Well, what did I say yesterday? Poor Lubov Razdolskaya has barely been buried by her grieving family, while her husband and other victims of the Palestinian murder attack still suffer in hospital. Yet, as though nothing had happened, the Independent Catholic News chooses this moment to publish a call from Bishop Kenney to remove the security barrier which largely protects Israelis from such terrorist attacks. He calls it an insult to human dignity.
Not as big an insult as being murdered, surely? And why are the lives of one people worth less than the convenience of another? Here he complains about some minor inconvenience caused to Palestinians by checkpoints set up to protect Jewish lives.
These children had travelled sometimes for many hours and through various check-points in order to be there for the feast of the children for the day when the Church celebrates the Epiphany. The irony of that situation was not lost on many of the adults present. The feast celebrates that God showed himself as a human being to the people who were not Jews.
But here’s a note of hope, as pleasantly surprising as seeing buds starting to appear on trees at the end of winter. Archbishop Rowan Williams has given a lecture to the House of Lords on Religious Hatred and Religious Offence
Stephen Pollard picks out an appropriate passage and comments:
Credit where it's due. Rowan Williams, who previously I had thought at best a waste of space and, sometimes, a lot worse in his attitude towards Israel, has made a remarkably strong attack on antisemites and the elision of anti-Zionism and antisemitism.
Do read it, and also Dr Irene Lancaster's thoughts on the subject.
In their almost 50 years of marriage, they were rarely apart.
But on Tuesday afternoon, as Lubov Razdolskaya's cloth-wrapped body was lowered into an open grave in a Beersheba cemetery, her husband Edward Gedalin fought for his life a short distance away in Soroka Hospital.
Both were victims of Monday's suicide bomb attack in Dimona, in which Lubov was the sole fatality.
It’s sadly predictable. The Christian press is strangely quick to publish anything critical of the Jewish State, and in support of a largely Muslim people which intimidates its Christian minority. It happily amplifies Palestinian propaganda against the anti-terrorist ‘wall’ which has saved so many lives. Yet when a terrorist does break in, murdering a wife and mother, approaching her 50th wedding anniversary, and seriously injuring her husband and many others, they are silent. There is not one word of condemnation for this evil act or of sympathy for its victims. It is not even mentioned.
You will look in vain on the Ekklesia site for any mention of this atrocity – instead they continue to bleat in support of the people who produced these murderers. Israeli and Palestinian groups deplore tightening of Gaza blockade.
Meanwhile, all we have had from Independent Catholic News over the past few days is this exercise in petty spite and hatred by a member of the Christian P*ss Taker Teams. Oh, sorry (adjusts spectacles and looks more closely) it says “Christian Peacemaker Teams.” Who would have thought it?
Will "Christian Peacemakers" behave like Christians (“I was sick and you visited me”) and go to visit Edward Gedalin and other victims in hospital, or offer support and sympathy to the grieving family? If they are not going to behave as Christians ought, then they might as well change their name.
The Churches happily support Hamas in their current propaganda pretence that Gaza is under siege and has its electricity supply cut off by Israel, in punishment for a few ‘home-made’ (like cakes or toffee) missiles.
Here is a spotlight shone on the lies.
Similar headlines appear in many media outlets. You could be forgiven for thinking that Israel has cut off the entire electricity supply to the Gaza Strip.
Despite ongoing Qassam attacks from the territory, Israel has not switched off the electricity. In fact, Hamas itself shut down Gaza's only power station after inviting the media to watch it do so.
And here are Church leaders, eager to believe anything they are told by the Palestinian version of Goebbels.
This particular message, from the Archbishop of Liverpool, is rather revealing. Whose lives count for something and whose do not? See if you can guess.
'Both Bishop William Kenney, Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham, and I have just returned from a visit to the Holy Land. It was very clear that there can be no secure justice and peace for the peoples of this land which leaves out Gaza. Together with the Churches of the Holy Land we will never be silent in the face of violence. To violence is now added the undermining of life, especially for the most vulnerable in Gaza, by the closure of access for aid and restrictions to the supply of energy. We may not remain silent and must call on everyone to place at the centre of every decision the needs of children and all those who are most vulnerable. You are and your people are very much in our prayers at this time.'
Never silent in the face of violence? How many Episcopal protests did we hear against the violence of Palestinian terrorists during frequent massacres of Jews, before the 'wall' was built? How many protests against the on-going and relentless violence of Hamas missiles raining down on civilians? They were very quiet in the face of violence against an innocent young Ecuadorian man (perhaps Catholic? They don’t know. They don’t care) shot in the back by Palestinians.
We may not remain silent and must call on everyone to place at the centre of every decision the needs of children and all those who are most vulnerable.
But not the needs of Israeli children, victims of those ‘home-made’ missiles.
B’tselem (an Israeli human rights NGO) condemned the murder of Carlos Andrés Muscara Chávez, a 21 year old Kibbutz volunteer and visitor to Israel from Ecuador. He was killed by a Palestinian sniper as he worked in a potato field. Condemnation for this senseless and deliberate murder should be heard from many human rights organisations. Why is B’tselem practically alone in bringing attention to this tragedy which they describe as a “grave breach international humanitarian law and a war crime”?
Today's victim was a righteous victim. He was murdered while planting potato seeds on a communal farm insider Israel. Carlos Chavez was not a reactionary imperialist warmonger illegal settler messianic fanatic - just a man growing food in a communal farm. For whatever reasons, he was planting potato seeds, not seeds of hatred.
There is silence among Church human rights groups, so quick to speak up in defence of terrorists and protest Israel’s attempts to protect itself. It is possible that this young man, from Ecuador, is a Catholic or perhaps an Evangelical Christian – but Churches would rather speak up for his murderers and those who support them. These are the mostly Muslim Palestinians, who also oppress their Christian neighbours, about which Church 'human rights' organisations are also silent.
Dr Irene Lancaster's blog is always worth reading, but don't miss her latest posting. It is the start of a series examining UK Church attitudes to Israel (and therefore Jews, whatever the claim that opinions of the Jewish State are somehow detached from Jewish people).
She starts with the Church Times:
I first started reading the Church Times, together with seven other papers - ranging from Methodist to Catholic - at the request of the Manchester Jewish community. It was felt that someone with a background in theology might best be able to assess the effect on the Jewish community of the stream of invective streaming weekly from most of these papers. And if it wasn't Judaism per se, it was bound to be Israel.
The worst offender of the eight - alarmingly so - was the Church Times. It was dubbed 'the Guardian/Independent at prayer'. One of the paper's most prominent contributors is also Associate Editor of the Independent, as well as being the husband of the BBC's head of radio religious broadcasting. I had glimpsed this personage once on a visit to the BBC studios in Manchester, and would not like to have crossed her on a dark night - no, not at all!!
When I first understood clearly that anti-Semitism still existed in the Church, often wearing the mask of anti-Zionism, I recall that some articles in the Church Times at the time illustrated this particularly well.
What's that, by the way? Links between the Church Times, Independent and BBC? If these organisations were Jewish, people would suspect a cunning Zionist plot! As it is, given their heavy anti-Jewish-State bias, feel free to suspect pursuit of a different and very unpleasant agenda, if you are so inclined! But then, unlike 'anti-Zionists', perhaps you are too sensible for conspiracy theories.