Welcome to Harriet’s Methodist room. Here, we tell the story of how the Methodists have been disciplined and steadily brought back into line following their 2010 Conference. It will make for extremely gruesome reading.
It is essentially the story of the grinding down of the Methodist Church leadership. We tell of how the Methodist leadership became so transfixed by abject fear of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, that they conceded to them, the right to act as ultimate arbiters of Methodist business, and granted them a veto on theological debate within the Church. We further note how the 2013 Conference was hijacked, how the current behaviour of the Methodist leadership is suggestive of they and the Board being engaged on a joint plan to stitch up the 2014 conference, which seems destined to be the setting for the final capitulation.
We tell of just how unrepresentative the Board actually are of Jews in the UK, particularly the younger ones, and how the Board are in the process of sabotaging the Methodist BDS survey.
We outline the absurdities and the inconsistencies with their previously stated positions in the Board’s response to the survey, and discuss the strange case of the recent joint visit to Israel by the Methodist leadership and “representatives of the Board of Deputies”. A visit that was shrouded in secrecy until various pressures from the rank and file forced the Methodist President to reveal all (or most) in a blog post on 31st Dcember 2013, twenty six days after the completion of the trip.
We detail how the Methodist leadership’s apparent assumption that they can serve two masters, is taking them inexorably to a final betrayal of other Churches and Christian organisations, who will badly need support and positive precedents when the Board turn on them, as they certainly will. The leadership is also leading their church in the direction of a betrayal of those Israelis that genuinely seek a just accommodation, of the many UK Jews that seek the same, of their fellow Christians in Palestine, and last but not least, of their own faith.
It is easy to have some empathy with the Methodists. They have taken a ruthless and fearful battering. It is, however, less easy to have much sympathy.
All the stress and agony could have been avoided, and to that extent, has been self inflicted. It just had to be acknowledged that all the stuff from the Board about “the hurt, pain and grief of the Jewish community” is a well rehearsed act. It has nothing to do with the feelings of the Jewish community but rather, is all about a political agenda with respect to The State of Israel, and the Board fulfilling its role as an extension of the Israeli Embassy.
All the Methodists had to do was to say something like…
“We are well able to discern our Christian duty and conduct our business but thank you for your interest ”
….and all the stress and angst would have been avoided.
Of course, the Methodist leadership would have missed out on their four day jolly to Israel/Palestine led by the Board selected agency FODIP. (Sponsored by the extension of the Board, the CCJ ??)
Instead, they allowed themselves to become victims of what Mark Braverman calls The Fatal Embrace.