Hunhh?!? I Question The Timing Or Maybe They're Just InsaneEven a world awash in the Great and utterly contrived Cartoon Jihad of 2006 could not keep the earnest men and women of the General Synod, the established legislative body of the Church of England, from performing their righteous duty of voting for disinventment from Israel.
In a surprise move, the General Synod voted to back a call from the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East for "morally responsible investment in the Palestinian occupied territories".
In particular, the Synod backed the Jerusalem church's call for the Church Commissioners to disinvest from "companies profiting from the illegal occupation", such as Caterpillar Inc. Caterpillar, a US company, manufactures bulldozers used in clearance projects in the occupied territories, and also used by Palestinians in their own rebuilding work.
The motion was passed overwhelmingly, in spite of strong lobbying from leading members of Britain's Jewish community, concerned that Israel's right to protect itself from suicide bombers and other Palestinian terror attacks should not be compromised. No time was made to debate an amending motion put forward by Anglicans for Israel, the new and influential pro-Israel lobby group.
As appears now to be par for the course in such decisions, no time was made for Anglicans for Israel, the new and influential pro-Israel lobby group, to debate the issue. [There is, by the way, a very interesting interview by Tovia Singer on Israel National Radio with the founder of Anglicans for Israel, Simon McIlwaine, on the website on the upper right hand side of the page.]
The call for disinventment this time was put forward by one Keigh Malcouronne, a lay member from Guildford who was responding to a plea from the Bishop of Jerusalem, the Right Rev Riah Hanna Abu El-Assal, urging disinvestment.
The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Right Rev John Gladwin, said that Christians in Palestine were in despair. Although recent reports have indicated high level of Muslim persecution of Christians in Israel, Bishop Gladwin blamed the Israeli government for their plight.
Ah yes. Israelis are the cause of the current persecution of Christian Palestinians and the misery currently planned for the immediate future. Also, we steal their children and drain their blood to use it to make matzoh for Passover.
[Keith Malcouronne] moved that the synod "heed the call from our sister church, the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East, for morally responsible investment in the Palestinian occupied territories and, in particular, to disinvest from companies profiting from the illegal occupation, such as Caterpillar Inc, until they change their policies".Ah yes, morally responsible investment, such as the past "funding" of Fatah, or at least its corrupt leadership, and today's promise of the ongoing funding of
Another example of responsible investment in Palestine:
Nigel Roberts, the World Bank's former representative in the Palestinian territories, said in a recent interview with Israel's Haaretz daily that the PA received more than $5 billion of aid over a five-year period but was on the verge of bankruptcy.In other words, the very model of responsible investment in a people over time.
But let us return to the subject of the vote to disinvest from Israel:
The Jewish community's distress will be augmented by the fact that the vote to disinvest was backed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams. By contrast, Dr Williams has so far not commented on the recent Palestinian election victory of Hamas, an organisation committed to destroying the state of Israel.But then again, why would he criticise Hamas or say anything negative at all. After all, Hamas is known far and wide for the charities they run and the religious purity of their clerics.
Ruth Gledhill, Religion correspondent for the London Times, offers her perspective on the matter, a rather more sanguine perspective than what we get from the Archbishop of Canterbury who was among those who voted to disinvest.
[H]ow much longer can people such as myself remain in a body that remains so steadfastly stuck in a mindset of the 1970s and 1980s? Have we really got to wait for all those wishy washy liberal baby-boomer ex- and extant hippies to reach the Church's retirement age of 70 and step down before the Church can begin to confront the religious and terror realities of the 21st century? Where, asks Disgusted of Kew (me), is the Synod's condemnation of Hamas' tactics over previous years and its concern at recent developments? Where is the private member's motion calling for Hamas to recognise Israel? Where is the condemnation of Muslim protesters - in particular the convicted drug dealing Muslim protester - inciting religious fear in law-abiding citizens by dressing as fake terrorists in response to a dozen cartoons published in another country?
...[hostage still to a discredited Palestinian liberation theology that perpetuates conflict and has failed to find a credible way through to the two-state solution that most people now want, the synod bangs on about Caterpillar and creates needless conflict with a community it should be working with, not against.
This sober comment at Gledhill's site is also worth reading in full. The commenter reminds us that it is now 350 years since the Jews were invited to return to England. And with this act to commemorate it, finds very little to be cheerful about.
In other news from Britain, we learn that 37% Of British Muslims Believe Jews Are Legitimate Target.
[N]early 37 per cent of the Muslims in Britain believe that the Jewish community in Britain is a legitimate target “as part of the ongoing struggle for justice in the Middle East”. Moreover, only 52 per cent think that the state of Israel has the right to exist, with 30 per cent disagreeing. One in six of all Muslims questioned thinks suicide bombings can sometimes be justified in Israel, though many fewer (7 per cent) say the same about Britain. I wonder how many Israelis believe that a Palestinian nation has no right to exist, or that Muslims in general are legitimate targets.