A group of Christian anti-Israel people, “Sabeel,” has the support of two Jewish opponents of Israel in this video: Mr. Jeff Halper of Israel, and Mr. Marc Ellis of the United States. To hear Mr. Ellis’s noteworthy oration, be sure to watch the video to its bitter end. For material on the American friends of Sabeel, see an earlier posting.
Ellis is employed by Baylor University. He has descriptions of himself as professor there and also as provost. He has furnished yet another description for his post as Director of the Center for Jewish Studies. All stress his many accomplishments, and give details of the praise he has received from famous men like Noam Chomsky and Edward Said. There are also “downloadable publicity shots of Dr. Marc H. Ellis.” A more critical appraisal of him is furnished by Steven Plaut.
Update, 9/9/09: Read Plaut’s new material about Ellis, Tony Judt, etc.
Sister Elaine Kelley
We live in a free country, and anyone is legally entitled to call himself a Rabbi, a “Reverend,” a priest, a minister. All such titles and degrees are available by mail order, for little money. But who needs to buy through the mails ? You want to be, say, a priest of the Very Catholic Diocese of Utopia, be my guest. Print your cards. On the computer.
All that is well known and generally discounted by the discerning public. So it should come as no surprise — but it did — that being a nun, sort of, is as easily accomplished.
Out in the state of Oregon, there is a support group for anti-Israel Palestinian Christians that calls itself Friends of Sabeel. What does Sabeel mean ? Well, never mind. But it so happens that when I wrote to this group to exchange some views regarding the legitimacy of Israel, the person charged with answering my mail was Sister Elaine Kelley, SFCC. What does SFCC mean ? “Sisters for Christian Community.” The Sabeel site tells us that Sr. Kelley is a Roman Catholic. But who or what is SFCC ? The Catholic Church does not recognize this group. It’s strictly a home-made, self-made ploy, well, to mislead. Two items in the New York Times (1, 2) tell much of the story. OK, nothing new in this. As ever, please, caveat emptor.
Addendum, February 23: The mainline Christian group Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East has condemned Sabeel’s message as anti-Semitic.