Pro-Palestinian carol church gets hate mail

By Robyn Rosen, December 17, 2009

The rector of a church which held a carol service with alternative songs condemning Israel was reportedly sent a barrage of hate mail before the service.

Reverend Simon Grigg was allegedly told he would “go to hell” in a series of hate emails sent before more than 60 of protesters demonstrated outside his church in Covent Garden last week.

The service was held by Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (JBIG) and included readings by Palestinian writer Ghada Karmi, Baroness Jenny Tonge and Lauren Booth.

Revd Grigg said he had endured a “nasty week” but was pleased so many people had “braved the lobby” of Israeli demonstrators, according to the West End Extra.

During the service, he read a prayer calling for peace in Jerusalem and “for all who are living under occupation tonight”.

The Board of Deputies condemned the abusive messages.

Jon Benjamin, chief executive, said: “Clearly this is an event which caused upset in the Jewish community and those that protested peacefully are to be commended.

“But abuse from any quarter are inexcusable and counterproductive. Those advancing Israel’s case in the face of demonisation have right on their side and there should be no need to resort to intemperate language.”

Last updated: 4:47pm, December 17 2009