Ignoring the Persecution and Mass Murder of Middle Eastern Christians, Britain’s Leading Churchman Complains about Israel

As the chief clergyman of the Church of England, the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is an important public figure in Britain. Thus, when he chooses to write, or put his name to, an article in his nation’s leading paper a few days before Christmas, it’s because he believes a subject is especially important. Jake Wallis Simons comments on the archbishop’s current concerns:

Yesterday, Mr. Welby and Hosam Naoum, an Anglican bishop in Jerusalem, jointly penned an article in the Sunday Times titled: “Let us pray for the Christians being driven from the Holy Land.” In it, they drew readers’ attention to the “frequent and sustained attacks by fringe radical groups” in Israel, arguing that this was behind the sharp decline in the Christian population in Jerusalem. Nowhere else in the region. Only the Jewish state.

The archbishops took care to remind readers that the “first Christmas” had taken place “against the backdrop of the genocide of infants,” carried out by King Herod.

The archbishops were curiously silent on who these “fringe radical groups” are or what motivates them. Yet in the examples they pointed to, cases of arson and vandalism against church buildings, it is hardline Jews who have been blamed. These attacks must of course be condemned. But this does not detract from the fact that overall, Christians in Israel are flourishing.

Compare this to the routine anti-Christian carnage across the region, which the Foreign Office has described as “coming close to genocide.” A government report stated that “the inconvenient truth is that the overwhelming majority (80 percent) of persecuted religious believers are Christians.” This ranges from routine discrimination in education, the workplace, and wider society all the way to kidnap, assassination, and mass murder against Christian communities. It might not be the Holy Land, but surely such persecution deserves at least a mention by the archbishops.

Read more at Spectator

More about: Anti-Zionism, Church of England, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Middle East Christianity


Universities Are in Thrall to a Constituency That Sees Israel as an Affront to Its Identity

Commenting on the hearings of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the dismaying testimony of three university presidents, Jonah Goldberg writes:

If some retrograde poltroon called for lynching black people or, heck, if they simply used the wrong adjective to describe black people, the all-seeing panopticon would spot it and deploy whatever resources were required to deal with the problem. If the spark of intolerance flickered even for a moment and offended the transgendered, the Muslim, the neurodivergent, or whomever, the fire-suppression systems would rain down the retardant foams of justice and enlightenment. But calls for liquidating the Jews? Those reside outside the sensory spectrum of the system.

It’s ironic that the term colorblind is “problematic” for these institutions such that the monitoring systems will spot any hint of it, in or out of the classroom (or admissions!). But actual intolerance for Jews is lathered with a kind of stealth paint that renders the same systems Jew-blind.

I can understand the predicament. The receptors on the Islamophobia sensors have been set to 11 for so long, a constituency has built up around it. This constituency—which is multi-ethnic, non-denominational, and well entrenched among students, administrators, and faculty alike—sees Israel and the non-Israeli Jews who tolerate its existence as an affront to their worldview and Muslim “identity.” . . . Blaming the Jews for all manner of evils, including the shortcomings of the people who scapegoat Jews, is protected because, at minimum, it’s a “personal truth,” and for some just the plain truth. But taking offense at such things is evidence of a mulish inability to understand the “context.”

Shocking as all that is, Goldberg goes on to argue, the anti-Semitism is merely a “symptom” of the insidious ideology that has taken over much of the universities as well as an important segment of the hard left. And Jews make the easiest targets.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, University