British Jews and Christians fall out over bulldozer boycott.

There’s a bit of a tizz going on here in the UK between the Church of England, the largest Christian denomination in Britain, and the Jewish community, over the CofE’s recent decision to disinvest from Caterpillar, who make construction machinery. The decision was made due to the use of Caterpillar bulldozers by the Israeli army for clearing Palestinian homes in the West Bank and Gaza, which as far as I know is in contrevention of United Nations agreements.

This Guardian article explains the situaton, but essentially the chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, has accused the CofE of commiting anti-semitism as a result of this decision, and that it “set back Anglican-Jewish relations by 70 years”. This argument, in my mind, is a load of old bunkum. Here’s a Venn Diagram to illustrate my point:

Venn Diagram

Note that the diagram is almost certainly not to scale, but I think it does illustrate the point I’m trying to make here.

In other words, just because you’re Jewish, does not mean you believe that what Israel is doing in the West Bank and Gaza is right. I’m not taking sides with regard to the Middle East Conflict, but I think it’s a bit rich to assume all Jews support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. No sane person would say all Muslims are terrorists, so why bracket all Jews in the same way?

I’m sure some will be Jews who do think that this boycott is anti-semitic, and while Mr Sacks is entitled to his opinion he should not do so in a capacity whereby he claims to represent all British Jews. Because I’m pretty sure that he does not.

70 thoughts on “British Jews and Christians fall out over bulldozer boycott.

  1. What will you do to ensure that Israeli children can play without an adult armed with automatic weapons guarding them? Have another chat with the Palestinians?

    Yes, And maybe send a little less Isreali soldiers in Palestinian refugee camps knowing very well that it often ends in a shootout.
    Now I know they don’t go in there for fun and some of these soldiers don’t even want to go. Last time I checked the death toll was around 1500 palestinian/800 Israeli.

    Going after three guys ( possibly murderers, yes )in a refugee camp catching, one killing one but also killing women and children in the way…at one point it was almost every time. There has to be another way to catch criminals…

    Some factions on both sides profit from the tension they create. The police and army of Israel is doing very well being one of the most advanced and the violent groups on the other side get lots of money from their silent partners just outside palestine…what do you expect. Just like some American companies are making a killing rebuilding the countries they destroy.
    At the end it’s all about money.

  2. Yes,…

    In other words, the extent of your personal engagement is to shoot off your mouth what the Israeli government should not do, but beg off on constructive suggestions. Nice going, eh.

  3. You really like to bite people…twist their words to fit your understanding. Or is it my imagination?

    I am very sorry that you haven’t noticed that I am not as blessed as you for chatting or blogging or whatever we are doing here. I usually read only…Been reading this place for three or four years.
    I was not aware that I had to come up with the miracle peace plan for that conflict in order to be able to share my thoughts.
    As far as personal engagement I do what I can.

    Tell the Jews it’s all their fault?

    That’s your comment somewhere above. And you say I shoot off my mouth.

    Please find somebody who has said that in this discussion.

    Whatever.

  4. Go on frothing and babbling nonsense if it makes you happy, just know that I know you are wrong about me, and nothing you can say or do will change that.

    And here we see the ultimate argument by Serai.  It goes “I’m right, you are wrong, and the discussion is over.”

    Oh, wait just one cotton picking minute!! I know why it looks familiar!!  It ususally reads “God said it. I believe it. I’m right.  You are wrong.  End of discussion.”

    Serai is a pagan, so I guess, although I don’t know, she must be her own godhead, thus lacking the need for the God said it, I believe it portion.  The lack of reliance upon anything substantive to support the opinion for which the individual is spouting off is the defining feature of this very persuasive argument.

  5. You really like to bite people…twist their words to fit your understanding. Or is it my imagination?

    That’s a tautological statement. I don’t have to twist your words to understand them the way I do. You have to articulate yourself that way, though.

    As a reminder, you asked a number of loaded questions, which I answered. In return, I asked you a very specific question, with emphasis added on ‘you’. I consider your reply a cop-out and I called you on it.

    I was not aware that I had to come up with the miracle peace plan for that conflict in order to be able to share my thoughts.

    Another cop-out. It’s been obvious from the time you jumped in that this is a contentious topic. If you intended nothing more than to speak your mind, you should have said so from the get-go and then left well enough alone. Instead, you came back for more, solicited answers to loaded questions, but when your own opinions come under fire, you retreat into “but I’m just sharing my thoughts.”

    As far as personal engagement I do what I can.

    I’ll leave that one alone.

      Tell the Jews it’s all their fault?

    That’s your comment somewhere above. And you say I shoot off my mouth.

    It’s a provocative counter-question to a provocative question and not my stated opinion. If you wish to accuse me for shooting off my mouth, find a better example than quoting me completely out of context.

    So, how do you answer your own questions? As a reminder:

    Please explain to me WHY jews are often hated.

    Also, while you are at it you could explain WHY some palestinians blow themselves up in Israel’s public places.

    I would also like to know how come there are a lot more deaths on the palestinian side.

    And finally, why is boycotting a product a hate crime.

    Ever heard of jewish food laws…I see it everyday. (What is the point of this, pray tell?)

    So far, you and Serai have nothing more substantive to offer than “Israel is wrong” and “you are wrong” and “Woe be me! I can’t criticize Israel with impunity.”

  6. Well if we were going on Godwin’s law then I think you missed this one by geekmom.

    Another revealing slip here, Serai:  Judaism isn’t a race.  Unless, of course, you’re a N*** … well, let’s not go there.

    Guess it wasn’t me that lost after all, then again to lose would imply there was something to gain.

  7. elwedriddsche,

    I seem to understand that you work for a bulldozer company somewhere and you might lose your job because of what’s happening in the world right now.
    It’s bad really.

    I want you to know that although you sound like a bully, I have changed my mind and that I am now a 100 percent behind you.

    Thank you

    You can call me names now.

  8. Well if we were going on Godwin’s law then I think you missed this one by geekmom.

    I did, but I haven’t missed this:

    Serai: World war two was over 50 years ago, get over it now please and move on, Jews are not the victims anymore!

    You win the prize for being first to unprovokedly drag WWII, the Nazis, and the Holocaust into the fray and I guess it was you who lost the debate, after all. Not that it needed Godwin’s Law.

  9. elwed nobody ‘won’ anything, you just don’t get it do you? We were debating a matter of opinion, your opinion was that I am anti semitic, my opinion was that I am not. Seriously you need to try not to focus on winning all the time, not everything is a competition you know? Let me state it a little more clearly for you, in matters of opinion you cannot ‘win’ unless the other party concedes and accepts your viewpoint, and the day I accept the label of anti semitic is far removed from this particular reality. You can only ‘win’ if I concede you have a point, and that I accept I have jew issues and need to adjust my thinking, not going to happen sorry.

    Now then any more straws to clutch at before I log off and do something meaningful, I am sure you have a burning need to have the last word, so be my guest…

  10. Serge, I call you a coward for not answering your own questions.

    I would love to answer my own questions in a discussion with you and others. We should do that. I am sure it would be a delicate but very interesting discussion. Believe me I have a lot to say on the subject. And I’m sure I’d learn some more.
    Maybe I’ll submit something to Les or maybe you can, it doesn’t matter who starts it. Hopefuly we will understand ourselves better.

  11. I’m a little surprised at the heat behind the replies that this entry has generated. Clearly this is a very, very sensitive issue, and this is not surprising now that I think about it. It’s just that, prior to reading these comments, I really had not been exposed to contentious views regarding the Israel/Palestine conflicts. I have a friend, Nick, who is devoutly Jewish, yet I rarely hear him allude to Israel, and when he does, I usually detect criticism in his tone.

    Also, John’s grandparents were Hungarian Jews, and while John is very proud of his Jewish heritage, he is not pro-Israel (he’s not necessarily anti-Israel, either) and I have not seen much that would indicate that his mother (who was brought up in a Jewish household) is, either.

    I bring up these examples not to negate the very real fact that for many Jewish people being pro-Israel is a core value in their faith, but to share with you the fact that I have had little exposure to this debate and what little exposure I have had has typically been one-sided and not particularly deep.

    Consigliere:

    Serai is a pagan, so I guess, although I don’t know, she must be her own godhead, thus lacking the need for the God said it, I believe it portion.  The lack of reliance upon anything substantive to support the opinion for which the individual is spouting off is the defining feature of this very persuasive argument.

    Serai’s words have nothing to do with her religious beliefs. Truth be told, at this point I’m beginning to think that her comments on this thread betray some of the core tenets of Paganism (namely compassion and tolerance, as Geekmom previously stated). Forgive me if I am being overly sensitive or if you were being facetious and/or ironic with your message. wink

  12. Serge:

    I would be interested in reading your submission should you choose to submit one for Les’s consideration for posting.

    Sexy:

    I know. The lack of any substance to support most of Serai’s opinions is what I was pointing out.  That same lack of substance is often found when discussing evolution with an anti-evolutionists. Many readers are familiar with such tactics in that context.  I just wanted to connect the dots for the readers when they got that feeling of deja vu while reading Serai’s remarks wherein she offers nothing but opinion, or alternatively just makes shit up as she goes along.

    Not everything Serai said was stated as opinion, and as to some of her opinions, they have been shown to be demonstrably wrong. 

    Examples below:

    1) Jews are not the victims anymore (presumably since they aren’t being burned in concentration camps, anything short of ash filled skies, well Jews should just suck it up)

    2) Although since qualified to not all Jews, she initially insinuated that Jews play the race card EVERY time someone disagrees with them.

    3) Faulty analogies to both witch burning and a scotsman were made, when neither exist today, and Jews are still being killed by others today.

    4) She won’t stand up for Jews because she doesn’t think for an instant that there is any real persecution of Jews that is happening.  Demonstrably wrong.

    5) Has failed to give even the typical anectodotal evidence of Jews playing the victim, but continues to reference us to her right to hold this opinion.

    6) Noted that there were only a handful of abuse incidents in England.  When her ignorance about the situation as it actually exists where she lives was presented to her, she maintains a willful ignorance and has not retracted the handful remark.

    7) Minor point, but a bit of looking before speaking (a suggestion that would have headed the whole discussion off at the pass had it been followed) would have revealed that Elwed is not an American by birth.

    8) When confronted with evidence to the following regarding the above, falls back on:  I’m entitled to my opinion and you can’t convince me otherwise.

  13. Consigliere,
    I’m happy you are interested in talking about this but if you are going to give me the same treatment you are giving Serai now …well… forget it. I’m not going to kill myself researching every possibility of interpretation of every one of my words. And on top of that I have to worry about the language barrier.
    My english is alright. It’s more the limited choice of words that bothers me.

    So if I write this thing…be nice.

  14. Consigliere, I agree. It is becoming increasinly clear from every subsequent post by Serai that she is not helping her case, whatever it may be.

    Serai, no one is asking you to reverse your opinion regarding the state of Israel. No one is asking you to agree with Elwed, Geekmom, Consigliere, or anyone else. Hell, no one is even asking you to like Jewish people.

    At the same time, you have made some pretty strong statements in this thread and have gotten extremely defensive and even resorted to ad hominem attacks when someone has called you on it. You have every right to your opinion and every right to state it, but you also need to recognize that when you put something out as strongly as you did, others may misinterpret your meaning and take you to task on it.

    Please understand that I am not accusing you of being the only one in this thread who has resorted to ad hominem attacks, as that is plainly not true; I’m just asking if you can understand why other posters here may have reacted as strongly to your words as they have.

  15. Serai, i sympathise with you!!! I get the same all the time!!! If you disagree with isreali policy or criticize anything to do with jews then you are automatically branded anti semite, anti isreal. At the moment it seems you are being driven to take back your opinions but you should stand your ground and not let these people bully you or make you feel guilty for having an opinion which deosn’t match their version of the holy truth.

  16. facts on the ground, anit-semitsm, nazi, these are some of the things zionists call anyone who questions them, america is NOT run by us, it is run by jews, jews call it donations, when it is bribes, morals have been traded with money.

    let me ask everyone here a question, how would the middle east be now if there was no israel? we americans lost our country to an immoral racist fascist zionist regime, 9/11 was done by the zionists, even their current leader said not long ago and i quote ” 9/11 was the best thing that ever happened for israel”, why people? because it legitimised the killing of innocents in gaza and anywhere else, and here’s something else for all to think about, israel has a “divide and conquer” policy, divide us christians and them muslims, make them kill each other, i mean, you don’t see israel fighting along side us americans do you?.

    while we live in misery, israel takes billions off us in “donations”, why do we suffer for a racist state, why?.

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