international debate


Father Roy writes: Here’s something tangible that we in the International Community can work with.  Notice that Jordan’s King Abdullah met Monday with a delegation from AIPAC.  Notice what HRH had to say.  The International Debate continues. 

Peace, Roy

Arab League urges ‘new approach’ to Mideast conflict

By Al Arabiya wit agencies

Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi on Monday called for a “new approach” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, slamming previous processes as a waste of time.
“In order to solve this problem, we should have a new mechanism and new methods and a new approach to dealing with the crisis,” AFP reported Arabi as saying after talks with the president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy.
“The main target after all these wasted years should be ending the Israeli occupation, not signing temporary agreements that would go round in circles and that would only lead to wasting time in a way that allows Israel to expand its settlements,” he said.
Last month, Arabi had criticized the International Quartet
— which comprises the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia — as ineffective.
For his part, Van Rompuy said there must be “concerted and coordinated actions by all key actors to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”
“Now is the time to look forward and to take bold steps towards peace in the Middle East,” he said.

Jordan’s king urges Israel

In a related story, Jordan’s king has warned that the failure to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians is adding to regional tensions.
A statement from the royal palace said King Abdullah II told a delegation from the Washington-based American Israel Public Affairs Committee that regional changes tied to the Arab Spring should “drive” the Israeli government to “embrace peace,” the Associated Press reported.
In his talks Monday with the pro-Israel group, the king also called on Israel to stop measures that he said hinder peace efforts, including West Bank settlement construction.
Abdullah urged Israel, the Palestinians and the U.S. to resume peacemaking efforts. He called for direct talks based on a two-state solution, which envisions the establishment of a Palestinian state.
He said it remains the “only formula” to end the 65-year old conflict.


Peers, we’ll be hearing a lot more from the nations in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) from now on.  Can this not be seen as a positive development?  The Helsinki Conference convenes next month.  Date to be announced.

Armageddon appears to be approaching climax.  Is it possible to make a distinction between the good guys and the bad guys?  Let’s focus on the issues and participate in the International Debate.

I’ve done some highlighting in the article pasted below.  Does everybody see the irony in this situation? 


Iran Calls for Nuclear Abolition by 2025 at the NAM Summit in Tehran

By Alice Slater

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), formed in 1961 during the Cold War, is a group of 120 states and 17 observer states not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. The NAM held its opening 2012 session yesterday under the new chairmanship of Iran, which succeeded Egypt as the Chair.

Significantly, an Associated Press story in the Washington Post headlined, “Iran opens nonaligned summit with calls for nuclear arms ban”, reported that “Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi opened the gathering by noting commitment to a previous goal from the nonaligned group, known as NAM, to remove the world’s nuclear arsenals within 13 years. ‘We believe that the timetable for ultimate removal of nuclear weapons by 2025, which was proposed by NAM, will only be realized if we follow it up decisively,’ he told delegates.”

Yet the New York Times, which has been beating the drums for war with Iran, just as it played a disgraceful role in the deceptive reporting during the lead-up to the Iraq War, never mentioned Iran’s proposal for nuclear abolition. The Times carried the bland headline on its front page, “At Summit Meeting, Iran Has a Message for the World”, and then went on to state, “the message is clear. As Iran plays host to the biggest international conference …it wants to tell its side of the long standoff with the Western powers which are increasingly convinced that Tehran is pursuing nuclear weapons”, without ever reporting Iran’s offer to support the NAM proposal for the abolition of nuclear weapons by 2025.

Surely the most sensible way to deal with Iran’s nascent nuclear weapons capacity is to call all the nations to the table to negotiate a treaty to ban the bomb. That would mean abolishing the 20,000 nuclear bombs on the planet—in the US, UK, Russia, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel—with 19,000 of them in the US and Russia. In order to get Russia and China to the table, the US will also have to give up its dreams of dominating the earth with missile “defenses” which, driven by corrupt military contractors and a corporate- owned Congress, are currently being planted and based in provocative rings around Russia and China.

The ball is in the U.S. court to make good faith efforts for nuclear abolition. That would be the only principled way to deal with fears of nuclear proliferation. The US must start with a genuine offer for negotiations to finally ban the bomb in all countries, including a freeze on further missile development. It should stop beating up on Iran and North Korea while it hypocritically continues to improve and expand the US arsenal, with tens of billions of dollars for new weapons laboratories and bomb delivery systems, and fails failing to speak out against the nuclear activities of other nations such as the enrichment of uranium in Japan and Brazil and the nuclear arsenal of Israel.


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…


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.”…

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.


Peers,Have you noticed how interesting a good short story can be?  Details can be especially interesting.  Here’s a short story in progress that we can follow.  A Palestinian man … accepted an invitation from a group of Jews … and all hell broke loose.  The story would be funny if it weren’t so tragic.

Thanks to the Christian Science Monitor for the commentary pasted below.  Peers, let’s look on the bright side.  An International Debate is in the process of precipitating,  both in Cyberspace and on the ground.  And under our very noses.  I suggest that we pray that we deal with these matters with understanding.  There’s a postscript.



P.S.   Peers, a heated debate need not be bitter.  If we all start listening to one another with good will in our hearts … and … at the same time … if we all will respond honestly and without hesitation … (here comes the heard part) … we’ll all learn something.  Please read on.  Read what Hanan Ashwari had to say about the latest tempest in Israel’s tea pot.

Palestinian comments on Holocaust underscore internal divides

A Palestinian official prompted a heated debate when he visited Auschwitz last month. Many Palestinians believe that recognition of the Holocaust detracts from their own suffering.

By Ben Lynfield, Correspondent / August 11, 2012

A rare gesture of empathy for victims of the Holocaust has underscored how divided Palestinians are over recognizing what Jews consider the darkest chapter in their history – and also how far apart Israelis and Palestinians remain, not only when it comes to the present conflict, but also the past.

Ziyad Bandak, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas‘s adviser on Christian affairs, visited the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland last month, laying a wreath in memory of the more than 1 million people, most of them Jews, who were killed there during the Holocaust. Mr. Bandak, who was invited by a Polish group working for tolerance, was flayed in public statements by the Islamic militant group Hamas movement for harming the Palestinian cause and marketing a ”false Zionist alleged tragedy.”

But Bandak is being backed up by moderate Palestinian leaders in the West Bank for what they say is a ”human” act.

In the past, there was a sense among Palestinians that recognition of the Holocaust would detract from their own cause and suffering – an opinion accentuated by the feeling that their own struggles, including displacement by Israel‘s establishment in 1948 and the ongoing military occupation, have gone unrecognized by Israel and the international community.

With his adviser’s visit to Auschwitz, Mr. Abbas has come full circle on the issue. In 1984, he published a book based on his doctoral thesis alleging that the Holocaust was exaggerated and that Zionists created ”the myth” that 6 million Jews were murdered. But when he became Palestinian Authority prime minister in 2003, Abbas wrote that the Holocaust was an unforgivable crime against the Jewish nation and humanity. He said that he wrote the book when the Palestinians were at war with Israel and would not have made such remarks today.

“There is a competition over victimhood and suffering,” says Hanan Ashrawi, the Ramallah-based spokeswoman for the Palestinian Liberation Organization. ”Many people feel ‘Why should we recognize their suffering if they are still inflicting pain on us? We are not responsible for what happened to them. We are the victims and yet we are being blamed.’ The feeling is ‘Let them stop victimizing us now because their suffering in Europe is not something we’re responsible for – but what’s happening to us, the Israeli occupation is responsible for.”’

But Ms. Ashrawi herself says she supports Bandak’s act, calling it a “human” gesture.

“You can never discount suffering and empathy with the suffering of the other, regardless of whether he is Jewish, Christian, Muslim, or atheist. The Holocaust is a horrible chapter in human history. It should never be repeated, and should never happen to anybody, and an expression of empathy and recognition of the horror is only human,” she says.

Qais Abdul-Karim, a Palestinian legislator from the left-wing Badil party, termed the wreath laying ”a normal thing to do.”

“I do not believe it will divert attention from the rights and agony of the Palestinian people. We do not deny the Holocaust or agree to any position that will try to minimize or justify the cruelty and barbarism embodied in the Holocaust,” he says.

Bandak himself was traveling abroad and unavailable for comment

(The complete article can be read at CSM’s website.  R)