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Those People [Lambeth, APJN and Israel]
Midwest Conservative Journal ^ | 7/28/2005 | Christopher Johnson

Posted on 07/29/2005 7:13:26 AM PDT by sionnsar

My, but they're petulant at Lambeth Palace these days.  Anglican Communion Secretary General Kenneth Kearon is Gravely Concerned about how some of you have reacted to the Anglican Consultative Council's Israel disinvestment resolution:

I have been saddened by much of the response to the debate and resolution on the Palestinian / Israeli conflict at the recent meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC), especially among Jewish representatives in Britain. The tone of these responses does little to acknowledge the responsible nature of the debate, and the depth of sadness felt by all members of the Council as they heard of the tragedy of the situation.

Insofar as the "debate" consisted of listening to a criminally-biased report and softening a word or two, it is unclear why anyone should be impressed by how sad the ACC supposedly was.  And Ken wishes that we'd all stop picking on Anglicans Promoting Jewish Non-Existence.

The Anglican Peace and Justice Network is a responsible Network of the Anglican Communion, representing 23 of the 38 Provinces of the church world-wide. It met in Jerusalem last September as guests of local Christians primarily to hear at first hand the experiences of the Holy Land. As well as listening to the Christian community at length the group met and heard from ’both Israeli and Palestinian voices for a just resolution to the current conflict’, though most voices were Palestinian. The opening section of the report sets this local context well.

Ken?  You do know that the opening section of the APJN report says things like this:

Sitting in the beauty and tranquility on the hillside overlooking the Sea of Galilee where Jesus preached, listening and reflecting on moving readings from Scripture led by Canon Naim Ateek, contrasted sharply to the high tension of being held in the dark of night at an Israeli checkpoint by cocky young soldiers brandishing their weapons. The comfort of St. Margaret’s guest house in Nazareth and the hospitality of congregations in Shefa Amr and Raineh where worship, music, fellowship and food filled the hearts of the APJN participants, again contrasted with the sight in Hebron of the Star of David painted on the shops of Palestinian businesses. Placed there by right wing settlers, they praise the massacre of several dozen Muslim worshippers a decade earlier as an act of heroism.

the state of Israel has systematically and deliberately oppressed and dehumanized the people of Palestine

The construction of the ’security’ wall as referred to by the Israeli government but in reality is an apartheid/ segregation wall

Credibility must be given to observations by journalists and other international visitors, including members of APJN, that the situation bears a dismaying resemblance to the Bantustans of South Africa.

That Anglicans who actually live in Israel thought the APJN report was worthless:

"How can the visitors on the APJN commission... hope to be taken seriously," the ITAC statement asked, "when they spend a mere eight days in the country, without proper consultation on the Israeli side, then produce a statement, implying they understand the complexities of the conflict, and making pronouncements about it?"

"The APJN statement loses credibility because it contains very inadequate references to terrorism and its effects, and no reference to the need of the Israelis to defend themselves," ITAC continued.

"Furthermore, the church should recognize that the Palestinians experience economic disaster and lack of infrastructure, partly through corruption, injustice and oppression on the part of some of their own leaders."

And that the "moving" Naim Ateek compared suicide bombers to the Israeli government:

We condemn suicide bombings because they are trapped with the same violent logic exercised and perpetrated by the Israeli government. 

It is based on the law of revenge expressed in “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”.  Although it is very difficult for us as humans, we are still encouraged as Christians to seek a higher law.  “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord’.  No, ‘If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads’.  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

We condemn suicide bombings because they practice, in essence, collective punishment against people many of whom are civilians. They are guilty of the very things Palestinians detest in the Israeli government. When suicide bombers commit collective punishment, they become what they loathe. One of the most hated and resented acts of the Israeli army is its exercise of collective punishment against the Palestinians. It is possible that the protagonists of suicide bombings would say that collective punishment is not intentional or deliberate. It is an unfortunate collateral that comes with the resistance. This is basically the same rationale that Israel gives when it imposes curfews, siege, and closures on hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. Whatever justification the government of Israel or the perpetrators of suicide bombings may have, the end result is what counts. Innocent people are harmed and killed. When the Israeli army incarcerates whole towns for long periods of time or a suicide bomber blows himself up in a market place and indiscriminate killing ensues, both are collective punishment directed at largely innocent people. Consequently, the basic principle must be affirmed: it is unjust and immoral to punish people collectively.

We know that the government of Israel practices collective punishment in order to control and bring the Palestinians into submissiveness -- the extended curfews, the detention of large numbers of people for lengthy periods for alleged offenses, the destruction of homes, and many other techniques. Suicide bombings whether deliberate or not perpetrate collective punishment. They are punishing all Israelis for the evil policies of their government. Some Palestinians, as already indicated, might justify it due to the heavy oppressive nature of Israel’s occupation; or link it to human nature’s propensity to retaliate by inflicting as much pain and damage against the enemy. In spite of all of that, it is important to lift up the moral and ethical principles of international law, namely, that collective punishment is wrong and must be stopped at all cost.

That's right.  The APJN thinks Israel is the new South Africa.  They probably came up with that analogy well before they arrived and saw only who and what they wanted to see.  And an Anglican priest thinks that Palestinians blowing up Israeli school kids and Israel trying to prevent Palestinians from blowing up Israeli school kids are the same thing.  Why would the Jews be mad about that?

Anglicans make a clear distinction between Jewish / Christian dialogue which they value greatly, and the current policies of the Israeli government. It was these latter policies which were the subject of the debate and subsequent resolution at the ACC. Concern about these current government policies is not confined to Anglicans.

So what?  Most people are well aware that the Anglicans are not the only Christians who have made jackasses of themselves lately over this issue.  And Ken?  One of the reasons why everyone is so upset about this resolution is that it focuses exclusively on "the current policies of the Israeli government" as if "the current policies of the Israeli government" were the only reason for the Middle East conflict.  The resolution and the APJN report which prompted it made no effort to try to understand the reasons, both military and historical, why those policies began in the first place. 

There has been much comment, and not a little misunderstanding, about what the resolution said about investments. It did not call for dis-investment in Israel. Instead, it commended the Episcopal Church (USA) for resolving to take appropriate action ’where it finds that its corporate investments support the occupation of Palestinian lands or violence against innocent Israelis’ and encourages others to do likewise within the framework of their ethical investment strategies. It further ’encouraged strategies that support the infrastructure of a future Palestinian State’, which I understand is Israeli government policy also.

First of all, Double K, ECUSA doesn't have any jack sunk in companies that sell bomb vests and Semtex to Gaza so please drop the "innocent Israelis" line because you're not fooling anyone.  Secondly, if you think ECUSA isn't going to find disinvestment an "appropriate action," you really need to get out more.  And when ECUSA does disinvest from Israel(assuming they're still Anglicans then), nothing whatsoever is going to happen to them.  So the fact that this resolution does not call for disinvestment means nothing.

Jewish-Christian relations, especially within Britain, are much valued by Anglicans, who have always been to the forefront of these dialogues, both national and local. At their best, they are characterised by a willingness to listen to each other and to engage with the context of each. No doubt the ongoing violence, death and destruction from which both Israelis and Palestinians suffer, has been discussed on many occasions, as a shared understanding of the complexities of the situation emerges.

But Ken's mind wandered during those dialogues when Jews told him about the 60-year-long Muslim campaign to eradicate the state of Israel, the four major wars Israel has fought with its Muslim neighbors, the thousands of Israelis who have been killed by Muslim terrorists over that stretch, the statements of groups like Hamas to the effect that they have no intention of ever living in peace with Israel, the sorts of things Palestinian kids learn in school and the barely-disguised(and sometimes not disguised at all) anti-Semitism of some Palestinians with whom he shares a Christian tradition.

I pray for the ongoing work of such contacts, as they continue to carry both Jews and Christians forward into a shared future where recrimination and mutual vilification are things of the past.

Translation: they may not be so ongoing if you don't stop criticizing us.

Try this thought experiment.  Suppose Jenny and Grievesie and the rest of those krazy kidz at the APJN had gotten really drunk on Israeli wine right before they left and put something in their report to the effect that the Palestinians would have to give up all claim to Jerusalem and could not have their capital there.  Suppose also that Muslim and Christian Palestinians had screamed bloody murder about it.  Do you suppose Ken would have responded with a statement which opened this way?

I have been saddened by much of the response to the debate and resolution on the Palestinian / Israeli conflict at the recent meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC), especially among Palestinian representatives in Britain and in the Middle East. The tone of these responses does little to acknowledge the responsible nature of the debate, and the depth of sadness felt by all members of the Council as they heard of the tragedy of the situation.

Of course he wouldn't have.  The offending passage would have been quickly removed from the final report and declared no part of the ACC resolution.  Then profuse, groveling apologies would have been issued.  But let the Jews complain about a loaded resolution based on a biased report and Ken condescendingly pats them on the head and tells them how disappointed he is in them.

In his July 11, 2005 piece on Anglican disinvestment, The New Republic's Martin Peretz commented:

I once heard David Pryce-Jones, the learned English novelist and historian, talking about a new instance of the phenomenon of fellow-traveling: the fellow-travelers of Palestine. This, of course, has its precedents in the blind but exuberant support given to both fascism and communism by intellectuals and clerics who had concealed from themselves the evils of these two ideologies. In England, Anglican clerics were part of the establishment ambit of fascist sympathizers disguising themselves as antiwar idealists. These were the folk who soiréed at Cliveden, read and wrote in the London Times, chatted wittily at All Souls--appeasers all, as seen in the movie The Remains of the Day. And the Anglican Church also had its devotees of Stalin, the most noteworthy (or notorious) of whom was Dr. Hewlett Johnson, the "Red Dean of Canterbury," who wrote the adoring agitprop volume, The Socialist Sixth of the World. He was a luminary in Henry Wallace’s pro-Soviet campaign for president of the United States on the Progressive Party ticket. Among Wallace’s most notable supporters were bishops and other high churchmen from the mainstream American Protestant denominations.

Which takes us back to the church deleriants for Palestine. What kindles the fire in their hearts for Palestine? There is little or nothing in Palestinian society that would fill a progressive with enthusiasm. And these churches do not generally exult in the promise of yet one more nation-state. In fact, these churches are against the nation-state, especially the U.S. nation-state. (In Nottingham last week, the Anglicans demanded the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.) And, even if you take to the harshest reading of Israeli behavior in their ongoing conflict with the Palestinians, dozens and dozens of other peoples in the world, some of whom have a much sounder claim to be a real nation than those for whom the official Anglicans and Presbyterians shed so many tears, suffer infinitely more deprivation and indignity than they do. But tears are not shed for those people at Canterbury Cathedral in England or, for that matter, at Christ Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, whose rectors have for years been virtual street agitators against Israel. So I come to an unavoidable conclusion. The obsession here is not positive, for one side, but rather negative, against the other side. The clerics and the lay leaders on this indefensible crusade are so fixated on Palestine because their obsession, which can be buttressed by various Christian sources and traditions, is really with the Jews. A close look at this morbid passion makes one realize that its roots include an ancient hostility for the House of Israel, an ugly survival of a hoary intolerance into some of the allegedly enlightened precincts of modern Christendom.

So "Jewish-Christian relations, especially within Britain, are much valued by Anglicans, who have always been to the forefront of these dialogues, both national and local," are they?  Then why not listen to the Jews now?  Why not admit the possibility that the APJN report was fatally flawed, withdraw the ACC resolution, send an unbiased team of observers to the Holy Land and try again?  Why this defensive, hostile reaction to perfectly legitimate criticism?  I can think of only one reason.

Martin Peretz's charge is true.  Anglican anti-Semitism, genteel or otherwise, still exists.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: anglican; apjn

1 posted on 07/29/2005 7:13:26 AM PDT by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; Fractal Trader; Zero Sum; anselmcantuar; Agrarian; coffeecup; Paridel; keilimon; ...
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 3-9 pings/day).
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Resource for Traditional Anglicans:

Humor: The Anglican Blue (by Huber)

Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 07/29/2005 7:13:45 AM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Trad-Ang Ping: I read the dreck so you don't have to || Iran Azadi)
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To: Tolik

You may want to send this to your ping list.

3 posted on 07/29/2005 11:17:54 AM PDT by Huber (Conservatism - It's not just for breakfast anymore!)
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