On July 13, 2018, Gayle Elizabeth Harris, Bishop Suffragen of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, testified at the Episcopal Church’s General Convention: (1) that to the “oppressed” Palestinians’ throwing rocks and burning tires, the Israeli government consistently responded with militaristic weapons and violence, (2) that she was on the Temple Mount, watching a three-year-old boy playing ball, and when it rolled away and he went to retrieve it, an Israeli soldier came up to him and attempted to handcuff him, (3) that she saw a teenage, about age 15, walk down the street, ask a question of an Israeli soldier in a military vehicle, and when he turned to run from the soldier, he was shot in the back four times – later she said he was shot ten times. Her live testimony may be seen here: YouTube video.
The bouncing ball story was refuted because there is a high stone wall on the top of the Temple Mount that blocks balls and people from going over the side, and that Israeli soldiers do not “come up” to the Temple Mount because they are already stationed there. Harris later admitted that she was not an eye-witness to such events. There was no report made by the Palestinians of the shooting of a 15-year-old boy.
If this were an Islamic mosque, I would expect the lies (taqiyyah) that are used to defame and overcome their perceived enemy, Jews and Christians alike. But this is a sect of Christianity, with an allegiance to the Ten Commandments and Golden Rule, so how is it that an apparent member in good repute could stand in the docket and knowingly spew lies about an American ally, Israel? How is it that she had the temerity to testify against the honorable Israel Defense Forces in a country where Christians live in security, participate in the vote, thrive in university and business, travel for enjoyable vacations? Are there more church members like her and are they taken to task for spreading hurtful propaganda? And what is her purpose? To spur people to take up arms against the Jews? To spill blood?
Further, why is it that she had no compunction to unfairly defame and was she humiliated to retract and apologize for her immorality? The Bible says “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” What a blight on her character and reflection on the church! Whatever possessed her?
I contacted the hierarchy for an explanation, not so much that she be chastised (although that is warranted), but that she be taught the truth about Israel, its history and contributions to the welfare of all people, and the only democracy that exists in the Arab Middle East. Further, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are known for their fairness, compassion, and to follow the rules of warfare fairly and responsibly. Former Commander of the British Forces in Afghanistan Colonel Kemp testified about the IDF at the UN Human Rights Council that the IDF is the Moral Army, the most humane army in the world – and in human history. The repute of the IDF is legendary except for those who wish Israel harm.
As Islam sends its youth to invade and conquer Europe, would Harris be willing to show the same dishonesty against the Swedish people? English? German? French? Dutch? They are all being overpowered by the Arab incursion. Do Harris and her co-religionists tell untruths about them as well? If so, there is something wrong with the church’s teachings, which I find hard to fathom.
I must assume that the Episcopal church wants peace in our world as much as the Israelis, Diaspora Jews, and other Christians do, then something must be done to rectify the ideas and immoral deeds of their own co-religionists. Let not our western civilization be destroyed by an evil within. Harris could well have blood on her hands, and surely that cannot be a tenet of the faith.
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