Watchdog Group Sends Letter to Major Christian Publishers Over Anti-Israel Content
A top watchdog group has sent an open letter to two Christian publishing houses expressing deep concern over anti-Israel and anti-Zionist content in their books.
The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA) sent the missive to InterVarsity Press (IVP) in the US and Inter-Varsity Press in the UK.
It accused both organizations of including incorrect and tendentious material about Israel and Zionism in their books, which included works by Rev. Dr. Stephen Sizer, a Christian anti-Zionist who has propagated antisemitic conspiracy theories.
Sizer was censured by the Anglican church in 2015 after he posted a link on Facebook to material that claimed Jews were responsible the 9/11 attacks.
A spokesman for the Church of England at the time called Sizer’s actions “a matter of deep sorrow and shame.”
InterVarsity Press (IVP) and Inter-Varsity Press eventually dropped Sizer’s work from their catalogues.
Dexter Van Zile — CAMERA’s Shillman research fellow — noted that Sizer was only the tip of the iceberg.
“Sizer’s hostility toward Israel was so manifest that the two houses had to distance their brand from him,” he said. “But subsequent books published by writers such as Rev. Garth Hewitt, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, and Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac all promote false and hostile narratives.”
Among these, he asserted, were “that there is something inherently wrong with Jewish sovereignty, that Christian support for Israel is a betrayal of the Christian faith, and that the conflict in the Holy Land is Israel’s fault.”
“IVP publishing houses have been retailing anti-Israel propaganda for some time,” Van Zile pointed out. “This is immensely problematic because of their influence in the Evangelical world.”
“IVP must do better,” he stated. “We’ve written the letter to remind IVP editors that they wield great influence over the opinions of their readers and that they must therefore wield this authority in a responsible manner. We also want to alert IVP readers that sometimes publishers fail to do just that.”
“Leaders who engage in dishonest anti-Israel activism in the name of ‘peace’ set the stage for divisive fights within the churches they purport to serve,” he added. “You can’t promote dishonest propaganda about Israel and then be taken seriously when professing the truths of the Christian faith.”