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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
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Church of Scotland Questions Right of Israel to Exist

Anti-Zionists have gone beyond the campaign to boycott Israel because of Jews in Judea and Samaria. Now, the Church of Scotland questions whether Jews even have a claim to Israel.

A Jewish boy wearing a kippa and holding an Israeli flag in Hebron.

Is Israel for Jews? A Jewish boy wearing a kippa and holding an Israeli flag in Hebron.
Photo Credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90

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The Church of Scotland has written a document that suggests that Jews may not have a valid claim to the Land of Israel because of an “increasing number of difficulties and current Israeli policies regarding the Palestinians.”

Local Jewish leaders are up in arms and fear that if the church adopts the document at its annual general assembly, it may be become official church policy, the London Jewish Chronicle reported.

The Church of Scotland’s annual general assembly is to vote on the 5,000-word report later this month,

If the proposed view passes the vote, it may become “the considered view of the Church,” a spokesperson told the newspaper.

The document is a “deliberate attempt to question Israel’s right to exist” and would be “very damaging to interfaith relations in Scotland and throughout Britain, a Jewish leader, who remained anonymous, told the Chronicle.

The report is entitled “The Promised Land” and concludes that Christians should reject the idea that Jews have an exclusive claim to the Land of Israel. It also opposes using the Bible to “settle contemporary conflicts over land.”

“On behalf of the Jewish community of Scotland, we call upon the Church to withdraw it from the forthcoming general assembly. If the Church cannot build bridges, can it at least refrain from burning them?” Ephraim Borowski, Scottish Council of Jewish Communities director told the London Jewish newspaper.

Board of Deputies vice-president Jonathan Arkush said, “The document …appears to have been produced with no consultation with the Scottish or national Jewish community. It is littered with misrepresentations of Jewish history, values and beliefs as well as basic factual errors.

“It is an ignorant and tendentious document masquerading as a theological statement. The Church has done a deep disservice to itself by producing a document without any regard to the trust, respect and dialogue on which interfaith relations should be based.”

The Chronicle said that the report states, “There has been a widespread assumption by many Christians as well as many Jewish people that the Bible supports an essentially Jewish state of Israel. This raises an increasing number of difficulties and current Israeli policies regarding the Palestinians have sharpened this questioning….

“The desire of many in the State of Israel to acquire the land of Palestine for the Jewish people is wrong. The fact that the land is currently being taken by settlement expansion, the separation barrier, house clearance, theft and force makes it doubly wrong to seek biblical sanction for this.”

The document urged the Church not only to back the boycott movement but also to lobby the British government to pressure Israel to deny the presence of Jews in Judea and Samaria.

Ed Kessler, founder director of the Woolf Institute which studies interfaith relations, told the newspaper that the report demonstrates “it is easier for Christians to condemn anti-Semitism as a misunderstanding of Christian teaching than to come to terms with the re-establishment of the Jewish state…

“The document fails to take seriously the concerns of both sides but has a partisan agenda — the promotion of Palestinian rights. Why is it so rare to find Christian organizations, let alone Jewish, which are both pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli? Blinkered views prevail.”

Sally Foster-Fulton, Convenor of the Church and Society Council, said, “The Church of Scotland chose the words of its report carefully to question and challenge not condemn or dismiss,” according to the Chronicle. “It cannot and will not shy away from difficult subjects nor from speaking the truth in love — otherwise how we will ever progress?”

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About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


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96 Responses to “Church of Scotland Questions Right of Israel to Exist”

  1. Subject: JEWISH BLOOD SHOULD NOT BE CHEAP. WAKE UP JEWS AND POLITICIANS.

    NEVER FORET, NEVER FORGIVE. REMIND THE RABBIS AND JEWISH LEADERS AS WELL AS OUR POLITICIANS. Jewish blood should not be cheap. NOT ON MY WATCH. RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

    Video: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=8995

    'My son was killed just for being Jewish'.

    Thousands attend funeral of Yitzhar resident Evyatar Borovsky, who was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist at Tapuach Junction • Settlers demand government take action, say "writing was on the wall in blood" • Fatah's Facebook page glorifies terrorist.

    He was stabbed multiple times in the chest.

    "Evyatar was a righteous, God-fearing man, who loved life. He loved making people laugh and he was extremely funny. He studied to be a medical clown and saw it as his vocation, to make patients smile and laugh. He didn’t care if they were Jewish or Arab."

  2. Yishai Kohen says:

    Action-reaction: The Church of Scotland has tangible interests here in OUR land: St. Andrew's Church in Jerusalem, The Scots Guest House in Jerusalem, The Tabeetha School in Yafo, The Scots Hotel in Tiberias, and others- not to mention the many pilgrims who come here. They want to play hardball? Fine. We can, and must, make them pay dearly for every anti-Israel move or motion.

    It is written in Mishlei (19:25): "לץ תכה ופתי יערים": "When thou smitest a scorner, the simple will become prudent". See what Rav Hutner wrote about the pasuk in Pachad Yitzhak, Purim (Ma'amar Aleph). The same applies here.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The church is correct. As of the moment the Jewish state was "proclaimed as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947", it rendered the historic Jewish homeland in all of Palestine to the history books.

    BTW The little boy in the photo is not in Israel. Why do Israelis endanger their young by placing them in non-Israeli territories?

  4. Anonymous says:

    BTW the poll on the page "Should Israel hang an Israeli flag on top of the Temple Mount (Har HaBayit) on Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day)? " misses one crucial point. Jerusalem is not the sovereign territory of Israel ( read UNSC res 476 ).

  5. Anonymous says:

    //"“The document fails to take seriously the concerns of both sides but has a partisan agenda — the promotion of Palestinian rights. Why is it so rare to find Christian organizations, let alone Jewish, which are both pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli? Blinkered views prevail.”"//.

    Uh? The Palestinians ask for their LEGAL rights under the Laws, UN Charter and relevant Conventions Israel agreed to uphold. The law does not fall in favour of those who break it, which according to the UNSC, is Israel. The "blinkered views" prevailing, are the views of those who'd rather ignore the law.

  6. Anonymous says:

    //"The document urged the Church not only to back the boycott movement but also to lobby the British government to pressure Israel to deny the presence of Jews in Judea and Samaria."//.

    A) It's officially named the West Bank. B) Under the laws and Conventions Israel agreed to uphold, it is prohibited for Jewish Israeli AND NON-Jewish Israelis to illegally settle in "territories occupied" (UNSC Res 446).

  7. Anonymous says:

    // “it is easier for Christians to condemn anti-Semitism as a misunderstanding of Christian teaching than to come to terms with the re-establishment of the Jewish state"//.

    What twaddle. The issue is Israel's ILLEGAL actions in "territories outside the State of Israel" http://pages.citebite.com/x1r0b4d1y6mkv none of which have ever been legally annexed to Israel. ( the acquisition of territory by war has been inadmissible since at least 1933 http://pages.citebite.com/y1f0t4q1v4son ).

  8. Anonymous says:

    //"It also opposes using the Bible to “settle contemporary conflicts over land.”"//.

    Rightly so. The State of Israel is bound to adhere to the UN Charter, International Law and Customary International Law.

    The State of Israel was declared and recognized according to UNGA res 181 “MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I have the honor to notify you that the state of Israel has been proclaimed as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947, and that a provisional government has been charged to assume the rights and duties of government for preserving law and order within the boundaries of Israel, for defending the state against external aggression, and for discharging the obligations of Israel to the other nations of the world in accordance with international law. The Act of Independence will become effective at one minute after six o’clock on the evening of 14 May 1948, Washington time.” http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/documents/newPDF/49.pdfhttp://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2193961?uid=3737536&uid=2&uid=4&sid=21101452858741http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/43802115http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1950/apr/27/jordan-and-israel-government-decision.

  9. Gil Gilman says:

    The COS was feeling left out of the headlines. Their thinking? If you can call it that? "The rest of the world has no corner on the flummery market.

  10. These guys should stick to their national alcoholism and leave world affairs to the sober….

  11. Who owns the West Bank, otherwise known as Judea and Samaria? I think the last legal entity was the Ottoman Empire – not Israel and not Jordan before Israel. If the last legal entity was the Ottoman empire, than the area is techically "Disputed lands". If Disputed lands, Israelis are legally allowed to be on the lands, as well as Arabs legally allowed to be on the lands. No?

  12. The fact that the UN passed this resolution does not supersede what's written in the Torah.
    Yours is merely an opinion, like mine. History will show who's right.
    BTW Hebron is mentioned specifically in the Torah. It's where Abraham purchased land for burying Sarah. To say that Jews have no rights to be there is absurd. As far as Israelis endangering their young, compare their effort to settle their homeland to the Arabs' sending their children to blow themselves up, after indoctrinating them to hate, hate, hate.

  13. Officially? There are lots of officials in this world…

    Also, whether the territories are "occupied" is a matter of opinion. Israel maintains they're "disputed". Your assumptions are merely that: assumptions.

  14. Eran Spiro says:

    The Little boy is in Israel, Why don't you visit and find out?

  15. Eran Spiro says:

    Tax the church property!

  16. As it says in the resolution above, Israel has a right to defend itself against external (Arab) aggression (that has been a constant since day 1). The UN abandoned Israel long ago by refusing to consider its need to defend itself. Instead, this useless body has consistently seen only one side of the conflict by condemning only Israel. Why, therefore, should Israel adhere to its resolutions?

  17. Brian Fink says:

    Of course the territory is disputed. Israel captured it from Jordan which has since ceded all claims. Before that it was held by the British under Mandate which was surrendered and prior to that it was part of the now defunct Ottoman Empire for 400 years. So it has never been part of 'Palestine' as no such legal entity has ever existed. Unfortunately, Scots seem to have a real problem with Jews as there has been a spate of anti-Israel/antisemitic stories recently from north of the border. If Scotland gains independence from the UK, what future will Scottish Jews have?

  18. Dan Steeves says:

    The State of Israel and the people of Israel are not the same. The State of Israel is democratic and political and reject the God of ancient Israel which was a theocracy. If the citizens of modern Israel are truly God's people why did not God save their ancestors from the Roman invasion and the devastation of Jerusalem and its temple? Good question. And the answer is? Jesus words in Matthew 23:37,38.

  19. Bottenlöst, kyrkan förnekar sig alltid.

  20. Kyrkan förråder sig själv och Yeshua, hur skall det kännas för dessa när Messias.
    kommer till Oljeberget I Jerusalem och inte till London.

  21. Jan Zollars says:

    Wow, with the horrific history of Scotland and the British Isles in general, they have a lot of chutzpah!

  22. As a Christian I am DUMFOUNDED. If Christianity moves away from Biblical truth – yes Jewish history how can they call themselves Christian. Jesus Christ was, is & always be born a Jew. Of Jewish lineage. Born in ISRAEL. He came to the Jews first. There were no Catholics, nor Prodestants. Oh well, they will all be answerable to GOD ALMIGHTY.

  23. The U.N. resolutions referred to were superseded by Arab aggression, not to mention the fact that the Arabs never accepted these resolutions to begin with. Israel accepted for its part but the conditions were modified by Arab unwillingness to live in peace, which resulted in invasions. The U.N. has consistently refused to intervene, so long as there was a chance the Israelis would be beaten. When that providentially fails to materialize, they're quick to jump in to help the poor, downtrodden Arab aggressors. What insane hypocrisy!

  24. true as the sun and the moon!

  25. Bets Jansen says:

    The church supports Vanunu.

  26. What did you say?

  27. Ephraim Bander says:

    I will bless those who bless you and CURSE those who curse you. This is great. Let them dig their own anti semetic graves.

  28. Jay Sprueill says:

    The top official that determined where the seed of Abraham could live is GOD. Now I am a Scott but I am a Christain first, and I personaly trust in the WORD of GOD.

  29. seriously who cares what the church thinks…they are guilty of crimes against humanity for hundreds of years.

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