The Church of England’s Diocese of Guildford has moved to bar Rev. Stephen Sizer from “writing or speaking on any theme that relates, either directly or indirectly, to the current situation in the Middle East or to its historical backdrop.”
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the decision, commending Right Rev. Andrew Watson, the Bishop of Guildford, for his statements calling Sizer’s actions “indefensible” and “ridiculous.” Last month, the League welcomed the Church’s initial decision to launch a formal investigation into the online comments, which included a link on Facebook to an article titled, “9/11 Israel did it.”
“The Diocese of Guildford has demonstrated that it will not tolerate bias and prejudice from its vicars,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “In doing so, it has taken a courageous stand against inflammatory rhetoric promoting the kind of hatred and violence that, unfortunately, seems to be increasingly prevalent.”
“We are grateful to the Diocese for its decisive action,” Foxman added.
In 2012, as a result of another Church investigation, Rev. Sizer agreed that links to websites should be carefully monitored. In 2014, Rev. Sizer participated in a conference in Tehran, Iran that included several anti-Israel activists, anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists and Holocaust deniers.