Local vicars in Gaza protest

Local vicars in Gaza protest

Local vicars in Gaza protest

First published in News

TWO vicars and their family are living as “refugees” to draw attention to the plight of people in Gaza.

Rev Andrew Ashdown, the Anglican rector of Knights Enham, and his wife, the Rev Victoria Ashdown, curate of Whitchurch, are relying on the generosity of others while they and their family live without money in St Paul’s Church and Community Centre in Smannell Road, Andover.

They are spending each night on the floor in one of the community rooms.

Prayers are said in the morning and evening, and each evening a film or documentary is being shown about the situation in the Holy Land.

The money they would normally spend on food is being donated to the charity Embrace the Middle East’s Gaza appeal.

Last year, Andrew, a trustee of the charity visited Christian-run clinics and community centres in Gaza.

“Even when Gaza is not under attack, the situation is desperate,” he said. “The area is little more than a densely packed prison populated mostly with refugees whose homes and lands were taken by the State of Israel in 1948.

“The siege of Gaza that has been going on for years means that the most basic supplies are limited, and it is heart-breaking to visit the hospitals and clinics that struggle to provide care for over two million people.”

Victoria added: “I feel it is our duty as a church to speak for the oppressed and against injustice. Standing in solidarity with the suffering felt like something we could do here to highlight the plight.”

Comments (3)

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6:37pm Fri 1 Aug 14

hursthill says...

Perhaps the Vicars would be interested to know what has happened to previous aid money sent to Gaza.

Hamas used it to buy advanced rockets from Syria & Iran to fire indiscriminately at Israel.
- They also built terror tunnels, costing £millions, to sneak into Israeli villages & kill Israeli kids.

Israel has no territorial claims on Gaza, it is Hamas who are sworn to destroy Israel.

Israel has a moral & legal right to defend itself. The Vicars must show solidarity with Israel.
Perhaps the Vicars would be interested to know what has happened to previous aid money sent to Gaza. Hamas used it to buy advanced rockets from Syria & Iran to fire indiscriminately at Israel. - They also built terror tunnels, costing £millions, to sneak into Israeli villages & kill Israeli kids. Israel has no territorial claims on Gaza, it is Hamas who are sworn to destroy Israel. Israel has a moral & legal right to defend itself. The Vicars must show solidarity with Israel. hursthill
  • Score: 5

10:30pm Fri 1 Aug 14

NoFools says...

Perhaps the well-meaning Revs could also switch on the chilling bomb-raid sirens a few times a day, scramble to gather their crying kids, lay down on the ground, cover their heads with their hands and pray to the Almighty that the Iron Dome will intercept rockets fired from Gaza into Israel, as 1,000,000 Israelis do daily. There is suffering on both sides and holding Israel solely to blame is not helpful in bringing about a peaceful solution. I would expect more understanding and empathy for both sides of the conflict from the righteous Revs.
Perhaps the well-meaning Revs could also switch on the chilling bomb-raid sirens a few times a day, scramble to gather their crying kids, lay down on the ground, cover their heads with their hands and pray to the Almighty that the Iron Dome will intercept rockets fired from Gaza into Israel, as 1,000,000 Israelis do daily. There is suffering on both sides and holding Israel solely to blame is not helpful in bringing about a peaceful solution. I would expect more understanding and empathy for both sides of the conflict from the righteous Revs. NoFools
  • Score: 5

3:11pm Sat 2 Aug 14

GaryCop1968 says...

I am truely disappointed at how callous these esteemed vicars appear to be. With respect, one should not take up a plight whilst completely divorcing oneself from the real facts of the conflict. My dear vicars: please, let's get the facts straight: (a) Gaza was not taken by Israel; on the contrary, the UN voted to split Israel (1947) between Jews and Arabs; 7 Arab armies invaded and lost the war to a small contingency of Jews, most of which were civilians; in addition, my dear friends, as good Christians, how we can so easily forget that the Holy Land was given to the Jews by God?; (b) the plight of the Gaza population, which is indeed sad and disturbing, is of their own making; you should ask yourself why the billions and billions (this is not an exaggeration) of dollars funneled into to Gaza are being used for a sole purpose: to destroy the State of Israel. In lieu of investments in infrastructure, health, education, sanitation, employment etc., all funds are being purposely used to acquire rockets propelled against Israeli civilians from Hospitals, schools and mosque's, and for digging attack tunnels against, again, Israeli civilians. In short, if only the poor people of Gaza got their act together, overthrew Hamas, a worldwide declared terrorist organization, and sought to live in peace side-by-side with their peace seeking neighbors, the Israeli people, they, too, would have a future worth looking forward to.
I am truely disappointed at how callous these esteemed vicars appear to be. With respect, one should not take up a plight whilst completely divorcing oneself from the real facts of the conflict. My dear vicars: please, let's get the facts straight: (a) Gaza was not taken by Israel; on the contrary, the UN voted to split Israel (1947) between Jews and Arabs; 7 Arab armies invaded and lost the war to a small contingency of Jews, most of which were civilians; in addition, my dear friends, as good Christians, how we can so easily forget that the Holy Land was given to the Jews by God?; (b) the plight of the Gaza population, which is indeed sad and disturbing, is of their own making; you should ask yourself why the billions and billions (this is not an exaggeration) of dollars funneled into to Gaza are being used for a sole purpose: to destroy the State of Israel. In lieu of investments in infrastructure, health, education, sanitation, employment etc., all funds are being purposely used to acquire rockets propelled against Israeli civilians from Hospitals, schools and mosque's, and for digging attack tunnels against, again, Israeli civilians. In short, if only the poor people of Gaza got their act together, overthrew Hamas, a worldwide declared terrorist organization, and sought to live in peace side-by-side with their peace seeking neighbors, the Israeli people, they, too, would have a future worth looking forward to. GaryCop1968
  • Score: 4

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