The Parish of Sandal Magna

The Parish of Sandal Magna
St. Helen's and St. Paul's Church
Serving Sandal, Walton and Portobello in Wakefield UK.



Standing up to Antisemitism, Racism & Persecution


Antisemitism has been and remains a serious issue, alongside any form of racism or prejudice.
There is however some confusion relating to Zionism and the State of Israel. Zionism emerged in the 19th century with a view to providing a homeland for Jewish people suffering from persecution. It culminated in the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948, after the horrors of the Holocaust. The state of Israel is a Jewish homeland, and in May was controversially declared a Jewish state, but criticism of Zionism, the Israeli Government and its policies towards the Palestinians is not necessarily antisemitic.

Since the Arab invasions and defeat of 1967, Israel has occupied the West Bank. Under international law it is illegal to build settlements in occupied territory, a law which Israel has continued to flout. This September marks the 25th anniversary of the first of the The Oslo Accords signed on 13th September, 1993, which proposed a two state solution as part of the peace process. The building of settlements connected by Israel-only roads and the Separation wall has made a functioning Palestinian State almost impossible.

Similarly the narrow strip of land called Gaza is little worse than an open-air prison. Israel needs to safe-guard its borders and protect itself from terrorism and the hostility of nations such as Iran, but legitimate criticism of the policies of the Israeli Government by the UN, many countries, NGO’s and individuals should be allowed without the accusation of anti-semitism being levelled.
We need constantly to be reminded that we are all equal in God’s sight and there is no place for hostility to any other member of the human race. We have recently seen a resurgence of persecution of peoples such as the Rohingya Muslims, and religious minorities such as Christians in the Middle and Far East. Such persecution is illegal, immoral and abhorrent, and alongside antisemitism, should be utterly condemned.

Rupert




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Registered Charity Number 1131795.
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