Canadian Protestant Church Leader Terms Jews ‘paranoid’ on Subject of Israel

The lay leader of Canada’s largest Protestant church said in a radio debate here that Canadian Jews were “paranoid” on the subject of Israel and had “split loyalty” on it. Dr. Robert McClure, moderator of the United Church of Canada, spoke in a dialogue with Emil Fackenheim, a Jewish writer and professor of philosophy at Toronto University, which was broadcast live by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Dr. McClure, a physician, is titular head of the church.

He maintained that the Jews of Canada wore “three hats”–as Canadian citizens and as Jewish religionists, which posed no problems but in relation to their attitude toward Israel they had a persecution complex and resented any criticism. Prof. Fackenheim replied that in more than 20 years, the Christian community had failed to come to terms with the Nazi holocaust, citing its silence before the June, 1967 war when Arabs were threatening the destruction of all Jews in Israel. He asked Dr. McClure if he felt a “split loyalty between Canada and Christ.”

Dr. McClure suggested that Canadian Jews felt obliged to “shout louder” because they had a guilty conscience–they were more comfortable in Canada than are Jews in Israel.

The United Church of Canada is Methodist and Congregationalist and includes a section of Presbyterians. Its official organ. The Observer, is edited by Rev. A.C. Forrest who has been condemned by many Canadian clergymen for anti-Israel pro-Arab bias. It has consistently carried articles unfavorable to Israel.

The United Church of Canada is Methodist and Congregationalist and includes a section of Presbyterians. Its official organ. The Observer, is edited by Rev. A.C. Forrest who has been condemned by many Canadian clergymen for anti-Israel pro-Arab bias. It has consistently carried articles unfavorable to Israel.

One of three Protestant church publications in Canada has omitted an indirect slurring reference to American Jews in printing a report by Rev. Forrest on the hardships and deprivations of an Arab Christian refugee family in Bethlehem. Rev. Forrest, who is on a year’s Middle East assignment and is based in Beirut, made derogatory references to “fat Florida friends” who disregarded “hunger” in Bethlehem and spoke of “jewelry hoarders.” There was no direct citation of Jews but observers felt the implication was clear. His “Christmas story” appeared in the “Observer” and in the Anglican “Canadian Churchman” and “Presbyterian Record.” but the “Record” unlike the other publications, deleted his apparent slurs. In a previous story, Rev. Forrest spoke of living under the “hard Israel’s boot.”

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