Category Archives: Middle East

Cursed Victory: A History of Israel and the Occupied Territories by Ahron Bregman: a Summary by Colin Chapman

‘This is the story of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula since its sweeping victory over the combined forces of its Jordanian, Syrian and Egyptian neighbours in the Six Day War of 1967… The story that follows is about the politics and practice of the Israeli occupation …’

 This summary of the main themes – with extended quotations – answers questions like these:

– Is Israel justified in arguing that it is not an ‘occupation’?

– How has Israel managed the occupation? What has it meant in practice for ordinary people?

– Why did Israel withdraw from Sinai (after Camp David 1999) and from Gaza (2005), but not from the West Bank or the Golan Heights?

– Is there any hope of the occupation coming to an end? Continue reading

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Faith Misplaced: The Broken Promise of US Arab Relations 1820-2001 by Ussama Makdisi. A Summary by Colin Chapman

A Summary by Colin Chapman

It’s impossible to understand the present American policies regarding Israel and the Middle East without understanding the previous history of US – Arab relations. Here is a book which explains what Americans (and especially American Christians) need to know about this history.It has three major themes:

  1. The attitude of Arabs towards the US in the 19thcentury was overwhelmingly positive

‘Christian and Muslim Arabs were able to draw a picture of the US as a benevolent great power that was neither imperialist nor covetous of the resources or lands of the Ottoman Empire.’ (3)

‘American missionaries, not soldiers, constituted the first face of America to Arabs …’ and they built up a ‘reservoir of good will.’ (3) Continue reading

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The New Antisemitism

Ten years ago, in September 2008, an anonymous ‘Mordechai Maverick’ sent a defamatory message about me to everyone in our church Facebook group. The message drew attention to a new but anonymous blog called Seismic Shock (intended apparently to sound like my name), which described me as a “dangerous anti- Semite” and promised to publish articles to expose me. The anonymous author(s) then began to write articles about me on a weekly basis, sometimes daily. These were subsequently re-posted on other websites such as Rosh Pina Projectand Harry’s Place. In a one year period September 2008-to July 2009 well over one hundred articles about me were published on the Seismic Shockwebsite.

Surrey police took an interest and provided me and my family with additional security. On 29th November 2009, I received a report from West Yorkshire Police to advise that they had identified and visited an individual and asked him to desist writing defamatory material about me and remove from his website material of that nature. I was asked to contact them if I became aware of further articles by the same individual “causing you harassment”. Despite the fact that at the time I did not know the name of the author, he subsequently went public and then accused me of using the police to suppress free speech on the internet. Continue reading

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The weaponisation of antisemitism


An interview with Roshan Muhammed Salih for Press TV on the weaponisation of antisemitism together with Jonathan Rosenhead, Emeritus Professor of Operational Research at the London School of Economics. Jonathan is also chair of the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine and executive member of Jewish Voice for Labour.

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Five Strategies


Five Strategies used by the Israel Lobby to silence critics. Recorded for Press TV.

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Britain Palestine Israel – 70 Years On

Photos of yesterday’s conference organised by King’s College, London & Balfour Project: 1st May 2018.

Speakers included Sir Vincent Fean (former British Counsel-General, Jerusalem), Alon Liel (former Director-General, Israeli Foreign Ministry), Ghada Karmi (Palestinian doctor, writer, Research Fellow, Exeter University), Peter Shambrook (British historian specialising in the Middle East), Leila Sansour (Palestinian film maker based in Bethlehem) and Menachem Klein Department of Political Science, Bar-Ilan University, Israel and Visiting Professor, Kings College Middle East Studies Department).  Continue reading

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Jerusalem: Eternal City of Faith

President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, destroyed in the stroke of the pen any lingering illusions of a shared city, the two state solution or an independent sovereign Palestine. Jewish and Christian Zionists regard Jerusalem as the exclusive, undivided and eternal capital of the Jewish state, justifying the annexation, segregation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

Following the Arab-Israeli war of 1967 and the capture of Jerusalem, in June 1971, a conference took place in  Jerusalem of over 1,200 evangelical leaders from 32 different countries. Welcomed by David Ben Gurion, the conference was billed as “the first conference of its kind since A.D. 59”. The capture of Jerusalem was portrayed as “confirmation that Jews and Israel still had a role to play in God’s ordering of history” and that the return of Jesus was imminent.[1]

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Statement by the Syrian Patriarchs in Damascus

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The Lord’s Prayer in Time of War

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Our Father, who art in heaven,
slow to anger, and of great mercy, lover of all peoples of the earth,

Hallowed be thy Name.
Remind us that “all the nations are as nothing before thee,”
their governments but a shadow of passing age;

Thy kingdom come on earth.
Grant to thy children throughout the world,
and especially to the leaders of the nations,
the gift of prayerful thought and thoughtful prayer;
that following the example of our Lord,
we may discern what is right, and do it;

Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Help us to protect and to provide for all who are hungry and homeless,
especially those who are deprived of food and shelter,
family and friends, by the tragedy of war;

Give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us for neglecting to “seek peace and pursue it,”
and finding ourselves in each new crisis,
more ready to make war than to make peace.
“We have not loved thee with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves”;

Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Let us not seek revenge, but reconciliation;
Let us not delight in victory, but in justice;
Let us not give ourselves up to pride, but to prayer;

Lead us not into temptation.
Be present to all thy children ravaged by war:
Be present to those who are killing and to those who are being killed;
Be present to the loved ones of those who are killing
and to the loved ones of those who are being killed;

Deliver us from evil.
Subdue our selfish desires to possess and to dominate,
and forbid us arrogance in victory;

For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

~ written by Wendy Lyons

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The Bride and the Dowry: Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinians in the Aftermath of the June 1967 War: Avi Raz

13220864A SUMMARY by Colin Chapman

 This is a book which ought to be read widely as we remember in June 2017 the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War of 1967. If we wonder why Israel shows no sign of being willing to end its occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Avi Raz, an Israeli Jewish journalist and historian, has collected convincing evidence from the period of twenty-one months between June 1967 and February 1969 to show that the vast majority of Israeli leaders never had any intention of withdrawing from the occupied territories.

 These are the main conclusions of the book together with quotations taken mainly from the Introduction and Conclusion:

‘Israel desired the land without its population.’

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