Maximum Respect to David Hallam | The Jewish Chronicle

So David Hallam is pleased that he has some support for his plan to sue the Methodist Church Maximum Respect to David Hallam | The Jewish Chronicle.

Maximum Respect to David Hallam, a Methodist preacher preparing to sue the Methodist Church over claims it is using charitable donations to pursue a campaign of discrimination against Israeli Jews.

Maybe I should make a couple of things clear:

If the Methodist Church were pursuing a campaign against Israeli Jews I would be fighting it. I am 100% against discrimination against Israeli Jews (or any other Jews for that matter). But I have seen no evidence that it is true. I was at Methodist Council this last week and checked my understanding with people like Martyn Atkins (General Secretary/Secretary of Conference), Alison Tomlin (President and affectionately known as my Great Grand Boss), Chris Elliott (Secretary for external relationships) and Toby Scott (Head of Communications).

If I were fighting the Methodist Church I would not be doing it through the courts. See my detailed blog post.

It seems that others agree as David has gained so little support for his campaign and none of it from mainstream anything.

24 thoughts on “Maximum Respect to David Hallam | The Jewish Chronicle

  1. Methodist Preacher

    Dave, I’m not some sort of pantomime villain. There is no need to run round Methodist Council meetings asking senior officers if the report was intended to discriminate against Israeli Jews. Simply read the report, make up your own mind.
    You are now in Leicester. There’s a small Jewish community in the city. Many of them moved there from Hackney when Leicester firms used to advertise in the Hackney Gazette hoping to pick up skilled workers from our local rag trade.
    Why don’t you meet with them? Show them the report. Tell them about the way in which the report was compiled. Ask them if the outcome is discriminatory. If it is discriminatory then the Methodist Church has clearly broken the law.
    At the moment our good name is being used as part of a well orgranised campaign against the Jewish people – Jews in Britain who support Israel, Jews in Israel and Jews in the settlements.
    The planned attack on Zionism is an attack on the aspiration of nearly every Jew. For a Christian denomination to be putting its fingers into these murky waters is not just gratuitous, it is dangerous.
    So Dave instead of trying to get reassurance from Methodists, simply drive down the road to your local rabbi and arrange to meet with a few Jews.
    Then come on here and say what an awful man I am for believing that the Methodist Church should respect both the rule of law and another faith community
    But talk to some Jews first.

    Reply
  2. Dave

    David,
    “I’m not some sort of pantomime villain. There is no need to run round Methodist Council meetings asking senior officers if the report was intended to discriminate against Israeli Jews. Simply read the report, make up your own mind.”
    You mis-understand. I have read the report. After reading the report my understanding was that it did not discriminate against Israeli Jews. But rather than just go by what I thought I went and asked people and considered my trust of them. My findings backup my own impressions from reading the report.

    Reply
  3. Methodist Preacher

    Thanks Dave, so you will not be taking up my suggestion that you have a conversation with your local Jewish neighbours?
    BTW, why the link to the business site (an entirely separate enterprise) and not the blog – don’t you want your readers to see what I am saying for themselves.
    Also BTW. I am not “fighting” the Methodist Church. Not “fighting” anyone

    Reply
  4. Dave

    I am not at home, so some mobile blogging limitations.
    The “local” neighbours you mention are opposite side of Leicester and I live outside Leicester. So not very local.
    Might try local faith network when home, still learning networks and to be honest I have higher priorities than doing your bidding.
    Anyway you are alleging intention which is what I checked.
    If your media attacks and threats are not fighting the Methodist church then I don’t like your non-fighting.

    Reply
  5. Richard Hall

    No David. You’re not a pantomime villain. A panto villain’s function is to make us laugh.
    I’m intrigued that you think you’re not fighting the church. I’m struggling to think of any other interpretation that can be put on the threat of a lawsuit.

    Reply
  6. PamBG

    At the moment our good name is being used as part of a well orgranised campaign against the Jewish people
    Sorry, David. “Campaign against the Jewish people” is just an outright and blatant lie.
    And it is this lie that you have everyone believing that makes me angry.
    You talked once about wanting people to understand how some might see the effects of a boycott on the illegal settlements as discriminatory. I can understand that some might want to raise the alarm “Hold on! Such a boycott could be seen as discriminatory!”
    However, that’s a totally different position than the position that the Methodist Church is “campaigning against the Jewish people” which IS most certainly discriminatory and racist.
    I absolutely agree with Dave W that I too stand any discrimination against Jewish people. I also stand against lying and calling it PR.

    Reply
  7. Angela Shier-Jones

    David
    It really is not helpful to make such claims as
    ‘The planned attack on Zionism is an attack on the aspiration of nearly every Jew.’
    The fact is that Israel is as secular as most Western countries and most Israelis couldn’t give a hoot about Zionism.
    see for example http://www.jpost.com/JerusalemReport/Article.aspx?id=191099
    Zionism has many faces – from the Christian Zionists who want a limited nuclear war on the plains of Armageddon in order to ensure Christ’s early return, through neo-zionism and militant-zionism all the way to the wandering Jew who simply wants to go ‘home’.
    There is no negating the fact that some forms of Zionism have a VERY ugly face – and to NOT be informed about it would be VERY wrong.
    It is not a ‘planned attack’ The faith and order committee have been charged with providing us with a report which will inform the Church. Now I know you think all members of the faith and order committee are at the beck and call of Conference – and you would be right – we are – we are tasked to do what Conference asks and write a report – BUT the content of the report will be determined by the facts of a situation following detailed extensive research, academic, practical and ecclesial. I KNOW – I have participated in this process.
    There is are no presuppositions, and the reports from faith and order have often been highly controversial precisely because of this.

    Reply
  8. Methodist Preacher

    Angela – you say “I KNOW – I have participated in the process”.
    Well I don’t know precisely because I have been consciously excluded by the F&O committee. The impression I gained was of a corrupt and bigoted body. A lot went on behind the scenes that I am not able to disclose. There was a sensible attempt to include me but this just came to nothing when it came to the hardliners.
    Therefore the F&O has to struggle to have credibility in my eyes.
    If the report that went to conference is an example of a report “determined by the facts of a situation following detailed extensive research, academic, practical and ecclesiastical” I will not hold my breath.
    I can honestly say that I have never met anyone who is calling for a limited nuclear war to ensure Christ’s early return – and I’ve met some religious nutters in my time.
    Pam BG I am going to post the whole of the BOD’s response online soon. I’d be happy to email it to you if that would help. Are you still at the same email address?
    Dave my late brother worked hard to get Leicester City Council formally lift Simon de Montfort’s ban on Jews living and working in the City. Sadly discrimination against Jews goes back many centuries. Over the years the character of this discrimination changes. That’s why I think it would be useful for someone such as yourself, who is clearly hurt by the suggestion and is seeking more information to arrange to meet with some Jews.
    I was a bit perplexed by this sentence: “the “local” neighbours you mention are opposite side of Leicester and I live outside Leicester. So not very local.”
    I’m sure your sermons on the good Samaritan have a wider definition of neighbour!

    Reply
  9. Bene D

    “There is growing interest in the discrimination case soon to be launched to rescue the reputation of Britain’s Methodist Church for fairness and openness.”
    October 11, 2010
    Methodist Preacher
    Fight? Rescue? Semantics are everything in pr.
    “The case will be based on the premise that the preparation, motivation and outcome for a resolution on Israel and Palestine at the denomination’s conference in Portsmouth this year was discriminatory.”
    Methodist Preacher
    October 11, 2010.
    From Mr. Hallam’s business terms of contact:
    “Some prospective clients may prefer to approach David confidentially through a third party.”
    Who is Mr. Hallam working for in bringing this case to the court?

    Reply
  10. Methodist Preacher

    Thanks Angela,
    Can you tell me how I can join the Faith and Order Committee’s political and social issues resource group?
    What are the qualifications?
    What is the procedure?
    What is the selection process?
    How were the working party on Christian Zionism recruited?
    Who are they?
    How were they selected?
    How many people offered to assist but were turned down?
    My personal experience of the Faith and Order Committee has not been encouraging.

    Reply
  11. PamBG

    Pam BG I am going to post the whole of the BOD’s response online soon. I’d be happy to email it to you if that would help. Are you still at the same email address?
    You can reach me through my blog email address the old btinternet address is obviously not working any more. The yahoo.co.uk one that I believe you have is still working. I don’t know what the BOD is.
    Dave my late brother worked hard to get Leicester City Council formally lift Simon de Montfort’s ban on Jews living and working in the City.
    And I, for one would applaud this. But the fact that there is antisemitism extant in the culture doesn’t mean that the State of Israel never behaves immorally. Nor, indeed, does it mean that Jewish individuals don’t themselves do wrong things. To hold Jewish people or the State of Israel above morality because there are those who discriminate against them is to make a nonsense of ethics and morality.
    I grew up in a church that taught that women were inferior. Does this mean that I get to behave immorally and unethically against men for the rest of my life? Is a man who was beaten by his father beyond criticism for beating his wife because of the hurt he received at his father’s hands? As Paul would say “By no means!”
    It is perfectly possible to campaign against antisemitism whilst still recognizing that the secular State of Israel – like all States – engages in behaviour that hurts innocent people.

    Reply
  12. PamBG

    Ah, BOD is “Board of Deputies”, I expect.
    I’m suspecting that the Board of Deputies response will probably be well thought out, quite reasonable and non-inflammatory. I expect that they will probably put a case for their view and that I might disagree with some of it but that I’ll understand their point of view. And I also expect that you’re still going to spin it into a message of The Methodist Church being antisemitic and hating all Jews everywhere.
    We’ll see, won’t we?
    (By the way, I can see how folk might see any kind of criticism of Israel as feeding anti-Semitism. But the kind of rhetoric you’re engaging in here – that it’s not possible to criticise a person’s actions without being prejudiced against them for who they are – just fuels this sort of sloppy thinking and racism. And it hinders the thoughtful application of moral standards.)

    Reply
  13. Methodist Preacher

    Pam, the only address I have for you is a googlemail account. If that doesn’t work just send me an email and I’ll post it by return.
    I am trying hard to explain that I believe the Methodist Church’s action in recent weeks is discriminatory which is not the same as anti-Semetic.
    Sadly this seems to get lost in translation. But I now feel like giving up trying to make that point and will leave it to the court.

    Reply
  14. PamBG

    I am trying hard to explain that I believe the Methodist Church’s action in recent weeks is discriminatory which is not the same as anti-Semetic.
    Sadly this seems to get lost in translation.

    And I’m trying to tell you why it’s getting lost in translation.
    What does “discriminate” mean to you? Yes, the intent of the boycott is to “discriminate” between goods manufactured in the illegal settlements and goods manufactured in non-disputed areas of Israel. It’s designed to voice opposition to an action by the secular Israeli State. Against the “entity” of the secular Jewish State.
    How, exactly, that becomes a carefully planned series of actions (“campaign”) designed to unfairly deal with (which is what you appear to be meaning by “discriminate”) every single person of Jewish heritage in Israel I don’t know or understand.
    And then there are previous statements like (and I’m cutting and pasting): “The Methodist Church seems to think it has a God given right to tell Jews how to run their affairs.”
    What does that mean?
    A fairly straight-forward interpretation of that sweeping global statement is that is an accusation of racism.
    Jonathan Sachs gave an articulate and thoughtful response at conference with respect to his disagreements with us. I expect nothing less than a thoughtful and articulate response from the Board of Deputies.
    And yes, my google account works.

    Reply
  15. PamBG

    I’ve read the report and I don’t consider myself an expert in this subject by any means so I don’t intend to address its points in detail.
    Broadly, my perspective on this document is that it was originally intended to be a response to a request by Palestinian Christians and that it was not intended to be an all-encompassing policy document on the problems of Palestine/Israel.
    That said, I do think that the report would be considerably strengthened in the future by attempting to be more evenhanded in equally representing the Israeli position. Especially also given what has transpired and your tireless efforts to portray this document as largely intentionally malicious.
    I do agree with the report that popular knee-jerk Christian Zionism needs to be challenged. (Although I generally think that popular knee-jerk theology of all kinds needs to be taught against.)
    A correct understanding of a Wesleyan theology of New Creation, in my opinion, supports neither Israeli Zionism nor Christian Zionism (i.e. the wish of Christians for Israel to be established and the Temple to be rebuilt as a precursor to Jesus’ second coming and judgment against all non-Christians.) I also believe that a correct understanding of Wesleyan New Creation demonstrates that God hates neither Jew nor Palestinian, male nor female, slave nor free (etc.)
    Being a committed follower of the teachings of Jesus not only prohibits us from hating our Jewish teacher and all other sons and daughters of Abraham, it prohibits us from hating anyone.

    Reply
  16. PamBG

    I will remain wary, David.
    I trust thoughtful Jewish people and I trust the BOD to engage in a civil dialogue with the Methodist Church and vice versa.
    I’m afraid, however, that based on past performance I don’t trust you. I don’t believe that “the end justifies the means” when “the means” involve bearing false witness. And it also seems to me that, generally speaking, our society’s blatant disregard for the commandment to not bear false witness is going to render us incapable of moral and ethical thinking within the current generation.

    Reply
  17. Richard Hall

    >> “I am trying hard to explain that I believe the Methodist Church’s action in recent weeks is discriminatory which is not the same as anti-Semetic.
    Sadly this seems to get lost in translation.”

    I’m trying hard to understand what you mean by this. Since discrimination against Jews is the definition of anti-semitism, and you’re accusing the Methodist Church of discrimination against Jews, you’re accusing the church of anti-semitism.
    I’m glad your thoughts are converging with Pam’s, though. Can we take that to mean that you’re reconsidering your threat?

    Reply
  18. Michael Zeffertt

    After having consulted my local methodist minister I wrote a ten page response to the authors of “The Report” two months ago.I am not the Board of Deputies, I am just a Jewish citizen of the UK. The fact that I have had no acknowledgment to my comments I find highly significant.

    Reply

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