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November 17, 2007



Excellent post, Irene, and well done for obtaining this meeting in the first place. It can't have been easy.

The sheer cowardice of Christian Aid's (and other organisations') position on the Middle East is breathtaking. Of course, we all know that their workers won't be targeted by Israel or by Jews worldwide, whereas if they criticise other regimes, everyone would have to watch out - but Christian Aid simply won't admit it.

I had a lively correspondence with another Christian organisation, one which works with persecuted Christians worldwide, taking them to task for similar dishonesty - in a feature on the Holy Land, they had attributed all the woes of Palestinian Christians to the nasty Israelis. In their unexpectedly frank reply, the charity admitted that they were perfectly well aware of persecution of Palestinian Christians by the PA and islamist gangs, but that the pastors on the ground had begged them not to publicize it for fear of reprisals.

A fat lot of good such duplicity did!

For me, the litmus test of whether an organisation is practising institutional anti-semitism is this: do you accept that Jews have as much right to national self-determination as any other race? Do you accept that, as an indigenous people whose continuous history in the Holy land goes back for at least 3000 years, Jews have a right to their nation state in the Levant alongside other indigenous peoples? If the answer to either question is "no" or an equivocal "Yes", then their attitude is intrinsically racist and should be vigorously challenged.

It is time that people, particularly the Israeli government, made their positions on these points clear. The Jewish desire for self-determination is intrinsically legitimate. The right of Jews to have a nation state on land in which they are indigenous is intrinsically legitimate.

To claim otherwise is anti-semitism.


This might look suspiciously like a mutual admiration society as I'm the author of the post you linked to at the top, but never mind, this is a magnificent post. I hope you get something more than the usual bland slogans out of CA (miracles do happen!).

What it boils down to is that the one sure-fire way for the Israelis to get CA off their backs would be to start responding to each new piece of Israel-bashing propaganda by shooting an aid worker or two. Then, methinks, Israel would very rapidly join Sudan, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Hamas etc on CA's 'too risky to play politics with' list and they would have to find a new whipping boy. But of course it won't happen, so the show will go on, and Israel will go on paying the price for being a democracy.

Cynical? Yes - on CA's part.


Well said, Irene! Here is the blog equivalent of a round of applause and a cry of "Hear hear!"


A very interesting post and one I whole heartedly agree with. What I'd like to know is your opinion on violence against christians by orthodox jews in Isreal.

''Christians in Jerusalem want Jews to stop spitting on them''
There are an increased number at certain times of year, such as during the Purim holiday."I know Christians who lock themselves indoors during the entire Purim holiday," he says.

Former adviser to the mayor on Christian affairs, Shmuel Evyatar, describes the situation as "a huge disgrace." He says most of the instigators are yeshiva students studying in the Old City who view the Christian religion with disdain.

"I'm sure the phenomenon would end as soon as rabbis and well-known educators denounce it. In practice, rabbis of yeshivas ignore or even encourage it," he says.

Evyatar says he himself was spat at while walking with a Serbian bishop in the Jewish quarter, near his home. "A group of yeshiva students spat at us and their teacher just stood by and watched."

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