Now The Jewish Chronicle reports that Archbishop Rowan Williams has intervened to soften the language of the motion, with Canon Guy Wilkinson, the archbishop’s secretary for interfaith relations, assuring those concerned about the new wording:
“It was much more careful in its choice of words than the original resolution. The resolution absolutely does not say that Israel is operating the equivalent of an apartheid state.”
This is not the first time that Wilkinson has had to speak publicly to defend the Church of England’s attitude towards Jews and Israel, following Melanie Philips’ article regarding Stephen Sizer’s anti-Israel activities.
Watch this section from 2:46-3:51:
Here’s the transcript:
AH: Have we ever had a senior mainstream Christian church leader use the phrase ‘ethnic cleansing’?
SS: No, I’m afraid not, yet.
AH: Do you see that day coming when they will?
SS: I doubt it, to be honest with you. Our Christian leaders in the Anglican, the Methodist, the Roman Catholic Church come under intense lobbying from the Israeli community whenever they speak out on Israel-Palestine.
AH: So are we saying that, let’s even name the office, that the Archbishop of Canterbury might like to say “Yes I do appreciate that the truth of history is that there was ethnic cleansing but it’s too politically dangerous for me to say it”?
SS: Yes, entirely the same reason that you won’t find politicians in office saying the same thing. It’s usually when they retire like Jimmy Carter and others who speak their mind.
Thus a GAFCON member has appeared on Iranian state TV and fuelled the rumour that the Archbishop of Canterbury is controlled by Zionists. I doubt the Archbishop of Canterbury would be too happy with this. Whilst the image of the Anglican Church was greatly improved in Iraq due to the role of Andrew White in helping negotiations between Shi’ites and Sunnis, the image of the Anglican Church in Iran has surely been tainted by the role of Stephen Sizer in accusing the church of pandering to the ‘Israeli community’. Whilst White used his office to bring about peace and reconciliation, Sizer has lent credibility to modern antizionist myths.
So, does Sizer represent the GAFCON position on Zionism?
So will GAFCON distance themselves from Rev Sizer? And does Rev Sizer think that GAFCON too is under the influence of the Zionist lobby for hosting a conference in Israel?