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Corrupting the minds of the young
A high school in southwest England is to host an anti-Israel event for students today.
Sherbourne High School in Dorset is hosting an event entitled "The Occupation: Up Close and Personal, Living in the Palestinian Occupied Territories.
And who is involved in this exercise to corrupt the minds of school pupils with hatred and prejudice? Would you be surprised if I said Christian Aid, the Quakers and the World Council of Churches?
Scheduled to speak is Sharen Green, a reporter with a local newspaper who has spent time in the Palestinian Territories with the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Program.
The event is open to all and advertised on the Web site of the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign: "Sharen will be telling us about her experiences as an Ecumenical Accompanier, and about the problems of daily life in Palestine."
Would you be even more surprised to learn that the Anglican School Chaplain is also responsible?
Simon McIlwaine, director of Anglicans for Israel, expressed concerns about this "propaganda exercise billed as a lecture and the very biased premises."
"Among other things, it is incredible to us, as faithful Anglicans, that a school chaplain should apparently be promoting blatantly anti-Israel propaganda. Christian Aid are not neutral and have been condemned for essentially anti-Semitic advertising campaigns where the Middle East is concerned," he said.
Jonathan Hoffman, a financial analyst from north London, wrote to the school's chaplain and headmaster, saying they "did not understand the nature of the speaker they had invited." He said: "Under the camouflage of a humanitarian organization, she would present a nakedly anti-Israel political view."
Jonathan Hoffman is evidently a decent man, who assumes the best about other people and their motives. The school chaplain and headmaster may, of course, understand the nature of the speaker very well, but share her prejudice.
Note the way the head tries to evade accusations of bias by pointing out that the school observes Holocaust Memorial Day. If the talk was simply about politics, why would he hide behind a Holocaust memorial event, or the fact that Judaism is one of the religions studied at the school? It’s because he knows that this is not simply a political matter – it is about anti-Semitism. It is about stirring up prejudice against Jews.
It is such stimulation of hatred which led to pogroms in the past, and eventually the Holocaust.
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