Another of Monday night's Q&A Christian panelists, Tiffany Sparks, is described as a "progressive Anglican minister."
Here is her response to the same question dealt with by John Haldane:
"I think for us, as Australians, it's (ie, our Middle East interventions) really exposed a rift in our inter-faith understanding. There's a real problem with us understanding each other's faith. I don't know, there's some sort of stumbling block."
Tiffany's clearly out of her depth here. She continues:
"I'm a pacifist. I'm a really proud daughter of a returned serviceman that did three tours of Vietnam and I think my father's a pretty amazing person. So I have a great respect for our military and for people who do have the courage to be able to do those sort of things, that I certainly couldn't do."
Let me get this straight. Although she's a pacifist, she's proud of her Dad because he just couldn't resist popping over to 'Nam and popping assorted Vietnamese Dads and Mums and...
"I mean all of that being said, I think it's probably an interesting thing to raise is that most Palestinian Christians are actually pacifists in this whole thing. We had a wonderful presenter, Reverend Dr Greg Jenks, who is now the dean of St George College over in Jerusalem and that was something that he took great pains to really point out, that that's where the birthplace of Christianity was and they, even in all of this, are still pacifists."
Better to have held her tongue than to have uttered such nonsense.
Baby steps for Tiffany Sparks:
1) Palestinians are Palestinians are Palestinians. Whether they're Christians or Muslims is irrelevant.
2) They're all in the same trench against Zionist colonisation and dispossession. (In fact, the very first organisational manifestation of Palestinian resistance to Zionist colonisation and dispossesion came in the form of Moslem-Christian Associations, which arose in 1918 and coalesced to formed a national body, the Palestinian Arab Congress, which called for immediate independence from the Britain, and opposed the Balfour Declaration and Jewish immigration.)
3) Palestinian resistance to Zionist colonisation and dispossession has oscillated between armed struggle and non-violent resistance. You never get to hear about the latter because, by and large, the mainstream media is simply NOT INTERESTED in reporting it.
4) Palestinians, moreover, have a right under international law to resist "by all available means, particularly armed struggle," (UNGA 33/24) and "by all available means, including armed struggle" (UNGA 3246).
Interesting, though, her mention of Dr Gregory Jenks. I looked up his website, gregoryjenks.com. While I have real problems with many of Jenks' concepts and statements, which I won't go into here, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by the relative sophistication of his analysis in the following paragraph:
"In the late nineteenth century, European material interests colluded with an emerging sense of nationalism among European Jewry, to cultivate the dream of the Zionist colonisation of Palestine. All of the people of Palestine, whether they identify as Arab or Jewish, continue to suffer from the tragic consequences of European colonialism; as do their neighbours in Iraq and Syria, where international borders drawn up by imperial bureaucrats in London and Paris continue to diminish the lives of people across the Middle East." (A Palestinian Jesus, 30/12/16)
Of course, he should have mentioned a) that Zionism at this time was very much a minority movement among Jews; b) that the interests and rights of the indigenous Palestinians (90% of the population of Palestine) were completely disregarded by the British and their Zionist collaborators; and c) that the odious and outrageous Balfour Declaration of 1917, which he inexplicably leaves out, constituted nothing less than a crime against the Palestinian people. Nonetheless, the general thrust of what he says is undeniably correct.