | Melanie Phillips

Posted on 06/27/2005 2:26:32 PM PDT by sionnsar

It is a defining moment. With last Friday’s vote by the Anglican Consultative Council to ‘commend’ divestment from companies supporting Israel’s polices, based on a travesty of a report on Israel by the Anglican Peace and Justice Network, the Anglican church has descended into the moral abyss.

The APJN report is full of the most inflammatory lies, libels and distortions about Israel — and the fact that the amended resolution that was finally passed only welcomed part of it (a weaselly caveat to provide deniability) does not alter the fact that it provided the ammunition for a poisonous onslaught against Israel. The document uncritically reproduced the Arab propaganda version of Israel’s history and the present circumstances of the Middle East conflict, presenting the Arab perpetrators of genocidal mass murder as victims and their real victims as oppressors merely for trying to defend themselves. But then what can one expect of a report which concludes by referring to ‘the honor of meeting the President of the Palestinian Authority, the late Yasser Arafat, who so warmly welcomed us in what turned out to be one of his last days among us’?

Statement after statement is pathologically twisted. ‘…there have been no significant positive steps towards the creation of the state of Palestine. On the contrary, the state of Israel has systematically and deliberately oppressed and dehumanised the people of Palestine…’

Far from dehumanisation and oppression, Israel has behaved with suicidal forbearance towards the Arabs of the territories, as demonstrated last week when a woman returning to hospital in Beersheba for treatment tried to blow up the hospital, intending specifically to murder as many children as possible.

Yet the report does not present Israel's actions as a defence against mass murder but instead represents them as oppressive and dehumanising.: ‘We note the continuing policies of illegal home demolitions, detentions, checkpoints, identity card systems and the presence of the Israeli military that make any kind of normal life impossible.’ It thus presents Israel’s military actions as a deliberate policy of oppression, whereas in fact the only reason that normal life is impossible is that the Arabs of the territories are intent on ending as many Israeli lives as possible.

It refers to the occupation of ‘Palestinian land’. But the West Bank and Gaza are not Palestinian land. They are strictly speaking no-man’s land — which was illegally occupied by Egypt and Jordan in 1948-50. The report says the Arabs were removed from their ‘historic lands’ — by which it means Israel. But this is a rewriting of history. Judea, Samaria and Galilee are the historic lands of the Jews, not of the Arabs who subsequently drove them out. Many of these Arabs' forbears only came to Palestine in the early years of the 20th century from other Arab lands because they were attracted by the prosperity being created in that previously sparsely populated and inhospitable country by the Jews who were returning to their historic homeland.

It describes the security barrier as an ‘apartheid/segregation’ wall and compares the territories to the ‘bantustans of South Africa’. But the only reason the barrier was erected was to defend Israelis from the systematic mass murder perpetrated by Arabs from the territories. The comparison with apartheid, where the majority was kept down by the minority on racial grounds, is false and libellous.

It egregiously misrepresents history, attacking Israel for ignoring UN resolutions without referring to the Arabs’ refusal to honour those bits of those resolutions which require them to end their aggression against Israel. Outrageously, it asserts: ‘there is little will on behalf of the Israeli government to recognize the rights of the Palestinians to a sovereign state to be created in the West Bank—which includes East Jerusalem—and Gaza.’ But the Arabs were offered a state in the territories in 1938, 1947, 1967 and 2000 but refused it every time and tried instead to wipe out the Jews. Never have they rescinded their aim of ethnic cleansing and destruction of Israel.

The report not only makes no mention of this, nor of the incitement of hatred of Israel and the Jews worldwide with which the Arab world is brainwashed; instead, it directly associates itself with those aims by endorsing the right of settlement for ‘refugees’ which would destroy Israel as a Jewish state.

The venom of its anti-Jewish feeling bursts out all too plainly when it compares ‘the concrete walls of Palestine’ to ‘the barbed-wire fence of the Buchenwald camp’. Thus the Anglicans compare Jews to Nazis for a measure aimed to prevent themselves from being murdered.
This profound and vicious anti-Jewish animus is not surprising given the two men the report singles out for praise who are deeply associated with replacement theology, the anti-Jewish doctrine that seeks to delegitimise the Jews in the eyes of God. It ‘salutes’ the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, Riah Abu El-Assal, who is influential throughout the Anglican communion. Among many anti-Jewish statements Bishop Riah has claimed of Palestinian Christians: ‘We are the true Israel… no-one can deny me the right to inherit the promises, and after all the promises were first given to Abraham and Abraham is never spoken of in the Bible as a Jew…He is the father of the faithful.’

It also honours Canon Naim Ateek as a ‘peacemaker’. Yet Ateek’s book, 'Justice and Only Justice', inverts history, defames the Jews and sanitises Arab violence. Modern anti-Semitism gets precisely one paragraph; Zionism is portrayed not as the despairing response to the ineradicable anti-Semitism of the world, but as an aggressive colonial adventure. Courageous Jews are those who confess to ‘moral suicide’ and who say that Judaism should survive without a state; real anti-Semitism, says Ateek, is found within the Jewish community in its treatment of the Palestinians. He uses the Bible to de-legitimise the Jewish state by misrepresenting the Jews’ relationship with God. Through tendentious history and the hijacking of scripture, Ateek vilifies the Jews as oppressors and warmakers and tells them, in effect, that their salvation lies in abandoning their state and scattering to the four winds.

The report enthuses that Ateek founded Sabeel, ‘an ecumenical organization based in Jerusalem that witnesses for a non-violent, just resolution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.’

Sabeel’s own call for divestment starts with a lie, which gives a taste of its own venom: ‘The State of Israel was established in 1948 on 78% of historic Palestine leading to the displacement of most of its Palestinian inhabitants, who became refugees.’

‘Historic Palestine’, the administrative name given to the territory administered by the British Mandate which after World War 1 was charged with establishing within it a restored Jewish national home, comprised what is now Jordan, Israel and the West Bank and Gaza. Almost immediately, however, Britain gave some three quarters of this territory to the Hashemite dynasty, creating what is now known as Jordan. Of the remaining land, the Jews ware allocated a small portion. With the ceasefire lines drawn up in 1949 after the Arabs tried to destroy the fledgling Jewish state, Israel was left with only 17.5% of Mandate Palestine. The Arabs had the rest. It was still not enough for them; the Jews had to be driven out from their own homeland altogether, a project which continues to this day – and which the Anglicans now support.

Far from displacing the Arab inhabitants of what became Israel, most of them either fled or sold their property to the Jews. So when the report goes on to say

‘APJN was touched to visit Naim’s boyhood home from which his family was expelled by the new State of Israel. An Israeli bank now sits on the site of the former home. APJN stopped and picnicked at a nearby park to reflect on the injustice done, not only to Naim’s family, but to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who were also expelled from their villages’

this is another distortion of history.

In short, this document represents nothing less than an incitement to hatred against Israel and the Jews.

At the meeting, two voices were raised against it. The Very Rev John Moses, the Dean of St Paul's objected to the resolution, questioned the credentials of those who prepared the report and suggested that it was biased and would inflame Christian - Jewish tensions in the UK and would not help the peace process.

The second was the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, who proposed two amendments that softened the tone -- and he explicitly stated that this was not a call for disinvestment. Other Anglicans would appear to disagree. The American Episcopal Church, which has been making divestment noises, is taking this resolution as a green light to go ahead. The enemies of Israel, life and justice worldwide will be taking huge encouragement from this resolution – for which Dr Williams, having amended it as a cosmetic exercise, duly voted.

There are, however, many decent Christians who are horrified and aghast. One such writes:

‘Some six months ago, I read the undergraduate maunderings of the "Peace and Justice Network" on the Arab-Israeli conflict with its proposals for disinvestment in Israel. It was immature, wholly unresearched and one-sided, the kind of thing, indeed, that might emerge from any Student Union. I thought that it would be kicked into the long grass when wiser heads prevailed at the Anglican Church's international advisory body's meeting. Unfortunately, though not altogether unsurprisingly, this did not happen. Instead, the resolution was couched in careful committee-speak, putting the smallest of figleaves over its left wing posturing. Well, I don’t think the church can have it both ways. It is either a body for transcendence or for agitprop. The church, I fear, will continue to make itself more and more irrelevant. I am taking the only action of which you will take the slightest notice. I shall be stopping my £500 a year contribution to my parish church with immediate effect.’

The Anglican communion has lost its way. Its own flock must now try to rescue it from the moral pit into which it has fallen.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: anglicans
[An interesting piece about the author: --sionnsar]

A profile of Melanie Phillips
Andrew Carey

Melanie Phillips name is mud in some left-wing circles. She is always mentioned despairingly as the former Guardian journalist, as if her journey to the Daily Mail is unprecedented.

She is now described as a ‘right-wing’ commentator, a ‘bigot’, an ‘Islamophobe’, a Zionist any other term of abuse fashionable among the chattering classes. Her response is an insistence that the move from ‘progressive’ social affairs commentator for the Guardian, to the Observer, to the Sunday Times and now the Mail, is not so much to do with changes in her own fundamental thinking, as a dawning realisation that things were not as they once seemed.

“The left defines every such change as a move to the right. Furthermore, they conceive that the right is the territory of the devil. Everyone of the right is beyond the moral pale.”

She rejects those labels... (excerpted)

1 posted on 06/27/2005 2:26:32 PM PDT by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; anselmcantuar; Agrarian; coffeecup; Paridel; keilimon; Hermann the Cherusker; ...
Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.

FReepmail sionnsar if you want on or off this moderately high-volume ping list (typically 3-7 pings/day).
This list is pinged by sionnsar and newheart.

Resource for Traditional Anglicans:

Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 06/27/2005 2:26:54 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Iran Azadi || <Airbus A380)^: The BIG PIG)
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To: sionnsar

Would you map our for us where the Anglican Consultative Council stands vis-a-vis traditional values versus innovation dispute?

3 posted on 06/27/2005 2:45:56 PM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex

I'm afraid I can't. In their vote to suspend the North American churches they went almost 50-50, which rather surprised me. There are clearly some revisionists on the ACC, though I know there are also many reasserters.

4 posted on 06/27/2005 2:55:45 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Iran Azadi || <Airbus A380)^: The BIG PIG)
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To: sionnsar

The mainstream Protestant churches are practicing selective ethics. For example, it's immoral for the Israelies to build a wall, but it's moral for Palestinians to blow up innocent civilians. On political issues, the Protestant churches were taken over by leftists a long time ago.

5 posted on 06/27/2005 3:14:30 PM PDT by popdonnelly
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To: sionnsar
Maybe to counter these tools' attempts at crippling the Israeli economy, some FReepers might invest in Israel. There are 2 mutual funds that I know of that invest in Israeli companies:

Blue and White Fund

Amidex 35 Fund

The first is a managed fund, while the second is an index fund that invests in Israel's 35 largest companies. One caveat: the expense ratios of these funds hover at around 3%, which is greater than the typical American index fund's expense ratio of
6 posted on 06/28/2005 4:54:05 AM PDT by hispanichoosier
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