An Open Letter to “A Just Peace for Palestine”

Dear Just Peace for Palestine,

I have just visited your web page, and I note the following from it:

“What we stand for

“Our vision… “We are committed to a just peace for Palestine that affirms the dignity of the Palestinian people, in accordance with their civil, political and human rights under international law.

“The current treatment of Palestinians denies their basic rights and therefore does not offer any hope of a lasting peace.

“We affirm that a just peace for Palestinians will also mean peace and security for Israelis.

“We reject all forms of racism that treats any group as ‘lesser’ or inferior. (emphasis mine)

“Though religion can be a source of division and conflict, Jews, Christians and Muslims – as well as those of other faiths or none – can share a common commitment to ‘Doing unto others as you would have them do to you’. Whether from a faith group or not, we affirm this as a good foundation for going forward.

“We recognise the history of the suffering of the Jewish community through the centuries and particularly the horror of the Holocaust. We affirm our rejection of anti-Semitism as we commit ourselves to justice for the Palestinians.”

This is all very well, but I note that you don’t actually define what you mean by “just” (which is, after all, a value judgement on your part), nor do you mention, much less condemn, the suicide and other terror by Palestinians against their Israeli neighbours, Jewish and Muslim.   That being the case, I would venture to suggest that your “vision” is a blinkered and highly selective one and that your declaration above, that you reject all forms of racism, is disingenuous if not downright dishonest.

It follows that a group such as yours which, as you would have us believe, rejects all forms of racism, ought to think very carefully indeed before it lists among its workers or supporters people whose behaviour shows an outright rejection of this central tenet.   One such group, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, goes out of its way to delegitimise the existence of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people.   You also list the Friends of Sabeel among your supporters.   Knowledgeable people are fully aware that Sabeel promotes revisionist theology which tries to sever the relationship between the Jewish people and their homeland in Israel.  It deliberately tries to obscure the fact that there has been a continuous Jewish presence in what is now Israel since before the time of Jesus or Muhammed,  and its  founder, Naim Ateek, makes excuses for suicide terror.  In a bizarre article he recast Samson of the Old Testament as an Israelite “suicide bomber.”  In his 2000 Easter message, in a scurrilous reworking of the antisemitic trope that the Jews are responsible for the death of Jesus, Ateek depicted Israel as killing Jesus again, by “crucifying” the Palestinian people.   Your publicising your connection with these groups, without any caveats, show you to be at least lacking in awareness of how your message will be received.  The general public, who have no axe to grind, may be forgiven if they assume you to be cynically manipulative and hypocritical as well.

All of which begs the question of what your agenda really is, other than to add more hatred to the world.   Sensible, open-minded people have no need for another blog which excoriates Israel and ignores or excuses the excesses and murderous intent towards Israel of her Arab neighbours.    “Christian” groups which align themselves with such a body betray the teachings of their faith and the attitudes of those you list are truly appalling.    True, you do mention peace for Israel, but your banner headline adds it almost as an afterthought and you say nothing whatsoever about what would be the Palestinians’ responsibilities (ie ending of terror attacks and hate speech in their media) toward bringing such a peace about.

The most glaring betrayal of your “rejection” of racism, however, is that your Campaign Co-ordinator is Ben White, whose views about Israel and Jews are infamously well-known:

White has regularly accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing, attributes the malicious slurs of colonisation, racism and apartheid to Israel, acts as an apologist for Islamist violence against the Jewish state, draws parallels between Nazi Germany and Zionism, has a problem with the police arresting those involved in plots to bomb synagogues, and has even gone as far as to flirt with Holocaust denial, or more accurately Holocaust revisionism.

In an article entitled Is It ‘Possible’ to Understand the Rise in ‘Anti-Semitism’?, White stated that “I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, yet I can also understand why some are”.  This after linking the rise of antisemitism with “the widespread bias and subservience to the Israeli cause in the Western media.”   As was astutely observed by Seismic Shock, “White here jumps straight into transitional bog-standard antisemitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion language”.

Previously, White was embroiled in a controversy which began following his scathing review on Fulcrum of Patrick Sookhdeo’s book “Global Jihad”.   In a strange twist of events, White apparently contacted a radical Muslim blogger named “Indigo Jo” to tip him off about Sookdheo’s book, whom  Indigo Jo lovingly refers to as “Sookhdevil”. Subsequently, Indigo Jo’s attack on Sookhdeo was reproduced on other Islamist websites resulting in Sookhdeo receiving a death threat. See here and here and for White’s version of the events here.

I believe that the appointment of such a one as your campaign director is ill-conceived and is yet another example of your double standards and hypocrisy.   I also believe that the way in which your site represents itself is at best misguided, at worst deliberately dishonest.   At the very least it sets out to privilege one side in the Middle East conflict at the expense of the other and uses the involvement and apparent support of various church groups to put a specious seal of authority on its anti-Israel (and in White’s and Sabeel’s case anti-Jewish) message.

The end result is egregious and deceitful and, as I have argued above, it adds to the hatred in the world, which seems, at the very least, inconsistent with Christian morality.   You should either re-write your web content, or remove your site.

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