Monday, February 20, 2006

The Church of England's ignorance

Following on from the decision of the general synod of the Church of England to divest from ceratin companies that deal with Israel. There has been a row over whether this move was just, the Archbishop of Canterbury came about against the divestemnt/boycott. The head of the Church of Engalnd, George Carey said he was "ashamed" to be an Anglican.
In the Guardian today a member of the General Synod defends his organisations stance and states that Israel's policies are 'feeding the cancer of anti-Semitism'. Reading this opinion peice one is immediately taken by its outright ignorance about realities of Israel and its history. Paul Oestreicher of course gives a usual pre-condition that he abhors anti-Semitism and is even of Jewish heritage. This does not prevent him from them making some of the grossest anti-Semitic insinuations that are available today.
I wrote to Mr Oestreicher about his peice and make it available for you to read, I will of course let you know if and when he responds.

Mr Oestreicher,
I have just read your opinion peice in the Guardian titled 'Israel's policies are feeding the cancer of anti-Semitism'. I fear that you have been misinformed in many aspects. You declare that Golda Meir's statement " there was no such thing as Palestinians ... they did not exist" and see this with some incedulity that such a statement could be made. Please don't, a mere perusal of the most basic facts of histoty would lead anyone to conclude that sadly or happily she was right. Please don't take my word on this matter, I will let 'Palestinian' Arab opinion be the judge.
Here are a series of quotes....
The representative of the Arab Higher Committee to the United Nations submitted this in a statement to the General Assembly in May 1947 "Palestine was part of the Province of Syria...
...politically, the Arabs of Palestine were not independent in the sense of forming a separate political entity.
Ahmed Shuqeiri, later the chairman of the PLO, to the UN Security Council said. "It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria."
Syrian President Hafez Assad once told PLO leader Yassir Arafat:"You do not represent Palestine as much as we do. Never forget this one point: There is no such thing as a Palestinian People, there is no Palestinian entity, there is only Syria. You are an integral part of the Syrian people, Palestine is an integral part of Syria. Therefore it is we, the Syrian authorities, who are the true representatives of the Palestinian people."
And my personal favourite......
Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, a local Arab leader, to the Peel Commission, 1937 "There is no such country [as Palestine]! 'Palestine' is a term the Zionists invented! There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria."
I have of course added the bold print to let that very instructive sentence stand and let it sink in for a moment to stress the enormity of the statement.
Of course one could argue that it is irrelevant what was said then, it is only important what is said in the present. But according to that logic could not the people of Sussex decide one day they are a separate entity from the rest of mainland Britian. Then wage a campaign of terrorism, hijacking and murder to garner the attention of the world. Within a matter of decades we will be talking of the rights of the people of Sussex to their own state.
There is much else to complain about in your article. The most outrageous being the fact that you make a connection between anti-Semitism and Israel's policies. By doing this you of course releive the anti-Semite of any manner of wrong-doing as they are merely reacting to a foreign governments policies that have no bearing on their lives.
Can we not in the same manner be anti-Islamic for the way women are treated in Arabia, or the way Africans are treated by the Arab Sudanese? We could also be anti-Christian for the policies of certain South American's more fascist and murderous regimes.
But no, you single one nation out as a reason for discrimination and violence meted out to their co-religionists in the diaspora. By singling out the Jews and holding them to something not expected of all the murderous regimes in the world, you must just be reacing to Israeli policy.
I look forward to hearing a reaction from you.
Ashley Perez

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