Skip to comments.Just Who Are the Anglican Peace and Justice Network?
Posted on 07/01/2005 12:43:35 PM PDT by sionnsar
As if keeping up with the alphabet soup of Anglican and Episcopalian organizations engaged primarily in the homosexuality debate weren't difficult enough (AAC, ACC, ECUSA, ACN, ACI, plus all the groups like ours, Integirty, Oasis, et al), now we need to keep an eye on another one - the APJN, or Anglican Peace and Justice Network. Christopher Johnson has been keeping an eye on them, that's for sure.
How did the Anglicans lose their way on Israel? Despite the lopsided vote, it wasn't a bipartisan effort that brought the divestment resolution to the fore. As with virtually all organizations with the words "peace" or "justice" in them, the APJN isn't concerned so much with actual peace or justice, but with a radical leftist agenda that's anti-western in general, anti-American in particular, anti-capitalist and often anti-freedom (or whatever it's called when you go to great lengths to criticize on the one hand the treatment of combat detainees at Gitmo, while praising on the other hand the economic and human-rights basketcase that is the rest of Cuba).
In the September 22, 2004 statement that started all this, the Anglican Peace and Justice Network showed its hand:
"We offer not only our solidarity for a just peace, but also our observation that it is the Occupation in its many facets that foments the violence and fuels the conflict. Collective punishment of the Palestinian people must be brought to an end."
Among their demands:
"The introduction of an international peacekeeping force under the auspices of the United Nations into the Occupied Territories charged with maintaining security so that both sides may be free from further attacks."
"The unconditional recognition of the state of Palestine must be implemented if peace is to prevail in the Middle East."
"As an aside, we are deeply troubled by the use of United States made weapons and aircraft provided to Israel and being used for attacks on civilian targets, which occur with increasing frequency. We urge a moratorium on the use of such weapons, which violate U.S. law."
"And we address a word to the wider conflict in the Middle East. The war in Iraq further fuels anger and hatred during these already volatile times. We urge the withdrawal of U.S. forces to be replaced with an international presence led by the United Nations."Again with the United Nations.
There is much to be learned about the true intent of this resolution and what motivates those who drafted and championed it. A look around the web is all it takes to see a distressing story shape up:
The Arab web site Al-Bushra liked the sound of it:
Leading members of the Anglican church will recommend that their decision-making body adopt an anti-Israel divestment policy similar to the one the Presbyterian church passed earlier this summer.
"The word draconian barely even begins to describe what we saw," Reverend Brian J. Greives, who represents the U.S. church, said of his experience."
"The delegation, which arrived here last week, toured extensively in the West Bank, and met yesterday with Yasir Arafat in Ramallah. Delegates insisted that they made sure to schedule time with Israeli leadership as well, and pointed to a meeting with MK Azmi Bishara last Wednesday."
Liberal-leaning BeliefNet's headline revealed the recommendations' true intent: "Anglicans Endorse Divestment Against Israel"
Al-Jazeera was happy: "Anglican Church considers Israel sanctions".
But the Jewish Anti-Defamation League saw it coming, and wrote the APJN:
Your report focuses on the "occupation" - an overly-simple and politically-loaded designation - as the reason for "draconian conditions." Who has responsibly represented the Palestinian people in negotiating borders? Which borders? The green line has not been internationally recognized in the past. Why now?
Further, in an Associated Press report we read, "The group toured the West Bank, meeting with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Palestinian church representatives. The group also met with an Israeli social activist and several Israeli Arabs, but no government officials. Dinsmore said Israeli Foreign Ministry officials were unable to meet the delegation because of the Jewish holidays." So how could you say "...we conclude...that there is little will on behalf of the Israeli government to recognize the rights of the Palestinians to a sovereign state." To whom did you speak? Upon which policy of the Israeli government is that assertion made? You conclude, prior to the enumeration of your recommendations, that "...it is the Occupation...that foments the violence and fuels the conflict." We, respectfully, disagree - it is the leadership of the Palestinian Authority that foments the violence and fuels the conflict.
The Justice and Peace Commission's report strikes us as extremely one-sided. It discusses only injustices against Palestinians without in any way raising criticism of the actions of the Palestinian leadership which has supported terror attacks against Israel. And the Commission's report did not involve any substantive conversations with Israeli representatives, including several of the ICCJ's leadership such as Vice-President Rabbi Ehud Bandel and Honorary President Rabbi Prof. David Rosen who have worked tirelessly over the years on the peace process.
Lord Carey said that the Anglican Consultative Council would be making a grave mistake if it approved an Israel divestment proposal at its meeting in Nottingham later this month.
He said that such a step would seriously harm the peace-building work of organisations such as the Foundation for Reconciliation in the Middle East, which was launched this week at the House of Lords.
Lord Carey said: "Israelis are already traumatised and feel that the world is against them. This proposal, if it is agreed, would be another knife in the back. Christians who owe so much to the Hebrew Scriptures and to Israel itself should not be among those who attack Israel in such a way."
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'?"
[The APJN report] 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.
The call, by the Anglican Peace and Justice Network, comes amid growing concern in Israel at rising support among churches, universities and trade unions in the west for a divestment campaign modelled on the popular boycott of apartheid South Africa.
The leader of the group, Jenny Te Paa, said the delegation from Anglican churches across the globe was so shocked by the plight of the Palestinians, including the construction of the concrete and steel barrier through the West Bank, that there was strong support for a boycott.
A little research reveals that that Dr. Te Paa isn't exactly a model of fairness and open-mindedness. She misses no opportunity to bash Israel and sing the praises of the Palestinians. She also seems to have a particular dislike for American foreign policy, and what appears to be an advanced case of Bush Derangement Syndrome to boot. Two weeks ago, D. Lorne Coyle, in a Central Florida AAC Report on the ECUSA Province IV Synod at Kanuga Conference Center in June, described a woman with unmistakable symptoms:
After lunch, the second keynote speaker was Dr. Jenny Plane Te Paa, a laywoman who heads St. John the Evangelist Theological College in Auckland, New Zealand she was also a Lambeth commissioner. Her report was notable in that it omitted any reference to Scripture. She used the polarity of family vs. neighborhood in describing the Anglican Communion, concluding that neighborhood was a better description than family. She made much of the fact that in a family one cannot expel an offender, a conclusion not supported by either Scripture or experience: Abraham sent Hagar and Ishmael away at Sarah's behest; does modern divorce not separate in-laws from one another?
In a gratuitous display of chauvinism, Dr. Te Paa extolled the glories of modern New Zealand while decrying "American arrogance" and mocking President Bush.
Dr. Te Paa is also a right shifty gal:
She went to a cogent explanation of the different parts of the Windsor Report. Beginning to wind up her hour-plus speech, she mentioned the Windsor Report's recommendations of a Council of Advice for the Archbishop of Canterbury and the development of an Anglican Covenant.
Dr. Te Paa, having concluded an intelligent if wordy summary of the Windsor Report, then startled her listeners. She said, "I want to draw attention to the dark underside of the Lambeth Commission." She said there were four issues to the underside. The first was the "abuse of power by male church leaders distracted by sexualities other than their own, and ignoring the real matters of mission and ministry." She gave no examples and named no names. The second was her "outrage at those who declared themselves in impaired communion with those who participated in the Robinson consecration" and "those who refuse to be in the same worship service as the Episcopal Presiding Bishop". Again, she named no names. The third was "Internet abuse, the irresponsible spreading of misinformation" by unnamed parties, which "we have to find a way to stop".[How 'bout a resolution condemning free speech? -Ed.] The fourth was "internal corruption", which she defined as the "transfer of dollars, mostly from wealthy American conservatives, to buy influence in the Global South."
Deputy John Liebler of Central Florida had eaten lunch with her. He had asked her directly about her support of the Windsor recommendations for action by the Episcopal Church. He recalled that she had said she thought it was wise for Americans to obey the report's call for a moratorium on consecrating actively gay priests as bishops, conducting same-sex unions, and bishops crossing diocesan boundaries. He said he had asked her to say that in her pending address. Her address did not do so. Confused by her omission, Fr. Liebler went to the microphone to remind her of their lunch conversation. He asked her to repeat her earlier statement that it would be "wise" for the Episcopal Church to obey the Windsor call for moratoria on actions certain to worsen the Anglican Communion's crisis. Again demonstrating a remarkable talent for evasion, she declined to answer the question, mumbled a half-response, and the chair rescued her by calling upon the next questioner.
Cutting through much of the mainstream media's coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict takes some work, and a lot of attention to the code words used by Palestinian sympathizers. Among these are "oppression" to mean an attempt to keep order in a territory peopled by those who glorify murder; "occupation" when in fact the Palestinians have been sold down the river by the Syrians, Jordanians, and Egyptians; and "cycle of violence" to imply that because events in the region - Palestinian terror bombing and Israeli response - alternate in sequence, that both parties are equally to blame.
I am not suggesting that a level-headed assessment of the situation must begin with absolving Israel of all blame. The International Council of Christians and Jews makes the point very simply:
"We at the ICCJ are not saying that there must be no criticism of concrete Israeli Policy. But if the Anglican Church hopes to serve as an authentic peacemaker that criticism has to be extended to the Palestinian side as well."
But to see the APJN report for the sham it is, all you have to do is read Gary Bauer's commentary from last week on the way much of the Western media cover the conflict:
That only one network would air incredible footage of the seizure of a ticking human-bomb, just moments before she tried to murder hospital patients, means this story was not simply ignored by the mainstream media - it was boycotted by the mainstream media. Since nearly every aspect of this remarkable story contradicts everything the mainstream media has been trying to tell us about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they just opted for the easiest way to handle it - denying it ever happened.
Not covering it meant not having to show that Israel's planned unilateral withdrawal from Gaza next month will not decrease terror - it will increase terror. Had the Israeli army not been in Gaza yesterday, dozens of Israelis would have been killed and hundreds wounded at Beer Sheva's Soroka Medical Center.
Ignoring the story meant the networks didn't need to tell viewers that yesterday's homicide-bomber was not dispatched by terrorists of Islamic Jihad or Hamas, groups opposed to President Abbas, but was in fact working for the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade, which is controlled by the political party Fatah, whose chairman is none other than President Abbas himself!
Ignoring the story meant not having to reveal that the would-be-murderer had been traveling regularly to Israel for years on a valid medical pass, which granted the woman free treatment for burns she received in a home cooking accident, and was thus ruthlessly exploited by depraved terrorists whose shameless capacity to cynically manipulate goodness, in their pursuit of murder and death, knows no bounds.
Then, read this account of life in an Israeli hospital:
Downstairs, before we left, the head of the hospital, an Israeli named Audrey, was showing me the children's waiting room. I couldn't help but notice, all around, an Arab woman with her son, an Arab family over there checking in, Arab children playing with the toys while waiting. The doctor saw the look on my face and laughed. "Oh, yes, we treat everyone." I guess I was astonished. She just shrugged. "We're Jews. This is how we live. It's also for the future. They're not going anywhere, and we're not going anywhere. There will eventually be peace. There has to be." When? A month? A year? A hundred years? More? She didn't know. I had to say it. You're incredible. You take everyone, you treat everyone, no one goes first, no one goes last, you just go in order of who needs help. That's, like, Mother Teresa stuff. "We're not saints, we're just doing our jobs. It's not easy, I admit. And it gets hard when they cheer when the bodies are brought in." I looked at her. What did you say? She sighed. "Yes, it gets hard when they cheer."
The whole of this conflict - dates, times, events, wars, and the rest - is exceedingly complex. Around the Anglican blogosphere there is no shortage of liberal apologia that uses the fact of that complexity to conclude both parties are therefore equally to blame - as if to say, "Oh, it would be such a big mess to sort it all out. Why don't we just blame them both and get on with it?"
This is not just laziness, but a lie, because if most Israelies had their way, they would choose to live in peace with the Palestinians. If most Palestinians had their way, all Jews would be dead - driven into the sea, or blown to bits by martyrs for Allah. If the Palestinians would put a stop to the terror, they could have not only the peace they claim to crave, but they would be much closer to having the state they say they're entitled to; and they might actually, finally, deserve it. Tragically, though, it looks as if they can instead count on enablers such Jenny Te Paa and the Anglican Communion to reward them for murder.
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