If I was Stephen Sizer, Christian Antizionist – James Mendelsohn

James Mendelsohn

James Mendelsohn

If Melanie Phillips wrote an article which accused me of hoping that would Israel would disappear and of giving interviews to, endorsing or forwarding material from American white supremacists and Holocaust deniers, I guess there are a number of things I could do.

Firstly, I could try to deny its factual accuracy. I could say that I categorically reject any position that threatens Israeli sovereignty. That might be tricky, though, because when I was in Iran not so long ago, I reportedly said this:

“Asked to comment on the United Nations requirement to repatriate the Palestinian refugees to their homeland, he said that repatriation of Palestinians to their own territory will be effective in retaking their own country, because, when the Palestinian refugees come to their home, they will form majority of the population and would form a multi-ethnic state including Jews, Muslims and Christians.”

[UPDATE: Stephen Sizer now claims that this report misquotes what he said]

I could also insist that I “have never knowingly, to use [Melanie Phillips’] words, ‘given interviews to, endorsed or forwarded material from American white supremacists and Holocaust deniers’.” That would leave someone needing to explain the existence of various emails apparently sent out by me, including:

As for the radio interview, that would leave me and my publisher with a bit of explaining to do as well.

Next, I could slip into one of my old favourites, “the Livingstone Formulation“. Not for the first nor even for the second time, I could suggest that someone is raising the spectre of antisemitism in an dishonest effort to stifle legitimate criticism of Israeli policies – specifically, I could write this:

“Is [Melanie Phillips' piece aiming] to deflect attention from Israel’s recent wanton killing spree in Gaza? Or was it written out of frustration at the decision of the Church of England Synod to divest its shares in Caterpillar? Or just part of the wider Zionist lobby targetting Barak Obama’s new Administration? Or is it perhaps a precursor to an imminent pre-emptive attack against Iran? Lets hope not otherwise it won’t be the libel or calumny we are debating but whether her friends who seem anxious for Armageddon are right after all.”

It would seemingly not concern me that repeatedly accusing Jewish people of raising the spectre of antisemitism as a dishonest ploy to stifle criticism of Israel’s policies might in itself be an antisemitic claim (because it implies that the [usually] Jewish people who do it are dishonest), nor that they might be doing so because, in light of those emails which seem to have left my outbox (not to mention my subtle insinuation of Israeli complicity in 9/11 or my repeated use of dubious sources), they might in fact have good reasons for doubting my philosemitic credentials.

Stephen Sizer

Stephen Sizer

Thirdly, I could lapse into conspiracy theory, suggesting [as above] that Melanie Phillips’ piece is part of the wider plans of the wicked Zionist lobby working on both sides of the Atlantic to target Obama’s administration, to instigate a pre-emptive attack against Iran, and to discredit Chas Freeman (and me). Again, it would seemingly not overly concern me that the myth of an all-powerful Zionist lobby controlling American policy is just that – a myth. And, like the Independent, I might find it difficult to convince people that I really do emphasize the difference between the “Zionist lobby” and the older antisemitic trope of a “Jewish lobby”, because in the past I have specifically written that Dole & Clinton were cowed by the “Jewish Lobby”. It would of course help me to gush over the work of Mearsheimer and Walt (which I refer to as “dynamite”), even though numerous commentators have challenged its claims, notably Alan Dershowitz who pinpoints numerous factual errors and who summarises it as “the newest – and oldest – Jewish conspiracy”. Too bad that Dennis MacShane, someone who knows a bit more about government than me and whose work I have promoted on my own blog, (because I do really want people to believe that I condemn antisemitism) strongly criticises the work of Mearsheimer and Walt, summarising it as “smears against Jews”, concluding with the telling comment that “Jews, Israel and the fabled ‘lobby’ did not exist in any papers I saw or discussions I had as a government minister.” (MacShane, Globalising Hatred – The New Antisemitism, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2008, pp. 137-138)

Fourthly, I could encourage my hearers to combat racism: I could urge them to “Support the United Nations Durban Review Conference to be held in Geneva in April. The Durban Review Conference, to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, 20-24 April 2009, will evaluate progress towards the goals set by the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa, in 2001. The Review Conference will serve as a catalyst to fulfilling the promises of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action agreed at the 2001 World Conference through reinvigorated actions, initiatives and practical solutions, illuminating the way toward equality for every individual and group in all regions and countries of the world.” It would seemingly not occur to me, and certainly not to my hearers, that the Durban 2001 conference turned into a cesspit of antisemitism (sorry! – “legitimate criticism of the policies of the Israeli government”), nor that numerous observers, including veteran anti-apartheid campaigner Benjamin Pogrund, consider that the 2009 conference will be little better, nor of course that one of the goals set in 2001 (point 65 of the Durban and Declaration and Programme of Action) was this: “We recognize the right of refugees to return voluntarily to their homes and properties in dignity and safety, and urge all States to facilitate such return”. Would that be a call for the Palestinian right of return, long recognized as a euphemism for Israel’s destruction?

Finally, I could quote from the Bible. In critiquing statements
allegedly made by Israeli military rabbis [which, if accurately reported, this writer would also condemn], I could ask this question:

“One has to ask which rabbinate? Perhaps the one the Apostle John refers to in the Book of Revelation [as a “synagogue of Satan”] 2:9-10, 3:9?”

This would be ironic, seeing as I devote a lot of my time to criticising those who see the Bible as predicting events in the modern-day Middle East. It would also be a bit silly, seeing as the people referred to in those passages were based in first-century Smyrna and Philadelphia respectively. It would also be tricky because both groups apparently “claim[ed] they were Jews but [were] not” – suggesting they may in fact have been Gentiles claiming to be Jews (something which has parallels in later history) – but who ever heard of a non-Jewish Israeli rabbi? It could also be a PR disaster for me, because a simple Google search shows how that phrase in Revelation has been and still is misused by antisemites today, whilst one of the leading works on left-wing anti-Semitism shows how the trope of Satanic or Satan-worshipping Jews has a long and inglorious history.

If I did all this, would you be convinced that I took antisemitism seriously? Or would you begin to wonder whether my particular brand of Christian anti-Zionism was in fact morphing into something else?

James Mendelsohn

73 Responses to “If I was Stephen Sizer, Christian Antizionist – James Mendelsohn”

  1. Cath Says:

    A great piece.
    But I think you will find the official Church response to all this
    (and I have it on good authority)- is that Stephen Sizer has given a “reasoned response” to Melanie P. and all other antisemitic concerns raised elsewhere.

  2. Mira Vogel Says:

    Wow, that piece is a real resource on Sizer, James. Nice one.

  3. zkharya Says:

    very good piece, James.

  4. How to prove you’re not antisemitic « Seismic Shock Says:

    [...] 22, 2009 · No Comments Engage, the anti-racist campaign against antisemitism, examines Stephen Sizer’s response to Melanie [...]

  5. BrianG Says:

    Terrific article James

    Sizer cannot explain away what ia already on the resord, like this:

    The podcast of the ‘Unbelievable’ radio programme from 6 December – where Sizer debates with Geoffrey Smith of Christian Friends of Israel – is here:

    http://ondemand.premier.org.uk/unbelievable/AudioFeed.aspx

    At 21:20 minutes into the programme, Sizer says “Zionism is a form of racism”

    At 47:31 Sizer says “Israel has never declared what its borders are, so how can it be recognised?”

    At 1:14:30 Sizer says “My concern is with so-called Christian Zionist organisations that … equate the Gospel with helping Jews .. without telling them about the Cross … my concern is with those so-called Christian organisations that do not engage in Evangelism, that do not share Jesus with Jewish people: that’s antisemitism”

    So according to Sizer, it’s antisemitic NOT to try to convert Jews to Christianity …

    Memo to Rowan Williams: how can this be tolerated in the C of E?

    Memo to Council of Christians and Jews: Your silence is deafening

  6. Stephen Sizer Says:

    Hi James,

    The parallels between your writing style and that of the anonymous blogger, we both know so well, are remarkable.

    For the record, I never said the words “I reportedly said” which you quote from an Arabic news source. They have as much interest in putting a spin on my views as you seem to.

    The inalienable ‘right of return’ for Palestinians must be addressed according to international law but the security and viability of Israel is also fundamental. Sadly, the new Israeli coalition includes those committed to deporting Arab Israelis as well as depopulating the Occupied Territories.

    I am interested in the motives you and your colleagues have for reading so carefully the many years worth of my articles, sermons and books, in trawling the internet for any bit of dirt you can stick on me and then pronouncing so confidently as judge and jury. You think the worst of my motives and views. Do you really enjoy doing this? I suggest you read C.S. Lewis on why he would not write a sequel to the Screwtape Letters. Do you think it honours the name of the Christ we both serve? Do you think our Heavenly Father is pleased? Does it further the sake of the gospel? Why on earth would anyone leave a message on your blog “Wow, that peace is a real resource on Sizer… nice one” Resource for what?

    Dialoguing with you or citing you doesn’t make me a Zionist. You are quite wrong and mischievous in interpreting my motives and views, not least my concern for Jewish people. I deny most emphatically your insinuation that I do not care about their legitimate concerns over the rise of antisemtism. I am working to defeat it. I share with you a total disdain for racism when Jewish people are targetted – but unlike you, it seems, I also oppose it when Arabs and Palestinians suffer.

    What you and your friends seem oblivious to is the fact that antisemitism sadly, is in part, linked to Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians – not least in Gaza.

    Please know that I take your writings as seriously as you appear to do mine.

    Last Friday, in fact, for the fourth time in recent months, I had a meeting with CID officers and they confirmed that they regard these attacks against me as harassment. They also confirmed that in their detailed investigation I have committed no criminal offence. Indeed they asked me to help advise them in similar cases, as have officers from the Metropolitan police monitoring religious groups promoting religious extremism.

    If you are in London any time I am more than willing to meet but if you would rather write more articles like this, please pray before hand.

  7. BrianG Says:

    My only criticism is the title.

    It says “Christian Antizionist”.

    It should say “Christian Antisemite.”

  8. James Mendelsohn Says:

    Thanks all

    Incidentally I am reliably informed that Stephen Sizer did not in fact say what he is reported as saying in Iran.

  9. seismicshock Says:

    Sixthly: when an article is published about me on the leading website in the UK about fighting contemporary antisemitism I can:

    Ignore the evidence that I sent out antisemitic emails from Holocaust deniers, accuse Jews who think I’m antisemitic of not caring about the Palestinians, portray myself as a victim and martyr rather than admit that over many years I have stirred up bad feelings for Israelis, Zionists, and Christian Zionists (many of whom no doubt feel harrassed and intimidated that I have personally named them in my book), not engage with the arguments being made and refuse to apologise for anything I have said.

  10. James Mendelsohn Says:

    Stephen
    (1) I am not the anonymous blogger
    (2) I am glad you never said the words you are reported as saying
    (3) You have no evidence whatsoever that I do not care about Arabs or Palestinians. For the record, I am opposed to the West Bank settlements and am in favour of a 2-state solution.
    (4) If you really care about antisemitism, (a) why do you consider M & W to be “dynamite” and (b) can you explain where those emails came from? How exactly are they consistent with your claim that you are working to defeat antisemitism?
    (5) For someone who suggests (in your most recent book) that groups such as the Union of Jewish Students are opposed to intellectual freedom, you yourself don’t seem so keen on it either. Firstly you deleted all comments from your own blog, now you seem to be threatening police action against those who disagree with you. Why do you use such bully-boy tactics against those who criticise you?

  11. Mavis Says:

    “Dialoguing with you or citing you doesn’t make me a Zionist.”

    The difference is of course, Stephen, that you don’t cite Zionist sources except when to criticise them, scruitise them or demonise them, whereas you will cite antisemites and Holocaust deniers to support your own position.

  12. David Says:

    Stephen, it’s very clear that you have some serious explaining to do regarding your relationship with the notorious antisemite and Holocaust denier who goes by the nym “Israel Shamir.” Your complete dodging of the question does you absolutely no credit.

  13. zkharya Says:

    Zionism for Stephen Sizer is what Judaism was for the early church fathers: the Synagogue of Satan.

    New Bottles, Old Wine.

  14. zkharya Says:

    The hypocrisy of Sizer is that he claims to be an evangelical, and thus faithful to the oldest church tradition.

    But the New Testament and Church Fathers all assume the Jews are a nation dispossessed or to be dispossessed for their rejection of Jesus and the prophets. Ethnic cleansing for Jews was seen as entirely just, appropriate and necessary for the vindication of the Christian faith.

    How different Sizer’s attitude to Palestinian Christian and Muslim dispossession.

    If he were truly Christian and sought true Christian justice, he would acknowledge an equivalence between both dispossessions, and that both necessitate a degree of (if not absolute) justice, restoration and return, and the right to national self determination in their historical homelands.

    But Sizer has never done that. He has always harped on the inherent evil of Zionism, and overlooked both traditional Palestinian Christian as well as Muslim discrimination against and abuse of Jews, their traditional view of Jews as a people dispossessed and displaced to the exaltation of both Christians and Muslims, and their attempted completer exclusion of Jews from the end of the 19th century and beginning of mass Jewish return.

    He harps on about Palestinian and Israeli Jewish ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Christians and Muslims, but completely overlooks Palestinian and other Arab national threats to ethnically cleanse Palestinian or Israeli Jews, or worse. He harps on Israeli Jewish discrimination, abuse or racism towards Palestinian or other Arab Christians and Muslims, but completely overlooks theirs towards Israeli and other Jews.

    What kind of Christian justice is that? There is no justice or fairness about it. It is a form of Christian nationalism or tribalism.

  15. zkharya Says:

    Having said that

    “the security and viability of Israel is also fundamental.”

    is the closest I have ever read Sizer saying that there is a modicum of justice to Zionism, and some kind of equivalence between Jewish and Palestinian Christian and Muslim national claims.

    It’s not enough, and Sizer has a long way to go in his Christian journey.

    But it is a start.

  16. zkharya Says:

    “I suggest you read C.S. Lewis on why he would not write a sequel to the Screwtape Letters. Do you think it honours the name of the Christ we both serve? Do you think our Heavenly Father is pleased? Does it further the sake of the gospel? Why on earth would anyone leave a message on your blog “Wow, that peace is a real resource on Sizer… nice one” Resource for what?”

    Sizer is saying Mendelsohn is a Christian traitor, working for satan (hence the reference to the diabolical author of the Screwtape letters), a Judas, in fact.

    Sizer does not know what Christian justice is. But he does sound like a recapitulation of some of the more vicious church fathers with regard to Jews, though now with regard to “Zionists”.

  17. Joshua Says:

    “What you and your friends seem oblivious to is the fact that antisemitism sadly, is in part, linked to Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians – not least in Gaza.”

    That’s the second time today I’ve heard something like that:

    Study: 14% of German teens say Jews deserved Holocaust

    http://tinyurl.com/djhlww

    Despite the fact that Christianity was in large part to blame for the genocide of European Jewry, I wouldn’t dream of blaming all Christians for this. Nor would I think of blaming all Chinese for Tibet, all Brits for Serbia, Afghanistan and Iraq, or all Muslims for 9/11, 7/7 and the Passover Massacre. The only people to blame for bigotry are the bigots themselves. Surely, you of all people, aware as you must be of Christianity’s long and terrible history of Jew-hatred, must realise this.

  18. zkharya Says:

    BTW, James, I do not think it is a case of Sizer’s anti-Zionism’s morphing into antisemitism. It is a case of Sizer’s anti-Zionism’ being, to use an Irenaean theological term, a recapitulation of traditional Christian anti-Judaism.

    Traditional Christian anti-Judaism held the Jews to be a nation dispossessed for their sins, and that was how they were to substantially remain.

    In that sense it has always been anti-Zionist.

    The trouble is then that some modern anti-Zionists say the belief that Jews are a nation dispossessed is itself a form of Zionism, which would mean tradition Christian anti-Jewish anti-Zionism was itself a form of Zionism!

    But Sizer is not a modern: he is an evangelical. If believes in the incarnation and the eternal validity of the gospel and New Testament (and, in fact, the church fathers, since they in no small part are responsible for the Christianity to which Sizer as an evangelical adheres), he cannot in good faith ignore that, from the beginnings of the Christian tradition (which, again, in no small part constitutes Christianity itself), Jews are regarded not only as a national group, they are regarded as a national group dispossessed or to be dispossessed for their rejection of Jesus and the prophets.

    By the criteria of some post-Enlightenment, secular post-Christian and post-Islamic anti-Zionists, this would mean that Christianity itself was, ab initio, Zionist.

    Any Christian theologian worth their salt has to attempt to bridge this gap. And saying a Jewish right of national self-determination, restoration and return is fundamenally non-existent (never mind saying its implementation if evil, or the Synagogue of Satan), but that of Palestinian Christians and Muslims fundamentally if not exclusively legitimate, has failed to reconcile Christian antiquity with modernity.

    It is a failure of moral and intellectual imagination.

    Further, given the accomodation with regressive Islamic and Islamicist antisemitism that Sizer has made to spread his anti-Zionist gospel, never mind his silence on other Iranian and other Islamic abuses of (Christian, as well as Jewish) human rights, means his courage to preach the good news to any but Jews or Christians sympathetic to Israel or Zionism is seriously compromised.

    Remember, Sizer has even clashed with Jews for Jesus, and other Jewish Christian groups, the very evangelical bodies most successful in the conversion of Jews.

    But, then, the church fathers for the most part did not believe that Jews could practise any kind of Judaism and be Christian believers either.

    Sizer is a real atavistic throw back to darker, less tolerant times. Which is why, no doubt, he was so at home in Iran. And he is the strangest evangelical of which I have heard.

  19. zkharya Says:

    “What you and your friends seem oblivious to is the fact that antisemitism sadly, is in part, linked to Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians – not least in Gaza.”

    Yes. That is why the Arab Islamic world effectively ethnically cleansed itself of most of its non- or anti-Zionist Arab Jews (and continues to purge itself of Arab Christians -about which Sizer is also conspicuously silent).

    Arab Muslims are moral infants. Only Jews are moral adults and should be held to account for their (and others’) actions.

    Palestinian Christians and Muslims played no part in their own downfall. An opinion at odds with the traditional Christian view that Jews were entirely responsible for their own dispossession.

    What kind of Christian morality is this?

    It is not morality: it is nationalism.

  20. Saul Says:

    “I am interested in the motives you and your colleagues have for reading so carefully the many years worth of my articles, sermons and books, in trawling the internet for any bit of dirt you can stick on me and then pronouncing so confidently as judge and jury. You think the worst of my motives and views”

    Interesting, of course, that Sizer does not deny the links, comments, Mendleson quotes, but merely raises the “the how dare you read what I write and then tell others what I have written” defence!!

    It truly beggars belief.

  21. Aslan Says:

    “Last Friday, in fact, for the fourth time in recent months, I had a meeting with CID officers and they confirmed that they regard these attacks against me as harassment. They also confirmed that in their detailed investigation I have committed no criminal offence. Indeed they asked me to help advise them in similar cases, as have officers from the Metropolitan police monitoring religious groups promoting religious extremism.”

    Here is Sizer seeking to stifle open debate about his controvertial views. I guess he has spent so much time as a guest in dictatorial countries that he confuses their laws on freedom of speech with ours!

  22. Mark Gardner Says:

    James, splendid article.

    (Stephen Sizer – that’s splendid as in an unusually useful contribution to the understanding of contemporary antisemitism from Christian Evangelical anti-Zionists; the sort of people who say things like “those so-called Christian organisations that do not engage in Evangelism, that do not share Jesus with Jewish people: that’s antisemitism”.

    Perhaps you could clarify the theology for me. Does that mean Jews who don’t convert to Christianity are essentially to blame for all else that happens to them on this earthly plane? Or is it only the Hell bit that we ought to be worrying about?

    I mean, what is the actual antisemitic cost of not being brought to Jesus? Wouldn’t it just be easier if Israeli Jews perhaps converted to Islam? Its not like Christian states in the Holy Land have a great track record. And as for Diaspora Jews, well, we could do that on a case by case basis.)

  23. Cath Says:

    “Do you think it honours the name of the Christ we both serve? Do you think our Heavenly Father is pleased? Does it further the sake of the gospel?”

    Stephen there is no honour to Christ by posting emails by Ted Pike and Hoffman – read the content of them and acknowledge what they are rooted in (hostility to Jews).
    I asked my 16yrs old son to watch a Ted Pike on youtube and comment ( to get an objective observation), he said that the person blamed the Jews for all of Russian communism.He noticed this hostility in minutes and he is 16yrs old atheist, did anyone on that Christian J&P Network object or react?
    Because they are not criminally offensive says nothing about them- they are offensive in attitude, divisive and hostile, that should be relevant and objectionable to any Christian ( especially one wearing a dog-collar).
    The hierarchy should realise the importance of acknowledging this and suggest making ammends, reparations and apologies- not mounting a defense of the indefensible- postings, citings, email contacts and admirers who are openly antisemitic though not criminally so.

  24. Mavis Says:

    This is a pretty sad and familiar tactic of Rev Sizer – leave a comment on a blog and then not answer any of the points raised by people in the comments section, respond to criticism in a shallow and superficial manner which fails to actually address any of the specific claims of the author, accuse the author of hysteria and/or Zionism, write a quick blog post about antisemitism so that anyone who stumbles across your blog having read the negative article will think “Wow what a nice guy,” then 5 minutes later claim it’s all a big Jewish conspiracy again. Repeat ad nauseum.

  25. zkharya Says:

    “those so-called Christian organisations that do not engage in Evangelism, that do not share Jesus with Jewish people: that’s antisemitism”

    What is the cost to evangelical Christians, in this life, or the next, for failing to tell Iranian Shi’a Muslims that the Jesus they revere is not the true son of g-d, who, surely, would abore the stoning of adulterers that is executed in his name?

    After all, there is no danger to life or limb if you say “Zionists are the synagogue of satan” in this country, while in Iran it is a positive virtue.

    But trying to convert a Muslim from Islam to Christianity, isn’t that strictly a capital offence there? What are the odd’s of Sizer’s martyrdom?

    Or does asking that question constitute abuse for which one might need recourse to the law or police?

    “What you and your friends seem oblivious to is the fact that antisemitism sadly, is in part, linked to Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians – not least in Gaza.”

    Hmm, odd. For 2000 years Christians surely not entirely unlike Stephen Sizer have been saying Jews constituted the synagogue of satan, long before a restored Jewish state of Israel existed.

    In fact, the notion that Jews were the (Palestinian) ethnic incarnation of evil resulted during the 19th and 20th centuries in most European, North African and Asian Jews’ being either murdered or effectively driven out, before 1914 mostly to America, after 1914 mostly to Palestine or what became Israel.

    In other words, Jews’ being regarded as the synagogue of satan is in no small part why Israel is the second or largest Jewish community in the world today.

    Why should one be surprised that, for the likes of Stephen Sizer, the Jewish state of Israel also/still constitutes the synagogue of satan?

    At least, as a traditional evangelical, Sizer is nothing if not consistent in his anti-Judaism.

  26. Mark Gardner Says:

    Stephen Sizer – you have a lot of potential converts here. Come on, give us the sales pitch. Or are you going to be antisemitic and not invite us to the party?

    (“those so-called Christian organisations that do not engage in Evangelism, that do not share Jesus with Jewish people: that’s antisemitism”)

  27. seismicshock Says:

    In his above comment, attempting to quote Mira Vogel, Stephen Sizer mis-spells “piece” as “peace”:

    “Why on earth would anyone leave a message on your blog “Wow, that peace is a real resource on Sizer… nice one” Resource for what?”

    This is deliciously ironic, given that Rev Sizer has previously written:
    http://www.e-n.org.uk/223-Where-to-find-Christ-in-the-Promised-Land.htm

    “That peace [for Jews and Palestinians] seems less likely to come humanly in the near future as a result of the recent elections, because a majority of Israelis spell it ‘piece’ and think they can hang on to it by force of arms.”

  28. zkharya Says:

    Sizer’s been reading this blog and has since added this below to his last post. To be fair, it seems from late 2008 at least he has been openly advocating a 2 state solution, nor even calling for the dissolution of the Jewish state (see statements appended further below). He still asserts “the inherent racism of Zionism” while subjecting Palestinian Christian and Muslim nationalism to no such critique but, still, Sizer may have changed of late.

    Characterizing Christian sympathy with Zionism as heresy is a pretty vicious (but oh-so-patristic) thing to do. He sounds like the church fathers (pretty much all of them) who characterized Christian “Judaizers” as heretics, which motif he recapitulates exactly, except “Zionism” for “Judaizing”.

    Sizer may say one thing on hand but another on the other.

    Anyhow:

    “Some Christian Zionists take a conciliatory line and in our dialogues we have found a broad measure of agreement theologically as well as politically – see for example constructive dialogues with Tony Higton, Joel Richardson and David Pawson.

    (first time an implication that Christian Zionism may in some circumstances be acceptable -Zkharya)

    See here for an annotated bibliography on Christian Zionism and also on Judaism and Zionism. In the latter I stated,

    “Whether they welcome it is another matter, but I endorse those ministries committed to presenting the good news of Jesus Christ to Jewish people, defending the existence of a safe homeland for the Jewish people, combating anti-Semitism and enhancing the understanding of the Gentile church as to our Jewish origins.”

    See here for a full rebuttal to Melanie Phillips’ libellous article in the Spectator, the subsequent letters published and the critical response from Guy Wilkinson on behalf of the Church of England also published by the Spectator.

    I have never said that I wish Israel, in her words, “to be destroyed” or to “disappear just as did the apartheid regime in South Africa.” I have never believed this and categorically reject any position that threatens the integrity of Israel as a sovereign nation.

    On the contrary I have repeatedly stated in writing (for example here, here and here) that I wish to see a safe and secure Israel with internationally recognised borders, alongside a sovereign, viable, independent Palestine.”

    http://stephensizer.blogspot.com/

    This is a taste of what he said at a school debate:

    “I outlined what appear to be the three options for the way forward.

    Like a child with his hand stuck in a sweet jar, Israel wants three but can only have two.

    Option 1: The One State Solution
    Israel can annexe the Occupied Territories and give all Palestinians equal rights with Jewish Israelis but it would have to amend its constitution and cease being a Zionist State (its important to distinguish between Judaism which is a religion and Zionism which is a political system – the two are not synonymous). That is not going to happen in the short term but its possible in the long term that by mutual agreement some kind of ‘federation’ may emerge between Israel, Palestine and Jordan, for example, of the kind that has occured in the European Community.

    Option 2: The Two State Solution
    Israel can remain a Zionist State and a democracy but to enjoy both it must give up the aspirations of Eretz Israel – the ‘greater’ Israel and withdraw from the Golan Heights, Gaza and the West Bank to the internationally recognised borders (The 1949 Armistice line, aka the green Line assumed in UN Resolution 242). This is the position favoured by the international community as expressed in the Roadmap for Peace, Annapolis Agreement and latest Quartet Statement and UN Resolution 1850.

    Option 3: The No State Solution
    Israel can remain a Zionist state and annexe and settle more land in the Occupied Territories and Golan. To do so, however, it must also continue to control the lives of Palestinians by military force. This is the option favoured by many within Netanyahu’s Likud party, who have a good chance of winning the elections in February (Netanyahu, for example opposed the withdrawal from Gaza). Livni, his main opponent has also indicated that she believes the national aspirations of Israeli Arabs lies in a Palestinian homeland, not Israel. But accepting or justifying the present status quo is incompatable with being a Western-styled democracy, something Jimmy Carter has warned of.”

    http://www.stephensizer.com/2008/12/royal-grammar-school-guildford-debates-the-arab-israeli-conflict/

    (note nothing about Palestinian Christian and Muslim national attempts to totally exclude Jews, or worse, from the beginning of their movement -hardly an even-handed application of Christian values).

    This is what he writes to a Jewish Christian:

    “Zionism is a political system. These three are not synonymous. I respect Judaism, repudiate anti-Semitism, encourage interfaith dialogue and defend Israel’s right to exist within borders recognised by the international community and agreed with her neighbours. But like many Jews, I disagree with a political system which gives preference to expatriate Jews born elsewhere in the world, while denying the same rights to the Arab Palestinians born in the country itself.”

    http://www.stephensizer.com/2008/11/an-open-letter-to-mordechai-ben-emet/

    This chimes strangely with:

    “Canon Ateek shows compellingly that one cannot divorce religion from politics. Both are he insists “deeply intertwined” ”

    http://www.stephensizer.com/2009/02/a-palestinian-christian-cry-for-reconciliation-naim-stifan-ateek/

    Sizer says a Jewish national liberation movement is separate from Judaism, while Ateek openly says Palestinian national aspirations are linked with Christianity (and, presumably, Islam since Palestinian Christians have historically allied with Palestinian Muslims rather than Jews).

    As I have said before, given that Christianity ab initio regarded Jews as a nation dispossessed, it sounds strange from an evangelical that Jewish nationalism or Zionism, the movement to restore Jews to the land of Israel, of which Christianity and Islam, as well as Judaism, held Jews to have been dispossessed, is inherently different or separate from Judaism or religion.

  29. zkharya Says:

    Just to iterate this of Sizer’s, which does suggest he has changed his tune of late (March 2009, actually -so he can hardly blame anyone for assuming otherwise on the basis of his earlier writings):

    “Whether they welcome it is another matter, but I endorse those ministries committed to presenting the good news of Jesus Christ to Jewish people, defending the existence of a safe homeland for the Jewish people, combating anti-Semitism and enhancing the understanding of the Gentile church as to our Jewish origins.”

    http://www.stephensizer.com/2009/03/blessing-the-children-of-abraham-an-annotated-bibliography/

    This looks like a climb down from his earlier essentialising Christian Zionism in its most extreme form, and castigating it as formerly.

    But better late than never.

  30. Saul Says:

    “What you and your friends seem oblivious to is the fact that antisemitism sadly, is in part, linked to Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians – not least in Gaza.”

    ok, the idea that Jews causes antisemitism because of what Israel does or does not do, is now common currency (i.e. Lerman et al – but no less wrong for being repeated ad nauseum, of course). What else is antisemitism linked to for Sizer; their refusal to accept Christ maybe?

    Perhaps the good revered will tell us what the other parts of the cause for antisemitism are? You know the other reasons that that make people link to Holocaust deniers and then for them to claim that in so doing they are wrongly accused of antisemitism?

  31. zkharya Says:

    But Sizer is still decrying the alleged lack of evangelism of Israeli Jews (Christian Jews do do so, but none who subscribe to Sizer’s brand of Christianity):

    “Neglecting or even opposing and forbidding evangelism of Israelis, sometimes believing that Jewish people can experience salvation through Judaism.”

    But this is hypocrisy given that neither Sizer nor Palestinian Christians would DARE evangelize Palestinian (or pretty much any Arab or other) Muslims. Christian Jewish evangelists may be ignored or abused in Israel, but that is nothing compared to what would be the response from Arab or other Muslims.

    And to fall back on “But Muslims also respect Jesus” is no response: the Christian Jesus did not endorse Shari’a law for adulterers, for instance. He is not the Islamic Jesus, and, in this respect, Talmudic legislation is closer to the Christian than Islamic.

    But Sizer knows this, and more. He just knows that in Iran and elswhere it is best to be silent. Jews are a far easier target.

  32. seismicshock Says:

    Fair enough if Rev Sizer was misquoted in Iran.

    But what about when Stephen Sizer told Eileen Fleming how he realised that “Palestine needed to be liberated from the Jews”:

    http://seismicshock.blogspot.com/2008/09/stephen-sizer-what-i-learned-was-that.html

    Is this antisemitic?

  33. zkharya Says:

    “I was confused about the theology I had learned. The church in Palestine was telling me something very different and what I learned was that Palestine needed to be liberated from the Jews!”

    Well, I think Sizer is still confused, and inconsistent, in his stance towards all parties. He wrote this in 2007. Maybe he’s changed, and maybe by “Palestine” he means, essentially, Gaza, the West Bank, the Arab parts of east Jerusalem and the Old City. He’s an evangelical, which means he has somehow to juxtapose and rreconcile ancient and modern. At least he cannot dispute that Jews are in some sense an historically displaced and dispossessed people, and that their dispossession, unlike that of Palestinian Christians and Muslims, has been regarded by “right Christians” (as Sizer calls them) as their thoroughly just deserts. He is logically circumscribed by his own narrative and tradition, nor can he evade it without substantially damaging his position.

  34. Susan Says:

    “Sizer says “My concern is with so-called Christian Zionist organisations that … equate the Gospel with helping Jews .. without telling them about the Cross … my concern is with those so-called Christian organisations that do not engage in Evangelism, that do not share Jesus with Jewish people: that’s antisemitism””

    Evangelical Christians believe that the Second Coming cannot happen unless the Jews in Israel convert to Christianity. That is why they support Israel. It is an odd form of Zionism to want a Jewish state with no Jews in it.

    You cannot be Jewish and accept Jesus as your savior. If Stepen Sizer gained his wish and all Jews converted to Christianity, we would have a Judenrein planet. Yet, it is Zionists Sizer calls Zionism racism, but I call what he is attempting to do spiritual genocide.

    There isn’t any such thing as Jewish Christians. These people are deluding themselves.

  35. Susan Says:

    Oops, I meant to say, “yet it is Zionists Sizer calls racist… I didn’t completely erase part of my post.

  36. Aslan Says:

    “There isn’t any such thing as Jewish Christians. These people are deluding themselves.”

    Susan, I assume for the sake of consistency you’d say the same thing about Jewish atheists, Jewish Buddhists along with the growing numbers of Israeli Jewish Satanist?

  37. Joshua Says:

    Followers of Satan?

    Sometimes bigotry wears a dog collar:

    “One has to ask which rabbinate? Perhaps the one the Apostle John refers to in the Book of Revelation 2:9-10, 3:9?” – Stephen Sizer ([a synagogue referred to as a “synagogue of Satan”]
    http://tinyurl.com/ckqyet

    On other occasions, it wears a bow-tie:

    “And you do with me as is written, but remember that I have warned you that Allah will punish you. You are wicked deceivers of the American people. You have sucked their blood. You are not real Jews, those of you that are not real Jews. You are the synagogue of Satan, and you have wrapped your tentacles around the U.S. government, and you are deceiving and sending this nation to hell. But I warn you in the name of Allah, you would be wise to leave me alone. But if you choose to crucify me, know that Allah will crucify you.” — Louis Farrakhan – Saviours’ Day Speech, Chicago, 2/25/96

    http://tinyurl.com/3ey2mt

    “Do you know some of these satanic Jews have taken over BET?… Everything that we built, they have. The mind of Satan now is running the record industry, movie industry and television. And they make us look like we’re the murders; we look like we’re the gangsters, but we’re punk stuff.” — Louis Farrakhan – “Justifiable Homicide: Black Youth in Peril (Part 3)” speech at Mosque Maryam, 11/11/07

    http://tinyurl.com/3ey2mt

  38. Max Says:

    It’s fair to call someone a hypocrite who, despite his or her intelligence, chooses to ignore facts in favour of a fictional narrative. If such a fictional narrative is demonstrably murderous in its intent, is there a special name for the kind of person that hypocrite is?

  39. Uri Golomb Says:

    To Aslan: I am, myself, a Jewish atheist — yet I still find something strange about the notion of a Jewish Christian (or a Christian Jew). I find this actually more paradoxical than the notion a Christian atheist.

    Christian atheists actually exist, even if they don’t necessarily use that label to define themselves. I’ve met several of them while studying in England. They are people who don’t believe in God (according to their own definitions of “believe” and “God”), yet still celebrate Christmas, Easter, etc., and still take the Christian Bible and other symbols and myths drawn from Christianity seriously; they regard them as essential aspects of their cultural heritage, and still believe in (some of) the ideals that they represent. Similarly, an atheist Jew such as myself would go on celebrating Passover, Rosh Hashana, Hanukah, etc. etc.; obviously we don’t observe all the religiously-prescribed rules, as religious Jews do [not that all religious Jews adopt the same customs or even the same beliefs...]. Intead, we celebrate these holidays in a way that’s meaningful to us. If I did *not* celebrate any of these holidays, if I did not regard the Hebrew bible and other major Jewish writings as part of *my* heritage, then I’d have little reason to insist that I’m indeed Jewish (rather than merely “of Jewish descent”).

    Which is why I find the notion of a Christian Jew somewhat confusing. Opting out of the Jewish calendar; celebrating the Christian holidays instead of the Jewish ones; having a cultural-historical heritage that takes Latin or Greek, rather than Hebrew, as a starting-point — I personally find it difficult to understand why people who do all this would then *want* to define themselves as Jewish. Judaism is not just a religion (if it were, I wouldn’t consider myself Jewish); but to be meaningful, Jewish self-definition does involve a shared cultural heritage which emerges, in part, from Jewish religion; and (to my mind) defining oneself as Jewish does seem rather at odds with adopting another religion.

  40. Mira Vogel Says:

    I hope this doesn’t turn into a discussion about Jewish identity… Let people self-define as they wish, as long as they don’t try to impose that identity on other people.

  41. Aslan Says:

    Agree with Mira whole-heartedly

  42. Roger Gordon Says:

    Israel does not allow Palestine to self define.

    What I have read here is not an “open debate”, and feels like serious harrassment of an individual by a multitude.

    People getting off on an irrational “high”. embedding and justifying what they already believe. Not prepared to really listen.

  43. Susan Says:

    It just occurred to me that Sizer talks about “sharing Jesus” with Jews, but Jesus was a Jew.

  44. Saul Says:

    Susan,
    Only on his mother’s side!

    Roger Gordon,
    I’m sorry if you would like a debate with someone who links to Holocaust deniers, who talks about the “power” of an Israel Lobby, etc., but some of us have principles about this sort of thing.

    I am sure if you want a debate about Israel and you do not descend to the gutter of antisemitism, people may well engage with you.

    Alternatively, if you want a serious debate about antisemitism, the same would apply.

    If you want a debate about Israel that is premised on antisemitism, may I suggest you chat with Sizer directly.

  45. Gil Says:

    Roger Gordon, on the contrary. Have you ever been on anti-Zionist websites such as Medialens or Richard Seymour’s Lenin’s Tomb? As one journalist called the people who post there: ‘dittoheads’. With Stalinist (or Leninist) fervour those sites’ moderators rarely allow any dissent and when they do, it is only to trash their views. The posters there feed on each others’ self righteousness in exactly the way you describe.

    Also, you seem to have wasted your opportunity to post a serious post, haven’t you?

  46. Another Observer Says:

    Perhaps Roger Gordon can point to Sizer’s “listening”, to his engagement with Mendelsohn’s points; to either his refutation of the points raised or his justification for making the statements and links he does.

    No doubt, these questions put to both Sizer and Gordon will be interpreted as a “high”, as an attack, as opposed to merely clarification of anodyne statements that “everybody knows”.

  47. zkharya Says:

    Roger Gordon,

    what nonsense: Sizer or any advocate on his behalf can post here any time they please, including you. As for us, why may we not discuss him here?

    “My concern is with so-called Christian Zionist organisations that … equate the Gospel with helping Jews .. without telling them about the Cross … my concern is with those so-called Christian organisations that do not engage in Evangelism, that do not share Jesus with Jewish people: that’s antisemitism”

    Telling Palestinian Muslims about the Christian Jesus, and his cross, does not seem necessary for Sizer’s helping them.

  48. zkharya Says:

    Which means Sizer’s proxy alliance of Palestinian Christians and Muslims against Jews concerning Jesus and the prophets does not substantially reside in a shared gospel: it resides in a common Palestinian and other Christian and Islamic view of Jews as rejectors of Jesus and the prophets i.e. it resides in a common Christian and Islamic anti-Judaism, unsurprizing given that both Christianity and Islam share a common imperial dispossessive narrative with regard to Jews.

  49. Joshua Says:

    “feels like serious harrassment of an individual by a multitude.”

    Given that Sizer has been leading what amounts to a religious jihad against the Jewish state for many years, I am surprised to learn that he is such a delicate little flower.

  50. MMLJ Says:

    Sizer with the weight of a 2000 year old tradition of antisemitism behind him…………and those few who post here are the “multitide”; yeah right!

  51. donas Says:

    Goodness, it certainly sounds like Mr Sizer is threatening Mr Mendelsohn. What with CID officers and stuff! Is he that afraid of scrutiny? What is this? Do we live under communism??? Does he not live in a democracy where ,((especially as Mr Sizer writes a great deal on the subject) your words and essays can be freely commented on and discussed, and opposed. It is very normal to be questioned and equally his right to answer , it is a public forum for goodness sake. It is very wrong for Mr Sizer to threaten such (“pray beforehand” in context is a leading comment too), he has the democratic right to say what he wants as we, that is a great deal of British citizens , do not need to agree with him, and are allowed to say so and explain why (using his own words and quotes too). Fair play in a fair world. And he bunches Mendelsohn in with extremists simply because he dares to challenge his views??? He is fair game in the public domain, especially when Sizer considers himself an expert on such and is continually talking and writing about it. I am appalled, now I am wondering that perhaps I should look closer into what Mr Sizer writes and says, I never bothered before.

  52. zkharya Says:

    “Sizer with the weight of a 2000 year old tradition of antisemitism behind him…………and those few who post here are the “multitide”; yeah right!”

    You have to understand: Sizer is an evangelical. For him the “true” Christians have always been a tiny persecuted minority. For him to perpetuate that belief he has to live in a closely contained bubble: that is how he can write of Christian Zionism, Christian sympathy for Jews and a Jewish restoration as a monster. If you compare it with consistent Christian (and Islamic) anti-Judaism, anti-Zionism and antisemitism, it becomes a very brief, recent thing, that hardly makes up for the past 2000 years, or so.

    It is actually a view of the world that is quite paranoid, that closely resembles the patristic fantasies of Christians as a people threatened by the Jews, even after their temple and city had been destroyed, and they had been killed and driven from the land by the 100s of 1000s.

    The ancient evangelical crowed about Jewish dispossession as vindication of the truth of the gospel. Today he is silent, ignoring the black heart of Christianity, the dispossession upon which it is, in fact, founded. He deludes himself into thinking it is only light, persecuted by the darkness -or as Sizer calls it, “the people of the shadows”.

  53. zkharya Says:

    Here’s how Sizer “shares Jesus” with an American Jewish women who criticizes his evangelism, having written to him that “Zionism is simply the belief that Jews can and should control their destiny”, by appealing to Jews for Jesus:

    “With help from a Messianic friend I responded:

    Dear Susan, You are absolutely right! It would be impertinent for me, an ignorant goy, to share Jesus with Jewish people, when he is already Jewish, and Jewish people who believe in him (Messianic Jews) are simply discovering that one of the greatest Jewish teachers is also the Messiah. However, since I have been blessed with this wonderful discovery, and I am not even Jewish, how could I not want to share this good news with everyone I meet. Wouldn’t it be antisemitic to deny Jewish people the opportunity to find out about their Messiah? So shall we forget for a moment the easily made allegations of antisemitism, and talk seriously about who Yeshua ha Notsri (Jesus of Nazareth) actually claimed to be, and examine those claims in an open-minded discussion? I recommend you start here on a Jewish website. http://www.jews-for-jesus.org
    http://stephensizer.blogspot.com/2009/03/conversation-with-susan-on-getting-to.html

    Note Sizer’s use of “an ignorant goy”, placing a racist term into someone’s mouth, clearly projecting a construct of the “Jew as racist” upon a woman who has said no such thing. Note also his qualifying failure to evangelise Jews as “antisemitic”. Who wants to bet Sizer has scarcely ever dared evangelize Palestinian or Iranian Muslims, or insisted that those who help Muslims without evangelising them are “antisemitic”?

    But this is what Jews for Jesus have to say about Stephen Sizer:

    Stephen Sizer tells how he “devoured” the eschatological teachings of Hal Lindsey and other pro-Israel writers as a young Christian. He goes on to explain that his “bubble burst” during a trip to Israel where he met Arab Christians, and learned of their struggles. That pivotal experience was the catalyst for his doctoral research. Sizer pushed away his former views with such force that he propelled himself to the extreme opposite pole. As a result, he created a huge distance between himself and those he may have been able to engage. I don’t know of one Jewish person who would not be offended by Sizer’s writings. If we allow ourselves to become polarized in our views as he did, we alienate and cut off people who may be trying to work though the issues.

    http://jewsforjesus.org/publications/havurah/10_03/01

  54. Aslan Says:

    Zkharya, that is interesting. Just found another Jews for Jesus response to Sizer in the form of a dissertation by one of their staff members.
    http://www.jfjonline.org/Sizer.doc

  55. Billy Graham and the Jews « Seismic Shock Says:

    [...] has, however, apologised for making antisemitic remarks, rather than attempting to explain or deny them. Leave a [...]

  56. Ken Fredrick Says:

    If anyone wants to criticize Stephen Sizer, he/she should first read his works. I stumbled upon “Zion’s Christian Soldiers?” one year ago and have found it to be the perfect answer to all my questions about Zionism. Stephen is very fair, gentle and clear in this book. I cannot recommend “Zion’s Christian Soldiers?” highly enough. I now consider it the best theological work I have ever read. Please pick up a copy at amazon.com, read it carefully, and then see if you can still criticize this intelligent, kind Christian man.

  57. zkharya Says:

    “I stumbled upon “Zion’s Christian Soldiers?” one year ago and have found it to be the perfect answer to all my questions about Zionism.”

    That’s the problem, Ken. You think Sizer more of an authority on Zionism than, say, Colin Shindler, Professor of Israel Studies at SOAS.

    For my part, I consider that a kind of bigotry, kind, gentle or otherwise.

  58. zkharya Says:

    Further, Ken, while you assert, elsewhere, Sizer is “pro-Israeli”, I would be interested if you can adduce any evidence that he has ever accorded Zionism the same legitimacy as he has Palestinian Muslim and Christian nationalism.

    I have never read anywhere that he admits that European, North African, Asian and, above all, Palestinian Christians and Muslims have regarded Jews as an ethno-national group dispossessed for most of Christian and Islamic history; that he acknowledges this granted Jews some measure of right of return to the land of Israel, especially to escape persecution ; that, as an allegedly moral, just and fair minded Christian, he admits Palestinian Christian and Muslim discrimination against Jews in the land, attempts to keep them to a tiny number, exclude, dispossess or eliminate them were morally problematical, if not evil.

    In short, I have never yet seen him judge Palestinian Christians and Muslims with the same moral rigor he does Jews.

    Au contraire, I saw him perpetrate several falsities i.e. lies in a recent talk he gave on radio on the subject of water in the P.A.

    He may lie in a gentle, soft spoken manner. But he still lies. He may wear the mask of his hypocrisy in an intelligent and ostensibly kind fashion. But it is still hypocrisy.

  59. James Mendelsohn Says:

    Ken,
    I have read the book to which you refer. It is laced through with antisemitic sources and motifs, and shows callous indifference to the terrorist murder of Israelis. I reviewed it at http://largebluefootballs.blogspot.com/2008/04/overstepping-mark.html

  60. zkharya Says:

    Hi Ken, just been reading some of Sizer’s latest:

    “The concept of “ethnic cleansing” may be a recent addition to the vocabulary but the actions it describes have been going on for thousands of years. There was no love lost between Jews and Samaritans. Jesus might just as well have been describing the action of a Serb toward a Croat in Bosnia, or a Greek toward a Turk on Cyprus, or a Palestinian toward an Israeli settler on the West Bank.”

    Or of a Jew towards a Palestinian Christian or Muslim for most of Palestinian Christian and Islamic history.

    Does your or Sizer’s Christian compassion or empathy stretch that far, Ken? And, if not, why not?

  61. zkharya Says:

    Just to remind folks of Stephen “I consider myself a friend of Israel” Sizer:

    “In 1975, the United Nations, condemned the ethnic exclucivism of Zionism as, ‘a form of racism and racial discrimination.’ At best, it seems, the Israeli State views Palestinians as an inferior species to be herded into Bantustan townships and refugee camps, and at worst treated like animals, expendable to be sacrificed before the god of Zionism.”

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/7831429/Stephen-Sizer-The-Theological-AntiZionist-Crusade

    Sizer’s view of Zionism looks exactly like the patristic and traditional Christian view of Judaism long before any state of Israel returned to existence.

    He may be a bigot with the manners of an angel. He is still a bigot.

  62. Chris Skinner Says:

    The original statement by Sizer (re the above comment) can be found on his own site here: http://www.cc-vw.org/articles/czema.htm

  63. Ken Fredrick Says:

    Interesting comments from zkharya, J. Mendelsohn and C. Skinner to my comment on Nov 26, but the reason I refer to Sizer’s book is because he tackles a Christian theological concept known as Christian Zionism. Christian Zionism is a muddled theological belief based on the faulty teaching of J. Darby, C.I. Scofield and Hal Lindsey. The evangelical church is particularly infected with this bad teaching. Sizer correctly, clearly and compassionately tackles this subject. So, in the context of Christian theology, he says the following in his book, “Zion’s Christian Soldiers?”:

    – page 38, “This is why it is fundamental that we read the Bible with Christian eyes, and that we interpret the old covenant in the light of the new covenant, not the other way round.”

    – page 54, “Jesus is the true vine, not Israel.”

    -on page 71 and 72 , he has a chart showing that ancient Israel is the church in the Old Testament and the Body of Christ (the world-wide community of Christian believers) is the church in the New Testament.

    – page 158, “Faith in Jesus Christ, as the consummation of all the hopes of Israel, is the highest spiritual mountain top beyond which it is downhill whichever way a person goes.”

    By God’s grace, Jesus will use Stephen’s book to correct the wrong-headed thinking that has overtaken the evangelical church.

    Yesterday I had to make a call to Pat Robertson’s 700 Club about a certain matter. In talking with one of the secretaries, she told me that Pat had a deep love for the Jewish people. After I hung up, I thought of a comment I should have asked her; I should have asked if Pat also had a deep love for the Palestinian people. This is where Christian Zionism falls down — it favors one semite people over another semite people, even though Jesus loves them both. Praise God — Jews and Palestinians and Arabs and Asians and Europeans, etc. who love the Lord Jesus will all be in Heaven some day.

  64. Ken Fredrick Says:

    I forgot to add: I recommend clicking on the link Chris Skinner gives. It is an excellent article by Sizer about Christian Zionism. Thanks, Chris, for the link.

  65. James Mendelsohn Says:

    Ken Frederick,
    Yes, believe it or not I did realise that when I read the book. The problem with Sizer’s approach to Christian Zionism is that he also introduces antisemitic motifs and historical falsehoods into the debate. Why does this not concern you?

    • Ken Fredrick Says:

      James,
      I don’t have a PhD like Stephen Sizer, so you might be able to run circles around me (what I’m trying to say is that Stephen is a lot smarter than me), but I’ll try to answer you as best I can.

      I don’t see Sizer as being anti-semitic. He makes this comment in “Zion’s Christian Soldiers?”:
      – page 15: “Anti-Semitism must be repudiated unequivocally. However, we must not confuse apples with oranges. Anti-Zionism is not the same thing as anti-Semitism, despite attempts to broaden the definition. Judaism is a religious system. Israel is a sovereign nation. Zionism is a political system. These three are not synonymous. I respect Judaism, repudiate anti-Semtism, encourage interfaith dialogue and defend Israel’s right to exist within border recognized by the international community and agreed with her neighbours. But like many Jews, I disagree with a political system that gives preference to expartriate Jews born elsewhere in the world, while denying the same right to the Arab Palestinians born in the country itself.” Amen to this statement!

      I’d like you to know where I am coming from — I am a Christian who believes in the Jewish Messiah. Jesus Himself said that He came to save His fellow Jews from their sins first before He sent His disciples to the Gentiles. I believe Jews today in 2009 should follow Jesus, not Moses.

      If you read the Acts of the Apostles in the NT, you will see that Jewish members of the church — Peter, James, Paul, etc. — clashed with their fellow Jews over exactly this question: should we follow Moses or Jesus? Does this make the first Christians anti-semitic? Answer: no.

      At the very beginning of your article, you refer to Melanie Phillips. I’m convinced Melanie should accept her Jewish Messiah as Savior and Lord. I really wish she would do this.

      To conclude, I’d like to see Jews and Muslims accept Jesus as their Savior; then there would be peace in the Middle East.

  66. James Mendelsohn Says:

    Ken
    Suffice to say that Sizer’s comment about claiming to avoid antisemitism is entirely superfluous in the light of everything I wrote in my original piece. People who really avoid antisemitism don’t send out emails written by antisemites. Not too difficult really, is it?

  67. Stephen Sizer, The Police And The Barbra Streisand Effect « ModernityBlog Says:

    [...] Not forgetting this wonderful post from March 2009 at Engage, If I was Stephen Sizer, Christian Antizionist – James Mendelsohn. [...]

  68. Stephen Sizer claims to advise the police on religious extremism « Seismic Shock Says:

    [...] look at the comment Stephen Sizer leaves below: Last Friday, in fact, for the fourth time in recent months, I had a [...]

  69. Stephen Sizer on his links with Iran’s Khomeinists: “I’ll go anywhere to share the gospel” | Says:

    [...] concern, is surely that Sizer explains, why indeed he is happy for his works – which contain 9/11 conspiracy theorising and a quote from a Holocaust denier – to be translated and distributed by the Iranian regime, [...]

  70. Rev. Sizer Links to Racist Material Again. « Soupy One Says:

    [...] Mendelsohn had offered Rev. Sizer some sage advice over three years ago, but it went unheeded, If I was Stephen Sizer, Christian Antizionist – James Mendelsohn. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Tags: Anti-Jewish racism, [...]

  71. Israeli Messianic leader of Musalaha insults Diaspora Messianic Jews | Says:

    [...] organisers, is Stephen Sizer, a vicar who can’t help associating with terror-supporters and Holocaust deniers. Sizer’s book was the first Christian book to be translated by the Iranian government into [...]

  72. Chris Says:

    “Last Friday, in fact, for the fourth time in recent months, I had a meeting with CID officers and they confirmed that they regard these attacks against me as harassment. They also confirmed that in their detailed investigation I have committed no criminal offence. Indeed they asked me to help advise them in similar cases, as have officers from the Metropolitan police monitoring religious”

    Now I’m really confused…being harassed? Come on Stephen, posting those emails and linking to extremist conspiracy theorists and anti semites – what do you expect?
    Could you be clearer as to why they were visiting you – because you felt harassed or because you had complaints against you?


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