Since then Rev. Sizer's diocesan overseers have stood by their man. Rev. Rudall has personally vowed to "defend him to the hilt". Yet this readiness to give him the benefit of the doubt is hard to justify, to put it mildly, given Rev. Sizer's track record.
For example, when interviewed on Iranian TV (note the context) Rev. Sizer said that because of Israel's actions towards the Palestinians, "the Holocaust has been perpetuated over the past forty or fifty years." Give that claim a moment's thought and you'll see that it amounts either to Holocaust denial or a blood-libel comparable to those levelled against Jewish people in the Middle Ages. Last year Rev. Sizer promoted a boycott of McDonald's, Coca-Cola, L'Oréal and Nestlé on the basis that they "channel their profits to the Zionist agenda"—baseless scaremongering worthy of the infamous anti-Semitic handbook The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which warns of shadowy Jewish control over world affairs. In the same vein, one of Rev. Sizer's books alleges Israeli complicity in 9/11, without acknowledging any alternative view. Sometimes his obsession with Jewishness is overt. When, in March 2011, it looked as if America had decided not to support the proposed intervention in Libya, he devised his own conspiracy theory based on the rumoured Jewishness of the Gaddafi family. Commenting on that rumour, he said on his blog, "Blood is indeed thicker than water. Perhaps this is why the US is reluctant to impose a no-fly zone over Libya." Towards the end of last year he pulled off the extraordinary feat of simultaneously campaigning for the arrest of Tzipi Livni, the leader of Israel's moderate opposition, and the release of Sheikh Raed Salah, the Hamas fundraiser and anti-Semitic preacher who caused a furore last summer after illegally entering the UK. The one-sidedness of that dual campaign is obscene.
Rev. Sizer's link on Facebook to The Ugly Truth cannot therefore be seen as uncharacteristic. Which leads me to a very simple question: if he had linked to a website pouring similar vitriol on black people, and spurned two separate opportunities to remove the link, only taking it down under pressure from The Voice, would he still be in his job? My strong feeling is that both the diocese and Rev. Sizer's own congregation would have forced him to step down.
Their ongoing support represents yet another example of asymmetric concern about anti-Jewish and anti-black racism. One might have hoped that the Church of England would rise above this depressing trend. I am still waiting.
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