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dec
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An open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. By Melanie Phillips

Dear Archbishop,

I read with interest your Christmas Day sermon, in which you said:

‘The Christian meaning of Christmas is unconditional love received, love overflowing into a frequently love-lost world.’

I wonder how you reconcile this with the fact that one of your churches, St James’s Piccadilly, chose Christmas to turn itself into a church of hate?

As I am sure you know only too well, this church spent eight months preparing its Christmas stunt, the erection of an 8 metre-tall, 30 metre-long replica of the Israeli ‘wall’ that it claims surrounds Bethlehem and imposes ‘desperate hardship’ on the town’s inhabitants.

Although the church acknowledges in passing that the original purpose of this ‘wall’ was ‘to protect Israeli citizens from terrorism’, it suggests instead that its only result has been to oppress and harass innocent Palestinians. The inevitable effect of this wholly mendacious and malevolent travesty will be to incite hatred against Israel and all who support its defence against the war of extermination being perpetrated against it.

St James’s has put out a pious statement that it

‘… opposes all forms of racism including antisemitism and supports the right of the State of Israel to exist with secure internationally recognised borders’.

I’m afraid this really is the most nauseating cant.

If this church were really concerned to stop antisemitism and allow Israel to live in peace with its neighbours, it would have acknowledged that Palestinian children are being routinely taught to hate and murder Israelis (see this or this for example).

If this church really supported Israel’s right to exist within secure borders, it would have acknowledged the refusal by Mahmoud Abbas (leave aside Hamas) ever to acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state; or the repeated Palestinian attempts to attack and murder Israelis, too many of which have been all too successful.

But the church made no mention of any of this. Instead, its ‘wall’ stunt is based on an eye-watering collection of the most vicious and blatant lies and distortions. Here are some truths it has omitted:

· The ‘wall’ does not surround Bethlehem.

· For most of its length it is not a wall at all but a simple chain link fence.

· It has been constructed not to oppress Palestinians but solely to prevent Israelis from being murdered by Arabs.

· This security barrier has had to be built as a wall alongside one area of Bethlehem because a fence here – cheek by jowl with Jerusalem ­– would be insufficient to prevent the very real threat of some of its inhabitants murdering large numbers of Israelis.

·The undoubted hardships caused by this barrier are solely the result of the ever-continuing attempts by some of those living behind it to murder yet more Israelis.

·Since this security barrier was constructed, the number of Israelis murdered in terrorist attacks has decreased by some 70 per cent – while the number of attempted attacks remains high.

Those like St James’s Church who want the barrier to be demolished thus inescapably imply that they are indifferent to the murder of Israelis. Is this what you meant, Archbishop, by

‘unconditional love received, love overflowing into a frequently love-lost world’?

There are other glaring omissions and distortions. The church makes no mention of the fact that, as shown here, Rachel’s Tomb, one of Judaism’s holiest sites which is very near Bethlehem and where many attacks have taken place against Jewish worshippers, really has been walled off and turned into a kind of fortress – to protect Jews from further attacks by Arabs.

It unaccountably makes no mention of the fact that, while the Christians of the Middle East are – as you said in your sermon and as Michael Curtis details here – being persecuted and murdered, the only country in the region where Christians are thriving and increasing, in a society that allows them total freedom of worship, is Israel.

It unaccountably makes no mention of the fate of the Christians of Bethlehem and other areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority, detailed here in The Commentator by Steve Apfel:

‘One of the few Arab Christians who has dared to break the silence is Pastor Reverend Naim Khoury of the Bethlehem Baptist Church. At the risk of his life he notes that animosity towards the Christian minority in areas controlled by the PA has worsened and that, “people are always telling Christians, convert to Islam.” Khoury may have lived to tell the tale, but he moved Palestinian leaders to close down his Bethlehem church.’

St James’s makes no mention of any of this. Instead, from tomorrow it will host a hate-fest of anti-Israel activists and personalities, whose contribution to the store of love and truth in the world is described by Richard Millett here.

Israel is currently the victim of a mind-bending campaign of demonisation and delegitimisation based on falsehoods, libels and gross distortions. Your church, Archbishop, has now become part of this sinister and wicked attempt to exterminate a country by reversing truth and lies in the minds of decent people.

You surely do not need me to tell you that this anti-Israel bigotry in your church – going far beyond St James’s, Piccadilly – is infused by a revival of the ancient Christian calumny that the Jews have forfeited God’s love and all the promises he made to them on account of their refusal to believe in Jesus, as a result of which they were to be considered in league with the devil.

This terrible doctrine of ‘supersessionism’, which was responsible for centuries of Christian persecution and mass murder of the Jews, has become resurgent in recent years through the influence of Palestinian Christians who have attempted to rewrite the Bible as a lexicon of hate to further the cause of Palestinianism. To that end, they have attempted to airbrush the Jews out of their own history, while seeking to appropriate the Christian story itself by depicting Palestinians as suffering the torments of Jesus. Cashing in on this trend, Mahmoud Abbas ludicrously referred in his own Christmas message to Jesus – the Jew from Judea ­– as a Palestinian.

The influence upon your Church, Archbishop, of this virulent cocktail of ancient theological bigotry and exterminatory Palestinianism cannot be exaggerated.

In a climate in which every Jewish communal or religious event, every Jewish school and institution in Britain has to be guarded against attack, and in which there is a direct correlation between the emotive lies told about Israel and attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions, for one of your churches to lend itself to such incitement is simply obscene.

The ‘wall’ is of course a stunt. But the damage it has done to the Church of England is immense. Because what it does is put the Church on the side of lies and hatred against truth and justice. It has put the Church of England on the side of evil.

The only purpose of Israel’s security barrier is to save life and prevent mass murder. The only purpose of the St James’s Church ‘Bethlehem Unwrapped’ stunt is to stir up hatred.

To stay silent is to make the rest of the Church an accessory to this obscenity. I therefore trust that you will take all necessary steps to counter the calumny promulgated by St James’s and prevent the stain upon the wider Church from now spreading.

Yours in hope,

Melanie Phillips

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  • Christer

    Som palestinierna säger:

    Efter lördag kommer söndag.
    När judarna är borta, fortsätter man med att bekämpa de kristna.

    Så sorgligt att så många i väst gått på palestiniernas alla lögner.

    Det här är judarnas och de kristnas rötter.
    Muslimerna har sina i Mecka och Medina.

    Jerusalem är överhuvudtaget inte omnämnt i Koranen.

    • Machiavelli

      Og når man er fardig med at bekæmpe jøderne og de kristne slås man indbyrdes.

  • Ave Maria

    Sionister är inte heller snälla mot kristna:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jG6kJm-50k

    • Hold kæft hvor er det let at vade lige ind i det helligeste jødiske område af Jerusalem, hvor de allermest ortodokse holder til, og lave en sammenligning. Men det holder jo ikke en meter – vel?
      I samtlige de islamiske lande ville manden være kommet slemt til skade – hvis han var heldig! Her prøver han bare at lave et simpelt statement – som kun idioter falder i med begge ben!
      At bethlehem ligger på den forkerte side af muren, er nok de kristnes mindste problem. 60% af befolkningen i Bethlehem er muslimer. Derfor er muren et problem! Tag dog lige at nævn det!
      Var det ikke bedre om kirken sponserede en mur omkring de kristne dér???

    • Vi kristne har for længst bevist at vi er til falds for voldelige overgreb begået af muslimerne. Vi er sågar villige til at vende alt på hovedet eller skrive hele historien om, skulle det være nødvendigt!
      Det er til at brække sig over! Al den leflen for denne obskure herrefolks-mentalitet vil komme til at stå kirken dyrt, når den sidste ignorant er vågnet! Og tro mig! Vi vil vågne! Ikke som kristne, men som helt almindelige mennesker med den sunde fornuft i behold! Det er allerede ved at ske nu! Løgn på løgn på løgn og stikken halen mellem benene vil aldrig kunne overvinde sandheden i den sidste ende! Fat det nu snart og skift side i tide!
      Der kommer et opgør. Fra Kina og Indien over Rusland til Europa og USA. Den islamiske krigsmaskine vil aldrig kunne tilfredsstilles. Vi har prøvet det før. Historien – som vi ikke længere vil være ved – beretter om utallige eksempler. Hvorfor ind i himlens navn har jøderne overhovedet deres egen stat? Pga. holocaust? Åh, min gud! Tilgiv dem thi de ved ikke hvad de gør!
      Den russisk-ortodokse kirke har kendt til sandheden lige siden Konstantinopels fald. Den børster nu de sidste rester af kommunismen af sig og begynder at rejse sig. Buddhisterne og hinduerne kender også alt til den. De eneste ignoranter der er tilbage, sidder i den vestlige velfærdssump og spiller playstation og bygger køkkener, mens gaderne og skolerne, i deres før så velfriserede byer, er i total opløsning!

  • Ole Burde

    En af de få gode nyheder fra det kristne mindretal i mellemøsten er , at et voksende antal af unge kristne født i Israel er begyndt frivilligt at lade sig indkalde til den israelske hær .
    Dette kan måske lyde som en mindre detalje i forhold til det generelle Kaos i området , men er faktisk en temmelig overraskende udvikling , fordi de kristne før itiden har været ubehageligt aktive i diverse arabiske terrororganisationer hvor de i generationer har gjort deres værste for at være mere ‘muslimske” end muslimerne…..men det hjalp dem altså ikke en pind , de blev alligevel brutaliserede af deres muslimske naboer , så nu er de ved at skifte hest . Der er stadig håb for en alliance mellem de kristne mindretal og staten Israel .

  • Morani ya Simba

    Det ærger mig at to lande jeg holder meget af, og som jeg synes ville være oplagte venner og allierede, Storbritannien og Israel, har et så knudret og vanskeligt forhold. De burde være nære venner i betragtning af den centrale rolle Storbritannien havde både i skabelsen af Israel og i bekæmpelsen af jødernes mest blodtørstige fjende nogensinde.

    Jeg mener begge har ansvaret for deres forhold’s sørgelige tilstand: Storbritannien har desværre en slem tendens til urimelig kritik af Israel og totalt urimelig fordrejning af israeske ugerninger sammelignet med (de uendeligt værre) ugerninger Israel’s fjender begår. Det er svært ikke at se en parallel til den læggen sig på knæ for muslimske ekstremister der foregår hjemme i England (jvf. fx. Tommy Robinson’s skandaløse behandling).

    Samtidig begår Israel, og dens jødiske venner i USA, også nogle dybt fornærmende og groteske ting. Jeg selv, som anglofil ikke-englænder, bliver dybt stødt over den “ære” der tilskrives de terrorister der angreb britiske tropper i mandatområdet i 1944 (altså, for de der ikke har bemærket det, samtidig med at England var midt i, eller ved at forberede, de voldsomste slag vestmagterne udkæmpede mod Hitler): Jeg var engang tæt på at sætte et venskab med en amerikansk-israelsk pige over styr ved at påpege det for mig oplagte; at Stern Gang de facto kæmpede på Hitler’s side på samme måde som fx. Flammen og Citronen kæmpede på de allieredes; ved at binde den ene sides tropper i counter-insurgency mens enorme, regulære slag blev udkæmpet i Frankrig. Det blev hun dybt fornærmet over og give fuldstændig i følelsesmæssigt selvsving om at “man aldrig må sige om en jøde at vedkommende kæmpede på Hitler’s side…” Hvad man må og ikke må ved jeg ikke; jeg forholder mig til elementær logik og fakta.
    PM Begin, der ellers burde være lidt af en inspirationskilde mht Irans atomprogram, var også en led anglofob som sendte vigtig hjælp i form af våben og rådgivere til argentinerne under Falklandskrigen. Fordi han hadede England. Og sidst skal nævnes at man engang imellem hører, helt urimeligt, at Holocaust nærmest skete fordi England ikke bare åbnede portene til Palestina for jødisk indvandring. Dette ofte fra højre-radikale jøder i USA (der er stadig et vist anglofobt element i USA som mener at den midlertidige britiske administration af fx. Kenya og Indien var en stor forbrydelse mens de “glemmer” at amerikanerne gik anderledes konsekvent til værks og simpelhen fjernede de der boede på det land de selv var interesserede i, ude vestpå i USA, desværre.)

    Så som ven af både England og Israel kan jeg kun beklage at de ikke rigtigt kan komme overens. Og at jeg ville sige at begge har lidt fejen for egen dør at gøre før de lader den anden høre alle deres beklagelser.

    • Peter Buch

      Logik og fakta kunne anvendt medføre, man synes de enorme regulære slag der foregik i Frankrig var blevet betydeligt lettere vundet med anvendelse af alle potentielle styrker på en meget bredere front.

      http://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/marcuse/classes/33d/projects/jewis hlife/JewishSoldiersMark.htm

      • Morani ya Simba

        Ja, jeg kan ikke bebrejde folk indenfor Hitler’s domæne at de gjorde hvad de kunne for at overleve. Men jeg bliver irriteret når folk ignorerer at England havde brug for at “appease” arabiske befolkninger under Anden Verdenskrig. Den langt vigtigste opgave var at besejre det Tredie Rige og det er alt for nemt at sidde bagefter og sige “jamen, I ignorerede sådan og sådan..” Ja, ved I hvad? Under en global total-krig, der kunne være endt HELT anderledes på en hel masse frygtelige måder, er man nødt til at vælge mellem dårlige og endnu værre beslutninger hele tiden. Det er lidt det samme med hungersnøden i Bengalen og kritik af Churchill her. Ja, han lavede nok fejl i sine prioriteringer. Men hungersnøden var et produkt af krigen, ikke af Churchills racisme. Der gives ingen plads for den baggrund han igen og igen måtte træffe hårde beslutninger på…

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