For the last twenty years my work has involved giving lectures and making sure those who heard me had a balanced view of the Palestinian and Israeli problems in the Middle East. I am not so foolish as to assume Israel is white as driven snow. Her politicians make the same stupid mistakes UK politicians do. I have had the privilege of being behind the scenes and meeting many influential Israelis. I have also taken politicians and media people to Israel to see the situation for themselves. They have met Palestinians of all persuasions and Jews of all persuasions and Issraeli Arabs. My greatest reward is when they have said on return ‘This is very complex’. Christian Aid also takes people and they meet Jews and Palestinians but only those who endorse their own views. You know this because they come back and are vituperatively anti Israel.They don’t acknowledge the complexity. They asume they know the truth.
Half truths are lies and the Lenten Pilgrimage was full of half truths. When I , a Christian and a Jewish friend , tried to add balance ,even when quoting Palestinian Moslem journalists, the comment was removed and I was told there had been many complaints about me as I had offended people. So I said sorry and asked exactly what it was that had offended . I was blanked.
Christian Aid has taken sides against Israel and any Relate counsellor will tell you that once you do that you can wave goodbye to any attempt at reconciliation. But Christian Aid is not in the business of peacemaker or reconciliation, just the blame game of Israel. I suppose this is justified in that if a really black picture is painted of Israel then people will feel even more sorry for the Palestinians and more money will flow into Christian Aid’s accounts. Never mind that whole swathes of Christians from all denominations now raise angry hands against Israel . That is a responsibility to have before God. I don’t see their actions as related to Replacement Theology. That is gracing them with too much . I hope money is why they do this as any other motive is too terrible to contemplate . I hope too they drop the Christian from their title, it already is eclipsed in the logo by AID. It galls me that they receive tax payers’ money. my money, from the Department of International Aid with which to promote their propaganda . I support Action Aid and Tear Fund and John Humphry’s Kitchen Table charity . They do not use political propaganda , just ask for money for worthy causes. I hope that soon we will not need to anguish over them on a Christian site because they will no longer claim to be Christian
Yesterday, Richard Bartholomew posted some thoughts on NT Wright’s video message, which is worth readers’ consideration. Bartholomew points out that NT Wright’s Easter Sunday message was rather moderate and apolitical. To be fair to Cranmer here however, Tom Wright isn’t known for being kind to Israel either theologically or politically, and his non-political message in the context of the rather obvious political messages propagated by Christian Aid may seem to blur these distinctions somewhat. Ultimately, whether there is any relationship between Christian replacement theology and Christian antisemitism is one for the theologians amongst you to weigh up.
I think Christians of all persuasions would benefit from Andrew White‘s contribution to peace in the Middle East:
Israel and The Palestinian National Authority (PNA)
Where the work began
Andrew White’s work in the Middle East began in Israel/PNA. While training for ordination he took the opportunity to study in Jerusalem at the Hebrew University and the Karliner Yeshiva. Living alongside Israelis and Palestinians, the conflict in their country soon became a personal concern. Now committed to working towards peace in this land, when Andrew returned to the UK to start his curacy in South London he dedicated time to continuing his learning about Israeli-Palestinian relations. He became chairman of the young leadership section of the International Council of Christians and Jews which was formative in his understanding of reconciliation work and international relations.
Andrew’s role in the region
Andrew has been involved in Israel/PNA for over fifteen years and has worked with politicians and senior religious leaders from all sides of the conflict. In 2001 Andrew was appointed special envoy to the Middle East by the then Archbishop of Canterbury Lord George Carey. In this role Andrew established the Alexandria Process which brought together Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders from Israel and Palestine fomenting a new track to peace through dialogue. During this time, Yasser Arafat, the former Chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, requested that Andrew mediate between Palestinian and Israeli negotiating teams during the Siege of Bethlehem. More recently Andrew’s long-lasting friendship with Rabbi Michael Melchior has meant that he has become involved in new initiatives to engage with the Palestinian National Authority.
How we work in the region
The FRRME has continued activities in the region based on the relationships Canon White has built over the fifteen years of his engagement in the region. We are involved in both Relief work, serving the needs of many people whose lives have been threatened by the conflict, and Reconciliation efforts to try to contribute toward the end of that conflict by engaging with influential leaders in the region. Please explore this section of our website to find out more.