Cowardice in the face of Mammon
Norwich's Chapel Field Road Methodists Bow to Zionist Censorship Call
|The Senior Priest at Chapel Field Road Methodist Church who decided to cancel first and ask questions later|
In Israel the Zionists don’t engage in black propaganda using the Jewish Chronicle, the far-Right Zionist propaganda rag that is edited by neo-con and ex-editor of the Daily Express Stephen Pollard. [Jedwabne – The Polish Village Where Up to 900 Jews Were Burnt Alive by Fellow Poles]. They are simply locked up, ‘administratively detained’ without trial. Only today we learn of a Palestinian Israeli who has been gaoled for writing a satirical Facebook post criticising Palestinians who rejoice at the wild fires in Israel. Like most police states, and to Palestinians Israel is a Jewish police state, Israel’s rulers understand satire least of all.
In Britain the Zionist lobby doesn’t have the power (yet) to gaol their opponents, so they defame, libel and lie about them instead. Jackie Walker, the Black Jewish anti-racist activist who has been suspended, like thousands of other socialists in the Labour Party, by Iain McNicol's henchmen who have been allowed to continue as Labour's civil service, was due to speak at a dinner hosted by Norwich Palestine Solidarity Campaign today. The dinner was due to be held in the Chapel Field Road Methodist Church.
|The Board of Deputies original statement which was later amended to take out the 'Jew baiter' reference - no doubt as a result of legal advice|
The Board of Deputies of British Jews, a self-selecting Zionist body, issued a statement in the name of its Vice President, Marie van der Zyl, accusing Jackie of being an ‘unapologetic Jew baiter’. This was reprinted in the Jewish Chronicle and the Jewish News on-line. Both the latter papers, no doubt mindful of the laws of defamation, removed the comments and replaced it with something more anodyne.
The behaviour of Chapel Field Road Methodist Church towards Jackie Walker resembles Judas more than Jesus. Instead of standing up to the attacks by the Zionists like the Dean of Lichfield Cathedral, they bowed to the pressure and without bothering to investigate the allegations cancelled the booking and promised never to let their premises again to Norwich PSC.
Their behaviour is contemptible. They have bowed down to racists and cancelled a meeting organised by a solidarity group with the Palestinians. They have accepted the accusation that Jackie Walker, a long standing anti-racist and anti-fascist activist is anti-Jewish when she herself is a Jewish anti-Zionist.
|Church facilities that were cancelled and from which Norwich PSC has been banned from using|
This is one more example of a well funded smear campaign, supported by every mainstream racist newspaper, that targets anti-racist opponent of Israeli Apartheid. The President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jonathan Arkush, only two weeks ago welcomed the election of the racist bigot Donald Trump as President of the United States and ran into a storm of protest. It was a decision that even 175 young Zionists found too much to bear. Having welcomed Trump and his anti-Semitic advisor Stephen Bannon of Breibart, the Board of Deputies now protests about the ‘anti-Semitism’ of a Black-Jewish anti-racist!
British Zionists are waging a campaign to deny elementary freedom of speech to anti-Zionists and supporters of the Palestinians. That is why the decision of the national leadership of Palestine Solidarity Campaign to ignore these attacks is wrong. They have, to the best of my knowledge, not yet responded to this attack on basic democratic rights.
|Chapel Field Road Church|
I have written an Open Letter to the Rev. Deborah Caulk of Chapel Field Road Methodist Church protesting the decision of her superior, the Revd. Catherine Hutton and calling on the Rev. Hutton to apologise and make amends for her actions. Repentance used to be something the church was quite good at, let us see whether the tradition has been continued amongst Norwich Methodists.
Open Letter to Rev. Deborah Caulk of Chapel Field Road Methodist Church
Revd Deborah Caulk: 01603 438301 Revd Catherine Hutton: 01603 452086
Chapel Field Road Methodist Church, Chapel Field Road, Norwich NR2 1SD 01603 632535
Chapel Field Road Methodist Church, Chapel Field Road, Norwich NR2 1SD 01603 632535
Dear Rev. Caulk,
I spoke to you earlier tonight about a meeting that Norwich Palestine Solidarity Campaign had booked at your church. Jackie Walker was due to speak at the meeting. You are, as you told me, a student priest and I should really have spoken to Catherine Hutton, the senior priest. I am therefore addressing this letter to both of you.
I understand from the Facebook message from the Board of Deputies of British Jews that you cancelled the meeting, after being contacted by them and being told that Jackie Walker was a ‘Jew baiter’. That particular description has now been taken down, no doubt on legal advice. I also understand that you have also apologised for hosting the meeting in the first place.
I am a friend of Jackie as well as being Jewish. The allegation that she is anti-Semitic or a ‘Jew-baiter’ is wholly false as well as being defamatory. Jackie is herself Black and Jewish. Her ‘crime’, if crime it be, is that she supports the Palestinians and is an anti-Zionist, as indeed I am. Jackie, like many Jews, draws the lesson from the Holocaust and anti-Semitism historically, that racism, including the racism of Israel and the Zionist movement which gave birth to it, is wrong. The Holocaust does not give anyone, Jewish or otherwise, a free pass to become racists.
The Board of Deputies is an unrepresentative group which does not represent secular Jews in this country . It has a history of being an apologist and worse for Israel’s racism, colonialism and mass murder of the Palestinians. It justified without hesitation Israel’s murderous attack on Gaza two years ago in which 2,200 people were killed, nearly all of them civilians, by the deliberate shelling of residential areas, schools and hospitals. Over 550 children were killed in that barbarous attack. Just 70 Israelis were killed, nearly all of them military casualties. The only time the Board is interested in ‘anti-Semitism’ is when it is defending Israel.
Only last week the President of the Board of Deputies, Jonathan Arkush, was criticised by nearly 200 young British Jews because he had sent a message congratulating Donald Trump on his election victory. An election victory in which Trump has worked hand-in-hand with some of the most vile anti-Semites, including Steve Bannon of Breibart, who he has just appointed as his Strategic Advisor.
Of course you were not to know any of this. However you were under a duty to make some form of inquiry before you made your decision to trample on free speech and cancel the meeting. The Methodist Church has had a good record on Palestine and your behaviour mars that record. If you want to know what the situation in Israel/Palestine is really like you could for example look up the fact that only this week Israel has been seeking to demolish a Bedouin village Umm al-Hiran in Israel’s Negev desert in order to make way for a Jewish town. The village has been there 60 years and the Bedouin only moved there after having been previously expelled from their lands further south.
Would you have cancelled a meeting 20 years ago on Apartheid in South Africa because apologists for the Apartheid regime objected? They too might have said it was racist against White people. Would you have believed them?
As someone who is Jewish I am particularly irked by your cowardice because, just like White South Africans, Jews opposed to what Israel does take considerable flack because we oppose Jewish racism. It doesn’t take much courage on your part to resist such overtures.
I post below and attach as a file the statement which was jointly issued by Lichfield Cathedral and Jews for Justice for Palestinians when Lichfield came under similar attack. On that occasion the Church held strong to the Christian message of supporting the weak and oppressed rather than bowing to the oppressor.
I suggest that the least you can do to make amends is to issue an unqualified apology to both Jackie Walker and Norwich PSC and to reassure the latter that they are welcome to book your premises in the future.
As to the truth or otherwise of what Jackie actually said, I refer you to my article The Lynching of Jackie Walker in Open Democracy. You have unfortunately continued that good Christian tradition of joining in with the lynch mob.
|Amended version of Jewish Chronicle article|
We, Christians and Jews who advocate for justice for Palestinians, would like to put on record our admiration for the Dean of Lichfield, with a group of local Christians from other churches, in hosting the festival 'Holding Palestine in the Light' in Lichfield Cathedral last month, despite opposition from some quarters.
We regret the intemperate attacks to which the hosts were subjected. The language used and the opinions expressed would be rejected by many – including many Jews – in this country.
There were Jews among the members of a group from Liverpool, twinned with the West Bank village of Bil’in, who delivered an exhibition of Palestinian children’s photos to Lichfield Cathedral for the festival.
The founding chair of the Edinburgh Liberal Jewish Community was moved to send a message of support saying: “Many Jews, including many in religious communities like ours, welcome discussions like this conference.”
We find it disquieting that the Lichfield conference has been seized on by those who seek to silence criticism of Israeli policies. The Israeli government’s near half century occupation, with its appropriation of Palestinian land and resources for Israeli use, and its abrogation of
Palestinians' basic human rights, is conducted in direct contravention of several international laws including the Fourth Geneva Convention.
All around us there are attempts to equate criticism of Israeli government policies with antisemitism. This form of censorship seeks to halt legitimate discourse about the history and politics of Israel and Palestine.
Whether we are Christians or Jews – secular or observant – our core values are ultimately based on the Hebrew scriptures as well as the values of the Enlightenment.
“. . . let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-
flowing stream.” Amos 5, v 24.
The oppression of Palestinians by a succession of Israeli governments is neither just nor righteous and it is not antisemitic to point this out, to speak truth to power. It is our duty as Jews, as Christians – indeed as citizens – to work for a just peace for all in Israel-Palestine.
Naomi Wayne & Glyn Secker Prof Mary Grey
Jews for Justice for Palestinians Patron: Friends of Sabeel UK
Charlotte Marshall Bishop Michael Doe
Bishop Richard Llewellin
Contacts: Naomi Wayne (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Charlotte Marshall (email@example.com)