General Antisemitism

Rev. Stephen Sizer speaks at antisemitic conference in Iran

Cross posted from the blog of The CST

The Rev Stephen Sizer is a Church of England vicar with a long record of anti-Israel activity. In 2012 the Board of Deputies made a formal complaint to the Church of England about allegations that Sizer had used his website to link to antisemitic material from other websites. This complaint was resolved through mediation and a Conciliation Agreement was accepted by both parties, which included Sizer accepting that “on occasions his use of language has caused offence to some and agrees that he should have reflected on his choice of words more carefully.” Sizer also stated:

I care passionately about the safety of the Jewish people and the right of Israel to exist within internationally agreed borders. I have always opposed racism, anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial as well as Islamophobia and the denial of the Palestinian right to self-determination and will continue to do so.

Sizer’s presence at an antisemitic conference in Iran this week brings into question whether he is honouring the spirit of this Conciliation Agreement in good faith.

The conference is the Second New Horizon Conference in Tehran. According to Iranian state-run Press TV, the conference intended to “unveil the secrets behind the dominance of the Zionist lobby over US and EU politics.” Those attending include a host of Holocaust Deniers and conspiracy theorists.

For an example of why this is an antisemitic conference, one of the conference sessions is on “Mossad’s Role in the 9/11 Coup d’Etat”. This includes discussion of “9/11 and the Holocaust as pro-Zionist “Public Myths””:

Sizer was scheduled to speak at several points during the conference. One of these was a panel on “The Mechanisms of Action of the Israeli Lobby and their Effects in Western Capitals”, with Sizer speaking on “The Israeli Lobby in England”. One of the other speakers scheduled for this panel was Ahmed Rami, a Swedish Islamist with a history of support for Holocaust Deniers and Nazis.

Rami has a conviction for antisemitism in Sweden and his Radio Islam website includes the full text of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, plus extensive Holocaust Denial material. It is impossible to miss the antisemitism on the Radio Islam website: the first four articles listed on the homepage are “The Jewish hand behind Internet”; “Judaism – Jewish “religion” and racism”; “The Jews behind Islamophobia”; and “Al Jazeera English – under Jewish infiltration.”

Another UK-based speaker at the Tehran conference was the former US marine Ken O’Keefe, who now inhabits the wilder fringes of pro-Palestinian activism.  In July, O’Keefe gave an interview to an online radio show hosted by American antisemite and former Klansman David Duke. In August he spoke at a London meeting of the far right Iona Forum. Typical of his speech on that occasion was this extract:

What we have right now is a world where, because we have a tiny minority running the financial system, primarily Jew in the banking sector. But of course we’ve got Jews in the media, I mean come on, they own Hollywood, they own all the major cooperate media institutions, with rare exception, they’re have totally infiltrated the US government.

CST Blog has written several times before about the endemic antisemitism in the Iranian government, media and wider public debate. It is inevitable that an Iranian conference on “the Zionist lobby” would feature antisemites, Holocaust Deniers and conspiracy theorists. The fact that it also featured a Church of England vicar is utterly shameful.


12 replies »

  1. Vanessa Redgrave, famous for supporting Arab “palestinian” terrorists, also claims she is opposed to anti-semitism and often plays the part of Jewish women in stage productions.

  2. Said Sizer

    “Those who criticise this kind of conference must think very carefully of the consequences of their words for Jews and Christians in countries like Iran.”

    So criticizing antisemitism at such a conference (well documented) constitutes threatening Iranian Christians or Jews? How, unless the Iranian government chooses to penalize Iranian Christians or Jews for highlighting such antisemitism? Is Sizer suggesting conniving at Iranian governmental and other antisemitism? How is that supposed to be Christian, unless his Christianity is supposed to be antisemitic?

  3. Sizer’s apologetics for attending:

    “One of the contributors, Eric Walberg wrote, “Contrary to the shrill cries in the western media that the conference was anti-Semitic, it was unique in my experience in addressing Zionism and US imperialism forthrightly and intelligently, without a hint of racism. The issue of anti-Semitism was addressed and dismissed, as “There is no issue with Jewish people or the Jewish religion,” explained Darya-Bandari, “but rather with Zionism, that secular distortion of Judaism that itself is racist, and has been used as a pretext to dispossess and kill Palestinians.”

    “I was invited to contribute to the opening ceremony and present a biblical perspective on Jihad and in particular, a Christian refutation of the Islamic State (IS). Later in the conference I was asked to present a paper on the impact of the Israel Lobby in the UK, especially in parliament and in the media, ahead of the publication of my new book on the subject.

    • Yes, of course. Sizer decries U.S. imperialism at a conference held in a country with imperialist ambitions. In fact, the very conference he attended is an example of such a program, aside from it being indisputably anti-Semitic. Is Sizer a useful idiot or team player?
      Mr. Sizer, you are not a competent judge of world politics. Stick to teaching Christianity. (Perhaps a remedial course is in order.)

  4. A flavour of the views of Eric Walberg, whose expertise on antisemitism Sizer evidently defers to.

    A survey of Walberg’s writings show that he regards Jews as having been the authors of their own misfortunes over the past 2,000 years, and all the great wars of the past century can be laid at the feet of shadowy Zionists – even the “still mysterious collapse” of the World Trade Center in New York on September 11. He has written approvingly of the contents of the Protocols of The Elders of Zion – that classic text of pathological Jew-hatred.

  5. Good write up. Sizer is a classic character. And he calls the churches bluff.

    O’Keefe is a Grade A nutter. With a tear tattoo like some latino central valley hoodlum.
    Here he is staring in his own video.

    He shows his true face to the camera man.
    BBC Hardtalk also kindly gave O’Keefe a world stage ( I am shocked! SHOCKED ). I am surprised people like that don’t end up on EU No Fly Lists.
    If you watch O’Keefe on video he is a huge narcissist. Like Blumenthal, Dana, Abunimah, Salaita, Assange. They are all narcissists. And their stage is their anti-zionism / antisemitism.

  6. Code Pink
    Also present are Medea Benjamin of the left-wing American organization CodePink, which supports the elimination of the State of Israel, …
    May 11, 2010: Code Pink attempted to arrest Karl Rove at a book signing
    A group of Code Pink protesters attempted to enter a performing arts center to try and arrest former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for war crimes while she was attending an event in conjunction with the RNC.

    Same like the notorious Monbiot, mentioned in a recent article on Cifwatch.

    Code Pink organizes annual rallies on Mothers Day and St. Valentine’s Day. On Mother’s Day 2006, Code Pink organized a 24-hour gathering in Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House, which was attended and supported by Cindy Sheehan, Susan Sarandon and Patch Adams.[39]
    During the Gaza Freedom March, Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin coordinated the organization’s stay with the Hamas government. Members resided in the Commodore, a Hamas-owned hotel in Gaza City. Hamas security officials accompanied activists as they visited Palestinian homes and Gaza-based NGOs.[55] Prior to the march, Benjamin said the Hamas government had “pledged to ensure our safety.”[56]

    March 2011: Code Pink members demonstrate outside of the FBI headquarters in support of suspected Wikileaks leaker Bradley Manning.[29]
    Conservative talk-show host Tucker Carlson criticized Pink leader Medea Benjamin for her support of Hugo Chávez. She was quoted as saying that the charge in sections of the US media that Chavez had cracked down on free speech and civil rights in Venezuela was a myth.[48]
    In their post-Tank press release of October 10th, Medea Benjamin and Robert Naiman say the peace delegation showed Pakistan that not all Americans are bad guys:

    “To the cheers of a teeming group of Pakistanis, we walked on stage holding anti-drone signs and pictures of children who have been killed in drone attacks, and delivered an apology for the death of innocent people. ‘We want you to know that these Americans you see here have been fighting for years against this drone policy, and will continue to do so until we put an end into to these barbaric attacks. We want to live in peace and harmony with our brothers and sisters in this region,’ we told the crowd. Their response brought tears to our eyes. ‘You are welcome! We want peace!,’ they chanted over and over, smiling, waving and cheering.”

    Is this solidarity or imperial narcissim?

    Most Pakistanis are so outraged by the attempted murder of Malala Yousafzai that even Imran Khan had to condemn it, though it took him ten hours to do so and he didn’t mention the Taliban. Code Pink’s Washington office also did a hasty press release October 10th saying they prayed for Malala’s recovery and offering $1000 to her school, while making “a connection between drone attacks and growing extremism in Pakistan” – as if there were no Taliban before there were drones.

    From Imram Khan to Jemima Khan-Goldsmith, former supporter of Assange, and to Monbiot, closing the circle.

    • Corr.
      Imran, that is.


      January 20, 2005: Code Pink protesters attended President G. W. Bush’s second inaugural address, unfurling banners and heckling the president during his speech.[12] The group reportedly received VIP passes from unidentified members of Congress, and were eventually escorted out of the area by police.[13]
      Emphasis added.

      On Mother’s Day 2006, Code Pink organized a 24-hour gathering in Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House, which was attended and supported by Cindy Sheehan, Susan Sarandon and Patch Adams.[39]

      December 12, 2008: Code Pink announced its plans to invest in Iranian wind energy in hopes to defy sanctions and build peaceful relations with the government of Iran.[23]

      May 23–24, 2011: Code Pink members disrupted Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu’s speaking engagements, both at a policy convention and at the United States Congress. Code Pink member Rae Abileah was arrested and charged with disrupting Congress.[30]

      Self evidently that Code Pink won the so called Peace award of the Aachenr peace initiative

      This peace initiative has a record of honouring anti-Israelian initiatives, to put it diplomatically.

  7. On the way to a Women’s conference in Aza, Benjamin was taken away by Egyptian security upon landing in Cairo. They threw her in a cell for a night. The next morning she had the genius to get stubborn with the Egyptian police and they ended up dislocating her shoulder before stuffing her on a plane to Istanbul.