Monday, 29 November 2010

Veolia Victory


The French firm Veolia has pulled out of the controversial light railway project linking the illegal Jewish settlement at Maale Adumin to Jerusalem. A company spokesman denies the charge, saying the decision was based on financial considerations alone, but they would wouldn't they.

According to the Associated Press, pressure from pro-Palestinian groups has forced a French multinational to drop out of a light rail project that cuts into disputed east Jerusalem, a would-be Israeli partner in the project said Sunday.

"As Veolia told Dan, at some point in 2009 or thereabouts, because of heavy political pressure applied to French Veolia by pro-Arab and anti-Israel sources to halt its activity in the Jerusalem area, and in light of legal proceedings instituted against French Veolia beforehand in connection with the Jerusalem light rail, Veolia decided to end its involvement in the project," Dan spokesman Eitan Fixman told The Associated Press.


Read more here and here

Have a CUFI Christmas

And bring some cheer to John Hagee.

Wikileaks: Jesus promises there's lots more to come


"What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs. I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God." (Luke 12:3-8)

So before we are tempted to throw stones

US embassy cables leak sparks global diplomatic crisis

Wikileaks is now in Switzerland  

Browse the WikiLeaks database at the Guardian

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Pimping the Settlements


Richard Silverstein writes about a slick new promotional film produced by Israeli settlers called Harvest Time.
It’s impressive in a slick, sleazy sort of way.  It presents the settlements in the sort of romantic way they were envisioned just after the 1967 war: as elements of a quest for Jewish history and identity; as part of a fulfillment of the Zionist dream.  What the film omits of course is all the horrendous history between 1967-2010: the theft, killings, religious hatred.  The whole bloody mess.  I can’t think of an Israeli film (or any film really) I’ve seen in a long time that is as ahistorical and fraudulent as this one.

We have an Israeli company called Compugraphic to thank for this drivel.  I don’t see them bragging yet about this on their client list, but I do see other old friends like Elbit, PAKAR, and Rafael, some of Israel’s chief armaments companies.
Read more here

Palestine 2011: Jeff Halper

Jeff Halper has made his predictions for 2011. I hope he is right that the Palestinians will declare a state unilaterally, because they have no alternative.
Struggling as I have for the past decades to grasp the dynamics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and find ways to get out of this interminable and absolutely superfluous conflict, I have been two-thirds successful. After many years of activism and analysis, I think I have put my finger on the first third of the equation: What is the problem? My answer, which has withstood the test of time and today is so evident that it elicits the response…“duh”…is that all Israeli governments are unwaveringly determined to maintain complete control of Palestine/Israel from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River, frustrating any just and workable solution based on Palestinian claims to self-determination. There will be no negotiated settlement, period.

The second part of the equation – how can the conflict be resolved? – is also easily answerable. I don’t mean entering into the one state/two state conundrum and deciding which option best. Under certain circumstances both could work, and I can think of at least 3-4 other viable options as well, including my favorite, a Middle Eastern economic confederation. The Palestinian think tank Passia published a collection of twelve proposed solutions a few years ago. What I mean is, it is not difficult to identity the essential elements of any solution. They are, in brief,

· A just, workable and lasting peace must be inclusive of the two peoples living in Palestine/Israel;
· Any solution must provide for a national expression of each people, not merely a democratic formula based on one person-one vote;
· It must provide economic viability to all the parties;
· No solution will work that is not based on human rights, international law and UN resolutions.
· The refugee issue, based on the right of return, must be addressed squarely.
· A workable peace must be regional in scope; it cannot be confined merely to Israel/Palestine; and
· A just peace must address the security concerns of all the parties and countries in the region.

These seven elements, I would submit, must configure any just solution. If they are all included, a settlement of the conflict could take many different forms. If, however, even one is missing, no solution will work, no matter how good it looks on paper.
He warns of the imminent collapse of the Palestinian Authority:
Such a scenario, while still possible given the deadlock in negotiations, is unlikely, if only because the leadership of the Palestinian Authority lacks the courage to undertake such a bold initiative. A second one seems more likely: in 2011, the Palestinian Authority will either resign or collapse, throwing the Occupation back on the lap of Israel. Given the deadlock in negotiations, I can’t see the PA lasting even until August, when (sort-of) Prime Minister Salem Fayyad expects the international community to give the Palestinians a state. Even if the 90-day settlement freeze eventually comes into effect, Netanyahu will not negotiate borders during that period, the only issue worth discussing. Either fed up to the point of resigning – Abbas may be weak and pliable, but he is not a collaborator – or having lost so much credibility with its own people that it simply collapses, the fall of the PA would end definitively the present “process.”
He concludes:
Life in the Occupied Territories is about to get even more difficult, I believe, but perhaps we are finally approaching the breaking point. If that is the case, we must be there for the Palestinians on all the fronts: to protect them, to play our role in pushing the Occupation into unsustainability, to resist re-occupation, to act as watchdogs over political “processes” that threaten to impose apartheid in the guise of a two-state solution and, ultimately, to ensure that a just and lasting peace emerges. As weak and failed attempts by governments head for collapse, we must pick up the slack. 2011 is upon us.
Jeff Halper is the Director of The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD).

Please visit our websites:
www.icahd.org
www.icahduk.org
www.icahdusa.org

Read more of Palestine 2011 by Jeff Halper

Saturday, 27 November 2010

China and Russia Quit the US Dollar

China and Russia have decided to renounce the US dollar and resort to using their own currencies for bilateral trade, Premier Wen Jiabao and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin announced late on Tuesday.

Chinese experts said the move reflected closer relations between Beijing and Moscow and is not aimed at challenging the dollar, but to protect their domestic economies.

"About trade settlement, we have decided to use our own currencies," Putin said at a joint news conference with Wen in St. Petersburg. The two countries were accustomed to using other currencies, especially the dollar, for bilateral trade. Since the financial crisis, however, high-ranking officials on both sides began to explore other possibilities. The yuan has now started trading against the Russian rouble in the Chinese interbank market, while the renminbi will soon be allowed to trade against the rouble in Russia, Putin said.

Will this speed the decline of US influence?

Source: Vision to America

Friday, 26 November 2010

Israeli Military Forces Demolish Another Mosque

According to the BBC today, Israeli forces have continued their surge of home demolitions in the West Bank, including a long-established mosque. A spokesman for the residents of the village, Khirbet Yarza, said the villagers had papers proving the mosque was legal and built before 1967, reported the West Bank-based Ma'an news agency.

Most recent demolitions echo similar incidents which prompted a December 2009 UN report, which notes that "Palestinian construction is effectively prohibited in some 70 percent of Area C, while in the remaining 30 percent, a range of restrictions virtually eliminate the possibility of obtaining a permit."

The UN report noted that some 39% of the West Bank falls under the category of "state land," noting that the area is "four times more than the territory taken up by the built-up are of settlements." The issue was particularly acute for residents of the Jordan Valley, the report said, "where almost all of the area falls under the jurisdiction of two Regional [settlement] Councils."

In practical terms, the UN office has noted, "in almost the entirety of the Jordan Valley, Palestinian construction is prohibited."

Figures from the Israeli NGO Bimkom show that around 95 percent of applications for a building permit are rejected, with the Civil Administration only granting around 12 permits a year.

Read the BBC report here and Ma'an report here

When Heros Fail

"Few statesmen of the 20th century have reputations as outsize as Winston Churchill's. And yet his assiduously self-promoted image as what the author Harold Evans called "the British Lionheart on the ramparts of civilization" rests primarily on his World War II rhetoric, rather than his actions as the head of a government that ruled the biggest empire the world has ever known."

In a Time article this week, called the Ugly Briton, Shashi Tharoor reviews Madhusree Mukerjee's new book, Churchill's Secret War which reveals a side of Churchill largely ignored in the West and which considerably tarnishes his heroic sheen.

In 1943, some 3 million brown-skinned subjects of the Raj died in the Bengal famine, one of history's worst. Mukerjee delves into official documents and oral accounts of survivors to paint a horrifying portrait of how Churchill, as part of the Western war effort, ordered the diversion of food from starving Indians to already well-supplied British soldiers and stockpiles in Britain and elsewhere in Europe, including Greece and Yugoslavia. And he did so with a churlishness that cannot be excused on grounds of policy: Churchill's only response to a telegram from the government in Delhi about people perishing in the famine was to ask why Gandhi hadn't died yet.
British imperialism had long justified itself with the pretense that it was conducted for the benefit of the governed. Churchill's conduct in the summer and fall of 1943 gave the lie to this myth. "I hate Indians," he told the Secretary of State for India, Leopold Amery. "They are a beastly people with a beastly religion." The famine was their own fault, he declared at a war-cabinet meeting, for "breeding like rabbits."
 He concludes
Churchill said that history would judge him kindly because he intended to write it himself. The self-serving but elegant volumes he authored on the war led the Nobel Committee, unable in all conscience to bestow him an award for peace, to give him, astonishingly, the Nobel Prize for Literature — an unwitting tribute to the fictional qualities inherent in Churchill's self-justifying embellishments. Mukerjee's book depicts a truth more awful than any fiction.
Read the rest of her review here

See also the Independent's review

The parallels with British foreign policy in Palestine around the same time, and their devastating consequences in the continuing conflict between competing aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians could not be plainer.

Something to Hide?


Now why would the United States Embassy in Tel Aviv inform the Israeli Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem that the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks was planning on releasing hundreds of thousands of American diplomatic cables, some of which might deal with Israel-America relations?

Haaretz says because "The Americans said they wanted to let the Israeli government know so it would not be surprised and would be prepared for publicity that might cause diplomatic embarrassment."

Read more here

Thursday, 25 November 2010

A Symphony of Anti-Semitic Dog Whistles

Michelle Goldberg writes a spirited defence of George Soros and searing rebuke to Glenn Beck for his anti-Semitic rants on Fox last week. She described the Fox host’s stunning two-day tirade against George Soro as a “symphony of anti-Semitic dog whistles.” and "a new low on American television."

Here's a taster:
If you know this history, you’ll understand why Glenn Beck’s two-part “exposé” on George Soros, whom Beck calls “The Puppet Master,” was so shocking, even by Beck’s degraded standards. The program, which aired Tuesday and Wednesday, was a symphony of anti-Semitic dog-whistles. Nothing like it has ever been on American television before.
Soros, a billionaire financier and patron of liberal causes, has long been an object of hatred on the right. But Beck went beyond demonizing him; he cast him as the protagonist in an updated Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He described Soros as the most powerful man on earth, the creator of a “shadow government” that manipulates regimes and currencies for its own enrichment. Obama is his “puppet,” Beck says. Soros has even “infiltrated the churches.” He foments social unrest and economic distress so he can bring down governments, all for his own financial gain. “Four times before,” Beck warned. “We’ll be number five.”
She notes that the Anti-Defamation League came to the defence of Soros.
In a statement, Abraham Foxman, the ADL’s national director and a Holocaust survivor himself, expressed outrage over Beck’s charges about Soros’ behavior as a boy in Nazi-occupied Hungary, which Beck made on television on Tuesday and again on the radio Wednesday. “Glenn Beck’s description of George Soros’ actions during the Holocaust is completely inappropriate, offensive and over the top,” said Foxman. “For a political commentator or entertainer to have the audacity to say—inaccurately—that there’s a Jewish boy sending Jews to death camps, as part of a broader assault on Mr. Soros, that’s horrific… To hold a young boy responsible for what was going on around him during the Holocaust as part of a larger effort to denigrate the man is repugnant.”
Repugnant it is indeed.

Read more of Michelle Goldberg's article here and also Brian Stelter in the NYT.

Andrew Napolitano, Fox Business Host, Reveals He Is A 9/11 Truther

I never thought I would commend something on Fox News but this is worth it....


Fox Business host Andrew Napolitano revealed on Tuesday that he does not believe the government's account of the 9/11 attacks. Napolitano, who hosts "Freedom Watch" on Fox Business and is frequently seen on Fox News as a legal analyst, told radio host Alex Jones — who is a prominent 9/11 conspiracy theorist —that the attacks "couldn't possibly have been done the way the government told us."

The subject came about when Jones noted that Geraldo Rivera had recently raised questions about the collapse of World Trade Center 7 on Napolitano's Fox Business Show. 9/11 conspiracy theorists have centered on that building's collapse, contending that it was blown up by government forces. Jones asked Napolitano what his opinion about the issue was. Napolitano replied:
"It's hard for me to believe that it came down by itself...I am gratified to see that people across the board are interested. I think twenty years from now, people will look at 9-11 the way we look at the assassination of JFK today. It couldn't possibly have been done the way the government told us."
Read it on Huffington Post


Andrew Paolo Napolitano (born June 6, 1950 in Newark, New Jersey) is a former New Jersey Superior Court Judge and now a political and legal analyst for Fox News Channel. Napolitano started on the channel in 1998, and currently serves as the network's senior judicial analyst, commenting on legal news and trials. He is a graduate of Princeton University (where he was a founding member of the Concerned Alumni of Princeton) and Notre Dame Law School.

Three books on this controversial subject I recommend are:

Professor David Ray Griffin's The New Pearl Harbour and The New Pearl Harbour Revisited.

In the UK edition, Griffin's book contains a Foreword by Michael Meacher MP

I'm currently reading Barrie Zwicker's Towers of Deception: The Media Cover-up of 9/11

42% of US citizens surveyed by Zogby International in 2006 believe that the US government and its 9/11 Commission concealed or refused to investigate critical evidence that contradicts their official explanation of the September 11th attacks, saying there has been a cover-up.

It will be interesting to see the impact of Andrew Napolitano's comments on others in the media. The subject has nearly the same taboo status as the power of the Israel Lobby... Wikipedia has a useful section on the 9/11 Truth movement.

Little Town of Bethlehem Premier: Virginia Water Sunday 28th November

Christ Church, Virginia Water is hosting a UK premier of the film Little Town of Bethlehem on Sunday 28th November at 2.00pm. Free admission. For travel details see here

Little Town of Bethlehem, a documentary film, follows the story of three men of three different faiths and their lives in Israel and Palestine. The story explores each man’s choice of nonviolent action amidst a culture of overwhelming violence.

The film examines the struggle to promote equality through nonviolent engagement in the midst of incredible violence that has dehumanized all sides.

Dr Bishara Awad, the Principal of Bethlehem Bible College and the father of Sami Awad is due to speak at the 11.00am and 6.30pm services at Christ Church, Virginia Water on Sunday 28th November, as well as introduce the film at 2.00pm.


Little Town of Bethlehem: The Story

Sami’s story begins as a young boy living in the Israeli-occupied West Bank; Yonatan’s starts on an Israeli military base; and Ahmad’s begins in a Palestinian refugee camp.

Their three stories are interwoven through the major events of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, starting with the 1972 massacre at the Munich Olympics and following through the first Intifada, suicide bombings in Israel, the Oslo Accords, the assassination of Yitzchak Rabin, and the second Intifada. Sami, Yonatan, and Ahmad each describe the events from their unique perspective, interjecting personal reflections and explaining how these events led them to become involved in the nonviolence movement.

In Bethlehem, the city where it is said that God became man, Sami just wants to be seen as human. First learning about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a teen, he began lecturing about nonviolence in high school. Later, Sami traveled to India to learn more about Gandhi. As the result of his discoveries, he founded the organization Holy Land Trust to promote nonviolence in the Palestinian community.

Yonatan embraced his father’s legacy as a pilot in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and fulfilled his own dream of becoming an IDF helicopter pilot. However, his journey led him to the astonishing decision to join with 26 other IDF pilots who publicly refused to participate in missions that would lead to civilian casualties. Co-founding the organization Combatants for Peace, made up of former Israeli and Palestinian combatants, Yonatan struggles to reconcile his love for his country with his growing opposition to the Israeli occupation.
After studying in Spain, Ahmad returned to Bethlehem to become a nonviolence trainer. Despite the daily challenges of living in a refugee camp, Ahmad remains committed to his community and risks his life and livelihood in nonviolent actions to bring an end to oppression.



For their work, Sami and Ahmad have been labeled as “Israeli collaborators” by some within the Palestinian community, and are seen as a threat to security by the Israeli military. By refusing to participate in offensive military actions against Palestinian civilians, Yonatan has been branded a traitor by some Israelis and can no longer work in his homeland.

All three men have had their lives threatened by members of their own communities as a result of their work. Sami, Yonatan, and Ahmad continue to embrace their common humanity and equality for all, daring to have the hope that peace in the Holy Land can be achieved through nonviolent struggle.

Most films will entertain you. Good films will educate you as well. Brilliant films will engage and move you to action. Once in a while along comes a film that motivates you to become a participant rather than spectator. This is one of those rare films.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Congratulations to Prince William and Kate Middleton

May their marriage be life-giving and life-long,
enriched by your presence and strengthened by your grace;
may they bring comfort and confidence to each other
in faithfulness and trust.

May the hospitality of their home
bring refreshment and joy to all around them;
may their love overflow to neighbours in need
and embrace those in distress.

May they discern in your word
order and purpose for their lives;
and may the power of your Holy Spirit
lead them in truth and defend them in adversity.

May they nurture their family with devotion,
see their children grow in body, mind and spirit
and come at last to the end of their lives
with hearts content and in joyful anticipation of heaven.

Lord of life and love, hear our prayer. Amen

Knesset Buries the Two State Solution

In another slap in the face to the US Administration, by a 65-33 majority, the Israeli Knesset passed the National Referendum Law during a late-night session Monday, approving legislation that will fundamentally alter Israeli negotiators’ ability to offer concrete peace deals involving the return of the Golan Heights to Syria or East Jerusalem and the West Bank to the Palestinians under UN Resolution 242.

The law, which was approved by a vote of 65-33, will require either a Knesset super-majority or a national referendum in order to hand over any annexed territories as part of a future peace deal.


See the Jerusalem Post 

and Israel making a mockery of International law 

In the Daily Telegraph Israel parliament passes referendum law for relinquishing territory Mark Weiss says " the new law places an additional obstacle in the way of Middle East peace efforts." The word 'obstacle' is something of an understatement...
 
See also I know a dead parrot when I see one


As I suggested in October,  we are being sold a dead parrot in the Middle East too, except this one is a complete farce. The two state solution is dead, as dead as a parrot. The US administration knows it. The Palestinian Authority knows it and the Israeli government knows it.

The difference is, Richard Falk, the UN human rights rapporteur, has the guts to say what everyone else knows. The parrot is dead and we want our money back.

Barbara Plett reports for the BBC today, Israeli presence on Palestinian land 'irreversible' which is another way of saying the parrot is dead.

Richard Falk said the peace process aimed at creating an independent, sovereign Palestinian state therefore appeared to be based on an illusion. He said the UN, the US and Israel had failed to uphold Palestinians' rights... In a report for the UN General Assembly, Mr Falk said Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem had become so extensive it amounted to de-facto annexation of Palestinian land... He urged the UN to support civil society initiatives, such as campaigns to sanction or boycott Israel for alleged violations of international law. 
So lets have the funeral service and get it over with. Forget the two state solution. It's dead in the water. The two state solution is dead. Long live the one state then.

If Israel won't give up the settlements then it must give up pretending the Palestinians don't exist, become a proper grown-up democracy, end the Occupation, remove the Separation Wall and the checkpoints, annexe the West Bank, compensate for homes demolished or land confiscated and give the Palestinians full Israeli citizenship entitled to the same civil and political rights as Israeli Jews now enjoy.

Monday, 22 November 2010

An American bribe that stinks of appeasement

Robert Fisk writes this devastating indictment of US foreign policy (and of the complicity of the Western media)  in today's Independent,

In any other country, the current American bribe to Israel, and the latter's reluctance to accept it, in return for even a temporary end to the theft of somebody else's property would be regarded as preposterous. Three billion dollars' worth of fighter bombers in return for a temporary freeze in West Bank colonisation for a mere 90 days? Not including East Jerusalem – so goodbye to the last chance of the east of the holy city for a Palestinian capital – and, if Benjamin Netanyahu so wishes, a rip-roaring continuation of settlement on Arab land. In the ordinary sane world in which we think we live, there is only one word for Barack Obama's offer: appeasement. Usually, our lords and masters use that word with disdain and disgust.

Anyone who panders to injustice by one people against another people is called an appeaser. Anyone who prefers peace at any price, let alone a $3bn bribe to the guilty party – is an appeaser. Anyone who will not risk the consequences of standing up for international morality against territorial greed is an appeaser. Those of us who did not want to invade Afghanistan were condemned as appeasers. Those of us who did not want to invade Iraq were vilified as appeasers. Yet that is precisely what Obama has done in his pathetic, unbelievable effort to plead with Netanyahu for just 90 days of submission to international law. Obama is an appeaser.

The fact that the West and its political and journalistic elites – I include the ever more disreputable New York Times – take this tomfoolery at face value, as if it can seriously be regarded as another "step" in the "peace process", to put this mystical nonsense "back on track", is a measure of the degree to which we have taken leave of our senses in the Middle East.
It is a sign of just how far America (and, through our failure to condemn this insanity, Europe) has allowed its fear of Israel – and how far Obama has allowed his fear of Israeli supporters in Congress and the Senate – to go.

Three billion dollars for three months is one billion dollars a month to stop Israel's colonisation. That's half a billion dollars a fortnight. That's $500m a week. That's $71,428,571 a day, or $2,976,190 an hour, or $49,603 a minute. And as well as this pot of gold, Washington will continue to veto any resolutions critical of Israel in the UN and prevent "Palestine" from declaring itself a state. It's worth invading anyone to get that much cash to stage a military withdrawal, let alone the gracious gesture of not building more illegal colonies for only 90 days while furiously continuing illegal construction in Jerusalem at the same time.
Read more of Fisk here

The whole spectacle is a charade because the Palestinian Authority have made it plain they will not negotiate without a total freeze on Settlement construction. See today's BBC report.

I blogged about the same subject rather less eloquently than Fisk here last week.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

‘End Military Aid to Israel’ message reaches thousands of Chicago commuters

Caren Levy-Van Slyke writes on Mondoweiss,

"The skeptics told us that this would never happen – and we were not too sure ourselves.
Last year, members of the Chicago-area Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine (CJPIP) began developing a new public education campaign. After a decade of creating successful events, we were concerned that our audiences were largely made up of people who already understood the situation on the ground in Israel/Palestine and the role of U.S. policy in the conflict.

How, we asked ourselves, could we spend less time “preaching to the choir” and more time reaching fellow-Chicagoans who don’t have access to information about the U.S. role in perpetuating the conflict? Inspired by the Albuquerque Stop $30 billion to Israel billboard campaign, we decided to take the issue of military aid to Israel directly to tens of thousands of Chicago area commuters who travel the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) system.

Graphic 2We designed an ad campaign with a simple, thought-provoking graphic and text message that runs counter to the false dichotomy that requires people to be either “pro-Israel” or “pro-Palestine.” Our ads show side-by-side photos of Israelis and Palestinians together with this three-part invitation: “Be on our side. We are the side of peace and justice. End U.S. military aid to Israel.”

The ads direct people to our website:  www.TwoPeoplesOneFuture.org, which contains content and action ideas for newcomers to the issue, as well as for issue-veterans.

Read more here

Thursday, 18 November 2010

British Airways and American Express

I tried to buy a seat on the British Airways flight on British Airways own website yesterday using my British Airways American Express Card. It's secure and convenient paying for flights with a credit card and with the British Airways American Express card you earn additional air miles in the British Airways Executive Club. A win-win, or so I thought.

Unfortunately, British Airways don't accept their own American Express card as a means of paying for British Airways flights on their own website. And even worse, they charge a £4.50 surcharge for using any other credit card they do accept. When I tried to use a MasterCard, I was taken to a secure website where I had to prove the card was mine. I tried to use my John Lewis card supplied by HSBC Bank (it says so on the back). Unfortunately, HSBC's representative told me it was not an HSBC card, because it did not appear on their database, so I gave up.

Thankfully, Expedia came to the rescue and offered me the same British Airways flight at the same price as British Airways. Not only do they accept American Express, they don't wack you with a credit card surcharge as well. Well done Expedia.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Everything I Heard about Palestinians was Wrong


American Pentecostals & Evangelicals meet Palestinian Pentecostals & Evangelicals and learn about the Israeli-Palestinian situation. Please visit http://www.pcpj.org to support the production of this documentary being made by Pentecostals & Charismatics for Peace & Justice.

Dr Paul Alexander led this Pentecostals and Charismatics for Peace with Justice (PCPJ) Tour to Palestine.

Crocodile Tears says Norman Finkelstein



Norman Finkelstein has my deepest admiration for the stand he is taking.

His website and books, The Holocaust Industry, Image and Reality and Beyond Chutzpah

Check out this film also American Radical and this preview.

He also appears in With God on our Side

Gaza was not a war it was a massacre says Norman Finkelstein

In a presentation sponsored by Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CPME), at the University of Toronto recently, American scholar Dr. Norman Finkelstein said there was no war in Gaza: the so-called War in Gaza was a massacre. He also said the 2008-2009 devastation of Gaza may be but a prelude of what's to come in Lebanon.

Mr. Finkelstein was awarded his doctorate by Princeton University in 1988, and has subsequently taught at Rutgers, New York University, Brooklyn College, Hunter College and DePaul University (Chicago). His academic research has concentrated on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its representation in political discourse.

He said that although Israel flew 2,800 to 3,000 combat missions, not a single plane was damaged because Hamas sat in its bunkers the whole time; an Israeli analyst said not a single battle was fought.

“Many were killed in their homes or going about their daily activities. Of the 400 children killed, many were studying or playing on their roofs or in their homes. All the human rights organizations said these actions were war crimes and crimes against humanity. They said Hamas committed comparable crimes, but not on a comparable scale.”

Read more here on why Israel's war crimes and crimes against humanity go unreported by media

Little Town of Bethlehem at Christ Church 28th November

Christ Church, Virginia Water are hosting a UK premier of the film Little Town of Bethlehem on Sunday 28th November at 2.00pm. Free admission. For travel details see here

Little Town of Bethlehem, a documentary film, follows the story of three men of three different faiths and their lives in Israel and Palestine. The story explores each man’s choice of nonviolent action amidst a culture of overwhelming violence.

The film examines the struggle to promote equality through nonviolent engagement in the midst of incredible violence that has dehumanized all sides.

 Dr Bishara Awad denied exit visa

Dr Bishara Awad, the Principal of Bethlehem Bible College and the father of Sami Awad is due to speak at the 11.00am and 6.30pm services at Christ Church, Virginia Water on Sunday 28th November, as well as introduce the film at 2.00pm. However, the Israeli military authorities have so far denied him an exit visa to leave the ghetto prison of Bethlehem.

Little Town of Bethlehem: The Story

Sami’s story begins as a young boy living in the Israeli-occupied West Bank; Yonatan’s starts on an Israeli military base; and Ahmad’s begins in a Palestinian refugee camp.

Their three stories are interwoven through the major events of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, starting with the 1972 massacre at the Munich Olympics and following through the first Intifada, suicide bombings in Israel, the Oslo Accords, the assassination of Yitzchak Rabin, and the second Intifada. Sami, Yonatan, and Ahmad each describe the events from their unique perspective, interjecting personal reflections and explaining how these events led them to become involved in the nonviolence movement.

In Bethlehem, the city where it is said that God became man, Sami just wants to be seen as human. First learning about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a teen, he began lecturing about nonviolence in high school. Later, Sami traveled to India to learn more about Gandhi. As the result of his discoveries, he founded the organization Holy Land Trust to promote nonviolence in the Palestinian community.

Yonatan embraced his father’s legacy as a pilot in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and fulfilled his own dream of becoming an IDF helicopter pilot. However, his journey led him to the astonishing decision to join with 26 other IDF pilots who publicly refused to participate in missions that would lead to civilian casualties. Co-founding the organization Combatants for Peace, made up of former Israeli and Palestinian combatants, Yonatan struggles to reconcile his love for his country with his growing opposition to the Israeli occupation.
After studying in Spain, Ahmad returned to Bethlehem to become a nonviolence trainer. Despite the daily challenges of living in a refugee camp, Ahmad remains committed to his community and risks his life and livelihood in nonviolent actions to bring an end to oppression.



For their work, Sami and Ahmad have been labeled as “Israeli collaborators” by some within the Palestinian community, and are seen as a threat to security by the Israeli military. By refusing to participate in offensive military actions against Palestinian civilians, Yonatan has been branded a traitor by some Israelis and can no longer work in his homeland.

All three men have had their lives threatened by members of their own communities as a result of their work. Sami, Yonatan, and Ahmad continue to embrace their common humanity and equality for all, daring to have the hope that peace in the Holy Land can be achieved through nonviolent struggle.

Most films will entertain you. Good films will educate you as well. Brilliant films will engage and move you to action. Once in a while along comes a film that motivates you to become a participant rather than spectator. This is one of those rare films.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Disconnect NOW: British Telecom Cut Your Ties to Occupation


Disconnect NOW: BT cut your ties to Occupation

In January 2010, BT welcomed Israeli company Bezeq International into its Global Alliance. Bezeq International is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bezeq, which provides telecommunication services to illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

BT claims to conduct its business according to high ethical standards, placing a commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility – as well as respect for human rights – at the heart of what it does.

The settlements are not just illegal under international law – they violate the human rights of Palestinians living under military occupation. Settlements are also an obstacle to a just peace.

A Just Peace for Palestine
with War on Want, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, and Palestine Solidarity Campaign are calling for BT to sever its ties with Bezeq International and end its complicity in severe breaches of international law and the violation of human rights.

Tell BT to disconnect from occupation!

See Disconnect Now

BT and Bezeq International

Bezeq and the Settlements

The Settlement Illegality

Impact on Human Rights

Take Action

Letter in The Guardian

Disconnect Now Facebook pag

Disconnect Now launched

Monday, 15 November 2010

Friends of Sabeel North America Make the ADL Top Ten


On October 14th, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) published a list of "the 10 most influential and active anti-Israel groups in the U.S."

Friends of Sabeel-North America, along with other groups who educate and advocate for justice in the Holy Land, is among them.

On their website FOSNA state:
We are proud that our own efforts have been judged so effective, but saddened that we should be considered a threat. The ADL, founded in 1913 "to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all", should be our natural ally in the struggle for human rights, not an opponent.

The problem, of course, is that the current ADL leadership fears that criticism of Israeli government policies crucially undermines support for the state. But we believe it is the blatant injustice and brutality of Occupation and Settlement, not our criticism of these policies, that are undermining support for Israel and threatening its future.

The great Hebrew prophets taught that legitimacy is not something others can give; it is something that every nation must create for itself through its own just actions. In the light of this teaching, it is our faith that once justice is loosed "like an ever-flowing stream" from every corner of the Land, that mercy and peace will surely follow for all who call it Home.

Friends of Sabeel - North America
Frequently Asked Questions

Want to read more?  Here are statements issued by other Listees (as of October 19th):

Jewish Voice for Peace Responds
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation Responds
Executive Director of Council on American-Islamic Relations (Chicago Chapter) Responds
Students for Justice in Palestine Respond
U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation Responds

Bantustan, Reservation or Archipelago de Palestine Orientale


Bantustan, Reservation or Archipelago? It makes no difference. Whether the parallel is with the North American Indian reservations, South Africa's apartheid era Bantustans or Russia's frozen Archipelago, it makes no difference. As experiments in racial segregation, they all failed. And it doesn't sound much better in French either.

What the Palestinians are being sold is a piece of rotten meat. A 90 day moratorium on Israeli settlement expansion (excluding Jerusalem) won't improve the smell. The illegal Israeli Settlements ensure there will never be a sovereign,  independent, viable or contiguous Palestine. And until there is justice for Palestinians, there will be no security for Israelis. That is because the best defence is not another 20 F-35 fighter aircraft. The best defence is a good neighbour. The maps show the peace deal on the table to be a bare faced lie. 



When the Palestinians reject this 'final' offer as they will, will Israel unilaterally declare its own borders, knowing the US will veto any attempt by the Palestinians to do the same at the UN?

Does the US President really hold the Arab world in such low esteem that he thinks they will buy this 'deal'? Does he really believe that Israel will agree to dismantle its settlements, comply with UN Resolution 242, return to the pre 1967 borders and recognize a Palestinian State all within 90 days? I don't see any incentive for Netanyahu to do so other than sit tight, accept the $3 billion worth of extra fighter jets, bank the promise of a unilateral UN veto and wait for the 90 days to expire before expanding the settlements again.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Forgive Me For Asking Mr President



Forgive me for asking but why does the US President want a 90 day Israeli moratorium on settlement expansion (excluding Jerusalem and existing settlements it goes without saying)?

Is this a joke, a charade or a farce (or all three)?

I could see the logic of asking BEFORE the mid-term elections to bolster support for the Democrats. Why make a deal now, unless it is to dispel the notion that it WAS intended to give succour to all the President's men? Or is it to prove to the world that Obama can strike a deal with the Israelis no matter how much it costs? 

I seem to remember under Clinton, the Oslo Peace Accord envisaged a seven year transitional timetable. Under Bush Jr at Annapolis, we were promised peace could be achieved in just one year. Does Obama think he can solve a 43 year old conflict in 90 days?

But it’s not the 90 day 'moratorium' that worries me – it’s the 'one time' ask and the long list of sweeteners being offered just to get it.

Haaretz claims,
The deal includes a U.S. undertaking not to request a further extension of the freeze, and to veto any attempt by the Palestinians to win UN recognition of their state unilaterally. The Obama administration would also ask Congress to approve a $3 billion sale of warplanes to Israel and, should there be peace with the Palestinians, guarantee its wider security needs. These would supplement the 20 F-35s Israel already plans to buy for $2.75 billion drawn from annual grants it gets from Washington.

Will the promise of a US veto if the Palestinians seek to win UN recognition of their state unilaterally enhance or endanger US interests still further in the Middle East?

Or is the whole caboodle designed as a PR exercise to show the allies that Israel is ‘serious’ about the peace process (with US backing and sweeteners all telegraphed via the media) and that the Palestinians are not?

Karen Laub of the Associated Press suggests
Washington's new proposal for reviving Mideast talks, presented Sunday to Israel's Cabinet, rests on the bold expectation that Israelis and Palestinians will be able to sketch a border between them in three months. That's the period the plan sets aside for a one-time extension of a ban on new construction in West Bank settlements...A border deal, even in rough outlines, could delineate which areas Israel could expect to keep in a final peace deal and where it would thus be free to keep building homes for Jews.But it's a risky strategy..."
Its only a risky strategy if you are betting the farm on it, and that sounds like what Obama is doing. Netanyahu isn't. If he can't get a Cabinet majority he will form a new government and prevaricate for yet more time while the Settlements expand.
Unless that is, Obama and Netanyahu have already done a deal that if these negotiations fail (as they will), Israel will be forced to unilaterally declare its borders, guess what, based on the route of the Separation Barrier, keep the Settlements and give the Palestinians Gaza and Areas A & B but without the connecting Areas C in the West Bank. The New York Times helpfully described this as the West Bank Archipalego based on a map by Julien Bousac
I get the feeling we haven't got all the pieces of the puzzle yet. It doesn't add up. Yours still very confused.

With God on our Side #1 on Amazon



As of the time of this posting, “With God On Our Side” is #1 at Amazon.com under the catagory of “Religious Documentaries“. This comes on the backend of the USA and UK tours which were both great successes. Check out Porter's blog on the UK tour soon.

Robert Murray McCheyne’s Church Hosts Christian Zionism Seminar



Porter Speakman Jr and I gave presentations on Tuesday at a seminar on Christian Zionism hosted by Solas: The Centre for Public Christianity based at St Peter’s Free Church of Scotland in Dundee.

One of my spiritual heroes, Robert Murray McCheyne was the pastor of St Peter’s between 1831-1843. One of his particular passions was ministry to Jewish people. In 1839 along with Andrew Bonar, Alexander Black and Alexander Keith, McCheyne made a six month visit to Palestine to examine the condition of the Jewish people in Europe and Palestine. His only published book was a result of that tour – a joint effort with Andrew Bonar – The Narrative of a Mission of Inquiry to the Jews.

It was doubly significant therefore that Porter Speakman Jr, the producer of the film With God on our Side, showed a preview and spoke about his ministry in Israel/Palestine, and I gave a short paper on the Bible, Israel and the Church.




We had a fruitful and constructive two hour bible-based discussion with about 25 evangelical church leaders from the Presbyterian, Church of Scotland, Baptist and Free Church of Scotland. While many identified with a Christian Zionist perspective, we were nevertheless unanimous in our desire that Jews and Palestinians hear the good news of Jesus Christ and come to live together in peace and reconciliation.

The seminar was also recorded by Thistle Channel TV for a programme on Christian Zionism. Local Christian leaders also hosted the film With God on our Side at the Hilton International Hotel in Dundee last night.

Ben White on A Just Peace for Palestine


Ben White on a Just Peace for Palestine from Stephen Sizer on Vimeo.

Ben White explains about the new initiative, a Just Peace for Palestine.

A Just Peace for Palestine means peace and security for Israelis too.

Occupation and segregation – unjust and unsustainable.
A campaign for all those who support a just peace in Palestine/Israel.
An idea whose time has come. Now is a time for action.

Ben is author of Israeli Apartheid, a Beginners Guide and a contributor to the film With God on our Side

He also blogs here.

Marie Crawley on Sadaka, the Ireland Palestine Alliance


Sadaka The Ireland Palestine Alliance from Stephen Sizer on Vimeo.

Marie Crawley is the chair of Sadaka – the Ireland Palestine Alliance. Sadaka which was formed in 2009, aims to maximise support throughout all sections of Irish society for the cause of the Palestinian people in their struggle for national, democratic and human rights. 'Sadaka' is an Arabic word meaning ‘Friendship’

sadaka.ie 

Marie Crawley of Sadaka, on the 'With God on our Side' Irish Tour


Marie Crawley on With God on our Side from Stephen Sizer on Vimeo.

Sadaka, the Ireland Palestine Alliance, sponsored the premiere of the new film With God on our Side to a packed audience at Trinity College, Dublin and Queen's University, Belfast this week. The audiences included university faculty, students, local clergy, trade unionists, church members and representatives of other faith communities. This was also the first public event of Sadaka in Dublin.


Marie Crawley, chair of Sadaka speaks about the impact the film has made.

See her introduction to the film here and feedback from Professor John Pinkerton here.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

What is a 'Christian Friend of Israel'?

From a Christian perspective, what is a true 'friend of Israel'? A true friend will tell you when you are going astray. A true friend will help you when you get lost. A true friend will introduce you to their best friend.

In his Epistle to the Romans, the apostle Paul writes,

"I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel." (Romans 9:2-4)

Why was Paul sorrowful?

"the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone." (Romans 9:31-32)

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile." (Romans 1:16).

The apostle Peter adds,

"But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." (1 Peter 3:15)

A true friend of israel will not be ashamed of the gospel, nor sharing it sensitively with gentleness and respect. It is surely anti-Semitic to deprive Jewish people the same opportunity as Gentiles to hear the good news of Jesus the Messiah, the Saviour of the World.

A true friend will not be ashamed to introduce you to their best friend.

See here for more.

Emmanuel College Cambridge Hosts With God on our Side

Delighted to see Cambridge University and the Right Revd David Thomson, the Bishop of Huntingdon, promoting the showing of With God on our Side at Emmanuel College, Cambridge this afternoon.

I'm writing this in Dublin airport on our way home to the UK after two days touring Ireland. The film was premiered at Stormont home of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Queen's College, Belfast and Trinity College, Dublin.

This is taken from Bishop Thomson's blog. "Cambridge is to host an exclusive screening and discussion of the the film that has provoked controversy and debate in the US – ‘With God On Our Side’ – followed by Q&A with Director/Producer Porter Speakman Jr., Rev Stephen Sizer, and Ben White."

Date: Saturday 13 November
Time: 2pm
Venue: Queen’s Building Auditorium, Emmanuel College, Cambridge University

Click here for directions
  • Porter Speakman, Jr. is the Director and Producer of ‘With God On Our Side’. He lives with his family in Colorado, US.
  • Rev Stephen Sizer is the Vicar Of Christ Church, Virginia Water. He is the author of ‘Christian Zionism: Roadmap to Armageddon’ (IVP, 2004) and ‘Zion’s Christian Soldiers: The Bible, Israel and the Church’ (IVP, 2007). He is a trustee and former chairman of the International Bible Society UK.
  • Ben White is a freelance journalist, writer, and activist. He is campaign coordinator for Amos Trust’s campaign, ‘A Just Peace for Palestine’. He is the author of ‘Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide’ (Pluto Press, 2009)
Publicity for the event states:
‘With God On Our Side’ takes a look at the theology of Christian Zionism, which teaches that because the Jews are God’s chosen people, they have a divine right to the land of Israel. Aspects of this belief system lead some Christians in the West to give uncritical support to Israeli government policies, even those that privilege Jews at the expense of Palestinians, leading to great suffering among Muslim and Christian Palestinians alike and threatening Israel’s security as a whole. This film demonstrates that there is a biblical alternative for Christians who want to love and support the people of Israel, a theology that doesn’t favour one people group over another but instead promotes peace and reconciliation for both Jews and Palestinians.
Official film website here.
Further clips can be viewed here.

Trinity College Dublin Hosts Irish Premiere of With God on our Side


Sadaka, the Ireland Palestine Alliance, sponsored the premiere of the new film With God on our Side to a packed audience at Trinity College, Dublin, last night. The largest audience on the UK-Ireland tour so far, included university faculty, students, local clergy, trade unionists, church members and representatives of other faith communities. This was also the first public event of Sadaka in Dublin.

An update to this blog will include, we hope, a recording of the Q&A discussion that followed. You can view an interview with Marie Crawley, Chair of Sadaka about the film

Friday, 12 November 2010

Queen's University Belfast Hosts With God on our Side

Last night a packed Queen's University lecture theatre made up of students, faculty and the invited public watched the film With God on our Side. Representing the entire spectrum of religious tradition and political opinion that make up Northern Ireland the audience expressed positive enthusiasm for the film, even those sympathetic to Zionism. There was a remarkable consensus in the Q&A on the need for a just and peaceful  resolution to the Middle East conflict, and this despite attempts by some Zionists to pressure the university authorities to cancel the event.

Here, Marie Crawley the chair of Sadaka, the Ireland Palestine Alliance introduces the film at Queen's University, Belfast.


Marie Crawley chair of Sadaka introduces film With God on our Side from Stephen Sizer on Vimeo.

In this short interview, John Pinkerton, Professor of Social Work, in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work at Queen's University, gives his feedback on the film.


Professor John Pinkerton on the film With God on our Side from Stephen Sizer on Vimeo.

With God on our Side at Stormont


Yesterday on Remembrance Day, the film With God on our Side was shown to an invited audience at Stormont, home of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Those present represented the spectrum of political opinion and religious tradition that make up Northern Ireland. All present were impressed with the film and the question time had to be extended afterwards.



On the day we remember with great respect, the dead from two World Wars as well as the 50 or more regional wars since 1945, in which allied servicemen and women have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of mankind, it was most appropriate to be showing the film at Stormont.

In With God on our Side we meet Jews, Moslems and Christians who have disavowed racism, ethnic cleansing and violence as a means of resolving conflict, but instead are working for justice, peace and reconciliation for all who live in the Middle East.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Stormont Assembly to Host Showing of With God on Our Side

Members of the Stormont Assembly have been invited to a private viewing of the film With God on our Side tomorrow. Northern Ireland politicians and civil servants will have an opportunity to meet the producer, Porter Speakman Jr. and learn of one of the major impediments to a resolution of the Middle East conflict, namely the support given by Christian Zionists to the illegal military occupation and colonisation of Palestine.

Parallels may clearly be drawn between Britain's attempts to colonise both Ireland and Palestine  No doubt this is one of the reasons why the Irish are able to identify with those seeking an end to the occupation of Palestine and a diplomatic resolution to the Middle East conflict based on the rule of international law.

Jessie Adams on With God on our Side


Jessie Adams on With God on our Side from Stephen Sizer on Vimeo.

Jessie Adams is the Pastor of the Evangelical Covenant Church in Silverhill, Alabama, and President of the South East Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

In this interview he gives his feedback on the film With God on our Side, shown in his church in November 2010.

1984 Doublethink



Once you have seen the truth, it is hard to 'unsee' it. That is the dilemma Zionist Christians face after they have seen the film With God on our Side or read the book Zion's Christian Soldiers. The film shatters the myth that the modern state of Israel is in any way the fulfilment of Bible prophecy or that God's chosen people are determined on the basis of race, or that the Jewish people have a divine right to much of the Middle East.

The opening scene from the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) conference reminds me of the Apple 1984 advert.

The film shows unequivocally from the Bible that the promises made to Abraham were fulfilled in and through Jesus Christ and those who recognises him as their Lord and Saviour, both Jews and Gentiles. The film repudiates the cruel and unjust colonisation of Palestine, the denial of the fundamental human rights of Palestinians and the justification of apartheid in the name of God. Jesus has called his followers to be peacemakers not widowmakers, to be ambassadors of reconciliation not confrontation.

But what can Zionist Christians do when they realise their theology is unbiblical, immoral and racist in practice? George Orwell calls it 'doublethink' in his novel, 1984.
"The process [of doublethink] has to be conscious, or it would not be carried out with sufficient precision, but it also has to be unconscious, or it would bring with it a feeling of falsity and hence of guilt ... to tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies - all this is indispensably necessary."
The Bible simply calls 'doublethink' what it really is - hypocrisy. And Jesus reserved some of his strongest criticisms for those who claimed to worship God and practised it. If you feel Frankie Schaeffer uses strong language in his Huffingtonpost Review, then check out how Jesus described the condition and fate of unrepentent hypocrites.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are... “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started! “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation." (Matthew 23:13-15, 29-36)

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Frankie Schaeffer's Huffingtonpost Review of With God on our Side

"With God On Our Side is the most powerful, humane and compassionate documentary exposé of the Christian Zionist movement, and the impact of their ideology on the lives they have touched (and ruined), ever made. It is well crafted, subtle and fair. And -- notable in the "when hell freezes over" department -- it was directed and produced by... an American Evangelical."

I didn't say it. Frank Schaeffer, the son of Francis Schaeffer, said it. Frankie is a writer and New York Times best-selling author of Crazy for God

Read the rest of his Huffingtonpost blast here but make a strong coffee first.

Here's a flavour:

"It's the Christian Zionists who have driven American foreign policy over a cliff. (I'm speaking here as the proud father of a Marine, who was sent to war in the Middle East, again and again.) Christian Zionists continuously jeopardize our future by putting the promotion of harebrained interpretations of biblical "prophecy" ahead of the well being of both Israel and the US.

To the Christian Zionists "defending Israel" is just a handy pretext for indulging their obsession: egging on, even "helping" the fulfillment of "biblical prophecies" about the "return of Christ." But their worst sin isn't just embracing dumb "theology" but that they have enabled a nefarious group of losers to irreparably harm America and contribute to the needless killing of our men and women in uniform worldwide: the neoconservatives.

To the neoconservatives "defending Israel" is just a handy pretext for upholding the myth of "American exceptionalism" for profit and nationalistic "glory," of the kind that was supposed to have gone out of fashion when hubris and stupidity got half the young male population of Europe killed in World War One"
Now read the rest of his stunningly-brilliant and brutally-honest review here