I decided it was right to continue with Paradox (which I began whilst living in Jerusalem) now that I am based back in the UK for the following reasons:
1. Because of a prayerful conviction that it is right to do so.
2. Because reconciliation – between humanity and God, and between estranged humans – is at the heart of Christianity.
3. Because there is so much ill-informed, biased and even uncharitable comment circulated by Christians.
4. Because I am not aware of any similar reconciling and (hopefully) balanced publication.
5. Because I do not feel I should waste my experience in this area.
6. Because our global village and electronic communication allows me to continue unhindered by geographical change.
Here is an outline of my background experience:
1. Member of the Council of the Church of England’s official ministry among Jewish people for19 years
2. Member of a number of fact-finding Commissions to Israel during those 19 years
3. For 9 months Chairman of the Church of England’s official ministry among Jewish people at a time of interregnum between both General and Israel Directors, so exercising a de facto executive role overseeing the work
4. For 3 years General Director of the Church of England’s official ministry among Jewish people, based in the UK and visiting Israel at least 6 times a year
5. For 3.5 years General Director of the Church of England’s official ministry among Jewish people, based in Jerusalem throughout Intifada (and Iraq War): and for 2.5 years Rector of Christ Church, Jerusalem
6. Retain the same extensive sources of information that relied on in Jerusalem (Believers in Christ, Muslims and secular) and relationships with key people in this area
7. Have deep theological conviction that should promote reconciling attitudes, rather than polarization amongst Christians
8. Have a deep theological conviction that should reach out in the love of Christ to both Jewish people and Israeli Arabs and Palestinians
1. Trained to be an advocate for Israel in a course organised by the Israeli Foreign Ministry and approached several times by the Foreign Ministry. Approached by the Israeli Embassy in London concerning Advocacy
2. Attended various Christian Zionist gatherings, including the International Christian Embassy’s Feast of Tabernacles conference
3. Studied Antisemitism, including visits to ex-concentration camp and other Nazi atrocity sites, Yad Vashem etc.
4. Visited Jewish homes in Israel.
5. Had Israeli Jewish colleagues and churchmembers, with whom had frequent in-depth conversations about the political situation. They included:
- Several whose family members died in the Holocaust
- Some who had narrow escapes from suicide bombs
6. Had many Jewish (Messianic) Pastor friends
7. Spent much time with Jewish (Messianic) leaders including a twice-yearly 48 hour desert retreat with 30 or so who sometimes discussed the political situation
8. Involved in providing practical help to needy Jewish families
1. Attended a Palestinian Advocacy Conference
2. Attended a week-long international conference on Christian Zionism held by the Sabeel Palestinian Liberation Theology Center, East Jerusalem, which included many Palestinian speakers including talks from Yassir Arafat and Hanan Ashrawi at the Muqata in Ramallah
3. Visited West Bank Refugee Camps
4. Visited Palestinian homes on the West bank
5. Had Israeli Arab and Palestinian colleagues and churchmembers, with whom had frequent in-depth conversations about the political situation. They included:
- One whose brother had been shot dead by the Israel Defence Forces
- Another who had been beaten up by Israeli forces
6. Had a number of Arab Pastor friends
7. Spent time with a Palestinian who had been imprisoned by the Israelis
8. Involved in providing practical help to needy Arab/Palestinian families
© Tony Higton