Monday, July 28, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

“See no evil?”: Israel, anti-Zionism, anti-Semitism, and British evangelicals

My article in the most recent edition of the British Messianic Jewish Alliance's Chai magazine is available here

77% of Israeli Arabs would rather live in Israel than in any other country in the world

Here. I don't suppose it's an article which the anti-Zionist left will be making too much of.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Just sickening

Israel Is 'Canceled' in BerlinFrom THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EUROPE, July 7, 2008

"Iranian calls for the destruction of Israel are almost routine these days. But for a former official of the Islamic Republic to call for the destruction of the Jewish state in the city where the Holocaust was planned adds a repugnant twist – especially as the German government sponsored the event that gave the man from Tehran a Western stage."

Read the rest of it Here

The club of tyranny

Melanie Phillips on the UN's shocking double standards, here

The double Nakba

Irwin Cotler on both 1948 refugee tragedies, here

Letter to Evangelicals Now on behalf of the BMJA

[In response to this review]


Many things could be said in response to Alec Motyer's review of Israel, God's Servant by David Torrance and George Taylor in July's EN. However we are particularly troubled by Dr Motyer's assertion that he "still cannot find any 'Jews' in the Old Testament". It is disturbing that a man of Dr Motyer's calibre can make such a statement. It seems to us, from the context of the whole review, that by 'Jews' Dr Motyer does not simply mean "rabbinic Judaism", but that he means "the Jewish nation" as a whole. If he does not find 'Jews' in the Old Testament, whom does he find?

It is a worrying development for Messianic Jews amongst many others to read such statements from a respected leading theologian. We know some will accuse us of being hysterical for bringing up the Holocaust; however the truth is that in Nazi Germany, it became common place for theologians to argue that the characters and writers of the Bible were not Jewish. For example, German Protestants established the Institute for the Study and Eradication of Jewish Influence on German Church Life, where Jesus himself was turned into an Aryan. A dejudaized hymnbook Grosser Gott Wir Loben Dich was published in 1940 and was commercially successful, followed by Die Botschaft Gottes, a dejudaized New Testament. 100,000 copies of each were published in the first edition. An ethnically-cleansed catechism, Deutsche mit Gott: Ein deutsches Glaubensbuch was also published.

We are sure that Dr Motyer's phrase does not spring from the same hateful motivation and we are not accusing him of antisemitism; it is nevertheless unfortunate. We have members of our Alliance who escaped Nazi Germany who therefore find such comments chilling and deeply offensive - as do we.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Stephen Sizer outdoes himself

Stephen Sizer is a radically anti-Zionist British evangelical, whom I have blogged about previously here, here, here and here. Follow those links and you should get a feel for Sizer's agenda and methodology. Even by his standards, though, the extract below, from an article on his website responding to this blog post by Irene Lancaster, takes some beating:

Regarding the fallacious assertion that Israel was attacked in 1967 – I would refer you to the confessions of Prime Minister Moshe Sharett (in his personal diary), General Mordicai Hod, Commander of the Israeli Air Force, General Haim Herzog, former head of Israeli Military Intelligence and Head of State, and Foreign Minister Abba Eban that Israel precipitated the 1967 war for their own purposes. Israeli’s survival was not at stake. Mordechai Ben-Tov, for example, admitted “The entire story of the danger of extermination was invented in every detail and exaggerated a posteriori, to justify the annexation of new Arab territory.” Similarly, even Menachim Begin admitted, “We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him (Egypt).” [my emphasis]
Yes, Sizer actually claims that Israel's existence was not threatened in the run-up to the 1967 war: a statement with which no serious historian would agree. Consider the following crucial bits of information from Michael Oren's book Six Days of War (Penguin, 2002):
The war decision of the Israeli cabinet, drafted by Dayan and passed by a 12-2 vote, was that
the armies of Egypt, Syria and Jordan are deployed for a multi-front attack that threatens Israel's existence. It is therefore decided to launch a military strike aimed at... preventing the impending assault. (pp157-8). Cf:-

p86: "It is now a question of our national survival" (Yitzhak Rabin)
p87: "The Arab states will interpret Israel's weakness as an excellent oppportunity to threaten her security and her very existence" (Aharaon Yariv)
p134 "The question isn't free passage but the existence of the people of Israel." (Ariel Sharon)
The same book also includes a photograph of Israelis digging trenches in the run up to the war. Presumably Sizer believes this was a cunning Zionist hoax to hoodwink the watching world.
No serious historian would claim that Israel's existence was not at stake in the run-up to the 1967 war. Sizer refers to alleged entries in the diary of Moshe Sharrett but, since Sharret died in 1965, these apparent confessions would seem to require an explanation beyond even Rev Sizer's powers of imagination. Regarding Mordechai Ben-Tov, Sizer omits to mention that he was a Knesset Member for Mapam, a miniscule Stalinist party controlled by the KGB. Ben-Tov was so slavishly loyal to Stalin that he had supported the Doctors Plot:-
"Bentov argued that revolution is cruel by nature, and therefore we must not rush to condemn events such as the infamous Doctors’ Plot, in which nine Russian Jewish doctors were arrested on false charges of plotting to murder top government officials." (See
As for the Begin quote, Sizer strangely omits Begin's next sentences: This was a war of self-defence in the noblest sense of the term. The Government of National Unity then established declared unanimously [sic]: we will take the initiative and attack the enemy, drive him back, and thus assure the security of Israel and the future of the nation.*
The selective quotation says a lot about Sizer's ethics and methodology. Why do so many people take him seriously?
[I should say that I sent this material by email to Sizer a few weeks ago. He responded but declined to comment on any of these points.]
* The quote comes from a 1982 Jerusalem Post article. Jerusalem Post's online archive only goes as far back as 1989 but I have a PDF copy of the relevant speech on my computer. If you would like to see it, let me have an email address and I'll send it to you.

Israel shows Britain the way?

It's not often that I come across anything of great interest in The Law Society Gazette (I know this may seem hard to believe), but this article by Joshua Rozenberg caught my attention. It seems that various English law lords and appeals judges have visited Israel's Supreme Court and have met Israeli judges on visits to London. Presumably, this is because English judges feel they might have something to learn from how the Israeli Supreme Court operates, and how it deals with claims brought by campaign groups and residents of the West Bank and Gaza. Something to chew on for those who would like to see a complete exclusion of Israelis from the cultural, academic and legal life of the planet.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Jewish stuff in this month's Evangelicals Now

Alec Motyer reviews Torrance and Taylor's Israel, God's Servant, here. I guess it was as positive a review the book was ever going to get in EN, which is, after all, supersessionist at heart.

There was also an artticle on the recent burning of New Testaments at Yehuda Or, but this article has not been reproduced on EN's website.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

More on the boycott movement

The left's hypocrisy over Zimbabwe, here

Eve Garrard (of Keele University) has written a terrific letter of resignation from the Universities and Colleges Union, here. I suspect she won't be the last. "The Union purports to be antiracist: it asserts that 'racism is widespread throughout further and higher education', and that the 'UCU is opposed to race discrimination in whatever form it takes'. But it doesn't seem to be opposed to current race discrimination against Jews (except when it can be safely attributed to Nazis), and it does seem to believe that the UCU itself is entirely free of the racism which it regards as so widespread elsewhere. It appears to be impervious to the possibility that its own practices are open to question under that heading. Its peevish and self-satisfied response to criticism from the All-Party Inquiry into Anti-Semitism was a salutary example of this, as was the Union's flat refusal to meet the OSCE Special Representative on combating anti-Semitism. Its officials declared that they were too busy to meet the Representative. Perhaps Union personnel should announce that they're opposed to race discrimination in whatever form it takes, except when they're really busy. Even when it is pointed out to the Union, in the clearest possible terms, that its proposed actions constitute institutional discrimination against Jews, it is so determined to persist in those actions that it spends very large sums of its members' money trying to find out if there is some way in which it can single out the Jewish state for hostile attention and still remain within the law."