Press TV, London
A British pro-Palestine priest has been barred from the ministry for 12 years after a Church of England tribunal found him guilty of engaging in “antisemitic activity” and of “offending the Jewish community.”
Meaning, that the 69-year-old Dr. Stephen Sizer, can no longer fulfill any priestly roles, such as taking communion or marriage services, among others. The ban on Sizer will last until December 2030 and includes the time since the investigation began in 2018.
Reactions include the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who said: “It’s clear that the behavior of Stephen Sizer has undermined Christian-Jewish relations, giving encouragement to conspiracy theories and tropes that have no place in the church." While the Islamic Human Rights Commission, who have supported Sizer, condemned the outcome.
The accusations against him include sharing a platform with Holocaust deniers whilst attending conferences in the Middle East, and sharing links to articles that are on websites that have posted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
Complaints by the pro-Israel Board of Deputies group sparked the investigation. The tribunal relied heavily on the controversial, pro-Israel IHRA definition of anti-Semitism in delivering its verdict.
Dr. Sizer continues to argue against the claims his conduct was inappropriate. Ironically, it was tacitly acknowledged that Sizer never said anything anti-Semitic himself. Leaving his supporters decrying what they believe is a blatant attack on freedom of speech to criticize Israel.
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