Monday, 24 December 2012

Manfred W. Kohl, Ambassador Overseas Council

19th December 2012

Dear Bishop Christopher,

Permit me to introduce myself. I have served for the last twenty years with Overseas Council, an organization that helps theological seminaries and universities around the world. Before that I served with World Vision International for twenty years as one of the international vice-presidents living in Africa and Europe. I presently live in Nova Scotia, Canada, but I continue to travel to many parts of the world with Overseas Council.

I have seen correspondence about the accusations made against a colleague and friend of mine, the Reverend Dr. Stephen Sizer.

I have travelled with Dr. Sizer. I have spoken at significant conferences at which he has spoken, and I have published some articles to which he has made some important contributions. I have never heard Dr. Sizer make any statements that could be labeled anti-Semitic.

In fact, I recall numerous occasions when he spoke very positively about the Jews as the “people of God”. His presentations and his theology are devoid of any anti-Semitic thoughts or ideas whatsoever. I am more than willing to testify to these facts.

If you need or if it is appropriate, I can elaborate in more detail.

I wish you a blessed Advent and Christmas season.

Fraternally in Christ,

Manfred W. Kohl, Th.D.
Ambassador Overseas Council

See also letters from:

Right Revd Riah Abo El Assal, 13th Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem
Dr Mark Braverman, Author of the Fatal Embrace
Rabbi Professor Dan Cohn-Sherbok, Lampeter University
Jeremy Corbyn MP, Islington North
Katherine Cunningham, Moderator, IPMN, Presbyterian Church USA
Professor Scott Elias, Royal Holloway, University of London
Tony Greenstein, Founding Member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Professor Mary Grey, Patron, Friends of Sabeel UK
Dr Jeff Halper, Co-founder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
Revd Phil Hill, Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary
Canon Garth Hewitt, Founder of the Amos Trust
Dr Ghada Karmi, Exeter University
Manfred W. Kohl, Ambassador Overseas Council
Venerable Michael Lawson, Chairman, Church of England Evangelical Council
Jeremy Moodey, Chief Executive, Embrace the Middle East
Diana Neslen, Jews for Justice for Palestinians
Professor Ilan Pappe, Exeter University
Rabbi Dr Stanley Howard Schwartz, Hospice Chaplain and retired Army Chaplain
Revd Dr Donald Wagner, National Director, Friends of Sabeel North America
Revd John Woodger, Retired vicar of St Mary's Watford

Anthony Julius is chairman of the London Consortium and a Visiting Professor at Birbeck College, University of London. His book Trials of the Diaspora, is a magisterial 800 page examination of the history of Anti-Semitism in England. In the final chapter which deals with the distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, Julius writes,

"He has recently explained, however, that he 'categorically reject[s] any position that threatens the territorial integrity of Israel as a sovereign nation.... Stephen Sizer's work has the merit of clearly setting out the issues that divide the two sides, and furthermore doing so without the rancour or sheer nastiness of tone typical of the polemics in the conflict." (p.571)
It is ironic that much of the "rancour or sheer nastiness" comes from Zionists unable to distinguish between two.

And see also these articles from other sources:

Phil Groom (member of CCJ): Jeremiah's Underpants
Phil Groom (member of CCJ): Dr Sizer is cleared
Church of England Newspaper: Sizer complaint
Church Times:  Vicar is not Anti-Semitic
Church Times:  Rabbi Clears Vicar of Anti-Semitism
Jewish Chronicle: Bishop: anti-Zionist vicar ‘no antisemite’
Jewish Chronicle:  Sizer: I am ready to meet the Board of Deputies any time