Sunday, April 29, 2007

The anti-Semitic imperative

The Jerusalem Post is reporting on the need to combat anti-Semitism, and how the Vatican intends to make this a key issue for Roman Catholic bishops in October next year. A preparatory document has been released, which builds upon the 1965 declaration of the Second Vatican Council - Nostra Aetate. This was the first official Vatican document to challenge and repudiate the deicide charge brought against Jews for the death of Christ. The meeting intends to confront the ‘literal’ interpretation of some key scriptures, which may ‘ferment attitudes of anti-Semitism’.

The study is timely, coming, as it does, while anti-Semitic sentiment is growing throughout Europe, and hostility towards Israel is increasingly considered the enlightened norm. In France, attacks on Jews on so frequent, and the media blackout so pervasive, that society seems then to have sacrificed the Jews in order not to alienate Arabs and Mohammedans. As Professor Shmuel Trigano of the Paris-Nanterre University observes:

(T)here is a symbolic exchange or displacement occurring between the Jewish (dead) victim and the so-called victim of the Jews: the Palestinians, so that European compassion for the victim has been transferred to the "people in danger" as the Palestinians have been called. No longer victims, the Jews became the persecutors of the Palestinians (the so-called "original sin" of the state of Israel), and this permits the Europeans who identify with the victim not to face their own culpability towards the Jews.

It is perhaps no wonder that more than 7000 French Jews have signed a petition asking for political asylum in the United States because of anti-Semitic expression in France.

Yet while the Roman Catholic Church is issuing reports on this, and declaring that ‘everything must be done to dispel every shadow’, it might consider beginning with Pax Christi International (PCI) - a Roman Catholic organisation with headquarters in Brussels. Despite its claims to ‘promote reconciliation’ and the ‘defence of universal human rights’, PCI adopts the Palestinian narrative and reflects the one-sided sentiments expressed by its President, who gives unqualified support for the Palestinian ‘right of return’, and condemns Israel’s security barrier. For him, Palestinian terrorism is legitimate ‘resistance’, and the sole responsibility for making peace lies in Israel’s hands.

Pax Christi International has been criticised by the Council of Europe for ‘taking up the themes of Arab propaganda and placing those who terrorised on an equal footing with their victims’. In the UK, the organisation’s website has an Israel/Palestine section (the only country to be so treated) which demonises Israel and advocates international isolation. It omits completely the context of terrorism, and ignores Palestinian violence and corruption as sources of suffering. PCI professes to be a Christian organisation ‘inspired by the word of God and the Eucharist’, yet it is hard to imagine a more invidious anti-Semitic narrative than that conveyed by its websites and its President.

Cranmer hopes that the quest of His Holiness to ‘dispel every shadow’ of anti-Semitism might begin with the reform of Pax Christ International. Judgement must begin at home.


Anonymous Steven_L said...

Christians should let the Jews and Muslims have their war. Those who bear false witness to our Lord Jesus Christ, and those who follow the false prophet Mohammed, have only their own wickedness to blame for the suffering of their people.

'But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.' (2 Peter 2:1)

29 April 2007 at 12:58  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

His Grace raises an interesting point regarding PCI, of course it is ostensibly a lay organisation and does not come under the authority of the Pope for its administration, policies or agenda so it is unlikely that Rome will intervene. Also it does not act with the plebiscite of the RCC or suffrage of its members. However this particular situation cannot be said for the Anglican Communion when The Church of England's General Synod - including the Archbishop of Canterbury - voted last year to disinvest church funds from companies profiting from Israel's (so called) illegal occupation of Palestinian territory.

Not surprisingly Caterpillar the US earth-moving equipment company (two birds with one stone) was the main target of this solidarity move of the CofE with the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement and subsequent Government Hamas. Previous protests from Israel and Jewish groups were ignored nonetheless during the vote the General Synod heard denunciations of Israel's use of the machines from one of its own bishops and from the Anglican bishop of Jerusalem, who is Palestinian, whose letter was read out.

The Rt Rev John Gladwin, Bishop of Chelmsford, who is chairman of Christian Aid, is quoted as saying that the problem in the Middle East was the government of Israel rather than Caterpillar but that it was vital that the church should invest only in organisations which behaved ethically.

His Grace may recall that idiom about a pot and a kettle.

29 April 2007 at 13:22  
Anonymous Observer said...

The Turkish invaders of Asia Minor continue to persecute and murder Christians in their own realm of Christendom, yet we must hope the Turkish Army stages a coup before things deteriorate even more markedly in this Occupied Territory

29 April 2007 at 16:22  
Anonymous thomas c said...

i know this is irrelevant, but Cranmer u hav "Dizzy thinks" twice on ur list of top referrers, u must really like that blog....

29 April 2007 at 16:32  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Recusant,

His Grace is more than aware of the stance taken by the General Synod of the Church of England regarding Israel, and has written much about the deplorable proclamations emanating from its highest ranks. It is for this reason that His Grace links prominently to 'Anglicans for Israel'. This is not a question of pots and kettles, not least because His Grace's thoughts on the Synod declaration were dealt with rather more robustly than this dissection of 'Pax Christi'.

Mr Thomas C,

His Grace is aware that Mr Dizzy appears twice in the referrers column. This is because the system is automated, and Mr Dizzy must be linking from two frequently-used pages.

His Grace is rather fed up with in any case, not least because Mr Iain Dale has dominated the scene since its inception, and Cranmer in fact has more referrers from ConservativeHome than anywhere else.

29 April 2007 at 16:49  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

So steven, who is to be blamed for the sufferings of the Christians living in Israel and Palestine?

Oh, I know! Maybe it's because they happen to believe in a 'false' son of God. Now there's something worth contemplating upon!

29 April 2007 at 16:59  
Anonymous Voyager said...

So steven, who is to be blamed for the sufferings of the Christians living in Israel and Palestine?

Christians suffering in Palestinian Authority zones is entirely due to Muslim gangsters such as Hamas and other clans who extort money and engage in criminal activity.

The Palestinian Authority has never established a stable regime with proper law and order and is unlikely ever to do so. It is simply that stealing from others comes more naturally to lazy feckless thugs than actually living in a functioning polity. They persecute Christians because they think rape and extortion will go unpunished when Muslims abuse Christians....seems they are right

29 April 2007 at 18:00  
Blogger Newmania said...

PCI adopts the Palestinian narrative and reflects the one-sided sentiments expressed by its President, who gives unqualified support for the Palestinian ‘right of return’, and condemns Israel’s security barrier. For him, Palestinian terrorism is legitimate ‘resistance

That is the mainstream of Liberal thought and as in Iraq the drought of victims here has lead to victim tourism and differential condemnation to the point they support fascists dictators terrorists and murderers. The BBC are the cheerleaders here and it is no surprise that they have been so keen to suppress evidence of the anti semitic editorial policy. On the anti Semitism of the Catholic church while posting on the Lib Dems unholy alliance with the BNP and seeking suitable illustration I came upon many magnificently executed Nazi Salutes from assorted pointy hat wearing Catholic big cheeses. I wonder if the Protestant Church had a better war. It could not have had worse one.

Trust you Grace is in good health….considering

1 May 2007 at 15:23  
Anonymous thomas c said...

Cranmer, I am pleased to see that you have ditched the referrer you were previously using.

1 May 2007 at 19:49  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Thomas C,


One expects accuracy from such services, notwithstanding that they cost nothing. Ultimately, there is no substitute for doing things with one's own hand, even when that hand is nothing but ash.

1 May 2007 at 21:08  

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