Dabiq - Rome2
Christian Persecution

While thousand are persecuted and martyred, the Church ponders sexuality

 

Apparently, ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State has declared war on Christians. The latest cover of their propaganda magazine Dabiq shows the black jihadi flag flying above St Peter’s in Rome. It is photoshopped, of course. And their declarations are the customary rhetoric of war: “We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah, the Exalted,” they boast. “If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market.”

But before Rome comes Jerusalem, which must be cleansed of Jews and all infidels. Christians throughout the Middle East are suffering appalling oppression and persecution.

Father Gabriel Naddaf, a Greek Orthodox Priest in Yafia, near Nazareth, appealed to the UN Human Rights Council last month, urging them to end their “witch hunt” on Israel: “In the Middle East today, there is one country where Christianity is not only not persecuted, but affectionately granted freedom of expression, freedom of worship and security,” he testified. “It is Israel, the Jewish state. Israel is the only place where Christians in the Middle East are safe.”

And he testified further, confirming that some 120,000 Christians have been killed in the Middle East every year for the past decade: “That means that every five minutes a Christian is killed because of his faith,” he said. “Those who can escape persecution at the hands of Muslim extremists have fled. Those who remain, exist as second – if not third-class citizens to their Muslim rulers.” And he warned: “It is time the world woke up to the fact that those who want to destroy the Jewish state are signing the death warrant on the last free Christians in the Holy Land.”

Not to worry.

The Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church are debating homosexuality and same-sex relations, trying to find forms of words which might best express immutable doctrine in the context of mutable pastoral praxis. A non sequitur? Surely the Church can concern itself with more than one thing at a time?

Indeed, of course it can. But one wonders what the Greek Orthodox priest in Israel thinks of the cardinals of Rome and the bishops of England meeting to discuss issues of gender and sexuality while their brothers are being crucified and beheaded, and their sisters are being raped, tortured and sold into slavery. Is it better to have one’s eyes gouged out for bearing witness to a living faith in Jesus, or to sit in a visionless synod, groping around in the dead doctrinal darkness, utterly blind to the surrounding media narrative which makes the Church of Christ look foolish, out of touch and utterly redundant?

  • len

    “The Body without the Spirit is dead”.
    This is the problem with Institutional Christianity because they have a form of Christianity which has no power because it lacks the Holy Spirit and has placed man with his committees at its head instead of Jesus Christ the true Head of the Body.
    The Church will continue to die and to be irrelevant to most people until it returns to its true foundation which is Christ…

  • Politically__Incorrect

    Yet another reminder that for the Synod (not to mention politicians), buggery trumps massacre every time. The terrors faced by Christians in the ME just disappears into that enormous black hole which they call their conscience. I would expect this kind of moral vacuum from political activists but not from our so-called religious “leaders”. Gender and sexuality do not need debate. They are actually quite simple provided you don’t get confused by the secular view. The synod has got it’s priorities completely wrong.

    It is obvious that our authorities care nothing for the fate of Christians in the ME. Those suffering will not get any help, or even recognition of their plight, from the UK.

  • Philip___

    As for the CofE, it seems to me it’s those who persist in their attempts to push the church away from Biblical teaching on “sexuality” etc who are those who keep the matter going.
    All discussion on “sexuality” should be ended immediately by committing to Biblical teaching. That’s the only way to end the endless discussions, listenings and debatings. Such matters are surely sufficiently covered in the Bible and Anglican confessional formularies that commit the church to the Bible. Then perhaps the church can be more properly focussed on persecuted brethren abroad – and on mission here.

    • dannybhoy

      Aah, but debating sexuality is so much more ‘unifying’ than declaring the Gospel!
      Now that would rock the jolly old boat.
      For example, I have been in touch with Lambeth Palace a number of times on a number of issues, and just like writing to the government or your MP you get palmed off with soothing platitudes that mean nothing.
      The only thing impressive is that these platitudes are sent out pretty promptly.

      I can respect a man in a position of authority -if he exercises that authority- but if he feels his main role is as peace maker, he could just as well get a job with ACAS
      http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1342

      The tragedy is that the idea has grown up that the Christian Church was really called to be a heavenly branch of Social Services, Citizens Advice, Sexual Health, Shelter and Meals on Wheels..
      The Church can cover all of those things and support all those things, but that’s still not what we were called to be.
      Is it?

  • bluedog

    One suspects, Your Grace, that leading churchpersons are like generals, forever fighting the last war, or in the case of ecclesiastical circles, the previous furious disagreement.

    Put it down to bureaucratic inertia. The majestic sight of the Roman Church tacking to fill its sails with a fresh breeze could take centuries to execute, with many lost over-board after failing to keep a firm hold as the great ship heels on a new course. The Anglican Communion is of course a far more nimble vessel, particularly under its current rather entrepreneurial master.

    In any event, expecting either communion to clear the decks in preparation for action against the Saracen when both are still licking their wounds over the SSM defeat is asking too much. Appeasing the BBC and the rest of the secular establishment by ritual grovelling to the homosexual lobby leaves the churches on safer ground.

    Daring to criticize the murderous jihadis of Islam is an altogether riskier venture.

  • JayBee

    Institutionalised Christianity is bending under political pressure and prioritising its homo high-wire act for self preservation. Meanwhile Christians in the Middle East suffer unimaginable persecution while politicians perform on a tightrope of their own over murderous Muslims that are “nothing to do with Islam”. Its high time everyone got real.

  • Apostasy within the Church is the greatest calamity facing the human race. If the Church falls then Hell’s gates will have prevailed. The issue is not homosexuality. It is the authority of God’s word and man’s rebellion, facilitated increasingly by those charged with shepherding and tending God’s people.

  • carl jacobs

    or to sit in a visionless synod, groping around in the dead doctrinal darkness, utterly blind to the surrounding media narrative which makes the Church of Christ look foolish, out of touch and utterly redundant?

    What is one to make of this conclusion? I don’t know what “dead doctrinal darkness” is. I do know the “media narrative” is that the church is struggling to rid itself of archaic norms that have no place in our enlightened age. If the church is made to look “foolish, out of touch, and utterly redundant” it is because it still resists dancing to the tune of the modern flute. The church could appear very wise, connected, and relevant if only it would justify the conduct of men. (No actually that’s not true either. The other media narrative is that religion is a human construct devoid of objective reality, so by definition the church is “foolish, our of touch, and utterly redundant.”)

    If the church is wallowing in “dead doctrinal darkness” about sex, that is because modernizing forces in the church have chosen that subject as the lever through which to effect change. The church shouldn’t be discussing sexuality at all because there is nothing to discuss. The people who define the media narrative have decreed otherwise, and so the “conversation” goes forward. It’s a conversation that isn’t really about doctrine. It’s about making the church conform its doctrine to the whims and desires and appetites of the modern world. It’s not about making the church “relevant.” It’s about silencing the church’s accusation against every man doing what is right in his own eyes.

    And let’s say something out loud, shall we? This argument over sex is often typically portrayed as prudes offended by people experiencing sexual pleasure. That’s the frame put in place by the modern world because the modern world asserts that pleasure is the primary purpose of sex. But the reality is different. The misuse of human sexuality leaves a wide swath of destruction in its wake – through disease, and illegitimacy, and divorce, and fatherless children, and abandoned spouses, and abortion. To the modern world, that is an acceptable price to pay for the greater good of autonomous choice. But let’s not kid ourselves that the “dead doctrinal darkness” is about matters most trivial. More have died to abortion in the West than ISIS has killed in in the ME. and that blood also cries out from the dust for vengeance.

    carl

  • mbtimoney

    With due respect to your grace, the synod currently underway in Rome was announced a year ago, and was assigned to specifically discuss the role of the family. While certain perennial hot topic issues garner the bulk of the media’s attention, it’s worth pointing out that the synod was addressed by various married couples, including Riyadh Azzu and Sanaa Habeeb from Baghdad, Iraq. It’s further worth noting that the synod is not the totality of the Church’s activity. All of the Vatican’s envoys in the Middle Eastern region were summoned to Rome on 2nd October to discuss what the Church can do about the current crisis. I think, on the whole, it is unfair to blame any church for the media’s obsession with all things sexual. Churches address multiple issues in multiple ways. That the media choses to focus on only one issue does not mean that there is only one issue being discussed, or that nothing is being done about anything else.

    • CliveM

      You make some very good points. I also note that the AoB has spent a lot if time and effort highlighting the fate of Christians in the ME and calling for international action. Indeed whilst most Uk politicians seemed to be hoping no one would notice what was happening, it was the churches campaign that ensured that the media spotlight started to focus on this tragic issue.
      However, shamefully it seems it was the horrible deaths of a small number of westerners (and not the deaths of thousands of local Christians) that finally goaded our Govt. into some sort of action.
      But I don’t feel we can blame the Churches for this.

  • Nick

    Personally I don’t feel that the Christian persecution which is taking place in other countries really hasn’t received as much attention as it deserves. I think many of us feel that it has received a lot of attention because we are interested in it.

    But it has received some attention and the resulting push for an armed response as some kind of answer has just fed into political agendas. But there were so many other options.

    It is depressing to me to see Christians pushing for military action. It depresses me further that saying that is in any way contentious.

    There are other options. As individuals we can support charities like Open Doors and Release International. It would be more effective to do that than to lobby Governments and MP’s to support military action.

    So, people think Christians are both prudes and warmongerers now. It really, really doesn’t have to be this way. As usual the moderate voices are drowned out and all we hear are the voices of the affected.

    • CliveM

      Nick

      Why would it be more affective? What do you think it would achieve?
      I do note, that I don’t think that the Churches position has been noticed much or commented upon at all.

      • Nick

        I just think that when you have two people – a bully and a victim of that bullying there are two responses for bystanders. You either run, chase and attack the bully or you stay and help the victim. Yes, it depends on the skillset of the bystander. But…

        In the case of the persecuted Christians, although the bullies need to be stopped the priority is to create some kind of safety and healing for the victims. Both ‘Open Doors’ and ‘Release’ actively protect and help persecuted Christians.

        I’m not convinced that the military action will work.

        • CliveM

          Nick

          I’m not either. Unfortunately I believe very strongly that the charities you mention won’t work if not supported by military action. Sadly if it doesn’t I don’t see what will.

          • Nick

            Well it may help if more people supported Open Doors and Release, but what do I know?

          • CliveM

            I would agree with that as well.

            An all party approach is needed. Simply military won’t help.

            However I will take your hint and stop engaging with you on this.

          • Nick

            I don’t mind talking about it Clive. I just struggle with the fact that many Christians are pro-war on this issue. Perhaps all that reveals is that I need to grow up.

          • CliveM

            What was the point of the YouTube link you sent?

          • Nick

            Oh, I thought that was deleted. It’s just a comedy link about how no-one can ever win internet debates. It was just intended to diffuse the situation and free-up people to express themselves on issues. Who deleted that anyway? It was very funny.

          • CliveM

            No idea. I didn’t think you could delete. Very odd.

          • CliveM

            Nick

            Your position is entirely reasonable. It is good you challenge on this. Groupthink is highly dangerous.

    • IanCad

      Nick,
      I share your concern when we, as Christians, agitate for a military solution.
      However, we wrestle not with flesh and blood but with an entity that is manifestly under the control of Satan.
      To roll over is to be rolled over.
      As I see it there are two options:
      (1) Open the doors of our country to the persecuted. Sure; there will be howls about how crowded we are already. I don’t buy that. We live in an astonishingly lovely land with, still, much open space. Besides, it won’t be just us, France, Italy, the US, Oz, can all offer a welcome to the dispossessed.
      (2) Take the gloves off. Half-baked actions won’t work. The West is exceptionally strong compared to the fanatical Ishmaelites, or indeed the entire Middle East. We make the weapons, run the Internet and can force the oil-rich states to pay for their mischief if we so have the mind.
      Ian

      • dannybhoy

        Good points Ian. It may come to that. I think with provisos we should work with Assad now, but the problem is in the long term if Islam is not reformed it will happen again.

      • Nick

        Hi Ian,

        i would suggest that they are not the only group under the control of Satan. I would further suggest that to use violence in any form is exactly what Satan wants.

        As far as I’m aware Satan’s agenda is that we either harm ourselves or other people as individuals or as groups. The other agenda is a scorched earth policy.

        However I agree entirely with your Option 1.

        • IanCad

          Nick
          You are right, it is exactly what Satan wants and if we take up the sword we play into his hands.
          But, non violence against a bloodthirsty cult such as ISIS is not an option. They have shown their hand and are drunk with success. If given free rein they are likely to murder all who do not join their Dervish ranks.
          We are not counseled to commit suicide. More importantly we must not sit idly by as our fellow believers – and other innocents – face the prospect of having their throats cut.

    • dannybhoy

      Nick
      Our government has to take into account the goodwill of two or three million Muslims in this country. Similar problem in other European nations.
      It would not take much incitement by Islamic extremists to ramp up the unrest.
      So whilst people like myself would say that we had no business going into Iraq, that the time and money we invested in Afghanistan was totally wasted and young mens’ lives totally blighted, it doesn’t change what is happening here:
      the islamisation of Europe.
      Our leaders are trying to play it cool, but it would (imv) only take a few successful or even partially succesful terrorist outrages to inflame the situation.
      Critical Mass I think it’s called..

      • bluedog

        The Kurds and the supporters of ISIS are already engaging in open warfare on the streets of Hamburg. As yet neither have attacked the kuffar, but it can only be a matter of time. Sending the British Army back to the Middle East could be unwise, it may be required elsewhere…

    • jsampson45

      Civil governments will have to decide how, or whether, to defend civilisation against ISIS. Let church synods call us to earnest prayer.

  • Dreadnaught

    There’s no denying the fact that Governments, Politicians and the Churches favour pandering to the lie that Islam is a religion of Peace while ignoring the genocidal butchering of innocent people, as though it could never happen on their own doorsteps. The Islamic State movement is carrying on now no differently since inception – it’s in their goddam books – how plain does it have to be?

    • IanCad

      I’m getting worried; yet again Dreadnaught hits it for six.

  • Athanasius

    The two issues (the state of Israel and Muslim persecution of Christians) are separate. I fear Mr Cramer’s conflation of them is cynical and – if it grows from a dispensationalist root – heretical. Christians are not persecuted in any number of countries; that forbearance would not justify that country in stealing the property of another group and denying them their rights. It’s past time Israel’s apologists stopped hiding behind Muslim atrocities.

    • Dreadnaught

      Christians are not persecuted in any number of countries Except for where they have already been rubbed out and just about every where else when the Muslim population reaches critical mass.

    • Owl

      amazing, it must be that parallel world thing again. Do I also apologise that Israel is the only civilized country in the ME? It is the one country in the ME where Christians are protected and not persecuted.
      Our dear muslim friends in the ME have repeatedly assured us that the Israeli jews will be exterminated. I have never heard that Israel has any wish to exterminate any Muslim country.
      Lefty parallel worlds Athanasius. Try reality.

    • carl jacobs

      Athanasius

      The Israelis aren’t stealing land from anyone and Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Palestinians actually have rights. The Kuwaitis proved the level of Arab concern for Palestinians back in 1991.

      There has never been a Palestinian entity that exercised sovereignty over the land. There wasn’t even such a thing as a Palestinian until propagandists discovered the need for an indigenous people to juxtapose with the Israelis. So how then do the Palestinians have a right the land? The world is full of ethnic groups who occupy land without any right to exercise sovereignty.

      The Israelis conquered the land in a series of wars forced upon them by hostile surrounding Arab powers bent on annihilation. You don’t get a say in sovereignty when you start wars and lose them. You can however nurse your hurt humiliated pride and wait to exact revenge. In the meantime you can bleat about your oppression and your violated rights while you blow up busses with suicide bombers.

      One thing is for certain. If Israel is ever destroyed, that’s the last day we will ever hear anyone pontificate about Palestinian rights.

      carl

    • Athanasius

      Three replies and no attempt to address the substantive issue, but rather “it’s better to have the Israelis steal your country than the Jihadis”. Or, to put it another way, three Israeli apologists hiding behind Muslim atrocities.

      • carl jacobs

        Athanasius

        No, I didn’t address your substantive issues. Well, other than denying your ridiculous assertion that the Israelis are stealing land and denying rights. Those seemed to me to be the issues you raised. Perhaps I misunderstood. Were there other substantive issues communicated in your post? Because I didn’t see any.

        carl

      • Owl

        What “substantive issue” are you refering to?
        You made a nonsense statement and you got the replies it deserved.
        I doubt very strongly that Israel needs anyone as an “apologist”.
        I think you ought to apologise for your unwarranted and insulting insinuation.

    • Read the Hamas charter and come back grovelling. These Islamic terrorists have no intention of ever agreeing to peace that doesn’t involve the destruction of Israel and the mass murder of the Jewish and Christian population of that country. That’s the reality, so it isn’t cynical. I have no idea about heresy, but if this is about the idea that Jews have been “replaced” or “superseded” by whatever denomination of Christianity you belong to,that’s up to you. I couldn’t care less about that belief . Israel isn’t going anywhere just because of that and I can’t see we’ve been replaced. We’re still here and still with God.

      • CliveM

        It is interesting don’t you think that he uses the term “hiding behind Muslim atrocities”. Clearly he view such “atrocities” as a mere trifle, irrelevant, unimportant, not something enlightened beings (such as himself of course) would bother to consider in a serious manner.
        The fact these atrocities include blowing up buses, murder, rape and other such trivial matters shouldn’t play any part in a sovereign States manner and attitude to such a threat.
        Why? Because he says so.

      • IanCad

        What you learn on this blog.
        Smarty-pants me thought spellcheck had got it wrong and it should be “Superceded.” Turns out “Superseded” is correct after all.
        I know! I know! Totally off-topic.
        Let’s hope ISIS gets superseded PDQ.

  • DanJ0

    I don’t know why what the various churches discuss in these synod type things is considered newsworthy for the rest of us. It’s an internal church thing. Can’t the mass media just allow it to be announced in the Church Times or the Catholic Herald? Newsflash: Homosexuals actually have gifts and qualities to offer! Newsflash: The number of angels which can dance on the head of a pin is actually 10! Etc.

    • CliveM

      DanJo

      What you seem to be suggesting is that news media should be set up so as to only inform it’s own special interests. So Christian news for Christians, Gay news for Gays etc with no one taking any interest in news that doesn’t directly affect/interest them. Wouldn’t be good for social cohesion!!

      • carl jacobs

        I think he is actually suggesting that religious news is trivial and so should be ghettoized among those who care about such things. File it under “Get religion out of the public square.”

      • DanJ0

        Well, not really. It’s like the Sun reporting that Kylie has been voted as 2014 Gay Icon Of The Year by customers of Brighton’s gay bars. Why is that news? The same thing happens pretty much every year, except when some wag names Tony Blair for a laugh.

    • Uncle Brian

      DanJo, I’m afraid that’s a bit like arguing that an England v. Scotland football match is an internal affair for the twenty-two players on the pitch plus the referee and linesmen, and the rest of us can be content with looking to see what the final score was in tomorrow’s Sporting Life. The fact is that the players wouldn’t be on the pitch in the first place if there weren’t hundreds of spectators queuing up to buy tickets, and the churches wouldn’t go to the trouble of holding synods if the proceedings had no news value. Quarrelling churchmen, no less than professional footballers, are all part of the entertainment industry now.

      • DanJ0

        Perhaps there are still some people around who might be surprised about the details of Christian sexual morality but it does seem to be mostly a sort of spectator entertainment as you say.

  • DanJ0

    “And their declarations are the customary rhetoric of war: “We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah, the Exalted,” they boast. “If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market.””
    They can’t reproduce if they’re dead, and that’s what needs to happen with this bunch.

    • “They can’t reproduce if they’re dead …. “

      Oh, the irony in that comment.

      The West is failing to reproduce itself because of a moral decline most vividly manifest in sexual relationships and family life. This empowers Islam. Wiping out IS or, for that matter every single Muslim, will not solve this.

    • bluedog

      ‘ If the West is going to put Boots On The Ground eventually then better now than later.’

      Sadly these boots on the ground may well be needed at home rather than abroad. See: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4780/hamburg-holy-war

  • Stephen Hayes

    Thanks for the first mention I have heard of the obvious reality that IS/Boko Haram/Al Shabab and the rest of them are planning to encircle Israel to finish off what Hitler started.

  • This part of the article has been troubling Jack.

    “The Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church are debating homosexuality and same-sex relations, trying to find forms of words which might best express immutable doctrine in the context of mutable pastoral praxis. A non sequitur?”

    Is it a non sequitur?

    Jack believes it might be if it involves suggesting God’s law can be differentially applied according to particular situations and the circumstances of individuals.
    Growing closer to God is a gradual process and no one is perfect from the moment they believe. We all continue to struggle against sin. Yet, we cannot look on God’s law as an ideal; something for the future. God’s law is immutable and not different for different people or different in different situations. Getting right and staying right with God involves an awakening by the Holy Spirit bringing a “metanoia” i.e. a change in our attitudes and our conduct; a turning away from sin and towards God.

    A decisive break with sin will present us all with challenges. This is not the same as saying we should just give up and accept we are too weak to overcome our situations or a particular sin. We cannot diminish the demands God’s law places on us.

  • magnolia

    In many places monotheists of all types can rub along quite well, so long as no one is deliberately provoking anyone, and so long as the gentle not aggressive forms of each belief system are at work. However it is anathema to some that this should be possible and they will try all means, covert if necessary, to ensure that this should not be so, setting each religious form at each other with fear and suspicion, and then trumpet loudly that it is religion which causes wars.

    It is necessary to be “wise as serpents and gentle as doves”.

    May the peacemakers be blessed… that is the explicitly stated will of the Lord.

  • Athanasius

    Well, Israel’s apologists have, in their normal, cynical manner, turned the massacre of Christians into a “love Israel” event. There seems little point in going over the murderous history of this parasitic entity, since those in the west whom it feeds off seem to enjoy the leeching, so I’ll just cut straight to the heart of it. They invaded someone else’s country and stole it at the point of a gun. That’s all they did, and most of those here are all right with that because it’s only Arabs. The Israelis know it and are contemptuous of you for it, even as they accept your support. To be fair to them, they are, at least, honest with themselves about what they are.

    • magnolia

      I am not “all right with it”. For me Christian belief is about what you are in your heart, and I do not condone any religious expression whatever that uses violence of any kind to achieve its mean, nor anything that uses lying. That includes all secret services of all the world, which are a focus of evil, for “the Father of Lies” is given free reign to control them because they operate against one of the ten commandments.

      I believe the 10 commandments are sacrosanct, and that Zionists when they act against them, also act against the basis of their own religious belief.

      As for who ISIS is, I think it is run by anti-monotheistic Zionist elements of a dark nature.

      • Have a break , have a Kit Kat ( and take your medication whilst you’re at it).

        • magnolia

          Bit patronising isn’t it?

          I am more interested in Rita Katz than Kit Kat.

          Where does she come fro
          What is her provenance?
          How come she finds all these beheading videos in the darkest recesses of the internet where no one else goes?
          How come some of them, (if not all) turn out to be fake?
          How come the interviews with the first victim’s siblings have a whacking great picture crash off the wall and onto the floor and neither sibling twitches a whisker?

          Amongst many others, I ask questions, and I expect rational well backed up debate not ad hominem rubbish.

          • Tough. I’m under no obligation to respond to your conspiracy theory nonsense.

          • magnolia

            So who is she?

          • Dude, I think it’s kit Kat time for you.

    • Israel hasn’t stolen anything, as Palestinian Arabs didn’t own the land to begin with , in fact most came to Palestine in the 19th century, due to the success of the early Zionist enterprises (there has always been a Jewish presence in Palestine) and they never held citizenship either under the ottoman or British empire.

      The Mandated Territory of Palestine as defined by the 1920 San Remo treaty ceased to exist in 1947 when the Mandatory power Great Britain handed back the Mandate to the United Nations , the successor to the League of Nations .Great Britain had miserably failed to fulfill its obligation under the mandate to create a Jewish self governing homeland & as such in May 1948 when Israel declared its independence it renamed the state Israel thus Palestine ceased to exist as a geographic entity. The Arabs have a Palestinian state,west of the Jordan river and that’s called the kingdom of Jordan.

      As soon as Israel declared independence, the Arabs tried to destroy Israel, but the vast armies of the Arab governments got utterly defeated. As a result the Arabs obtained revenge (like most cowards) by hurting communities who couldn’t fight back, so they continued their oppression of (the relatively wealthy) Jews in their lands and forced them out with nothing, but suitcases: far more Jews- almost 1,000,000- than Palestinian Arabs were made refugees. The difference is that Jews pick themselves up, rebuild their lives and don’t insist on being permanent victims by calling their descendants “refugees”.

      • magnolia

        Arabs are surely people and each individual surely matters. You speak of them merely as pests and troublemakers, and only use sweeping generalisations to disrespect them. It is odd that there are deserted houses quiet as anything in Israel, whole villages where the Arab populations have fled.

        I have met Jewish people who lived in villages alongside Arabs, who had friends amongst them, and spoke warmly and affectionately of them, who wanted peace and to get on with life, rather than a racially cleansed, or at best apartheid state.

        The 10 commandments being obeyed would be a good start. Also I think that the Truth and reconciliation committees as shown by the South Africans would be a good place for the Jewish and Palestinian people to learn from spiritually.

        • Well dude, the only ethnic cleansing that went on was that of Jews who had to flee Arab countries. Given that Israel had a 20% non Jewish population, Israelis are pretty crap ethnic cleansers. Contrast this with Arab countries. How many Jews live there now compared to 50 years ago? Are Christians treated well in those lands? Are Palestinians? Isn’t Israel the only country in the middle east which allows people to practice their religion in peace? Where gay people aren’t strung from cranes? Where Christians are no slaughtered or treated as second class citizens?

          As for the apartheid smear, load of cobblers. There are Arab parties in the Knesset, there are no racially segregated public facilities, Arabs can vote and an Arab is even on the Israeli supreme court. If there is an apartheid state it is remarkably well disguised. You are quite right. Jews and Arabs do get on and live together, which kinda defeats your whole argument, but I’d say that’s especially true in the bits of Judea and Samaria, where Israel is in control.

          As for truth and reconciliation and the 10 commandments. Christians can take the lead in that by reflecting on their mistreatment of Jews that occurred for 2,000 years in the name of your religion. I don’t go around telling people how they should live their lives. I don’t need you to moralise the 10 commandments for me, so keep the preaching for your co religionists. And the IS fanatics, who clearly need to that more than I.

    • Owl

      You will obviously never learn.
      Goodday to you, sir. Bask in your ignorant neurosis.

    • carl jacobs

      Athanasius

      You are the one who introduced the subject of Israel into this comment thread. It is disingenuous of you to suggest otherwise.

      They invaded someone else’s country and stole it at the point of a gun.

      And when are they supposed to have performed this invasion? It’s going to be hard for you to answer that question since it is historically illiterate, but I’m sure you will give it a try.

      carl

  • Uncle Brian

    Edward Pentin, a Rome-based journalist, reported this comment by Cardinal Kasper on the African Church and homosexuality: “Africa is totally different from the West. Also Asian and Muslim countries, they’re very different, especially about gays. You can’t speak about this with Africans and people of Muslim countries. It’s not possible. It’s a taboo.” Kasper then made the silly mistake of denying he’d said it. I think he has handed his opponents, who are legion, his own head on a plate. Now they can say, and with good reason, “Never believe a rumour until Cardinal Kasper has denied it.”

    http://edwardpentin.co.uk/statement-on-cardinal-kasper-interview/#comment-13481

  • Uncle Brian

    comment deleted

  • Albert

    An excellent article.