What is the matter, my lord?
I mean, the matter that you read, my lord.
Slanders, sir; for the satirical rogue says here that old men
have grey beards, that their faces are wrinkled, their eyes purging
thick amber and plum-tree gum, and that they have a plentiful
lack of wit, together with most weak hams; all which, sir, though
I most powerfully and potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty
to have it thus set down, for yourself, sir, shall grow old as I am, if
like a crab you could go backward.
[Aside] Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.
The Methodist Church of Britain voted to boycott Israeli-produced goods and services from the West Bank.
Stephen Leah – a leader of the proposed Methodist UK boycott stated “I am a Methodist preacher I’m also the chair of the York PSC. I personally would like to have divestment going a little bit further into the full boycott of Israel, but I know how much I can get away with in the churches sometimes. […] Churches are paranoid about being critical of Israel sometimes, they want to be balanced all the time, we must put pressure on church leaders.”
So Leah’s document calls for a boycott of Israeli goods which affect Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, but this is merely a pit-stop for Leah in his quest for a full-scale boycott of Israel proper.”
Comments here from Martin who states “it seems modern Methodists are as prone as other Christians to a dangerous gullibility when it comes to Middle East politics. Their sympathy for the plight of Palestinians may arise from spontaneous Christian compassion, but that same religious outlook tends to divide the world simplistically into villains and victims. Somehow, they are unable to grasp that Israelis under constant threat from neighbours who don’t recognise their right to exist might also be victims. And they fail to see that among the apparently passive ‘victims’ of Gaza, and manipulating their plight and the sympathies of westerners, might be forces whose ideology is deeply hostile to the tolerance and compassion in which Methodists claim to believe. ”
Other insights are here. at the Harry’s Place blog, which includes a link to the statements from Stephen Leah and others.
The Jerusalem Post notes that “Anti-Zionist and anti-Israel activists who support a blanket boycott of Israel were the main sources of the document. They included Israeli-born academics Ilan Pappe and Avi Shlaim; Jeff Halper from the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions; Anglican vicar Stephen Sizer; and Beirut-based journalist Robert Fisk.”
The Jewish Board of Deputies of Britain has an excellent response here to the imbalance, omissions and inaccuracies of the Methodist resolution.