Monday, December 30, 2013

St James’s Piccadilly - A Church of Hate

A Church of Hate

Posted by Melanie Phillips

1819 riots in Frankfurt, from a contemporary engraving by Johann Michael Voltz. On the left, two peasant women are assaulting a Jew with pitchfork and broom. On the right, a man wearing tails and a six-button waistcoat, An open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

Dear Archbishop,

I read with interest your Christmas Day sermon, in which you said:
‘The Christian meaning of Christmas is unconditional love received, love overflowing into a frequently love-lost world.’

I wonder how you reconcile this with the fact that one of your churches, St James’s Piccadilly, chose Christmas to turn itself into a church of hate?

As I am sure you know only too well, this church spent eight months preparing its Christmas stunt, the erection of an 8 metre-tall, 30 metre-long replica of the Israeli ‘wall’ that it claims surrounds Bethlehem and imposes ‘desperate hardship’ on the town’s inhabitants.
Although the church acknowledges in passing that the original purpose of this ‘wall’ was ‘to protect Israeli citizens from terrorism’, it suggests instead that its only result has been to oppress and harass innocent Palestinians. The inevitable effect of this wholly mendacious and malevolent travesty will be to incite hatred against Israel and all who support its defence against the war of extermination being perpetrated against it.

St James’s has put out a pious statement that it
‘… opposes all forms of racism including antisemitism and supports the right of the State of Israel to exist with secure internationally recognised borders’.

I’m afraid this really is the most nauseating cant.

If this church were really concerned to stop antisemitism and allow Israel to live in peace with its neighbours, it would have acknowledged that Palestinian children are being routinely taught to hate and murder Israelis (see this or this for example).

If this church really supported Israel’s right to exist within secure borders, it would have acknowledged the refusal by Mahmoud Abbas (leave aside Hamas) ever to acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state; or the repeated Palestinian attempts to attack and murder Israelis, too many of which have been all too successful.

But the church made no mention of any of this. Instead, its ‘wall’ stunt is based on an eye-watering collection of the most vicious and blatant lies and distortions. Here are some truths it has omitted:
·      The ‘wall’ does not surround Bethlehem.
·      For most of its length it is not a wall at all but a simple chain link fence.
·      It has been constructed not to oppress Palestinians but solely to prevent Israelis from being murdered by Arabs.
·      This security barrier has had to be built as a wall alongside one area of Bethlehem because a fence here – cheek by jowl with Jerusalem ­– would be insufficient to prevent the very real threat of some of its inhabitants murdering large numbers of Israelis.
·      The undoubted hardships caused by this barrier are solely the result of the ever-continuing attempts by some of those living behind it to murder yet more Israelis.
·      Since this security barrier was constructed, the number of Israelis murdered in terrorist attacks has decreased by some 70 per cent – while the number of attempted attacks remains high.
Those like St James’s Church who want the barrier to be demolished thus inescapably imply that they are indifferent to the murder of Israelis. Is this what you meant, Archbishop, by
‘unconditional love received, love overflowing into a frequently love-lost world’?

There are other glaring omissions and distortions. The church makes no mention of the fact that, as shown here, Rachel’s Tomb, one of Judaism’s holiest sites which is very near Bethlehem and where many attacks have taken place against Jewish worshippers, really has been walled off and turned into a kind of fortress – to protect Jews from further attacks by Arabs.
It unaccountably makes no mention of the fact that, while the Christians of the Middle East are – as you said in your sermon and as Michael Curtis details here – being persecuted and murdered, the only country in the region where Christians are thriving and increasing, in a society that allows them total freedom of worship, is Israel.

It unaccountably makes no mention of the fate of the Christians of Bethlehem and other areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority, detailed here in The Commentator by Steve Apfel:
‘One of the few Arab Christians who has dared to break the silence is Pastor Reverend Naim Khoury of the Bethlehem Baptist Church. At the risk of his life he notes that animosity towards the Christian minority in areas controlled by the PA has worsened and that, “people are always telling Christians, convert to Islam.” Khoury may have lived to tell the tale, but he moved Palestinian leaders to close down his Bethlehem church.'

St James’s makes no mention of any of this. Instead, from tomorrow it will host a hate-fest of anti-Israel activists and personalities, whose contribution to the store of love and truth in the world is described by Richard Millett here.
Israel is currently the victim of a mind-bending campaign of demonisation and delegitimisation based on falsehoods, libels and gross distortions. Your church, Archbishop, has now become part of this sinister and wicked attempt to exterminate a country by reversing truth and lies in the minds of decent people.

You surely do not need me to tell you that this anti-Israel bigotry in your church – going far beyond St James’s, Piccadilly – is infused by a revival of the ancient Christian calumny that the Jews have forfeited God’s love and all the promises he made to them on account of their refusal to believe in Jesus, as a result of which they were to be considered in league with the devil.

This terrible doctrine of ‘supersessionism’, which was responsible for centuries of Christian persecution and mass murder of the Jews, has become resurgent in recent years through the influence of Palestinian Christians who have attempted to rewrite the Bible as a lexicon of hate to further the cause of Palestinianism. To that end, they have attempted to airbrush the Jews out of their own history, while seeking to appropriate the Christian story itself by depicting Palestinians as suffering the torments of Jesus. Cashing in on this trend, Mahmoud Abbas ludicrously referred in his own Christmas message to Jesus – the Jew from Judea ­– as a Palestinian.

The influence upon your Church, Archbishop, of this virulent cocktail of ancient theological bigotry and exterminatory Palestinianism cannot be exaggerated.

In a climate in which every Jewish communal or religious event, every Jewish school and institution in Britain has to be guarded against attack, and in which there is a direct correlation between the emotive lies told about Israel and attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions, for one of your churches to lend itself to such incitement is simply obscene.

The ‘wall’ is of course a stunt. But the damage it has done to the Church of England is immense. Because what it does is put the Church on the side of lies and hatred against truth and justice. It has put the Church of England on the side of evil.

The only purpose of Israel’s security barrier is to save life and prevent mass murder. The only purpose of the St James’s Church ‘Bethlehem Unwrapped’ stunt is to stir up hatred.
To stay silent is to make the rest of the Church an accessory to this obscenity. I therefore trust that you will take all necessary steps to counter the calumny promulgated by St James’s and prevent the stain upon the wider Church from now spreading.

Yours in hope,
Melanie Phillips

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Joel Leyden: Are You Traveling to Israel?

 Are you visiting Israel? 

Do you shake hands or hug? 
Do you wear a tie? 
What do you talk about?


also check out Joel Leyden's professional advice at:

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Let world judge Israel by single standard, let world judge those who condemn Israel by same standard

Boycotting Israel Photo: REUTERS

A paradigmatic characteristic of all bigotry is to take a fault that is widespread among all cultures, races, religions and nationalities and to attribute it singularly to one group.

For example: “Blacks are violent.” “Jews are cheap.” “Asians are sly.” “Gays are pedophiles.” “Women are irrational.” “Romanies (gypsies) cheat.”

The truth, of course, is that all groups have some among them with these negative characteristics.

The bigots who make these claims correctly point to the fact that some members of these groups display the negative characteristics attributed to the groups as a whole.

But the bigotry consists of singling out any such group for unique condemnation on the basis of these widespread faults without acknowledging that members of other groups have them as well, sometimes in greater proportion than the group that is singled out.

This is precisely what is occurring in the context of the nation state of the Jewish people, Israel, being singled out for boycotts, divestment and sanctions.

As the president of the American Studies Association, Curtis Marez, acknowledged, after his organization singled out Israel for an academic boycott: Many other countries, including all of Israel’s neighbors, have far worse records when it comes to human rights and academic freedom.

Moreover, other countries (including China, Russia and Turkey) have had longer and far more oppressive occupations than Israel without offering (as Israel has) to end the occupation as part of a negotiated peace. But Prof.

Marez’s response to the charge of bigotry in applying the double standard to the nation state of the Jewish people was “We have to start somewhere.”

That is the characteristic response of the bigot. When it comes to condemning violence, we have to start somewhere, so let’s target African-Americans for stop and frisk. When it comes to stopping pedophilia, “we have to start somewhere” so let’s start with profiling gays. Surely this would be recognized as bigotry personified.

Marez’s benighted response is more than simply bigoted, it is mendacious.

His association is not simply starting with Israel, it is stopping with Israel. A vote to boycott Chinese, Cuban, Russian or Palestinian academic institutions— which are worse by every measure of civil liberties, human rights and academic freedom than Israeli institutions – would garner few, if any, votes. This too is the paradigm of bigotry: starting and ending with one ethnic or religious group and applying a different standard to every other group.

When Harvard University adopted a quota system directed only against Jewish applicants, its president, A. Lawrence Lowell, justified singling out Jews, because, he claimed, “Jews cheat.”

When told that Christians cheat, too, he responded: “You’re changing the subject. We’re talking about Jews now.”

He too had to start and stop somewhere. So he singled out the Jews. Was this anti-Semitic? The answer to the question, is the singling out of the nation state of the Jewish people for an academic boycott an act of anti-Semitism, the answer is, if the shoe fits ...

Here not only does the shoe fit, but like Cinderella’s slipper, the bigoted shoe in this case fits only one group: academic institutions in the nation state of the Jewish people.

There are those who claim that the BDS movement against Israel cannot be anti-Semitic, because it is directed at a country and not at individuals. But by treating Israel as the Jew among nations – singling it out for condemnation when others are far worse by any relevant standard – the advocates of BDS are simply expanding the notion of anti-Semitism beyond the individual to the nation state of the Jewish people. When Nazis condemned “Jewish physics,” “Jewish art” and “Jewish business practices,” they too claimed that they were focusing on Jewish institutions rather than Jewish individuals. That defense won’t work. Treating the Jew among nations precisely the way classic anti-Semites have treated the Jewish people is simply a new adaptation of the oldest of prejudices.

So let the world condemn those who single out the nation state of the Jewish people for the application of a double standard. Let the world understand that bigotry is bigotry whether directed against the Jew among nations or the Jew within nations.

Let those who want to boycott nations apply the simple test of morality: the worst first. Let them apply another moral test: focusing first on those countries in which dissent is not tolerated and in which there is no internal recourse against violations of human rights.

Applying these tests to Israel would put the nation state of the Jewish people at the very bottom of countries deserving to be boycotted. But by ignoring the worst and condemning a nation that is near the very top in terms of human rights, academic freedom and the rule of law, the bigotry of the condemners becomes obvious.

So let the world judge Israel by a single standard and let the world judge those who condemn Israel by that same standard.

The writer, 
ALAN M. DERSHOWITZ, is a veteran professor at Harvard Law School, is a prominent advocate for Israel in the United States. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

JIDF aka David Brotsky aka David Appletree Investigated by IRS for Fraud

David Brotsky aka David Appletree aka JIDF calls Israeli border policemen "fake" cops, but the admin of the JIDF has never served one day in an Israeli uniform. 

David Brotsky attacks those who serve in the IDF, calling us "rapists". He scams the Jewish community, collects money for the JIDF, but it is not a non-profit organization. 
Brotsky aka Appletree ignores the IRS. 

David Brotsky makes a bad name for anyone who calls themselves a Jew or Israeli.
Please sign and end the JIDF aka Brotsky campaign of cyber bullying!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Joel Leyden: Tourism To Israel Reaches Record High

The following was communicated to Joel Leyden, publisher of the Israel News Agency:

3% MORE THAN 2010 AND 5% MORE THAN 2011

Tourism Ministry estimates that 2013 will close with slight increase on visitor entries from the record year of 2012. This, despite the fact that incoming tourism had to deal with issues related to the security situation and the government budget. As a result of the marketing efforts and the development of new markets alongside maintaining existing markets, the annual contribution of tens of billions of shekels made by tourism to the economy has been maintained.

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, 306,000 visitors entered Israel in November 2013, 10% more than November 2012 (Operation Pillar of Defense), and slightly less than the months of November 2010 and 2011.  Of these visitor entries, 256,000 were tourists (staying more than one night), 15%  more than November 2012, and 3% and 5% more than November 2010 and 2011 -  an all-time record for the month. November also saw a reduction of 41% in the number of day visitors from Sinai into Israel from last year (because of the instability in Egypt), a continuation of the improvement from August -October 2013. There was however an improvement in the number of day visitors as compared to August-September 2013, with a 90% decrease. October 2013 did not include the Jewish holidays, so an increase in incoming tourism would be expected.

220,000 entries were by air, 19% more than November 2012, of which 8,000 arrived on direct flights to Eilat (6% less than November 2012) . 36,000 came through the border crossings, 7% less than November 2012; 27,000 came through the border with Jordan (1% increase) and about 9,200 through Taba to Eilat (23%  less than last November).

49,000 entries were recorded by day visitors, 9% less than November 2012. Of these, 32,000 arrived on cruise ships (40% more than last November). 15,000 day visitors arrived via the land crossings (48% decrease on November 2012) and about 2,000 by air (10% more than last November).

January-November 2013
Since the beginning of 2013 through November, about 3.3 million tourists and day visitors arrived in Israel, almost identical to the same period in 2012, 6% more than 2011 and 3% more than 2010. Of these entries, 2.7 million were tourists, a slight increase on the same period in 2012, 4% more than 2011 and 5% more than 2010.  2.4 million entries were recorded by air, 3% more than the same period in 2012.

About 547,000 entries were day visitors, 7% less than the same period last year. Of these entries, about 245,000 came on cruise ships, 7% more than in 2012. 179,000 came via the border crossings (35% less than 2012) and 123,000 by air (41% increase).

"Tourists continue to arrive in Israel from all over the world in growing numbers and see Israel as a safe and attractive tourist destination. The tourists choose to stay in a variety of different accommodation options, allowing the income generated to be dispersed across all sections of the population; small and large businesses, in the cities and in the periphery, can make a decent living from incoming tourism - and so it should be. The Tourism Ministry welcomes the increase in tourism and will continue to work tirelessly to increase incoming tourism, including next year."