Anti-Semitic comments show the Method in the Methodists’ Madness.

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Hinde Street Methodist Church’s reconstruction of an Israeli checkpoint.

I went to Hinde Street Methodist Church’s exhibition in London about Israel’s security checkpoints today expecting something on the scale of the St James’s Church’s lifesize reproduction of Israel’s security barrier outside their own church in 2013 which cost £30,000 to construct. Hinde Street Church’s reproduction, however, was more of an IKEA job.

First, all of the exhibition was inside the church and second, the checkpoint was made from simple plywood with various negative commentaries about the wall, including quotations from the Bible, attached to it.

There were also real photographs of Israeli checkpoints, some sort of jenga section and three prayer stations for silent contemplation.

Third, the Zionist Federation and the Board of Deputies had spent the weekend persuading the church to accept as part of the exhibition literature (including two big boards) explaining why the security checkpoints are so necessary (see below).

The exhibition didn’t seem to be busy (it runs till friday) but the ZF/BOD literature will be effective in countering those unsuspecting members of the public who wander in. My hunch though is that the exhibition will only attract real Israel haters coming to have their views on the Jewish state confirmed.

David Collier and I sat at a prayer station in discussion with two elderly British women for about 15 minutes. We played dumb about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as one of the women proceeded to tell us, inter alia, that Israel has an “unkind society” and that Israel in the West Bank is akin to Putin conquering the Ukraine and transporting Russians there.

Although the exhibition itself is pretty downboat the fact that the church decided to criticise checkpoints that keep Israelis alive is pretty bewildering. Nowhere in the exhibition does the church condemn the Palestinian terrorism that has killed so many Israelis.

But reading the Church’s Facebook page marketing the exhibition gives you an indication of the mindset of some Methodists, perhaps.

Comments like

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indicate the real method in some Methodists’ madness.

More photos from the checkpoint exhibition:

Jenga!

Jenga!

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Jenga instruction!

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Brilliant ZF/BOD response inside the Church.

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Some poetry on the checkpoint.

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21 responses to “Anti-Semitic comments show the Method in the Methodists’ Madness.

  1. You missed Diane Garza’s: “Ewwwww….a quick scan of the comments on here are by jews whining because not everyone agrees with their committing land theft and genocide. gross….isn’t there a kkkkhhhhholocaust museum you can attend and cry at? I swear you sound like little babies whining so much”

    Disgusting person.
    To be fair though, there’s no proof that the commenter’s on facebook are Methodists.

  2. Are those comments above for real? (Disbelief…I know very well they are, they crop up all over the place.) When my wife says that “my mind is made up, don’t confuse me with the facts”, she’s joking. Sadly, this lot aren’t.

    They really do not want to know the facts: that Jews have lived in the land, without interruption, despite all the exiles, for 3000 years, the truth about how Israel’s borders come to be like they are. Even worse, they care not a jot that the disappearance of Israel as a separate, sovereign state, able to defend itself into either non-existence or a bi-national state, would mean at best another exodus on a massive scale, or another Shoah.

    Anyone who believes that either of these is a desirable outcome has to be an antisemite, in a classic Wilhelm Marr sense (who, for anyone who doesn’t know, is the person who coined the term “antisemitism” and “antisemite” to mean hatred of Jews, and only Jews).

    And the church in question (maybe many Methodist churches) are clearly just as ahistorical in their ideological blindness for not wishing or caring to know and understand why checkpoints and separation barriers exist, not just between Israel and the West Bank but in many places.

    Do they not wish to acknowledge that most sovereign states draw physical boundaries between themselves for what they see as good reasons? Why do they not condemn Trump’s proposal for a physical between the USA and Mexico? Most of the world, for whatever reason, has decided not to participate in a Schengen type agreement. Can’t imagine why.

    No, only Israel must not attempt to protect its citizens (including, of course, 20% Arab-Israelis, mostly Moslems) from harm.

    And they wonder why sane, genuinely progressive citizens of the world label them antisemites?

  3. Im waiting for Ken to turn up. He hasn’t mentioned hitler for a number of days and quite frankly i’m getting worried .

  4. Only one way to shorten the queues entering Israel and eliminate all risk: end the permits to all “Palestinians”. This will also have a virtue: force Israel to find workers among the many that wouldn’t work normally, lower the need for governement assistance, etc.
    After all, why would the economy of a dictatorship like “Palestine” be a responsibility for Israel?
    The end of racist incitement should be a prerequisite to any peace process.

  5. Antisemites or Jew haters work tirelessly to propagate antiZionist material to continue the blood libels against Jews .
    Their aim is for Jews to be unarmed ..
    It won’t work .. but these are your Nazis of today . The far left , the supposedly religious Christians or Muslims who wish to see Israel weakened or anihilated

    Do I think that placing ZF leaflets is Enough to allow “Nazi “persecution of Jews at this event?
    No . It should have been reported to the police for religious aggravated behaviour against a religious minority (Jews) .
    Has anyone thought of this ?

  6. All frontier passage and transit involves checkpoints -possibly excepting zones of genuine peace and self confidence as the Schengen Agreement tried for Europe till the Syrian migrant crisis broke it down. The real argument behind this display of crocodile tears about the tedium of checkpoints and having had a passport and travel bug since 1953 I have been through quite a few, is whether there should be a frontier – a difference between Israel and the PA territories. If you believe in an Arab Palestine and a Jewish Israel and that the two be self determined and self governing then there is no automatic right for the people of the one to be in the other and there have to be borders and checkpoints till peace is restored as before the intifadas and so the risk of hostile and violent Arab actions in Israel. Sign on the doted line that there be recognition of each others sovereignties and peace and the security controls may lapse. Continue to incite violence and the security controls will remain.

  7. well – a proliferation of opinions. For the un-initiated reader, the checkpoints are there for a purpose. To control the flow of fanatical Palestinians who wish to enter Israel just to commit murder. The last 30 years has seen suicide bombers, stabbings, kidnapping and other heinous crimes that any democratic country would abhor. I hate the wall and the border checks, but they are a necessary evil. The Methodists have taken a stance that does not make sense because we British can remember N.Ireland and the checkpoints that were in place then.

  8. Richard
    You just skimmed the surface . The first thread on the church Facebook thread is teeming with antisemitic comments and Holocaust denial . To be fair to the church and judging by previous non exhibition related posts , they only get the ocassional comment so unlikely they work with a dedicated moderator but it would be nice to think they looked in to see what was happening BTL

  9. Pingback: 09/20 Links Pt2: A definition of anti-Israeli anti-Semitism; A Dangerous Mix of Truth and Fiction – 24/6 Magazine

  10. Richard, shouldn’t those anti-Semitic comments on Facebook be referred to the CST?

  11. Richard, I’m unable to comment further in your post regarding Meron Benvenisti, and your live.com email address did not work. I do, however, have an answer to your question. How can I get it to you?

    • Can you send to richardblog@live.co.uk?

    • Well, the reply is there already. I think yours is not really needed. Your post is tantamount to saying “How come that guy is not called pro-Jews when he all he did was calling Jews “‘dirty kikes’?”
      For your information, there is no way Israel will continue to exist in a binational (final) solution. Therefore, advocating for a binational state is denying the right of Israel to exist, a known form of antisemitism.
      In case you ignored that or believe I made it up, consult the US State Department definition of antisemitism here, especially “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist” (state.gov/j/drl/rls/fs/2010/122352.htm).

      • Jose, if you trouble yourself to read the interview of Meron Benvenisti by Ari Shavit, to which I linked in my comment on the other thread and will repeat here, you’ll see that Benvenisti doesn’t deny Israel’s right to exist, nor does he use the antisemitic language you felt comfortable reproducing.

        http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/jerusalem-born-thinker-meron-benvenisti-has-a-message-for-israelis-stop-whining.premium-1.469447

        And since you chose to respond, here, regarding Benvenisti, I’ll take the opportunity of reproducing, here, the reply to Richard Millet that I’m unable to post in that other thread. To recapitulate, he, without citing any evidence, dismissed Meron Benvenisti as an “anti-Zionist.” His entire response to my comment was to ask, “How is a binational state compatible with Zionism?” My reply follows.

        *********

        The answer, I suppose, is that it depends on what one means by “binational” and by “Zionism”.

        But let me say, first, that I have no stake in whether Benvenisti is, or is not, “anti-Zionist”. My quick Google search found nothing more recent then his October 2012 interview with Ari Shavit. (But then you characterized Benvenisti as “anti-Zionist” without providing any supporting evidence at all.) Rather, I am concerned with the too-easy labeling of opposing views as “anti-Zionist”.

        So, returning to the interview with Shavit, while I’d hardly describe Benvenisti’s outlook as classically Zionist, neither is it classically anti-Zionist. On the one hand, he says, “The Jewish nation-state is doomed. It will implode.” On the other hand, he continues, “In the end, the only way to live here will be to create an equality of respect between us and the Palestinians. To recognize that there are two national communities here which love this land and whose obligation is to channel the unavoidable conflict between them into a process of dialogue for life together.” (Emphasis, if it appears, added).

        In the main, Benvenisti is offering predictions. But the statement I’ve bolded [or tried to bold] is normative, and it affirms the existence in the land of “two national communities”. Recognizing Jews as forming a national community with rights to live in Eretz Yisrael (Benvenisti uses the English “Land of Israel”)/Palestine is a position I find impossible to classify as anti-Zionist.) [I should have written that Haaretz’s translation uses “Land of Israel/Palestine.” I expect the actual interview was in Hebrew.]

        Benvenisti also makes clear that he has no principled opposition to a separate, independent Jewish state. Right or wrong, he’s reached what he regards as a pragmatic conclusion: “There are two national communities here that live together in the same place, one within the other. In this situation, partition is not an option. There was a time when it was possible, but no longer. This country is a shared land, a single homeland.”

        Shavit observes that Benvenisti’s conception of “The Land of Israel” makes him “resemble the right wing and the Palestinians.” I think Shavit is right that, by rejecting a division of the Land of Israel, Benvenisti, in an important sense, aligns himself with the world-view of the Likud and other right-wing Israeli parties. They differ, of course, regarding the conclusions they draw for how Jews and Arabs should live together in the land. But on this evidence, if Benvenisti is anti-Zionist, then so, too, are Bibi and his ilk.

        Benvenisti, at least in this interview, still seems to embrace the term “Zionist”: “Only those who are capable of listening to the unforgetting silence of this tormented soil, from which everyone begins and to which everyone returns, Jews and Arabs, has the right to call it homeland. I believe in that with all my heart. In my perception, anyone who does not believe it is not a Zionist….I am from the Zionist Mayflower. I will not allow anyone to treat me as a non-Zionist.”

        Most importantly, perhaps, in terms of Benvenisti’s being, or not being, Zionist, non-Zionist, or anti-Zionist, he opposes drowning the Jewish people and national home in an Arab sea: “I do not believe that it will be possible to live in one state according to the principle of one person-one vote. If so, the side that gets a majority will exploit its majority to seize the power centers and suppress the other side. We need to find a structure that will not be either a Jewish nation-state or a Palestinian nation-state, but a shared framework in which the two nations will go on squabbling – but on a foundation of equality….”

        I remain a supporter of two-states-for-two-peoples. [Personally-identifying sentence deleted.] But if I were persuaded that two-states-for-two-peoples had become an impossible dream, and if I also believed that Benvenisti’s conception were possible, I think it would be difficult to reject it. In all events, I can’t imagine agreeing to cede the word “Zionist” to be the sole property of supporters of a State of Israel committed to lording over another people living in Eretz Yisrael.

      • As you could have seen I have read the crap in question andd it lead to my comclusion. Wanting a binational state is exactly what the creation of Israel is supposed to prevent. Denying this right to Israel’s existence is precisely called “antisemitism”. So the idiot you quoted is an antisemite AND an anti-Zionist.

      • Jose, I’d best say nothing more. You make it difficult to follow the example of Norman Geras z”l and read your words charitably. Those with an interest in the subject will form their own opinions. If they want to engage thoughtfully, I’ll try to reciprocate.

    • Well, to be charitable, you don’t seem to read my words at all.
      I repeat: the idiot you quoted is an antisemite who also happens to be an anti-Zionist. (not even a post-Zionist, let alone a “Zionist”).
      A binational state means the destruction of Israel and Israel’s (secular) Zionist meaning: a place where Jewish culture can be revived, a refuge for Jews from all the countries that persecutes them even this very day.
      A binational state is non-existence of Israel by definition. No matter how long the crap your produce is.

      I have an advice for those who want to engage thoughtfully: don’t do it with people who obviously don’t.

      I did not invent the definition of an antisemitism, I’m just quoting the US State Department: anyone who wants the destruction of the state of Israel, and whatever he wants it to be replaced with is irrelevant, is an antisemite.
      Those who distort the definitions to have words meanings what they personally want them to say are bordering insanity.

  12. Tp Ambrosine: actually, I think you’re being a trifle unfair to many (but, of course, not all) Christians. While the likes of a certain CofE Vicar (I could be talking about Stephen Sizer, but I’m sure that there are others) are around, many, perhaps most, US evangelical Christian are very much pro-Israel.

    This is, of course, for their own religious reasons, but let’s not knock support for Israel where we find it.

  13. Breaking news: High Court judge rules on Methodist church’s controversial anti-Israel exhibition: http://bit.ly/2cU6ay3

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