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Enough support? [on Anglicans and Israel]
The Confessing Reader ^ | 6/30/2005 | Confessing Reader

Posted on 06/30/2005 6:53:35 PM PDT by sionnsar

In one sense I’m thankful that the issue of the actions of The Episcopal Church and of the Anglican Church of Canada in moving ahead with blessing same-sex unions and in the ordination to the episcopate of a partnered gay man hasn’t completely dominated the news out of the recently-concluded meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in Nottingham. But what captured the attention of many observers during the latter part of the meeting and what continues to excite comment is not good.

I refer of course to the passage of a resolution by the Anglican Consultative Council that welcomes a controversial statement from the Anglican Peace and Justice Network on the Israeli-Palestianian conflict and that

commends the resolve of the Episcopal Church (USA) to take appropriate action where it finds that its corporate investments support the occupation of Palestinian lands or violence against innocent Israelis

and that

encourages investment strategies that support the infrastructure of a future Palestinian state.

The resolution that passed represents something of a compromise, as reported by George Conger in The Living Church and as noted helpfully by Simon Sarmiento in the post to Thinking Anglicans linked above. The substantive change was to alter, “receives and adopts” the statement of the APJN to “welcomes”. But in “welcoming” this report, believed by many involved in Israeli- Palestianian peace-making efforts to be one-sided, the Anglican Consultative Council has, by nearly unanimous adoption of the amended resolution, decidedly put themselves - and by extension the Churches of the Anglican Communion - on one side of the conflict. True, the subsequent clauses of the resolution, which avoid actually calling for divestment in Jewish or Israeli companies, do strike a balanced tone. And there is no reason that Anglicans should not express solidarity with the Palestianian people, some of whom are Christians (though a diminishing number, in part because of the pro-Muslim policies of the Palestianian leadership and in part because of the terrible economic situation in the West Bank and Gaza), just as we should express solidarity with people enduring any injustice. (One should recall that there are Christians, including Messianic Jews, in Israel also. All the Christians in that part of the world don’t live in the Palestianian territories.)

But to single out the Israelis as the only unjust participants in this conflict is woefully misguided.

In an article in this week’s Church of England Newspaper, the Most Rev’d Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, is quoted as saying, “I don’t see this at all as an issue between the Church and the Jewish community. I would be very sad if I thought this shut off the dialogue.” There is no indication as yet that dialogue between the Jewish community and the Anglican Churches has been shut off, but the reaction to this unjust taking of sides in a difficult conflict (which would be at least equally unjust were the Israeli side to have been taken against the Palestinians) has been swift and clear.

Dr Shimon Samuels, Director of International Affairs for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, wrote in a letter to Archbishop Williams,

When a Church (any church) calls for a boycott of Jews (anywhere on G-d’s earth), the Jewish collective memory refocuses. The lights dim and a film reel in our heads begins to unwind…

[Dr Samuels recounts briefly the long and sorry history of Christian persecution of Jews.]

Archbishop, your vote, last Friday, for the Anglican Church’s economic disinvestment of companies that trade with the Jewish State is not only biased, not only in violation of freedom of commerce provisions of the European Union and the World Trade Organization, your vote is one more traumatic frame in that never-ending film.

From little Hugh of Lincoln, the pogrom of York, the expulsion by Edward the Confessor, you have telescoped Church history of Judeophobia in England, the liberal and tolerant land of my birth.

(I admit that I have difficulty making out the grammatical sense of this last sentence, at least in its reference to Hugh of Lincoln, a 12th century bishop of that city who championed the cause of the poor and the oppressed, including Jews.)

The Church of England Newspaper quotes Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of British Deputies of British Jews, saying,

That Israel alone should be singled out for such treatment, particularly at a time when dialogue is beginning to prevail, shows an inequality in the treatment of the Jewish state which must raise concerns about the Church’s relationship with our community.

An editorial in the Telegraph accused Anglicans of targeting Israel and characterized the report “welcomed” by the ACC resolution as “sanctimonious claptrap”:

The report is a piece of sanctimonious claptrap whose authors didn’t even bother to talk to Ariel Sharon’s government. It takes scant account of the trauma to which the second intifada has subjected Israeli civilians and endorses policies, such as the right of return of Palestinian refugees since 1948, that would spell the death of the Jewish state. It has rightly been condemned by, among others, the International Council of Christians and Jews, Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, and Sir Jonathan Sachs, the Chief Rabbi.

This characterization is echoed by the Rev’d Canon Andrew White, CEO of the Foundation for Reconciliation in the Middle East, in an essay published by Andrew Carey in his weblog. (Mr Carey himself notes that the resolution “undermines interfaith relations“.) Canon White writes,

Making peace is hard work. It is not for the faint hearted and it always requires working with both sides. If this group is really about peace why did they not even bother to go and see anybody from the Israeli Government? Or are they like so many other so called peace groups who only talk to those they like. That such a group should function in the name of the Anglican Church is a tragedy and that the ACC should pass this resolution is an even greater tragedy. As far as Government of Israel is concerned the work that Lord Carey courageously began happens in the name of the Anglican Church. All that has been happening since the signing of the first Alexandria Declaration for Peace in the Holy Land is now at risk.

Finally, The Church of England Newspaper article notes, despite Archbishop Williams’ noting (correctly) that the resolution per se does not call for divestment, that the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, the Rt Rev Riah Abu el-Assal, understands the resolution as “an endorsement of the anti-Israel disinvestments campaign”.

In the introducing the Resolution, Bishop Riah asked the “Anglican Communion take action on behalf of peace and justice for co-living, not just co-existence”. He told the delegates “the resolution has nothing to do with punishing Israel” as “Israel has enough support from the American Administration and the Jewish Lobby”.

I do not doubt that the Palestianians feel beleaguered, and that there is much injustice in their treatment of the Palestianians to lay at the doorstep of the Israeli government, and that successive administrations in the United States may not have been as entirely even-handed as should have been the case in working for peace and reconciliation (though one is reminded of President Clinton’s deep frustration in trying to work for such a balanced process when he was being stymied every step of the way by an intransigent Chairman Arafat). But that statement, “Israel has enough support from…the Jewish Lobby.”

Good God, bishop, why not just come right out and say, “the international Zionist conspiracy”?

Peace-making in this conflict is an extraordinarily difficult issue, and much bad theology and wrong-headed politics may be found among those who give unbalanced support to either Israel or to the Palestinians. Clearly, the Church’s place is not to take sides, but to speak God’s judgment and God’s peace clearly and forcefully to all involved in the conflict and to all who would intervene. One-sided, tendentious reports, statements, and resolutions endanger peace and will not bring about reconciliation.

Brad Drell has done us the service of drawing our attention to a petition, signed by Bishop Edward Little of Northern Indiana and Bishop Geralyn Wolf of Rhode Island, urging The Episcopal Church to reject all proposals of divestment in companies doing business in Israel or with the government of Israel. Take a few minutes to read the petition and sign it if you agree.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: canada; ecusa; homosexualagenda; samesexmarriage

1 posted on 06/30/2005 6:53:35 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 06/30/2005 6:54:15 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Iran Azadi || <Airbus A380)^: The BIG PIG)
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To: sionnsar

Just from memory, the story of the child Hugh of Lincoln (apparently not to be confused with the Bishop) was a blood-libel that the boy was strangled and his blood used in Jewish rites. This obscenity was passed along as folk idiocy.

At least this is what I remember hearing/reading. I can't locate a source for it, so perhaps both the writer and I are remembering something else and attributing it here.

In Christ,
Deacon Paul+

3 posted on 07/01/2005 10:50:07 AM PDT by BelegStrongbow (St. Joseph, protector of the Innocent, pray for us!)
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To: sionnsar

The expulsion of the Jews from England was in the reign of the Plantagenet Edward I, not the pre-conquest (St.) Edward the Confessor.

4 posted on 07/01/2005 10:56:13 AM PDT by Romulus (Der Inn fließt in den Tiber.)
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To: Romulus

She noted in a subsequent post (today?) that her history was not "encyclopedic."

5 posted on 07/01/2005 2:19:37 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Iran Azadi || <Airbus A380)^: The BIG PIG)
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To: BelegStrongbow

1255: The body of a little boy, Hugh, was found in a cesspool near the house of a Jew in Lincoln, England. The latter was tortured, confessed that he had engaged in ritual murder, dragged through the streets, and finally hung. 100 Jews were transported to London and charged with ritual murder. One was acquitted; 2 were pardoned; the rest were hanged, either with or without a trial. One source states that 19 Jews were hung without benefit of trial.

This was about one hundred years after the 'blood libel' was invented in Norwich, England.

6 posted on 07/01/2005 2:33:39 PM PDT by hlmencken3 ("...politics is a religion substitute for liberals and they can't stand the competition")
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To: hlmencken3

Thanks, though I'm sorry my memory was as close to the reality as that.

In Christ,
Deacon Paul+

7 posted on 07/01/2005 2:35:32 PM PDT by BelegStrongbow (St. Joseph, protector of the Innocent, pray for us!)
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To: BelegStrongbow

And you are correct, 'Great Saint Hugh of Lincoln' lived in the previous century to the murdered Hugh.

the Jews expelled from England (1290, under Edward I)
the Jews expelled from France (1306 and 1394)
the Jews expelled from Hungary (1349 and 1360)
the Jews expelled from Germany (1348 and 1498)
the Jews expelled from Austria (1421)
the Jews expelled from Lithuania (1445 and 1495)
the Jews expelled from Spain (1492)
the Jews expelled from Portugal (1497)

And that's only a partial list

8 posted on 07/01/2005 2:43:39 PM PDT by hlmencken3 ("...politics is a religion substitute for liberals and they can't stand the competition")
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To: hlmencken3

Under the circumstances, I would more reliably believe that this particular person, assuming he really did what he confessed to, committed the evil out of perversion unrelated to his Jewishness. Too many imponderables now to do more than sadly pray about this.

In Christ,
Deacon Paul+

9 posted on 07/01/2005 2:51:38 PM PDT by BelegStrongbow (St. Joseph, protector of the Innocent, pray for us!)
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To: BelegStrongbow

I beleive that the boy drowned while trying to retrieve a toy, and the 'confessor' was willing to take blame so the Jewish community, swollen at the time by a wedding crowd, as a whole would be spared.

10 posted on 07/01/2005 3:07:46 PM PDT by hlmencken3 ("...politics is a religion substitute for liberals and they can't stand the competition")
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