Monday, June 13, 2011

Meth Myths, and Musings on Occupied German Territories

Malcolm Lowe at Hudson New York has a very tidy review of last year's UK Methodist Conference and some lively speculation about whether EAPPI could be translated into a Occupied German Territories parallel model. Suggested uniform for these activists: brown shirts und lederhosen...H/T to Joe Lauer.

In 2010, the Methodist Church in Britain produced a report entitled "Justice for Palestine and Israel". The report was adopted as official Methodist policy. Consequently, British Methodists are now called upon to boycott certain Israeli products and support the pro-Palestinian initiatives of the World Council of Churches and Christian Aid.
We have looked at this report, which relies heavily upon a purported history of Palestine in the twentieth century, supported by a bibliography that makes no pretense to impartiality. Anyone who has any genuine acquaintance of that history will be amazed at the continual misrepresentations. In particular, the report repeatedly uses statistics that will mislead an unknowing reader. The report is not the first example of this genre of semi-fact, but perhaps it is the greatest masterpiece to date.
Some time ago, we reviewed a miniature product of the genre in our exposé of the Myth of Palestinian Christianity. To do the same for the Methodist report would require a substantial monograph, not a mere article. Moreover, the task would be a waste of time, since such a report can hardly have come from people who might be prepared to change their minds.
But if the British Methodists ever show interest in salvaging their reputation, they should engage a respectable historian (say Benny Morris) to review the report and list its falsities. Moreover, they should pay that historian handsomely for the mental torture involved. Cheaper and more befitting a Christian institution would be to throw it officially into the waste-paper basket. If that sounds exaggerated, consider just a sample of the report's statements.
Of the Arab revolt (1936-1939), the report says that it "was put down with brutal ferocity by British forces during which 5000 Palestinians were killed and 10,000 wounded". Not mentioned is that up to half of the fatalities were Arabs killed by other Arabs on various pretexts. This includes the fighting between the Husseini and Nashashibi clans, in which the Nashashibi leadership was largely wiped out. Jewish casualties are not mentioned at all.
Similar omissions occur where the report mentions the first Palestinian intifada. It is described in this sentence: "This Intifada, which lasted from 1987 to 1991, was mainly associated with stone throwing and popular unrest within the Occupied territories, together with a corresponding firm response by Israeli forces."
Not mentioned is that as many Arabs were killed by other Arabs as by Israelis, on various accusations of being collaborators and prostitutes, etc. The PLO and Hamas also ordered the resignation of the entire local Jordanian-created police, which Israel had left in place since 1967. As a result, crime multiplied without control and various Palestinian organizations could rob the population in the name of resistance. Those organizations also ordered endless strikes that deprived the middle classes of income. A lot more happened than mere stone throwing.

Read more here.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Christian Palestinian Justifies Suicide Bombings, To Speak at Meth Conference

Credit: Prophet of Doom blog

Have a look at this post by pro-Israel Methodist Preacher blogger, David Hallam. The 2011 UK Methodist Conference is allowing a terror apologist to appear at fringe event. Titled "A Mother's Voice", the invited speaker, Ms. Hind Khoury has described suicide bombers, including children as "martyrs, who are not criminals, nor presumably those who send them on their missions. Thier only mistake is to take a course of action that was 'incorrect' because it was not 'strategic'". For a graphic look at the damage caused by these murderers, see here for what a bomb packed with bolts and nails can do.
Some people refuse to see evil when it's right smack in front of them:

Amongst the worthy list of fringe meetings about "fresh expressions", the Bible and evangelism is a meeting listed with the heart rending title "A mother's voice".

Speakers include  "Mrs Hind Khoury, a Palestinian Christian". It will be chaired by Mrs Jill Baker, President, Methodist Women in Britain. Also speaking will be Ann Farr who is now apparently building a political career on the back of a three month stay in the disputed territories. Organiser is Warren Bardsley, an old lag of the anti-Israel campaign in Methodism and co-author of the notorious 2010 Methodist Conference report on Israel and Palestine notable for the absence of any concern for Israeli people.

One would expect a Christian mother, of whatever nationality, to take a fairly hard line on
sending 13 year old  children onto school buses to blow up other children. It is what we Methodists like to call a "prophetic witness". Mrs Baker would no doubt take that view. I can't speculate where Ms Farr would stand. Nor can I predict Warren Bardsley's position.

So will this "mother's voice", listed in our official Methodist Conference programme, condemn suicide bombers?  Well no, this "mother's voice" speaks  in English (I can't discover what she says in Arabic) of suicide bombers being "martyrs, who are not criminals, nor presumably those who send them on their missions. Thier only mistake is to take a course of action that was "incorrect" because it was not "strategic".
Read in full at Methodist Preacher.

UK Methodists: What Anti-Semitism?

Here is my full op-ed on the pathetic denials of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias by the Methodist Church, which was carried by Israel National News:

The Jewish blogosphere has been full of condemnation of what the UK Methodist Church termeda “background document” on Israel and Palestinians. In it Dr. Elizabeth Harris claims that Israel uses Yad Vashem as a propaganda tool to indoctrinate young Israelis.

Ironically, Harris’s article on the official website, “Jewish and Muslim Perspectives on the Land of Israel-Palestine”, was written while she was Inter Faith Coordinator. She opposes the alleged creation of an “Ethos of Victimhood” also among “Oriental” Jews she saw there—whose families, the author claims, were unaffected by theHolocaust. This was the worst section of an article that was full of bias and misrepresentations.

Yet, when exposed, these Methodists functionaries simply whitewashed their statements without admitting they had promoted offensive lies.

In March I wrote to the current Inter Faith Coordinator (Joy Barrow) and Dr. Harris with documentary proof that Nazis persecuted and murdered non-Ashkenazi Jews in Greece, North Africa, and Iraq (during the brutal June 1941 Farhud pogrom in Baghdad). I respectfully requested that they correct or retract their document.

Neither of these things happened. Harris wrote back to me, saying she didn’t mean that non- Ashkenazim weren’t “welcome” at Yad Vashem. On re-reading the article, the racist assumptions jumped out—one, that she and her quoted colleague Michael Ipgrave could tell who was and who wasn’t “Oriental”, and two, that Jews are racially divided and do not concern themselves with each other’s problems. Only someone wholly unfamiliar with Jews and Israeli society could say this.

At this point, I sent the article to Rabbi Abraham Cooper at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, along with other anti-Israel material issued by the church. Rabbi Cooper published the story and condemnation of the article spread through the blogosphere.

Suddenly, once the article was exposed, Harris wrote and claimed that she didn’t even know the article was still on the website, and that it would be removed as part of routine removal of material which was no longer current. But within a day—once it was a public embarrassment—the article link was killed. Harris also claimed that I misunderstood her “grammatically”, and that when she referred to Orientals, she meant “some” and not “all”.

In her email the current Inter Faith Coordinator, Joy Barrow claimed that the document was never official, and was only a set of personal “reflections”. In fact the article was linked on the UK Methodist webpage for “Israel-Palestine” as a complementary resource, and it also appeared in a 2007 position paper in the reference appendices; it is still available there.

These replies constitute a total whitewash of a clearly biased article. The article absolutely reflects the position of the Methodist Church elites who promote a hard-core pro-Palestinian agenda—although many of the rank-and-file are pro-Israel.

To put the official anti-Israel bias in context, representationsmade by Harris in her article are remarkably similar to official positions of the Church documented in their current Conference Report.

In June of 2010 the UK Methodist Church Conference formally adopted a wide-ranging and highly biased policy report titled “Justice for Palestine and Israel”.  UK media maven Tom Gross commented, “Here was a group of almost stereotypically ordinary, middle-class, English Christians calmly reciting every hackneyed anti-Israeli calumny in the book.”
A committee of Methodist leaders drafted the report which, among other things, called for a boycott of Israeli goods, and adoption of Sabeel’s Kairos Palestine Document. KPD is not only a theological rejection of the Biblical linkage of the Jewish people with the land of Israel, but a rejection of the “Old Testament” for political purposes. KPD wholly resurrects the old anti-Semitic Christ-killing charge but with a change. As Sabeel’s founder Naim Ateek said, “Jesus is on the cross again with thousands of crucified Palestinians around Him…The Israeli government crucifixion system is operating daily”.
The conference ultimately adopted a settlement goods boycott only, but wholly accepted the committee’s anti-Israel, anti-Semitic endorsement of KPD. The Report includes this quote from an activist, “When I lived in Bethlehem I understood what I had always known. Jesus was born, lived and died under Occupation and this is what it is like”. .In light of this highly biased religio-political orientation, it is clear that Harris is entirely consistent when she engages in Holocaust trivialization and claims that Holocaust education for young Israelis is an obstacle to peace. “Peace groups have to work against this backdrop”, she states in the article.

When Harris claims in the introduction to her article that “Jews who seek justice for all - Jews and Palestinians” will reject Biblical history after Noah, she is remarkably consistent with the adopted Methodist Conference Report—after all, she was on the committee. Despite claims of the Methodist elites that the article was “unofficial”, it’s pretty hard to see how it differs much from the anti-Semitic, pro-Palestinian apologist policies it openly endorses and funds.

Why Liberalism Needs Watching

For many people, liberalism is a positive ideology, which only means to fight injustice and strive for equality. However, for those who watch current events, it's no secret that the liberal left is also the pro-Palestinian left. But it's a mystery as to why these groups who are also pro-feminist and pro-homosexual would support the anti-Israel repressive Hamas regime in Gaza.

For those who prefer not to be doomed to repetition of history, the following JCPA video examines the changing allegiance of those who supported Dreyfus, a Jew, when he was falsely accused of treason against France in 1894. In a lesson which parallels liberals and conservatives today, Dr. Simcha Epstein details the how those "Dreyfusard" liberals who were still alive and politically active in the 1930s tended overwhelmingly to support and join the Nazi-allied Vichy regime.

The moral of this tale is that liberals tend to be unwilling to actually fight for their principles, hiding behind pacifism to defend their appeasement mentality.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

History of Jerusalem Video

This is a really nice video which gives you 4,000 years of history in just 5 minutes!

Against Christian Zionism

An excerpt from the UK Methodists' 2003 Guidelines, this was adopted wholesale from a Church of Scotland document:

2.4.2        Christian Zionism
A response to the Replacement position and its arguably horrific consequences, (the Holocaust), is found in various forms of Christian Zionism, which range from the post war acceptance of the Jews having somewhere to go for safety, to the much stronger, affirmation that it is actually the sovereign will of God that his chosen people return to their homeland.  The former would state the principles of the basic right to life enshrined in the scriptures and Christian traditions, whilst the latter would find in the promises of the Torah, the prophetic writings etc., the literal word of God to return his people to the land.  A more fiercely prophetic strain of this view is found in the various Dispensationalist positions developed over the last hundred years or so.  These see the return of the Jews to the land as a harbinger of the last days before the return of the Messiah.  For them this is a major spiritual portent, rather than a political debate about human rights.  The Christian Zionist position can be summarised in three basic tenets:
·         the uniqueness of the  Jewish people and their continuing place in salvation history;
·         the importance of the Jewish Theology of berith and eretz; (ie of Covenant and Land) which inextricably links the Jewish people to the land of Israel;
·         the post-holocaust psyche, and the ongoing significance of Jerusalem.
For many however, this visionary approach has not always been accompanied by a sense of critical realism and the "what" has often been obscured by the "how".  The result has been a tension between a perceived "God given" gift of the land to one people, and the suffering this continues to cause to another, a proportion of whom are Christian.
 Note: here they are claiming that there is no Christian basis for Christian Zionism. They point not to the Bible, but use the Hebrew term which may be alien to Christians, and therefore alienate them from identifying this as a shared scriptural tradition.

2.4.3        Liberation /Universal  Models
Historically, liberal Protestantism has tended to be anti-Zionist and universal in its concept of covenant grace, and it is a late 20th century development of this view which forms the third broad category of mainstream Christian thought.  This third position often stands as a reaction to the previous one, finding an unacceptable face of "chosenness", which means the rights and hopes of another people are trampled upon and the standards of peace and justice enshrined in the scriptures are denied, even by those who call on the name of the God who initiated them in the first place.  This fatal inconsistency in the face of real and ongoing suffering has caused many to question and reject any concept of a particularised divine provision, and leads them to see the need instead to denounce the holocaust and any post-holocaust suffering as equally abhorrent to any concept of a loving God.  Many respond to this by having recourse to a model of Liberation Theology where hope is fused with political and pastoral concerns to form a critique which can be highly politicised and even confrontational.
 This is in fact the current Methodist model, but sources indicate that early Wesleyans were Christian Zionists. Far from being a "broad" stream, left-leaning churches have been losing ground for decades to evangelical churches and secular erosion.

2.4.5 A wider and possibly more eirenic model of Liberation, makes the point that even if God were indeed returning the Jews to the land, they were never meant to live there as oppressors or overlords, but rather as caretakers who reflect and embody the love and grace of the God who called them.  Many of these themes are echoed by a Jewish response to Liberation Theology, which sees the same liberating influence for all humanity in the great events of Israel's history.  The Exodus, the Passover, the teachings of the prophets and the subsequent moral guidance of the rabbis all point to an inclusive humanity which shares in the riches of a spiritual tradition and is not abused by it.
This is an attempt to appear in a middle ground, but as it characterizes Israelis as "oppressors or overlords", it's not much nicer. The remarks on Jewish teachings are a liberal interpretation, and completely fail to convey the ages of longing, expressed in liturgy and text to return to the land of our fathers. The Jewish tradition encompasses a particular people with a universal message of morality for all mankind, but does not mean that we have to give up sovereignty in our homeland.

UK Methodists "Time for Palestine"

This week is "World Week for Palestine Israel", and the UK group has the same cheery little rainbow logo and slogan as the US Methodists: "it's time for palestine"

Here's some of the text:

This annual observance of a week of prayer, education, and advocacy calls participants to seek justice for Palestinians so that both Israelis and Palestinians can finally live in peace. It has been more than 60 years since the partition of Palestine hardened into a permanent nightmare for Palestinians. It is now more than 40 years since the occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza overwhelmed the peaceful vision of one land, two peoples.

Two problems:
1. Notice, that the elites of the UK Meths have hardened into the 1948 formula. We are not just talking about post-1967 lands, we are talking about Israel itself as a problem, or "permanent nightmare".
2. And for some reason there is no terror issue, either.  From the Arabs' slaughter of Jews in 1929 in Hebron to the equally brutal recent murder of the Fogel family this year, and all the bombings and shootings in between, none of it seems to make an impression as big as the suffering of the Palestinians.

Yet the dream of one nation cannot be fulfilled at the expense of another.

Oddly, the confiscation of the Iraqi Jewish community's property was supposed to compensate the Palestinians for the loss of their land. Or at least that was the Iraqi fascists' rationale for the looting. This Jewish community of 120,000, which was robbed and expelled after 2600 years in exile, was far more prosperous than the Arab Palestinians of the time. The Iraqi Jews arrived in Israel just after the establishment of the state, with nearly nothing and spent years in tents. This was just one of the expelled Jewish communities; about 1 million of these Middle East natives lost their homes, yet they do not enter into the "expense equation".
The action week's message is that now:
  • It's time for Palestinians and Israelis to share a just peace.
  • It's time for freedom from occupation.
  • It's time for equal rights.
  • It's time for the healing of wounded souls.
Looks as if these Meths are putting the obligation on Israel to compensate 1948 refugees, and give them equal rights in Israel. Palestinian Arabs already have the rights the Palestinian Authority gives them, and Israeli Arabs have the best rights of any Arabs in the Middle East.That means an Arab influx of 3 million Arabs into Israel's pre-1967 borders.

Israelis say NO THANKS!!!

Methodists & Palestinian Sewage Resistance

Yesterday, I commented on the ranting claim of the U.S. Methodist statement on Israel's alleged abuse of Pally water resources. Below are a few excerpts from today's Jerusalem Post. Note that rewarding intransigence encourages intransigence. The more the Methodists continue to cry peace and support the Palestinian leadership/hard left line, the harder it will be to get to any peace arrangement. In effect they are peace blockers, not peace makers!

Refusal of PA officials to cooperate with Israel leaves Palestinians with water shortage, contamination, environmental protection minister says.

The Palestinians still suffer from both a water shortage and contaminated water due to the refusal of Palestinian Authority leaders to cooperate with Israel due to the unrelated political conflict, Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan said at a conference held in Paris on Tuesday.

“The issue of water must be outside the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Erdan said in his speech. “If the Palestinians will continue insisting to put conditions on things, we will not succeed in achieving cooperation and will not find a solution to the water distress of this whole region’s population.”Erdan said the continued pollution of water sources threatened Israelis and Palestinians alike, and that the Palestinian leadership should stop debating who had the right to which water source and instead begin discussing the urgent and mutual needs for water.Today, Israel supplied the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip much more water than is mandatory under the Interim Agreement of 1995 (Oslo II), the environment minister added...

“How can I help you deal with Israeli bureaucratic obstacles that delay finding solutions to the water distress, such as even I encounter during ongoing activities, when you look for excuses to refuse meetings?” Erdan asked Attili. “This way, nothing will be resolved."