The antisemitism watching blog ‘Seismic Shock’ (front page here) has come up with good stuff again. http://seismicshock.wordpress.com/2010/10/10/the-small-print/
I was particularly interested about the boycott Israel meeting that happened in my home city of Portsmouth.
I was hugely relieved that there are no names of churches from my city involved, but usual attacks from various characters mentioned by Seismic and general political blogs like Harry’s place (not specifically pro-Israel, but have very good expose of unpleasant extremism stuff regularly)
The focus on the blog talked about the get together from various Methodist churches, it is sad when antisemitism comes from not just from stereotypical skin heads but from within churches, and this creates division and gives a poor impression to non Christians in my community.
For me this is not a representation of Jesus, but slander aimed at a nation that is not perfect but we are biblically obliged to pray for. Its important we reject the common error of replacement theology (that is that Israel of the bible was permanently rejected by the new covenant of the church which Paul says is false in Romans)
In addition to this, modern day BNP-style political thugs the EDL, were on the news for protesting and intimidating Muslims also in Portsmouth outside the Jami Mosque.
Some people maybe scared to visit Israel because of fears of terrorism, but in reality, I feel safer on the streets at night in Jerusalem than Portsmouth. As the recent above story and immense dislike of the neighbouring city of Southampton, there is a fair amount of political craziness from Pompey.
Someone else I know did this kind of comparison of two cities they have lived in and showing the nicest parts of each.
There is some similarities here, both cities once had the same football club owner at the same time. Both have a lot of history, although Portsmouth is 800+ years old, Jerusalem is about 4 times older and has about 700,000 people compared to Portsmouth’s 200,000 odd.
Both places you walk somewhere and bump into someone you know in the street.
Some of these comparisons are often more to do with the relative (Israel = 7 million, UK = 65 million) size of the country, thus the logistics of supplying things into this place as opposed to any political reasons. Some things come out in the shops much later here in Israel (like the iPhone that wasn’t officially on sale until Autumn 2009) also because of reasons like the unique nature of the Hebrew language which I guess was only probably implemented recently.
I have not mentioned things like terrorism threats as actual attacks are these days a rarity and certainly less deaths than an average robbery or domestic murder in a western city.
There is a wide range of different ethnic groups here, people are free to practice their own religion without much interference.
Of course both places share some bad things like lack of parking too.
Better things in Jerusalem
Excellent family life, most children have two parents, divorce/separation rate seems low
Not much crime or drugs
Not much issue with drunks/alcoholism
Vast range of places to eat out
Vast range of coffee shops and easy to get wireless internet
Fruit and vegetables are plentiful locally and cheap
Old city markets are great to get beautiful carpets, ornaments, spices, ceramics
People like to socialise a lot, but not always around alcohol, so going out is safe and fun for everyone in almost all cases.
Warm Mediterranean climate, its been often over 30 degrees in November.
Attractive design of buildings with consistent white stone facade on the outside gives this city a unique character
Most houses have their hot water heated using solar panels on the roof
Police and soldiers in the street all around give a sense of security and safety
Mobile phone usage seems quite cheap and there’s no problem with signal (despite this city is on several mountains) 120% (ie: lots of people have two) of Israelis have mobile phones.
Bus service is cheap and quite easy to get anywhere – just remember to hold on tight once you get on as they don’t wait for you sit down…
Immigration unlike many other countries is actively encouraged (if you are Jewish) A blessing to Jews who have previously lived in nations that were hostile or dangerous to them.
Better things in Portsmouth
Food (tinned/packaged) is much cheaper
You are never more than 1/2 a mile from a curry restaurant
You are never more than 100 yards from a pub
Road safety is above average, and most people’s cars have to be in safe and good order
Electrical fittings, switches, etc in shops and houses are not often wobbly or fall off in your hand
Health & Safety is strict, so you won’t walk past building sites where workman work around the public without fencing etc.
Bus drivers are mostly polite and don’t drive off until you have sat down
Relatively good amount of political stability
Going to bordering countries (France, Spain, Channel Islands) requires simple security clearance without being asked lots of questions
Its easy to buy spare parts for your car, IT hardware, other specialised things without having to have them imported from somewhere else
Very little risk of drought, and water infrastructure works well
Note: I don’t really like political debates and so I am quite fussy about whats allowed in comments below. Sensitive subjects are welcome in a private message.