Time for Church of England to Bring an End to Vicar’s Jew-Baiting
Rev. Dr. Stephen Sizer, an Anglican vicar who serves a church in Surrey, England, has a long and storied history of Jew-baiting.
He’s good at it, really good at it.
He has been antagonizing Jews and saying hateful things about Israel for years. He works a lot of his mischief on his blog and Facebook page, where he has posted links to articles that downplay or minimize the Holocaust, and accuse Jews of controlling the world and of being responsible for starting World War I and World War II.
But that’s not all. Dr. Sizer has spoken a number of times on Iranian television to condemn Israel and its supporters and has spoken at conferences in Indonesia and Iran organized by Holocaust deniers and attended by anti-Israel and anti-Western terrorists.
When Sizer is confronted about his attendance at conferences organized by Holocaust deniers, he responds by saying he is merely interested in telling his audiences about Jesus Christ.
These are not the actions of a man of peace, but of someone intent on inciting hostility toward the Jewish people and their homeland. They are also the actions of a Jew-baiter. Clearly, Dr. Sizer seems to relish the outrage his actions engender, even more than the acclaim he elicits from the anti-Israel crowd with his actions.
Sizer’s actions have earned him the rebuke of some of his churchmen and the enmity Christians and Jews throughout the world. This hasn’t stopped him however, from being heavily involved in the Christ at the Checkpoint movement, which holds conferences every two years in the city of Bethlehem under the auspices of the Bethlehem Bible College. Sizer was a speaker at the 2012 conference and reportedly one of the people involved in choosing the speakers for the 2014 conference.
Sizer’s behavior has been so outrageous that the Board of Deputies of British Jews filed a complaint with the Church of England, charging the vicar with misconduct. The complaint, filed in October 2012 accused the vicar of “trawling dark and extreme corners of the internet for material to add to his website. Rev Sizer re-publishes such items to support the target of his polemical writing, while at the same introducing his readers to the racist and antisemitic websites from where he draws his material.”
In response to the complaint, Sizer asked that the issue be subjected to a mediation process, which the Board of Deputies acceded to. The process, which took place in 2013, resulted in Dr. Sizer apologizing for his actions and acknowledging “that on occasions his use of language has caused offence to some.” He also agreed “that he should have reflected on his choice of words more carefully.”
At the end of the mediation process, Dr. Sizer agreed to be more careful on his Internet postings and to have three people read his website and blog “in order to check their content and, in particular, monitor any links to websites.”
Sadly, it looks like Dr. Sizer has fallen off the wagon and thumbed his nose at both his church and at the Board of Deputies.
This week, he went to Iran to participate in a three-day conference where speakers blamed Israel for the September 11, 2001, attack. At the event, titled, The Second New Horizon Conference,” Sizer is giving lectures on “The Israeli Lobby in England” and on “Christian Jihad vs. Christian Zionism.”
According to PressTV, the first New Horizon Conference took place in 2012, and addressed a number of topics, including “a world without Zionism.”
Dr. Sizer’s participation in this conference is a violation of the spirit, if not the letter, of the mediation agreement he signed with his Anglican superiors and with the Board of Deputies in 2013.
There is simply no way Dr. Sizer can square his participation in this conference with his promise not to promote anti-Semitism, even if this promise was made in the context of his postings on the Internet. Traveling to Iran to participate in a conference where Israel and its Jewish supporters are demonized is simply beyond the pale, or should be.
Dr. Sizer was given an opportunity to change his ways. He wasted that chance. He has returned to his Jew-baiting ways and must be sanctioned, in a big way.
Now the Church of England must act and it should not require another complaint from the Board of Deputies of British Jews to do the right thing.
Dexter Van Zile (@dextervanzile) is Christian Media Analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (@cameraorg).