jewish board of deputies

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Father Roy writes: Another front in the Battle has opened up.  The front of which I speak is in England: The Plight of the Rev’d Stephen Sizer.  The article pasted below will explain. 

It’s a serious matter.  I’ll write no more about it now, but lots of people will be writing about it in the near future.  Sami Joseph wrote this morning that Stephen is under a great deal of pressure.  The Jewish Establishment is standing adamant against him.  Stephen’s Bishop has asked him to write a letter explaining himself.  Here’s background information on the subject: stephen sizer – AOL Search Results.  The article pasted below is quite comprehensive.

Peace,Roy

Rev. Stephen Sizer

Rev. Stephen Sizer

Board of Deputies makes formal complaint about Stephen Sizer to Church of England

The Board of Deputees has issued a formal complaint to the Anglican Church, about Rev Stephen Sizer:

In a move believed to be without precedent in modern times, the Board of Deputies has lodged a formal complaint against Revd Stephen Sizer under the Church of England’s disciplinary process – an Act of Parliament known as the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003.

The complaint is based on statements made by Revd Sizer that the Board regards as antisemitic and a series of instances where Revd Sizer has posted internet links to articles on racist and antisemitic websites.

The BoD website has also published an opinion piece, evidence in support of the complaint, and an appendix.

Earlier this month, Stephen Sizer hosted the UK branch of Jews For Jesus, who did not challenge Sizer publicly about antisemitism, but used Sizer’s church as a platform to promote their own organisation. One wonders if Jews For Jesus is surprised by this development.

The BoD complaint follows a complaint from the Council of Christians and Jews about Sizer made this past year, and also a lengthy blogging campaign to highlight Sizer’s dalliances with antisemitism, much of which has featured here on HP.

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Father Roy writes: The following article was published in today’s Jerusalem Post.  Weed thru the hasbara.  Jewish groups in the UK are accusing the Rev’d Stephen Sizer of “anti-Semitism”.  A formal complaint has been filed in the Church.  It’s a familiar scenario.

Make a value judgement for yourselves, Peers.  Take a look at Stephen’s website.  Some of his writings can be found at a website which was built by Christian Evangelicals:  Challenging Christian Zionism and Apocalyptic Rapture Teachings.  Watch a few of Stephen’s videos on YouTube:  stephen sizer – AOL Search Results.  From my humble perspective, honesty is a prerequisite for effective interfaith dialogue.  It’s pushback time.

Jewish Groups in the UK are making a big issue out of Stephen’s case.  From my perspective, it’s the underlying issue that needs publicity.  I’ve written to Sami Joseph asking whether there’s one newspaper in London where a letter-writing campaign can be focused.  A national debate over there would be healthful for all concerned.  Sami has not had time to respond yet.  Meanwhile, letters of support can be addressed to Stephen’s Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Christopher Hill: bishop.christopher@cofeguildford.org….  There’s a postscript.

Peace,Roy+

P.S. The Cathedral of the Diocese of Guildford appears to be built on a firm foundation. Please read on

Group says Church of England vicar anti-Semitic

By JONNY PAUL, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT

Formal complaint documents Rev. Stephen Sizer’s offensive anti-Semitic statements and “deep hostility to Zionism.” 

LONDON – Britain’s Jewish community representative organization has taken the unprecedented step of lodging a formal complaint to the Church of England, the country’s officially established Christian church, accusing one of its clergyman of anti-Semitism.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews has accused Rev. Stephen Sizer, the vicar of Virginia Water Church in Surrey and an ardent anti-Israel campaigner, of making anti-Semitic statements and republishing anti-Semitic material.

The action comes at a time when the relationship between the Jewish community and the Church of England has taken a downward turn, following its decision in July to strengthen ties with an anti-Israel group.

According to the board’s vice-president, Jonathan Arkush, Sizer has made statements that the board and most of the Jewish community find utterly offensive, to the point of crossing the line into anti- Semitism.

The representative organization lodged the complaint under the Church of England’s disciplinary process, an act of parliament known as the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003.

Submitting the complaint on behalf of the board, Arkush said, “The evidence disclosed indicates that Rev. Sizer spends time trawling dark and extreme corners of the Internet.”

“Rev. Sizer republishes items to support the target of his polemical writing, while at the same time introducing his readers to the racist and anti-Semitic websites from where he draws his material,” he added.

The complaint cites numerous examples over an 11-month period showing a clear and consistent pattern of activity that “can no longer go unchallenged.”

In October 2011, the Church of England minister posted a link to his Facebook page from an anti-Semitic website called “The Ugly Truth: Zionism, Jewish extremism and a few other nasty items making our world uninhabitable today.”

Sizer removed the link three months later only after numerous complaints.

Bishop of Manchester Rt. Rev. Nigel McCulloch, who is also the chairman of the Council of Christians and Jews, said at the time that “the content and delay in removing the link from Mr. Sizer’s Facebook page was disgraceful and unbecoming for a clergyman of the Church of England to promote.”

In March, Sizer linked a picture of US bases surrounding Iran from the “Veterans Today” website, which publishes articles defending Hitler, and promotes Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and the anti- Semitic musician Gilad Atzmon.

“Its home page quickly discloses articles displaying hatred of Jews and Israel. Rev. Sizer could not have missed these when searching the site for material to post on his blog,” the board maintained.

In May, four months after removing the controversial link, Sizer acknowledged that the “Ugly Truth” contained offensive material and said that he had “no wish” to be associated with it.

“I have on many occasions condemned all forms of anti-Semitism and will continue so to do because it is abhorrent to me,” Sizer maintained.

However, only a month later, he again linked his blog to another anti-Semitic website. The homepage “Window into Palestine” displays a Nazi flag with a swastika superimposed on a Star of David and carries a copy of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, describing it as an “important tome.”

The charge sheet questions the sincerity of Sizer’s condemnation of anti-Semitism.

“Any visitor to ‘Window into Palestine’ would see immediately that it is racist and anti-Semitic. Rev. Sizer posted a link to this website exactly one month after telling the Council of Christians and Jews that he condemned all forms of anti-Semitism.

Arkush said that Sizer displays an obsession with Israel and opposes its identity as a Jewish state.

“Rev. Sizer displays a deep hostility to Zionism, which he writes about as if it was a term of abuse. It is not difficult to come across his views, as he is an enthusiastic self-publicist who proclaims his preoccupation with Israel on his website, blog and Facebook and Flickr pages.”

He also said that Sizer has few qualms about the company he keeps.

“He has shared a platform with and quoted from Holocaust-deniers; goes on trips to Iran as the guest of the NEDA Institute, which contributes to global efforts to deny the Holocaust and gave an interview with Quds News Agency, a Holocaust- denying website. Sizer is also a speaker at the provocatively named Christ at the Checkpoint conference, which features a theology called supersessionism which has anti-Semitic overtones.”

Writing in March 2011, Sizer said that Saif Gaddafi made a surprise visit to Israel to buy more weapons for his father, the late ruler of Libya.

“He goes to Israel regularly because, according to a senior Middle East Ecclesiastical source, both his mother and aunt are Jewish and live in Israel.

“Blood is indeed thicker than water. Perhaps this is why the US is reluctant to impose a ‘no-fly’ zone over Libya,” Sizer said.

It emerged that Sizer subsequently modified his post and removed the last line.

In June 2011, Sizer gave an interview to a Malaysian television program in which he claimed that “the Zionists” and the Far- Right in Britain were forming an alliance.

“It’s ironic that the very people who favored the work of Hitler are now working with the Zionists against the Muslims because they view them as a threat,” he said.

The complaint will now be considered by Bishop Christopher Hill, the bishop of Guildford, which is the jurisdictional area under which Sizer’s church falls.

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Father Roy writes: Armageddon is suddenly being waged on numerous fronts simultaneously.   And a badly-needed international debate has been precipitated locally, in the UK.  The post pasted below will explain.  Let those of us who have eyes… see.

Please study the website of the Rev’d Dr. Stephen Sizer.  Stephen has allies in the USA:  Challenging Christian Zionism and Apocalyptic Rapture Teachings.  Let’s familiarize ourselves with the theological mindset of Christian Zionists:  Jesus Camp ”Highlights” (10:38).  Let’s make time for some serious Christian theological education, for  “Theology” is the “Study of God”.

Jewish groups in the UK have targeted Stephen in a test case of sorts.  They claim that they can no longer afford to remain “quiet”.  Well, we Christians can no longer afford to remain silent.  Christians who live in the Holy Land are Palestinians.  Christians and Muslims suffer together under Israel’s occupation.  It will be interesting to observe what action Stephen’s Bishop — the Rt. Rev’d Christopher Hill, the Bishop of Guildford — decides to take in this matter.  It will be interesting to follow subsequent developments in the Church of England, as well.   Please read on.

Peace, Roy+ 

Rev. Stephen Sizer

Rev. Stephen Sizer

pauleisen.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/board-of-deputies-issue-disciplinary.htm…

WEDNESDAY, 31 OCTOBER 2012

Board of Deputies issue disciplinary complaint against Anglican Priest

In a move believed to be without precedent in modern times, the Board of Deputies has lodged a formal complaint against Revd Stephen Sizer under the Church of England’s disciplinary process – an Act of Parliament known as the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003.

The complaint is based on statements made by Revd Sizer that the Board regards as antisemitic and a series of instances where Revd Sizer has posted internet links to articles on racist and antisemitic websites.

The complaint must first be considered by Bishop Christopher Hill, the Bishop of Guildford, as Revd Sizer’s church in Virginia Water, Surrey, comes under his jurisdiction.

Board President Vivian Wineman said, “Making such a complaint about a Church of England minister is not a step the Board has taken lightly or without a great deal of consideration. This action sends a clear, strong message from our community that we will not remain quiet in the face of actions and remarks capable of being seen as antisemitic even where they are disguised as anti-Zionist attacks on Israel.”

Submitting the complaint on behalf of the Board of Deputies, Vice President Jonathan Arkush said, “The evidence disclosed indicates that Rev Sizer spends time trawling dark and extreme corners of the internet. Revd Sizer re-publishes items to support the target of his polemical writing, while at the same time introducing his readers to the racist and antisemitic websites from where he draws his material.”

www.bod.org…

Board of Deputies / John Arkish blog – Wednesday 31st October 2012

One Sizer doesn’t fit all

by Jonathan Arkush

posted in Defence

Revd Stephen Sizer is the Vicar of Christ Church in Virginia Water, Surrey. He is now the subject of a complaint by the Board of Deputies to the Church of England, for making statements that the Board and most of the Jewish community find utterly offensive, to the point of crossing the line into antisemitism, even if this is neither his motivation nor intention. This is not all, as we also complain of Revd Sizer posting links from his website to articles on racist and antisemitic websites where scurrilous views against Jews and others are published. When this happens, the Jewish community has to act.

Under Church law the Board’s complaint has to be brought under an Act of Parliament, the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003. The complaint is therefore for misconduct consisting of “conduct unbecoming or inappropriate to the office and work of a clerk in Holy Orders”.

The complaint, which can be found here: includes detailed supporting evidence , an appendix of the offending material and a statement made earlier this year by the Bishop of Manchester > , the Chairman of the Council of Christians and Jews, in which Revd Sizer’s delay in removing a link to an antisemitic website and the content he linked to was described as “disgraceful and unbecoming for a clergyman of the Church of England to promote”.On the subject of Revd Sizer posting links to racist websites, the complaint says this:

The matters complained of disclose a clear and consistent pattern of activity on the part of Rev Sizer. The evidence indicates that he spends time trawling dark and extreme corners of the internet for material to add to his website. Rev Sizer re-publishes such items to support the target of his polemical writing, while at the same introducing his readers to the racist and antisemitic websites from where he draws his material. As the evidence demonstrates, there are five instances of this over the 11 month period from July 2011 to June 2012.

Thankfully for relations between British Jews and Christians, Revd Sizer is very much the exception.He displays an obsession with Israel and opposes its identity as a Jewish state. The Jewish people’s belief in national self-determination, or Zionism, is shared with most of the world’s nations – but Revd Sizer displays a deep hostility to Zionism, which he writes about as if it was a term of abuse. It is not difficult to come across his views, as he is an enthusiastic self-publicist who proclaims his preoccupation with Israel on his website, blog, Facebook and flickr pages.

Considering his position as a Church of England vicar, Revd Sizer keeps some strange company. He has shared a platform with and quoted from Holocaust deniers, goes on trips to Iran as the guest of the NEDA Institute which contributes to global efforts to deny the Holocaust and gave an interview with Qods News Agency, a Holocaust denying website. Sizer is also a speaker at the provocatively named Christ at the Checkpoint conference, which features a theology called supersessionism which has antisemitic overtones. It seems that Revd Sizer has few qualms about keeping company with anyone who shares his hostility to Israel, however dubious.

We need to be clear about what it is we complain of.

We make no complaint about Rev Sizer’s anti-Israel views, nor of his trips to Iran or his supersessionist theology. While we view all of these with concern and distaste, Revd Sizer is entitled to his views and may travel where he wants. But we draw the line at making statements that we regard as antisemitic and advertising the content of racist and antisemitic websites. It is a matter of great regret that we are driven to make this complaint, but the Jewish community should not have to stomach material that we see as crossing the line into antisemitism.

To anyone who asks what it is that we seek from the complaint, my answer is simple. If it is upheld, it will be a matter for the Church of England what action to take to address Revd Sizer’s conduct. But I can say that we are not seeking to have him stopped from his ministry or dismissed from his job. We only ask one thing, which is that effective measures are taken to prevent him from publishing or re-publishing material that we find to be not merely offensive, but antisemitic.

We don’t think that’s too much to ask.