Tag Archives: Palestine

The Church of England’s Complicity in the Gaza Genocide

“Gaza today has become the moral compass of the world”, insisted the Reverend Dr. Munther Isaac in his 2023 Christmas sermon, entitled, “Christ in the Rubble.” After his sermon went viral, his words were subsequently quoted by UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed.

A short video introduction to the article – viewed 18k times in the first week.

Lamentably, many Christian leaders in the USA and Europe have stood by, silent and complicit, unwilling to criticise Israel for what is increasingly recognised as a genocidal campaign against the Palestinian people. 

This article will analyse the Church of England official statements about Gaza since 7th October 2023, together with criticisms, and provide an assessment of the Church’s moral integrity in its stance on Gaza.

Download the complete article – or continue to read the summary conclusions:

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Archbishop Justin Welby Where is Your Moral Compass?

The Lambeth Witness Group of Campain, have produced a leaflet to protest the continued complicity of the Church of England with the pro-Israel lobby regarding the Gaza genocide.

As leader of the Church of England, your job involves standing up for human rights, peace, and justice. 

But, when it comes to Israel, you never go to the heart of the matter. 

We are glad you have called out the killing and starvation of Palestinians in Gaza, but you never denounce the root cause, which is Israel’s long-term ethnic cleansing programme. Nor do you call out our government’s enduring diplomatic and military support for Israel. 

As Israel starves, burns and bombs the civilian population of Gaza and the West Bank, you treat it as if it were acting out self-defence, on a higher moral plane from Hamas. 

We see no rationale for this. Some of Hamas’s actions on October 7 were war crimes, and need to be investigated. However, it is Israel’s ethnic cleansing project that drives the whole cycle of violence. 

As far back as 1937 the father of the Israeli nation David Ben Gurion wrote: “We must expel the Arabs and take their places”. And since 1948, Israel has killed, maimed, dispossessed and exiled Palestinians, occupying their land, destroying their homes and infrastructure, and stealing their natural resources. These are war crimes.

Too often, you have denounced British people who stand up for the Palestinians as anti-Semitic, fanning the flames of culture wars. And you have not backed up your assertions with hard evidence. 

And when Iran attacked Israel, you tweeted a prayer for Israel – but you didn’t denounce Israel’s provocative attack on an Iranian consulate, which is a war crime.

As head of the established Church, and with 26 bishops in the House of Lords, you can and should do better. It is time to hold Government to account. So please show moral leadership and demand that the British government immediately:

• Insist on a permanent ceasefire
• End all diplomatic, military and logistical support for Israel’s war 
• End all arms supply to Israel, a move that polls show would have overwhelming public support, and
• Renew funding for UNRWA, Gaza’s crucial provider of food and humanitarian aid that Israel has dishonestly sought to discredit.

Mardin Artuklu University: Courage Award

The 24th International Beth Al-Maqdis Academic Symposium was held at Mardin Atuklu University, Turkey, 18-20 April 2024. The conference theme was “Zionism and Academia: Pressures, Fears and Challenges”. Besides giving a presentation entitled, “A Biblical Refutation of Christian Zionism”, during the conference, I was also honoured to receive the Mardin Artuklu University Courage Award.

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European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP)

As chair of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions(ICAHD-UK), I am pleased to represent them on the ECCP committee.

The ECCP is a network of 43 European organisations, NGOs, trade unions and solidarity groups from 18 European countries,  dedicated to the struggle of the Palestinian people for freedom, justice and equality.

Red Heifers From Texas and the Jewish Temple

Register for this important Sabeel webinar here:

In anticipation of the forthcoming launch of the newly established Institute for the Study of Christian Zionism (ISCZ), you are invited to an important conversation, “‘Red Heifers’ from Texas’ & Misguided Attempts to Build the Temple: Countering the Destructive Consequences of Christian Zionism and Third-Temple Extremism”–a conversation taking on a new urgency in light of recent events. 

Organized by the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Centre in Jerusalem, Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA), and the Israel-Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) of the Presbyterian Church USA and sponsored by a diverse coalition of movement partners, this online conversation was birthed in response to an open call from Palestinian Christian leaders to the global church as well as all persons of good will. 

As detailed in the letter, the extremist Temple Institute, aided by Christian Zionist extremists in the United States, aims to sacrifice a “red heifer,” claiming that such a sacrifice is necessary to purify a priest who would then be designated “clean” to enter the Holy of Holies of a rebuilt Jewish Temple. The group’s plans would require the relocation or destruction of Masjid al-Aqsa, including the Dome of the Rock, within the Haram al-Sharif. 

Such a plan is not only a great affront to the hope of multi-religious coexistence in Jerusalem but an invitation to regional, if not global, warfare. In the face of this madness, Palestinian clergy have called upon all persons of goodwill to condemn this plan because actions like this accomplish nothing except for escalating hatred, instability, and violence. 

As such, it is imperative that we inaugurate a global intra-Christian dialogue focused on the repudiation of Christian Zionism among other forms of political extremism. 

Featuring: Alex Awad, Shadia Qutbi, Stephen Sizer, Addie Domske

Jerusalem Day Rally: Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

View my short presentation at the Jerusalem Day Rally held in Whitehall, London, here. The text is below.

What does the word Jeru-salem mean? It means “city of peace” In the Psalms we are told to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6). Why are we told to pray for the peace of the city of peace? Perhaps because God knew people would interpret the word “peace” in contradictory ways. That is why the prophet Jeremiah warned “‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:14).

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Southampton Peace Rally for Gaza and Palestine

Do you remember the film Miss Congeniality staring Sandra Bullock who plays a police officer. There’s a scene in which she enters the Miss USA beauty pageant. Each contestant steps up to the microphone to answer the question, “What’s the most important thing our society needs?” They each smile and give the same cliched answer – “world peace“. All except Sandra Bullock who replies, “Harsher punishment for parole violators”. The crowd goes silent and Sandra Bullock realises they don’t share her enthusiasm for justice, so she adds, “And world peace” and the crowd goes wild.

Although the scene makes light of ‘world peace’, Sandra Bullock is making a point, “If we all believe in ‘world peace’, if we all want ‘world peace’ why, oh why, is it so elusive? Because peace begins, for exampole, by holding parole violators accountable. That is why the prophet Jeremiah warned “‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:14). 

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Palestine and Global Peace

I wonder if you can remember the comedy film Miss Congeniality staring Sandra Bullock. There’s a scene in which she appears in  the Miss USA beauty pageant. Each contestant steps up to the microphone to answer the question, “What’s the most important thing our society needs?” They each smile and give the same cliched answer – “world peace”. All except Sandra Bullock who replies, “Harsher punishment for parole violators”. When the crowd goes silent and Sandra Bullock realises they don’t share her enthusiasm for justice, she adds, “And world peace” and then the crowd goes wild.

Although the humorous scene makes light of ‘world peace’, implicitly, it raises the question, “If we all believe in ‘world peace’, if we all want ‘world peace’ why, oh why, is it so elusive? I suggest the clue lies in Sandra Bullock’s unpopular reply, but lets leave that for now and come back to it later.

When we turn our attention from fiction to reality, and in particular to Gaza, we recognise peace is a serious, urgent, vital, not just need, but demand. There are people living and breathing in Gaza today who will be dead by tonight, or who will die tomorrow or on Thursday and on Friday.. In a very real sense, Palestine is the litmus test, or as Revd Dr Munther Isaac said this week, “Gaza is the moral compass” of the world order. If the international community cannot, or will not, apply international law and binding UN resolutions, and stop the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, if the highest court in the world, the ICJ will not hold Israel accountable for genocide, then there is no hope for peace anywhere else in the world. All we have is anarchy, the law of the jungle, the survival of the strongest. Ironically Sandra Bullock was right in Miss Congeniality. World peace begins by holding parole violators accountable because there will be no peace without justice.

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