netanyahu government


It’s hard not to feel a little cynical when you read this report. As an Anglican myself I can testify to the fact that our church has a sad history of making insipid statements on critical issues and this pronouncement from the Bishop of Bath appears to be sadly consistent with that history.

The Bishop’s statement seems to imply that all that stands in the way of peace is a little more goodwill between Israelis and Palestinians – a naive view that overlooks completely the way in which successive Israeli and US governments have sabotaged every potential peace plan for almost a generation!

It would be nice if goodwill were sufficient to establish a long-term peace between Israel and Palestine. Unfortunately it also requires a willingness on the part of the politicians involved to make genuine concessions – something that the Netanyahu government has shown no interest in doing.

Father Dave


Israel and Palestine must seek peace – bishop

The Bishop of Bath & Wells has spoken of his hope for long-term peace in the Holy Land following a recent trip to the region.

Addressing the House of Lords, Bishop Peter Price said civil society was “key to unlocking peace” between Israel and Palestine.

“Peace is the prize that all must seek for the welfare of generations of children growing up against the backdrop of uncertainty and fear,” he said.

Bishop Price made the visit as part of a delegation led by Christian Aid that also included the Bishop of Worcester.

He said the recent ceasefire between Israel and Gaza offered “hope for some measure of peace” and that US President Barack Obama’s forthcoming visit could open up non-violent solutions.

“What is hopeful is an increasing sense among the young that this situation cannot last forever,” he said.

During his visit, Bishop Price met Palestinian children taking part in a post-conflict trauma group.

He was moved by their dreams to become doctors, lawyers and teachers when they grow up.

“What kind of humanity leaves behind a child – any child – unable to hold onto its future?” he said.

“I am not seeking to make a partisan point here but a humanitarian one.

“Unless we can see in the eyes of the other the same human identity that is in ourselves, we risk only demonising the other.”

An evening of prayer and meditation is being held at Lady Chapel at Wells Cathedral next Tuesday, during which the bishop will talk about his visit.

The cathedral will host a Christian Aid photography exhibition until 3 March displaying work by young people in Gaza involved in campaigning against child labour.


Nothing gives me more hope nor elicits my admiration more than seeing young men and women of high ideals refuse to participate in their nation’s wars. These refuseniks pay a high price. Not only do they face short-term imprisonment but long-term discrimination from their government and the disfavour of their peers across the community. God bless Natan Blanc and all who stand with him.

Father Dave

To military prison, instead of Gaza Israeli Conscientious Objector Natan Blanc to be imprisoned this morning
Today, Monday November 19th, Natan Blanc, a 19 years old Israeli from old  Haifa, will show up at the recruitment bureau, inform officers there of his refusal to serve in the IDF, and will likely be sent immediately to the military prison. His act of conscientious refusal is directly connected to the current situation and the army’s acts in Gaza. He took this decision even before hearing the terrible news of five women and four children being killed today by a single Israeli Air Force bomb:

I began thinking about refusing to join the Israeli Army during the ‘Cast Lead’ operation in 2008. The wave of aggressive militarism that swept the country then, the expressions of mutual hatred, and the vacuous talk about stamping out terror and creating a deterrent effect were the primary trigger for my refusal.

Today, after four years full of terror, without a political process [towards peace negotiations], and without quiet in Gaza and Sderot, it is clear that the Netanyahu Government, like that of his predecessor Olmert, is not interested in finding a solution to the existing situation, but rather in preserving it. From their point of view, there is nothing wrong with our initiating a ‘Cast Lead 2’ operation every three or four years (and then 3, 4,5 and 6): we will talk of deterrence, we will kill some terrorist, we will lose some civilians on both sides, and we will prepare the ground for a new generation full of hatred on both sides.

As representatives of the people, members of the cabinet have no duty to present their vision for the futures of the country, and they can continue with this bloody cycle, with no end in sight. But we, as citizens and human beings, have a moral duty to refuse to participate in this cynical game. That is why I have decided to refuse to be inducted into the Israeli Army on the date of my call-up order, November 19, 2012.

Natan Blanc

Natan can be contacted by email:…