|UK Bishops get ants in their pants over Israel|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Thursday, 04 October 2007 11:52|
A few weeks ago I commented on the United Methodist Church and their decision to divest from organizations that supply Israel with equipment for maintaining security in Judea and Samaria. The Church of England has already expressed its opposition to Israel in the past, voting to divest from Israeli firms operating within the territory captured during the Six Day War. The decision drew criticism from former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, and from some Palestinians who believe it harms relations between Israel and Palestinian Arabs. British trade and academic unions came under fire for announcing their boycotts at a time when Israel and the Palestinians were actually making progress in peace negotiations. As Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas seek to formulate a framework for a peace agreement, it seems this is not enough for some Bishops in the Church of England. The Bishops of Exeter, Winchester and Coventry have published a letter they wrote to the government on the situation in the Middle East. The Prime Minister hadn't replied to their letter and so they published it in the media, hoping to pressurize the government into giving a response before the November peace conference begins. In their letter, the Bishops slam Israel for seeking to undermine the viability of a future Palestinian state by continued expansion of settlements in Judea and Samaria, and the ongoing construction of the "segregation wall" (in other words, the "apartheid wall").
Quote: "The letter, written three months ago, accused Israel of undermining the chance of a future Palestinian state. The Bishops of Exeter, Winchester and Coventry believe only a two-state solution will create peace. But they said that this would soon become impossible unless international pressure was placed on Israel. The Bishop of Exeter, Michael Langrish, the Bishop of Winchester, Michael Scott-Joynt, and the Bishop of Coventry, Colin Bennetts, sent the letter privately to Gordon Brown on June 13, and decided to make it public after failing to get a response.
I wrote my own letters (letter 1, letter 2) to former Prime Minister Tony Blair on the situation in the Middle East, but never received a reply. I wonder if I submitted them to the BBC, will they publish them also? I doubt it somehow... The Bishops state in their letter that the borders of a future Palestinian state must not run parallel with the peace wall, for this would constitute the expansion of Israeli territory by force. They also warn that the viability of any future Palestinian state would soon disappear, an apparent reference to the expansion of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. I haven't the actual text of the Bishop's letter but if the BBC article is in any way true to its contents, then it seems the Bishops lay the blame of the Middle East conflict solely on Israel. Palestinian terrorism is not mentioned once in the report, nor Israel's disengagement from Gaza, the refusal of Hamas to recognize Israel's right to exist, the Israeli captives in Gaza and Lebanon, the daily threat of rocket attacks on Sderot, the suicide bombers apprehended by the IDF, the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Fatah, etc. These men only see what is represented in the mainstream media, and in particular the BBC, which is probably how the BBC came to know about this letter in the first place. The cartoon of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon eating the heads off Palestinian babies pretty well sums up how Israel is represented in the UK media. This particular cartoon won the UK Political Cartoon Society's "Cartoon of the Year" award...
In reality, Israel has very little to do with the conflict in the Middle East. Throughout its existence, Israel has been faced with war after war from the Arab nations, who refuse to recognize its right to exist never mind its right to "occupy" land captured in the defence of its own people. And as long as Church of England Bishops refuse to read their Bibles, which states that all these things must come to pass and that Israel will one day recognize their Messiah Yeshua, sadly we are going to hear more and more news like this.