An open letter to St. James’ Church at Christmas

Written by Michael Dickson the Director for StandWithUs, Israel.

St. James’s Church, in Piccadilly, London, decided to celebrate Christmas by erecting a 26 foot replica of the wall section of the Israeli security barrier outside their church and project anti-Israel propaganda on it as part of their “Bethlehem Unwrapped” ‘festival’.

Here is a letter I sent today to the pastoral and administrative staff of the church.

You can see the extent, planning and money that went into this stunt on this clip. 

Dear Pastor Winkett and St. James Church staff,

What a mean-spirited, one-sided and divisive stunt you chose to politicise your church with this Christmas.

In an ideal world there would be no walls.

In an ideal world there would also be no suicide bombers – radical Islamist Palestinians who hate the Jews that live close to them so much that they are willing to indiscriminately kill them and others – be it in a shopping centre, disco, pizza restaurant or if they are sitting at their Passover Seder.

Be in no doubt that Israel built a security barrier only after enduring a wave of horrific terrorism that left thousands dead and maimed for life.

Your completely partial representation of the situation negates their loss of life and shows gross insensitivity to their families – and by extension to all Israelis and the Jewish community in the UK, none of whom were untouched by these murders.

Hadas Fogel, three months old, was killed by terrorists  on March 11, 2011. Th e terrorists confessed that they  left the Fogel home after murdering Hadas’ parents  and two sleeping brothers but returned to murder  Hadas when they heard her start crying.

Hadas Fogel, three months old, was killed by terrorists on March 11, 2011. The terrorists confessed that they left the Fogel home after murdering Hadas’ parents and two sleeping brothers but returned to murder Hadas when they heard her start crying.

_________________________________________________________

Be in no doubt also that the only reason that this vicious terrorism has died down is not because the extremists stopped trying, but because they are prevented to get to their intended victims.

That includes, by the way, me and my children.

We are Brits who moved to Israel. We are only safe because we have security on our buses (an attempted bombing took place last week), our schools and public places.

London saw this kind of suffering on 7/7; similar attacks were occurring in Israel’s streets daily until the security barrier was built.

Sure, it causes inconvenience and Palestinians hate it, but which is worse: inconvenience or death?

Because that – plainly – is the choice.

The Bible I read says clearly: “Choose Life”.

The radicals, who abide by a charter that openly calls for the destruction of Israel and death to Jews, will not give up.

And if the terrorism does stop, the barrier can be dismantled; but people cannot be brought back to life.

Ask yourself this: if you lived in Israel and you knew that mere miles away from you there were people who wanted to blow up your family, or slaughter them in their beds as with the Fogel Family massacre – what would YOU do? As peace-loving as you or I may be, if you are honest you would consider that to protect your family, you would want your government to build a wall. And if they didn’t you might want to build one yourself.

I desperately want peace. I need peace, because I live here in Israel.

Therefore I educate my kids to want and pursue peace.

I wish that Palestinian children – who watch anti-Jewish rhetoric daily on Palestinian Authority-controlled TV – will be taught the same. Those children deserve more than the leadership they have and the terrorists and Islamists that are in their midst.

You should ask yourself: Is this act that we are promoting fair, honest? Does it represent the truth of the situation?

Can it really be that Israel – Israel alone, a tiny country – the world’s only Jewish country, surrounded by hostile countries – is to blame – solely, completely?

And most importantly – ask yourselves: Is this radical thing that we have chosen to do a step towards peace? Will it bring people together and pave the way for a more peaceful future? Or is it stunningly divisive at best and horribly offensive at worst? You know my view and I believe your act to be – as much as anything else – deeply unChristian.

Your staff may wish to read this interesting blog, which highlights just where you went wrong this Christmas.

You can read an informational flyer from StandWithUs on the security barrier here.

Here is a brochure with faces of the children whose lives were snuffed out by Palestinian terrorists.

Those who were murdered by terrorism before the security barrier was built cannot cry out.

So I hope in some small way to be their voice.

And I hope that those among you who regret this uncompassionate, one-sided, divisive act at Christmas taking place at St. James Church, will speak out too.

Merry Christmas,

Michael Dickson,

Jerusalem

StandWithUs UK is joining with others to counter this display – read more on this link or write to them if you would like to help – click here to email.

Readers can write their own letter to St. James’s Church 

This is the link to the  list of all names and address to contact at St. James’ Church which was kindly sent in by a reader.

http://jewsdownunder.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/st-james-church-full-contact-list/

 

Original at Times of Israel

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44 comments

  1. This should be distributed far and wide ! (twittered it). Talk about Jew Hatred. News for St. James “Church”: YOU KNOW: THE JEWS DID NOT KILL JESUS ! Is it ignorance or ill will that makes you an instrument of those who think Hitler had not “finished his job”? SHAME ON YOU. And no, I am not Jewish !

      • Thanks for the link Rita – Melanie Phillips is a real gem.
        I received an automated response from St James parish secretary David Hamilton-Peters that he is on leave until early next year but Revd Lucy Winkett has not responded or acknowledged my letter. Maybe she is swamped with emails and will simply ignore them?

      • @Geoff. Yes, Melanie Phillips is one of those magnificent Jewish women, like Caroline Glick and more. I dont know why, but this disgusting action sticks out even in a sea of Jew-hatred (I am under no illusion that they dont hate the Jews because of Israel, but they hate Israel because of the Jews).

        Anecdotally I have seen from adherents to this church a “the-Jews-killed-Jesus” kind of anti-semitism. I put it down to a lack of historical knowledge. Now, with this deliberate act by the church officials who cannot hide  behind the Nuremberg defence, it has become clear to me that with the Church of England we are faced with pure Jew-Hatred – nothing less. Shame on them, from a German-born Catholic agnostic. Unlike them, I dont claim to be a “Christian”, so I am allowed to not forgive them this blatant act of incitement to hatred. They should be ashamed on so many levels. In German we have a word for them:  PFUI !

        • Rita, the Anglican church is quite divided on this issue and in Australia the people I know are appalled by this action. However it needs a strong statement by the Archbishop of Canterbury to rebuke St James but that seems unlikely now. Actually it is not just the Anglican church as the church of Scotland (Kirk) is rabidly anti-Israel and supports the BDS movement among others. My father’s family is from Scotland and they were strongly pro-Israel.

    • Geoff, I think that any half-way decent person should be appalled by this kind of incitement to hatred. In this case I singled out that church because they did this in the name of it, but I dont think ANY church, including the Catholic one who have not covered themselves in glory, deserve absolution. Personally I am very underwhelmed by the mixed signals that the new pope sends out towards those who want Israel rased from the earth.

      As to the Archbishop of Canterbury, I agree with you and dont expect a rebuke towards St. James, unless pressured by a media outcry, which I dont expect either, seeing the caliber of the present main media. Nor does he have the alibi of not knowing – this shameful thing was 8 months or more in the making.

  2. Pastor Winkett, I am sure you know your Bible so you must know who G-d’s enemies are from Psalm 83 and you must know from Isaiah 62 that G-d will protect Zion. Matthew 12:30 states that anyone who isn’t helping me opposes me and in Matthew 25:45 it states that when you refused to help my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.
    By building a wall to denigrate Israel, you are opposing Israel and from the gospel of Matthew, you are opposing G-d. Is that what you want?
    G-d’s enemies surround Israel and bow down to Mecca to worship a foreign G-d called Allah who hates Israel and Christians alike. Has it escaped your attention that in Bethlehem Christians are persecuted, churches and bookshops are firebombed and Christians have fled. After 1948 Bethlehem had a Christian population of 80% and today only a small fraction remain and live in fear. And you ignore your brothers in Christ to defend those who are persecuting them. Where does it tell you to do that in the New Testament?
    Ramallah had a Christian population of 90% before the war and now it is mostly Muslim.
    Are you aware that in Gaza they dig up Christian graves because they pollute the earth?
    Do you understand from Islamic scripture the following:
    1. Christians are the vilest of creatures and are pigs who must be killed
    2. a Muslim is promised Paradise if they kill a Christian and they also get special rewards
    3. Muslims must continue to fight and kill Christians until Islam is the only religion.
    Pastor Winkett, how do you reconcile your actions that support for the enemies of G-d?

  3. How well oiled is the Christian church with Arab money in this propaganda move. The Church should be even-handed and display pictures of Coptic churches burning, the remnants of Iraqi
    Christians not able to celebrate Christmas, the burning of Christian churches in Indonesia and the decapitation of Christian schoolgirls displayed & mounted on tree stumps. The Palestinians are squatters in the land of Israel. Jesus would not have a chance to survive after all he was a Jew. Pastor Winkett you take pride in abysmal ignorance to throw in you lot with haters. Pity you know little about your own Bible & history. Wake up, reject the 30 pieces of Arab silver.

  4. Leon Poddebsky

    I have written to them the following truths:
    They have no sympathy for Arabs.
    What they have is a 2,000 year-old hatred against the Jewish People.
    As long as even one Jew survives in the universe there will always be a nagging doubt in their minds about the validity of their theology.
    That is why they want us to disappear, either by conversion to Christianity or by physical disappearance. To achieve the latter, the Arab jihadists are their agents.
    The reality of Jewish sovereignty and self-determination are a thorn in their eye because it negates their theology, and so they want us to disappear.
    All of the above I sent them.
    I welcome any further ideas for rejoinders to their dastardly, monstrous campaign.

    • Geoff Dickson

      My letter to the pastor and the secretary of St James in Piccadilly.

      Dear Pastor Winkett,

      I have become aware of your efforts to support the residents of Bethlehem but I fear your efforts are going against scripture.

      Christians living in Bethlehem actually need a wall to protect them from Muslim persecution. There is the irony.

      Pastor Winkett, I am sure you know your Bible so you must know who G-d’s enemies are from Psalm 83 and you must know from Isaiah 62 that G-d will protect Zion. Matthew 12:30 states that anyone who isn’t helping me opposes me and in Matthew 25:45 it states that when you refused to help my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.

      By building a wall to denigrate Israel, you are opposing Israel and from the gospel of Matthew, you are opposing G-d.

      Is that what you want?

      G-d’s enemies surround Israel and bow down to Mecca to worship a foreign G-d called Allah who hates Israel and Christians alike. Has it escaped your attention that in Bethlehem Christians are persecuted, churches and bookshops are firebombed and Christians have fled? After 1948 Bethlehem had a Christian population of 80% and today only a small fraction remain and live in fear.

      In the first year of the second interfada, 1,640 Christians were forced to flee Bethlehem. In 2010 Christians were banned from displaying the cross in Bethlehem and lived in fear.

      You ignore your brothers in Christ in Bethlehem to defend those who are persecuting them.

      Where does it tell you to do that in the New Testament?

      Ramallah had a Christian population of 90% before the war and now it is mostly Muslim.

      Are you aware that in Gaza they dig up Christian graves because they pollute the earth?

      Do you understand from Islamic scripture the following?

      1. Christians are the vilest of creatures and Muslims must not befriend them but be ruthless to them

      2. Christians are pigs who must be killed

      3. Christianity will be destroyed when Isa (Jesus) returns to a mosque in Damascus

      4. a Muslim is promised Paradise and receives special rewards when they kill a Christian

      5. Muslims must continue to fight and kill Christians until Islam is the only religion.

      Pastor Winkett, how do you reconcile your actions that support the enemies of G-d?

      Yours in Christ

      Geoff Dickson

      Brisbane Q4070

      Australia

  5. Perhaps Pastor Winkett could contact Prince Charles, who has (belatedly) admitted that it is Islamists who are causing persecution of Christians in the Middle East. Maybe while he is busy turning the other cheek that he also turning a blind eye to the reality on the ground. Or maybe, just maybe, he hates Jews so much that he’s willing to join other Jews-haters in demonising the Jewish State, one where Christians – yes, his fellow believers – enjoy complete freedom of religion and are thriving.

    I recommend that he go and live in Gaza or any Arab country for a year and carry out his Christian rituals. He might be surprised to find that his religion isn’t too much appreciated. But then, he’d probably excuse Arabs persecuting his flock on the grounds that they are so upset by the Israeli occupation.

  6. My dear infidel brothers and sisters, one think we all must understand is that Islam /Allah ordains muslims to conquer the world in the name of Allah, This is from muslim’s Quran Sura 2:193 ” Fight against them,[ Infidels/kafir s ] until idolatry is no more and Allah’s religion reigns supreme ”
    These idiots ,so called themselves Christians at St James’ Church are nothing but muslim sympathisers. Just see http://www.thereligionofpeace.com

  7. Geoff Dickson, Every thing you said is true. We have pastor winkett and the likes of him who are ignorant about Islam and its history , It would not surprise me if he and other are getting backhander from Arabs and muslim to promote Palestinian agenda. like george Galloway Now see how Christians are treated in muslim countries http://www.compassdirect.org
    This is from muslim’s Quran Sura 9:111″ Allah has purchased from the faithful their lives and worldly goods and in return has promised them paradise. They will fight for the cause of Allah, they will kill and be killed . And that is exactly what muslims have been doing from the times of their so called profit mo-ham-mad. Islam is NOT even a religion as such, its an EVIL cult.
    I shall be writing to pastor winkett and rest of his gang.

    • surj1936..This site requires your given name not a screen name please. If you post under that name again the comment will be disallowed.

      Likewise with this comment. Your participation is welcomed, however this is not a Muslim bashing site

  8. I have 3 sons and their families who live in Israel and thank G-d they are now safe from the extremists who are determined to murder and maim innocent people in the name of Allah. The wall keeps them safe and it must remain there until Israel’s Muslim neighbours accept the right of Jews to live peacefully in their Biblical homeland.

    Israel has so much to offer its neighbours if only they would hold out the hand of friendship and stop the terror.

  9. The Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists burned down something like 80 churches in Egypt since the fall of Morsi, yet the High Christian Churches throughout the west focus on Israel rather than on the persecutors of their own.

    It’s pathetic.

  10. In a sane world Israel’s security barrier would be a worthy recipient of a peace prize. Far worthier than those who usually receive these prizes. So in 2012 it came to pass.

    The only peace prize in the world that does not discredit its recipient.

    http://geofffff.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/geoffffs-joint-peace-prize.html

    Mind you, in a sane world there would be no need for a security barrier. Nor would there be any peace prizes.

    Others honoured with this award include the US Navy

    http://geofffff.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/geofffffs-joint-peace-prize-special.html

    and Guns n Roses

    http://geofffff.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/geoffffs-joint-peace-prize.html

    Credit where credit is due

  11. Sadly Pastor Winkett is like so many of his ilk – greatly lacking in the milk of human kindness. His bias against the Jews in allowing the replica of the Israeli security barrier which they built to protect themselves from constant terrorist attacks, shows his extreme ignorance of the plight of the Jews in the Middle East against the ‘Religion of Peace’. Pastor Winkett is no man of God since God has no bias and loves us all equally. Obviously the Pastor has feet of clay and wants to be seen as politically correct in carrying out his duties….even to the money spent in funding this piece of crap. Money that perhaps would have been better spent on some of the homeless and poor.

  12. Excellent! I hope Pastor Winkett has the guts to reply, or at least let her parishoners know what Jews think of her offensive stunt.

  13. They ought to be ashamed of themselves, this church, why does not Boris Johnson have something to say about this prejudice. Disgusting.

  14. Peter Clemerson

    If Justin Butcher and paster Winkett and their parishioners REALLY feel fellowship with their fellow Christians in the Middle East, instead of building expensive symbols in relatively safe London, they would finance the building of walls around the Coptic churches in Egypt and all other churches in the ME, including a protection for the ever declining Christian population of Bethlehem itself.

    After so many Christians have been killed in recent years and so many others have fled, Christians of all shades who remain there are justifiably fearful for their lives.

    All the Israelis can be accused of doing is what all Christians in the ME should be doing. Some are.

    • Leon Poddebsky

      Peter, it’s not about facts or justice or truth.
      The St James school of thought believes that the Jews are an accursed people, destined for perpetual ignominy or even worse unless we convert to Christianity.
      Our very existence and particularly our restored national self-determination in Israel is a thorn in their eye because it undermines their entire theology.
      There are only two ways, in their view, of vindicating their theology: one is for all Jews to convert to Christianity; the other is our physical disappearance from the planet. It is the latter which St James and its ilk wish to achieve, using Arabs as their agents.
      The churches, by and large, never bothered about Israel, though they didn’t like its existence:
      however, since the international antisemitic tsunami has been gaining a lot of momentum, they have eagerly jumped onto the bandwagon, believing that Israel is on the ropes and that it’s only a matter of time before Israel is destroyed. This destruction, in their view, will be the first step towards vindicating their theology.

    • Hi Peter and thanks for commenting. It’s nice to have a visitor from across the ‘pond’

      We have it on good authority this ‘charade’ cost about 30,000 pounds, which I think is about 55,337 AUD.

      Just think the good which could have been done with it.

      Israel is the ONLY country in the ME where the Christian population is increasing. In 1967 Christians made up some 80% of the population of Bethlehem, bit it’s around 8.

      Don’t know if you’ve had a look around and seen this one.
      http://jewsdownunder.wordpress.com/2013/12/24/abbas-in-christmas-message-jesus-was-palestinian-messenger/

      Happy New Year to you.

  15. It seems the individual email addresses have been removed but here they are for those that want to make a more personal approach as I prefer to do- sending a bulk submission to all concerned
    secretary@sjp.org.uk,pcc@sjp.org.uk,financemanager@sjp.org.uk,sitemanager@sjp.org.uk,concerts@sjp.org.uk,marketmanager@sjp.org.uk,vergers@sjp.org.uk,lil@sjp.org.uk,
    rector@sjp.org.uk,lindsay@sjp.org.uk,hugh@sjp.org.uk,

    or separately

    Administration and PCC
    Parish Secretary David Hamilton-Peters 020 7292 4860 | Email….. secretary@sjp.org.uk

    PCC (Church Council) Secretary Graham Cooper (p/t) | Email ….. pcc@sjp.org.uk

    Finance Manager Chris Rogers 020 7292 4851 | Email …….. financemanager@sjp.org.uk

    Property and facilities
    Site Manager Finna Ayres (p/t) 020 7292 4852 | Email …… sitemanager@sjp.org.uk

    Concerts
    Concerts Manager Sarah Baxter 020 7381 0441 (Box Office) | Email …. concerts@sjp.org.uk

    Markets
    Markets Manager Costas Benopoulos-Jones 020 7292 4864 | Email …… marketmanager@sjp.org.uk

    Vergers……..Vestry 020 7292 4865 Email …………………………………… vergers@sjp.org.uk

    Music
    Director Congregational Music Elizabeth Lil (‘Lil’) | Email ………………… lil@sjp.org.uk

    Clergy – via our switchboard 020 7734 4511 during standard office hours, by post or by email (Email is the best contact route for Hugh who is not based at the rectory)

    Lucy Winkett email ….rector@sjp.org.uk
    Lindsay Meader email ….. lindsay@sjp.org.uk
    Hugh Valentine email …. hugh@sjp.org.uk

  16. Mavis Goldberg

    Why should you try to deny the Israelis the chance to get on buses and move around their own country freely, because that is what the wall in Israel is allowing them to do. Perhaps it would be more appropriate and useful to show the Christians who are being killed, ousted and terrified by the Muslims in Bethlehem.

    • Luke 23:34

      “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

      If he were here today I think he would be horrified.
      They know exactly what they are doing.

  17. Joe Tugendhaft

    Why St. James Church is doing nothing for the Christians killed this year in Arab countries. Is this not a far bigger problem and better to show to the world the hatred from the Arab world for Christians and Jews.
    Israel is just protecting itself, and how many WALLS exist in the world, they are not talking about. So One Sided this initiative.
    Joe Tugendhaft – Geneva/Tel Aviv

    • Leon Poddebsky

      Because, Joe, St James Churchpeople believe that the best thing that they can do for Christianity is to rid the universe of Jews- either through conversion to Christianity or by physical annihilation, using Arabs as the genocidal agents.
      If this sounds fanciful, just recall what nazi ideology tried to achieve; St james Church sees that as a precedent that should be repeated. P.S. St James people might settle for Iranians to do the genocidal work if Arabs cannot quite manage it.

  18. Dear Pastor Winkett

    Why don’t you stick to your remit and keep your nose out of politics.

    Your creating divisions among people – not reconcilling them.

  19. Your anti-semetic rheteric only strengthens the resolve of Israel to be the guiding light of
    the Jewish people for all eternity, we seek no converts and believe in the written law that is
    discussed every single day all over the world by Jews as the meanings change with the times, we have withstood the test of time and have endured the slaughter and torture you have subjected us from the time of your church’s inception. We do not ask for your acceptance to survive and have the will and way to protect ourselves till the end of time, we do not practice hate in any form whatsoever and encourage learning and logic, Israel will stop to no end in protecting their citizens, due to the very nature of our approach to G-D each man expresses his faith as a single individual not dictated by dogma or fantasy, just remember kill us and we will kill you back, hurt us or our brethern and we will return the act twofold, we grovel to no man, nation or alien sect.

  20. Dr David Ganot

    I wonder why they are not crying out bloody murder for the Coptic community in Egypt, which undergoes persecution and destruction of churches almost on a daily basis, not to speak of what happens to Christians in the rest of the of Arabic Islamic world.
    Such sickening double standards using the Middle East conflict between Israel and the Palestinians as a guise for their blatant hatred of Jews. They are fascists in sheep’s clothing.
    Dr David Ganot.

  21. penny p abrams

    Of course anti Semitism and anti Israel feelings persist.They always will. However, we mustn’t fall into the same trap. That there are bigots does not give us an excuse to become bigotted also. The Moslems, the Anglicans, the Any-one-religion, are not all biased. We would do better, as the letters sent to St. James, to make our opinions also heard and to correct, where possible, the mistakes due to untrue history. It has been my experience that when I can point out revisionist history, or make a contrary point in a fashion which is heard, then I can often make a dent. Further ranting only exacerbates the situation By the way, the UK has always taken an anti Semitic position. If you really want to get dsigusted, listen to BBC…and Disreali.

    • Leon Poddebsky

      Penny, can you point out where any poster has “fallen into the same trap?”

    • Penny, if you can ‘make a dent’ then you must be the only person engaged in Israel advocacy who can. Most of the Far Left have their ears plugged and are brain dead,