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Tuesday, 31 December 2013 03:45

Open Letter to St James Church, Piccadilly, London

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by Kay Wilson

A true story…..

"And it came to pass that in December 2010, two Palestinian shepherds left their little town near Bethlehem and set out to walk ten miles across the Judean Hills. There in the forest, they kept watch by night. The following day, at about the 6th hour (3pm) the shepherds saw two women walking along the Israel National Trail. With great fervour they took out their knives and attacked the women.

While shepherds held the girls that day and pinned them to the ground, their serrated blades glinted in the sun, shining all around. With knives to their throats, the women dare not move.

'Fear not,' said the men - for mighty dread had seized the women's troubled minds - 'we bring you good news that will cause great joy for our people." What could these glad tidings be? Rape, a robbery, a beating? Anything was better than death the women pondered in their hearts.

And it came to pass that near the seventh hour, the shepherds said, "behold', let us go forth and kill these Jews like Allah has told us to do.'

The shepherds gagged the women, removed their shoes and bound their hands. They forced one woman to her knees, covered her head and pushed her neck forward. The woman knelt, and prepared herself to be beheaded. Suddenly she saw a great light  - the blade of his knife glinting in the sun. The Jewish woman whispered, 'Hear Oh Israel." The Islamic host cried, 'Allah HuAkbar," and the Christian screamed "Jesus," the name of a Jew born in David"s town.

Thirteen times the shepherds thrust their knives into the women, breaking bones, tearing flesh, even impaling one to the ground. As the Jew played dead, she watched the Christian friend hacked to death before her very eyes.

The shepherds returned home glorifying and praising Allah for all that they had seen and spread the word concerning what had they had done. 'Today near the town of David two Jews have been slaughtered," they declared. They plotted and schemed, boasting to their neighbours, "this will be a sign, they will find two of their own, all meanly wrapped in bloody clothes and in the bushes laid." And everyone who heard of it, was amazed."

I have given much thought to the events of that terrible day, that culminated in my near murder and the execution of my friend. I believe that I of all people could be forgiven for hating Palestinians. I believe too that I could be forgiven for thinking all Palestinians are terrorists. I do not. On the contrary I have maintained relationships with my Palestinian friends, so that my ignorance will not give me reason to hate. I hate hatred. It is your hatred, in the form of a Christmas stunt, that has compelled me to write.

I would like to think that as Christians, you would never condone Kristine Luken's heinous murder or the attack on myself. I suspect however that you may rationalise this savagery as an inevitable result of the "Israeli occupation."

You would probably suggest that the Palestinians who murdered my friend were themselves victims who grew up in depravity. I would concur but would point out that if poverty was the case, the aristocrats who flew into the twin towers had no reason to commit their crimes.

The Palestinian terrorists were indeed victims, victims of a radical and primitive Islamic regime that force feeds them a morally malnourished diet of hatred of Jews and hatred of any life - including their own. They were also deprived: deprived of an education that cherishes culture, history, literature, art and the dignity of difference. Their impoverished morality coupled with ignorant generalisations is what enabled two men to butcher defenceless women without so much as blinking an eye.

Your "wall" that you have erected outside your church, is hopefully just a result of your own ignorance and generalisations concerning the complex situation here in the Middle East. Nevertheless, like all walls, it serves as a facade and a barrier.

If your wall was scrutinised, one would see that underneath the whitewashed surface that concerns itself with Israeli policies, there are blocks of anti-Semitism. These bricks stand high. They raise expectations from an entire people group. This wall precedes to separate the nation of Israel as non-desirable.

Your wall is cemented together by a superior theology that tells it"s people that G-d gave up on the Jews. This is the same theology that lies behind radical Islam. G-d tried the Jews, then the Christians but ultimately it was the Muslims who He decided to choose.

Your wall, is just one brick in a global wall of an Islamic agenda, an agenda that will stop at nothing until the destruction of the Jewish State. To your own cultural detriment, it is a wall that obstructs truth and ultimately seeks not only to destroy Israel but every Judeo-Christian society.

Your wall inflames an ancient conflict that for those like myself, who live in this region, long not for an exacerbation in hatred but for a quenching of hostilities.

Your wall is an affront to Kristine Luken and other victims of terror who may well have been alive today had there have been a wall erected on the other 90% of land that separates us from our Palestinian neighbours.

Your wall is an injustice to Christians living under Muslim despotism. Ironically it is the State of Israel, that you deem pariah and unjust, that is unique in the Middle East because unlike all of our neighbours, our Christian population is flourishing and our Christians have full religious rights.

Please write on your wall, under the cross, now obscured by the crescent…. "R.I.P Kristine Luken."

A Church of Hate

By Melanie Phillips

An open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Justin Welby.

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 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

Read 6346 times Last modified on Wednesday, 08 January 2014 15:49

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