November 2015 Letters to the Editor

Published November 9, 2015

Divergent views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Two letters in the September 2015 issue of the Anglican Journal miss the mark in regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (One rule for readers and another for contributors? by John Dalton and One-sided by M.C. Barnard, p. 4).

In his June 2015 article (Christian Zionism a ‘heresy,’ says Anglican priest), Neale Adams was simply naming Christian Zionism for what it is, a pernicious heresy. This is not name-calling, as Dalton asserts, but simple naming; it’s the term you would use if searching the subject via Google.

Barnard’s letter repeats the tired refrains offered by the Israeli government and Zionists in general, that Israel is the innocent victim and Palesti-nians the offending terrorists.

While calling Cheryl-Ann Archibald’s letter (Anti-Zionism doesn’t mean anti-Semitism, Jan. 2015, p. 5) one-sided, it then itself gives a one-sided (Israeli government) view of the situation.

Barnard chides Archibald for neglecting to mention various crimes of the Palestiians, and then neglects to mention various crimes of the Israelis, such as the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians in 1947-48, the building in Palestine of settlements illegal by international law and now housing some 600,000 Israelis, the destruction of thousands of ancient olive trees, and so on.

As for the two-state solution, far from being “the only way to resolve this situation,” most commentators regard it as a political dead duck. The weight of current opinion has shifted from a two-state model to a one-state model of some kind-perhaps a federation or the use of overlapping electorates. In my view, the Israelis and Palestinians, both, as populations suffering from PTSD, are manifestly incapable of finding a resolution.

Only when international pressure is exerted to a sufficient degree is any resolution likely.

Donald Grayston

Congratulations on publishing letters (Sept. 2015, p. 4, One rule for readers and another for contributors? and One-sided) that dared to criticize the lack of balance displayed in an article and a previous letter about Zionism.

An anti-Israel bias makes one ashamed to be the recipient of a publication that accepts these submissions. It’s worse when one realizes the aim of such authors is to bamboozle Christians while using their very own Christian publications.

Facts, as well as kindred faiths, encourage support for Israel. M.C. Barnard ably presented many Israeli facts: their historic habitation in the area, Israel’s legal establishment followed immediately by an attack from Arab nations, the continuing rocket and bomb attacks and calls for Israel’s destruction.

We have, in addition, the primary fact of the extermination of six million European Jews during the Holocaust.

There are, as well, the facts of the long negotiation history of Palestinian refusals to accept two-state/peace plans and our own history of sharing Israel’s standards of democracy and human rights. To recognize Jewish habitation in early Palestine, archaeologists in Israel continue to substantiate their ancient history.

We need to search out and present facts in order to balance what is published with an anti-Israel bias all too often.

Doris Leland
Kitchener, Ont.

‘Jesus must weep at our lack of Christian charity and inclusiveness’

How unutterably sad this story is (Roman Catholics weigh in on marriage canon, Sept. 2015, p. 6). Every argument presented here against changing the Anglican church marriage canon echoes the long-dead protests against ordaining women clergy. Jesus must weep at our lack of Christian charity and inclusiveness. We can and must do better than this.

Jean Gower
Kingston, Ont.

Surprised and disappointed

The Anglican Church of Canada’s Compassion, Justice, and Reason: An Approach to Election 2015 contains excellent recommendations prefaced by [the view that] “Anglican long-standing commitment to reason helps us hold opposing views in creative tension, finding the common good through prayerful discernment.”

However, I am surprised and disappointed there is no mention of discussing candidates’ views on physician-assisted death and abortion. Both the guide available from the Canadian Council of Churches, Federal Election Resource 2015, and the one from the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2015 Federal Election Guide, mention euthanasia.

Should not views on such subjects also be considered in an Anglican guide as respecting “the dignity of every human being” (Baptismal Covenant) as taught throughout Christianity and indeed most other religions?

Brian Harvey
Gloucester, Ont.


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