A few days ago, some friends in Australia alerted me to a blog post written by former Bishop George Browning, who had been the 9th Anglican bishop of Canberra and Goulburn. Entitled, “Capitalism, Anti-Semitism & the Judaeo-Christian Ethic” (5 May 2017), this was an anti-Israel rant of biased and profoundly inaccurate misdirection, mixing outright lies with exaggerations. Towards the end, Browning denies that his article is anti-Semitic (“… rather than this critique being anti-Semitic, I believe it to be…”). Is he aware of the leading modern definition of anti-Semitism written by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and recognized by some 32 countries? This definition, like others before it such as the European EUMC and US State Department definitions, includes several clauses that identify unfair, incorrect and biased criticism of Israel, the world’s only Jewish state, or setting double standards for it, that are anti-Semitic. Unfortunately, Browning’s article, as shall be seen, falls without reserve into that definition. It is hard to understand how a man of his intelligence and personal involvement in Israeli-Palestinian matters should not know of or respect the IHRA definition. In order to make this clear, here are two clauses from the IHRA definition:
Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
Now, let me turn to several statements made by Browning.
“Universal justice appears to have become an unwelcome stranger in the land of Israel. Zionism’s compulsive identification with land, has replaced justice as its core value.”
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