on Wednesday, 31 December 2008 at 7.02 pm by Simon Sarmiento
categorised as Anglican Communion
Updated again Thursday evening
Various Anglican leaders have commented on the current situation in Gaza.
Presiding Bishop joins call for end to Gaza attacks
MIDDLE EAST: Jerusalem bishop issues statement on Gaza
MIDDLE EAST: Patriarchs, heads of Jerusalem churches issue ecumenical statement on Gaza
Statements from around the Communion on the Situation in Gaza.
Archbishop’s statement on Gaza (Archbishop of Canterbury)
New Year’s Day News from Gaza
It probably would have been more prudent, politically, for the PB not to mention the presence of “Orthodox Jews” in the demonstration at the Israeli embassy. They were Neturei Karta, a charedi (“ultra Orthodox”) group almost universally despised in the wider Jewish community. Not for their non-recognition of Israel and criticism of Zionism; that’s par for the course for charedim. NK is mostly known for consistently sucking up to people like Ahmadinejad, most famously by attending the International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust in Tehran, in 2006. Recently they chastised the Chabad movement, claiming that the… Read more »
Such a tragedy as is now unfolding in Gaza and the Middle East is symptomatic of how religious fervour can exacerbate hatred between communities in which each faction believes they have the correct version of what God might be calling them to do to survive with integrity. Abraham, the Father of All Nations, too, must be weeping over the present stand-off between Jews and Muslims in the Lands of the Bible. Christians are involved too, because of our own insularity and intransigence over which ‘side’ we feel we ought to be supporting in the conflict. Is this not a sad… Read more »
While the people on one side live in relative comfort and the others live in overly crowded and somewhat destitute conditions can we expect anything else but the present mess? The inequality doesn’t help the situation. Work is hard to find. I’m would surmise that self esteem and a sense of hope are very low. There are two sides to this sad situation.
The statements of the religious leaders are moving and eloquent, but they are not action. If the PB of the American church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the other Christian leaders including the Pope truly wished to make a difference, they would announce their intention to physically travel to Gaza, and would remain there until the bombing stopped. The Israelis would *probably* not dare risk the deaths of so many prominent Christians, and Christian leaders would have actually made a statement about Christian values rather than issued one. Yes, of course, the thought of such an act is so bizarre,… Read more »
“If the PB of the American church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the other Christian leaders including the Pope truly wished to make a difference, they would announce their intention to physically travel to Gaza…”
Two problems: (a) the Israeli authorities would never allow them to enter Gaza; quite possibly, they might bar the clerics from Israel itself; (b) would Hamas, a fervently Islamist organization, welcome or allow them in?
An interesting suggestion H. Lee. So how about proposing its mirror image. Have those same leaders head for towns in southern Israel and ask yourself the question: Would Hamas stop sending the rocket attacks?
H.Lee, it also occurred to me that if the Christian leaders were successful in getting into Gaza, there would exist the strong possibility of their being used as human shields – not to protect civilians, but to protect rocket crews and arms supplies. After all, Hamas (and militant Islamists in general) seem to have little scruples about using their own civilians as human shields, and would have less hesitancy to shooting Kassams and Grads from behind an archbishop or two. In that case, the Christian leaders would be actually helping to further and prolong the violence, not stop it.
Dear people, As I said, it’s a crazy, impossible idea. The trouble is, all the reasonable, measured ideas have been powerless to stop this mess for more than half a century. Maybe it’s time to stop being so logical, restrained, and cautious with our faith. There is no point in trying to predict what Hamas would do in this or that hypothetical situation. What a *Christian* is supposed to do, I believe, is to put Love on the ground where it’s needed, and leave the outcome to God. The PB and the ABC and all the other venerable acronyms have… Read more »
“But I do think that if they’re not going to risk anything to help, they should have the grace to shut up. The world’s poor are not perishing for lack of eloquent speeches. They are perishing for lack of Love in action.” – H. Lee –
H. Lee, you may be right on this, but how about giving a lead yourself? This might do more than a thousand words on the web. We should never expect of others what we are not prepared to do ourselves
FWIW, I went to Iraq with the Christian Peacemaker Teams (http://www.cpt.org) in March of 2003. We knew the invasion was coming; we just didn’t know when. We stayed 10 days, and drove out of Baghdad, back to Jordan, nine days before the invasion. I wasn’t brave enough to stay; I had a return ticket and used it. But other CPT members did stay, through the bombardment and through the war. Some are there today. If I had the guts and the finances, I’d be with them, but I don’t. You are right that I shouldn’t challenge others to risk something… Read more »
Thank you, H. Lee, for your witness then, and your challenge today.
Why, BillyD, do you assume that any Christian peacemakers who would stand w/ the Palestinian people while bombs fall on them, would not equally stand up to Hamas, if they tried to co-opt them? (Methinks your bias is showing). Yes, let Christians make their witness in Israeli towns where rockets have fallen, ALSO.
Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy!
“Why, BillyD, do you assume that any Christian peacemakers who would stand w/ the Palestinian people while bombs fall on them, would not equally stand up to Hamas, if they tried to co-opt them?” Oh, were you thinking that the Christian leaders would be armed? If not, I’m not sure how much standing up to Hamas they could do, since Hamas has shown itself quite capable of using arms against their own people (witness the “execution” of “collaborators” and Fatah supporters that have happened in recent days, including in hospitals). No, I don’t think that the AoC and the PB… Read more »
Well, sad as it is, the real solution is for the return of Jesus Christ, which is just around the corner. There will be no peace on this earth until the Prince of Peace returns. In the meantime pray for the poor people on both sides who are just caught in the middle of the war mongers on both sides. God doesn’t choose sides in war, so there is no side to choose. However, It appears that God is allowing the cup of iniquity of some to be filled. The Lord loves the poor. Both the old testament and new… Read more »
“…pray against the warmongers.”
Surely we should pray for them even more than for their victims. And prayer is not a weapon.
For H Lee- I hear you, but in devaluing heartfelt words, aren’t you also doing so for your own here? As humans, words, sincere ones, are part of our scope for action. If the peoples of the Middle-East would only resolve their differences through talking to each other, we would all be in a much better position. I don’t think it would be brave for religious leaders to go undefended to such places, it would actually be foolhardy. Also, it is worth remembering that whilst both sides have built underground networks with their extensive aid budgets, Israel has civilian bomb… Read more »