Defend Stephen Sizer 267


Stephen Sizer has been active for many years in areas of humanitarian concern for the Palestinian population. I was with him on my recent trip to Baghdad, and I am convinced he is a good man.

Stephen is a Church of England vicar. He is under huge pressure at the moment as he is under a formal complaint from the Board of Deputies of British Jews to the Church of England on a charge of anti-semitism. This is very serious indeed and could lead to the loss of both his job and his home.

The essence of the long complaint is that he has posted links on his website to other websites which contain anti-semitic material. It is not alleged that he has linked to material which is itself anti-semitic; but that elsewhere on websites linked to there is such material.

That may or may not be true. But in the real world, the idea that in posting a link to an article you are endorsing every other article (which in practice you cannot have seen) on a website is nonsensical and would make much current blogging practice impossible.

That Stepehn is not an anti-semite and has not knowingly endorsed anti-semitism, I have no doubt. But what worries me is the growing bravura with which all critics of Israel or supporters of the Palestinians are charged with the – rightfully – damning slur of anti-semitism.

Just as the government of Israel has lurched to the far right, so “official” Jewish institutions in the UK have abandoned their once notable liberalism. The Board of Deputies used to deserve high respect and be a pillar of reason. It is astonishing to me that it has launched this absolutely unfounded attack on an Anglican priest. The Jewish Chronicle has lurched so far to the right as to be off the scale. There seems to be such a disconnect now between these institutions and the views of the Jewish people I know that I hope this state of affairs cannot last.

A list of those who have written in support of Stephen Sizer can be found here.

The formal process in which Stephen is now enmeshed is not only extremely unpleasant, it is also extremely expensive. He has to employ lawyers for his formal defence. A cardinal rule of this blog is never to ask for money, but I ask you now to donate for the defence fund.

Electronic transfers can be made to account name J Moodey, Co-op Bank sort code 08-93-00, account number 80407856. Cheques should be made out to J Moodey and sent to Mr S Leah, c/o York PSC, PO Box 423, York YO24 4WP.

It is important that we do not allow the victimisation of those who try to defend the Palestinians to proceed apace. Please do donate anything you can; if you feel able to add a comment saying that you have done so, that might encourage others.


267 thoughts on “Defend Stephen Sizer

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  • Iris

    “The links from Richard Armbach showing the clear connection between the EDL, Anders Breivig and Zionists fascists, with Melanie Phillips excuses for blatant murder on the high seas, providing the mood music in Breivigs manifesto, showing how much more influence Zionists have in this country than the CofE. And then there is Pam Geller…..”

    And not once has the ZF nor BOD distanced themselves from this EDL connection.

  • Anon

    Is this this article by the BBC’s Jonathan Fryer referring to Craig as the unnamed “former British diplomat”?

    Putting the welcome mat out in Baghdad

    Back at the al-Rasheed Hotel, a former British diplomat was demanding whisky. This caused considerable consternation from our hosts because, since the Shia-led government has been in charge, Baghdad has largely gone dry.

    …And spirits were raised when the former British diplomat turned up triumphantly bearing a bottle of Chivas Regal whisky, courtesy of the Iraqi foreign minister himself.

  • Andy

    The Anti-Semitic links accusation targeting Stephen Sizer by the Board of Deputies of British Jews are clearly ridiculous. His ‘crime’ is that he points out the nature of the Israeli government and it’s despicable treatment of the Palestinians. Whilst other posters have indicated it would be better to contribute to assist the Palestinians directly , Stephen Sizer has done an awful lot to expose the crimes of Israel and I will be donating to his defence fund.

  • Clydebuilt

    Franky Boyle Comedian Criticised Israeli attacks on Gazza. Within months people found his jokes to be offensive and before long he was booted off Mock The Week.

    There is much more to oor Franky than his cutting humour. He is also a supporter of Independence for Scotland. Recently he won a libel case against The Daily Miror which had accusd him of racism.

    In fact he’s becoming a bit of a modern day working class hero.

  • macky

    “And not once has the ZF nor BOD distanced themselves from this EDL connection.”

    Israel Defense Forces’ official Facebook page actually links & “Likes” this;

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/English-Defence-League-Jewish-Division-EDL/273631225982472

    (I noticed that the EDL Jewish Division are hot on reporting crimes committed by Muslims, especially sexual crimes,so I was tempted to bring this to their attention;

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4329339,00.html

    but that would entail openning a FB account.

  • Anon

    Clearly the whisky was too easy. Try asking for “a pint of heavy” next time you are in Baghdad 🙂

    Wonder if Fryer named you in the original draft?

  • A Node

    @ Kempe 13 Jan, 2013 – 11:51 am

    You seems to have forgotten your original claim. Allow me to refresh your memory …
    You claimed earlier in this thread:

    “A quick glance at the evidence the BoD website reveals a link to “iamthewitness”, this site has a clearly advertised section on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion which Sizer must’ve been aware of.”

    I pointed out:

    “”Well actually the home page is huge – 31 full-page scrolls top to botttom – and contains 4 columns packed with different media and links. My ballpark estimate is 350 different links. If you scroll down 4 pages, your screen will display a jumbled mix of 20 different photo, video, radio and text links. One of them is a 3 liner saying:

    Text To Audio
    The Protocols
    Stomach Turning Listening

    I could only find this one link among 350 by using Ctrl+F to search the whole page for the word “protocol”. I invited you to honestly tell us how long it took you to find this “clearly advertised section” and by inference suggested that Sizer wasn’t necessarily aware of it. You have responded by pasting a link to a Google Search page. What has that got to do with whether or not “this site has a clearly advertised section on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”?

    I guess you concocted a claim to make Sizer look bad, then when called on it, realised you couldn’t back it up and dishonestly tried to shift the grounds of your claim. I’ve read about this blogging technique somewhere, now where was it …?

    I await your accusations of anti-Semitism next.

  • Fred

    “Franky Boyle Comedian Criticised Israeli attacks on Gazza. Within months people found his jokes to be offensive and before long he was booted off Mock The Week. ”

    I think you will find people found his jokes offensive long before that.

    Probably because his jokes were offensive.

  • Anon

    Ahem… A jury has found the suggestion that Frankie Boyle was forced to quit “Mock the Week” as not true and libellous.

    They also found that it was not true that he was a racist.

    The Daily Mirror was ordered to pay him £54,650 by the jury/

  • Mark Golding - Children of Conflict

    ‘Made it happen’ is my own damning conclusion Cryptonyme including i must add using Israel’s nuclear destruction expertise.

    In a world of hypocrisy and state secrets I admit it is hard for me to be totally objective and offer irrefutable proven evidence. My exposure to ‘Eyes only’ cables has developed a seasoned cynicism although not without hope for a better, more resourceful and beautiful world.

    As an example ‘Not for South Africa Eyes’ cables opened my eyes to the pretense and deceptive interplay that underscored Britain’s relationship with South Africa, just to maintain key links esp. gold supplies.

    While apartheid was deemed abominable and criminal in SA, America and Britain could not take the risk of South Africa becoming a puppet state of the Soviet Union. [Josef Luns 1984)

    It follows while NATO gave the United States Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic (SACLANT) authority to plan for the protection of shipping lines in the Indian Ocean and the South Atlantic, including surveillance and communications, South Africa, having developed a naval communications centre in Silvermine, with equipment from West Germany to monitor the movement of Soviet ships, was in contact with the British Navy and the United States through Puerto Rico.

    Abdul Minty, Director of the World Campaign against Military and Nuclear Collaboration with South Africa in Oslo discussed military or technical contacts between NATO and South Africa at a private meeting with SA foreign minister Botha; ad interim Israel collaborated with SA to modify, simulation test and finally detonate a nuclear weapon near the British annexed Prince Edward island. Is that the Pinnacle of Deceit?

    Obviously nothing of this was public knowledge at the time, Mr Edward Heath and his counter-austerity inflation bill had gone and with Labour running scared, Thatcher waited to further exploit the British people and South Africa to boot.

  • Nextus

    @”A Node”: fwiw, I clicked on the iamthewitess link too: I scanned the first page for about twenty seconds and saw little of immediate concern, then paged down and spotted the link to “The Protocols” (i.e. the PoEoZ), followed by a section entitled “The Complete Synagogue of Satan”, etc. I didn’t need to use an automatic searching facility. I had the page open for less than a minute; it didn’t take too long to get the gist.

  • Cryptonym

    Private capital won’t invest other people’s money (which is all they have to gamble with) in anything in the UK, unless the returns are stupendous, failure or loss guaranteed impossible by taxpayer indemnity. It’s like some extended warranty scheme, payments to which amount to many times more than the cost of simply buying several of the covered appliance, as spares. The average consumer would run a mile from schemes, just as you think our politicians are cunning greedy con-men, they’re proven, not even that but simply thick or think we are.

    I thought Heath’s dire legacy in economics, culinating in the greatest bank robberies ever was bad enough, but had he not started the ball rolling, Thatcher would have been a pushover and quickly made up for lost time. Come back Harold Wilson, even Harold MacMillan, all is forgiven. The only requirement since for the top political job is for the would be PM to be a clueless manipulable lame duck.

    see: Well, how did we get here?

    Surprised at indications that Balls’ of all people ran Blair like a clockwork toy, counter to the obfuscation that he was Brown’s protege, Balls was toying with them both all along.

    I’ve checked the link for incidental Israeli content, “No matches found for ‘rotocols’ but there is this: “Three months before John Smith’s death in 1994, the then shadow home secretary Tony Blair went on a trip to Israel at the Israeli government’s expense. Blair was sympathetic to Israel, had shared chambers with the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Eldred Tabachnik, and had joined the Labour Friends of Israel on becoming an MP. On Blair’s return from Israel, Gideon Meir, from the Israeli embassy in London, introduced him to Michael Levy, a retired businessman who had become a major fund-raiser for Jewish charities. Levy was ‘dazzled by Blair’s drive and religious commitment’ and the two men became friends. A month later the leader of the Labour Party, John Smith, died, and Blair became leader.”

    Here’s BoD again, he fair gets around does BoD.

  • nevermind

    @ Macky, enjoy, I have posted your link on to the EDL’s Jewish contingent’s FB page, let them eat sugar.

  • A Node

    Nextus

    There is plenty on the iamthewitess site which indicates a hostile attitude to Jews and nearly all of it would be deemed anti-Semitic by BoD. That is not my point.

    I believe Kempe selected PoEoZ as the basis for his attempt to prove Sizer guilty as charged for the same reason as the BoD included it in their ‘evidence’ against him – its an easy smear. You are automatically an anti-semite by association if you can be connected to it. Unfortunately for BoD and Kempe, the connection in this case is so tenuous as to be laughable.

    I would be interested to hear if you agree with Kempe’s description of the link as “a clearly advertised section [….] which Sizer must’ve been aware of.”

  • Richard Armbach

    re Henry Forrester 9.08 pm 2013

    Isn’t it about time we just told them to “go fuck themselves”

    Henry I think it probably is.I guess the only difference between you and I is that I am arriving at the conclusion with the most extreme reluctance.

    Craig that last mathematical test was a bit of a stretch. Keep them simple please.

  • Habbabkuk

    @ A Node (3.08pm) : fully agree with your analysis of Kempe’s post. But don’t worry about him accusing you of anti-semitism, he won’t – he’s too clever to do that.

    Kempe’s posts deserve careful reading – some of you have called me a shill and a troll, but I suggest that it’s the Kempes who are the dangerous ones on here. A man worth watching.

    Why does the handle “Kempe” always bring Colonel Richard Kemp to my mind? Must be old age.

  • Fred

    “Kempe’s posts deserve careful reading – some of you have called me a shill and a troll, but I suggest that it’s the Kempes who are the dangerous ones on here. A man worth watching.”

    I think the reason you get called a troll is because you spend so much time slagging of the other posters and so little time discussing the issues.

    You get called a troll because you behave like a troll.

  • Dreoilin

    O/T

    I suspect it might not be long before questions are asked about Aaron Swartz’s death and whether it was a genuine suicide or not.
    He was being persecuted by the DoJ for (admittedly illegal) downloading of academic papers for which the actual authors weren’t getting a red cent anyway. But there’s more:

    “Police found the body of the 26-year-old in his apartment in New York City borough of Brooklyn on Friday, said a spokeswoman for the city’s chief medical examiner.

    “Brooklyn’s chief medical examiner ruled the death a suicide by hanging, but no further detail is available about the mysterious death.

    “Last year, Swartz openly criticized the US and the Israeli regime for launching joint cyber attacks against Iran.

    “The blogger was also vocal in criticizing Obama’s so-called kill list and other policies …

    “Swartz was critical of monopoly of information by corporate cartels and believed that information should be shared and available for the benefit of society.

    “Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves,” he wrote in an online “manifesto” in 2008.

    “Based on that belief, the computer prodigy founded the nonprofit group DemandProgress.

    “The group launched a successful campaign to block a 2011 bill that the US House of Representatives called the Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA).

    http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/?p=63561

  • YoMiryam

    Although Rev. Sizer disavows any anti-semitism on his part, I do not find his disavowals credible.

    Here is a quotation from a previous e-mail regarding his blog:

    My experience in reading Rev. Sizer’s blog is that he does not show much sensitivity towards Jews, despite his disavowals of anti-Semitism.

    He always lays the blame for the Israel/Palestine problems squarely on Israel.
    It seems he fails to speak up in support of Jews in the face of anti-Semitic occurrences in your country, as at some recent football matches where there appear to have been anti-Semitic incidents on the part of some fans during matches — whereas, he was quick to speak up on behalf of Muslims after the appearance and dissemination of an anti-Muslim film originating in the USA.
    I have never heard or read on his blog any defense of Jews in the face of official anti-Semitic propaganda disseminated by many Muslim countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Pakistan, the UAE, Iran, et al.

    I’m also querying where Rev. Sizer gets funding for all the trips he makes, whether to the Holy Land or other parts of the world — this, to me, seems strange on the salary of a priest/vicar — I’m wondering whether the funding is not coming from some pro-Palestinian organizations when it comes to his frequent visits to the Holy Land.

    My thoughts on the Palestine/Israel problem is that there are just too many people, like Rev. Sizer, meddling in this situation, trying to dictate to Jews and Israel how to behave, while, very often, these same people fail to hold other countries to account for the human rights abuses these countries commit, e.g., (China/Tibet; Turkey/Northern Cyprus; Turkey/Kurds).

    My view is that there is a need for disciplinary action by his Diocese.

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