I wonder if Bloomsbury Methodists will be holding another Christmas hate fest organised by the PSC . Grotesque re workings of traditional Christmas carols in order to demonise Israel and every anti-Semites favourite Christmas panto , Churchs 7 Jewish children .
Richard and Jonathan were not the only Jews to attend church right after Yom Kippur. Coincidentally, I enjoyed a rather lazy late lunch yesterday in the yard of Christ Church, just after the Jaffe Gate, in Jerusalem. They were kind enough to supply strictly kosher sealed meals courtesy of the excellent Aroma restaurant.
Though the trees are unmistakably palms, fig, citrus, etc the lawn, the high fences and rusting wheel-barrow could not help, but remind me of England’s green and pleasant land. I had occasion to chat with three men of the cloth and their wives. Inevitably, similar issues to those discussed at the Rivercourt Methodist Church were raised, but judging by Richard’s clips in an altogether more congenial atmosphere.
These are not radically pro-Israel Evangelicals, but Protestants. If they “love” the Jewish people it is the same cruel and noxious love that caused their Crusader ancestors to kill us and others who refused to find Jesus, thus being spared from further sin. They seem to support Israel and her right to exist when I talk to them in the spirit of the 19th English Christian forerunners of Zionism, but for a moment I don’t allow myself to forget that they are a tiny minority of a fundamentally anti-Semitic church. Nor do they deny their hope that I will recognize Jesus one day. “Look” I explain, “If he comes back, we’ll talk about it.” Polite laughter follows.
Besides the Arab-Israeli conflict, we discuss Jonathan Pollard, Vanunu (lehavdil) and the poor Copts in Egypt. Someone points out that Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Christians are not persecuted. I remind her that they are persecuted in Bethlehem, how ironic.
I present what I consider to be a fascinating paradox that Israel’s best friends in the world today, the US Evangelical Church and in the European Right Wing were and probably still are, traditionally anti-Semitic. For the first time Diaspora Jews may have to choose between politicians who “like” them and those who “love” Israel. The Republican Party is a wonderful example of this with presidential candidates who each seem more pro-Israel than the next, forever unable to pick up even 25% of the Jewish vote. We discuss other matters relating to Israeli religiosity and someone tells me he heard that my daughter refused to move to the back of a bus when confronted by Ultra-Orthodox men – a father glows with pride.
It comes to leave and young Ariel asks the priest if he has a Jewish prayer book in his outstanding library that he might say grace after meals. The priest happily produces a Koren siddur. On the way back I pop into the Begin Heritage Center, sadly Israel Medad has just left. So we return home tired but content.Is there a similarity with Richard’s and Jonathan’s church visit? I’m not sure. However, I am certain that I had it far easier. I had never comprehended why playing at home is so advantageous, but I think I’m beginning to get the picture.