Church of Scotland report challenging Jews’ ‘divine right’ to Palestinian homeland unchanged

Stuart Littlewood May 18, 2013 25
Church of Scotland report challenging Jews’ ‘divine right’ to Palestinian homeland unchanged

Impertinent complaints politely sidestepped

The General Assembly Hall of the Church of Scotland, Edinburgh. Photo: Wikimedia

by Stuart Littlewood

The Church of Scotland's revised report 'The Inheritance of Abraham?' has now been released ahead of their Assembly http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/14050/The_Inheritance_of_Abraham.pdf .

The Church felt obliged to change some of it after Jewish leaders sought to interfere, one complaining that it was "an outrage to everything that interfaith dialogue stands for…  and closes the door on meaningful dialogue". Another said "it reads like an Inquisition-era polemic against Jews and Judaism."

The Israeli ambassador moaned that it belittled the deeply held Jewish attachment to the land of Israel in a way which was "truly hurtful".

So do the changes amount to a caving–in to Zionist meddlers?

I soon gave up comparing the two versions word for word to spot the difference. The press release gives no clues either. In it, Convener Sally Foster-Fulton simply says:

Sally Foster-Fulton

“We believe that this new version has paid attention to the concern some of the language of the previous version caused amongst the Jewish community whilst holding true to our concerns about the injustices being perpetrated because of policies of the Government of Israel against the Palestinian people that we wanted to highlight. The views of this report are consistent with the views held by the Church of Scotland over many years."

Cool under fire, this lady.

The report's key conclusion remains that "the Church of Scotland does not agree with a premise that scripture offers any peoples a divine right to territory”. At least they stand firm on that.

They also recap on what they already believe, and here's where disagreements might flare up. For example…

·       Israel is a recognised State and has the right to exist in peace and security.”

Yet Israel's right to exist seems somehow inconsistent with the Church's statement that scripture does not bestow a divine right to someone else's land. Even if the Church believes that the UN's 1947 Partition Plan was morally and legally right, what does it say to the Jewish terror groups that were driving Palestinians from their homes before the ink was dry and before the state of Israel was declared? What about the hundreds of towns and villages not even allocated to the Jewish state in the UN Plan but erased by Israel in order to implant itself. What about the systematic ethnic cleansing and the criminal occupation of additional Arab territories in the 1967 war? Perhaps the Church should remain silent on the 'right to exist' question, at least until Israel declares its internationally recognised boundaries and halts its illegal expansion.

·       "There should be a Palestinian State, recognised by the United Nations, that should have the right to exist in peace and security."

Israel doesn’t recognise the Palestinians' right to a state.

·       "We condemn racism and religious hatred."

The Jewish state is a racist entity.

·       "We are especially concerned at the recent actions of the Government of Israel in its support for settlements, for the construction of the security barrier or ‘the Wall’ within Occupied Territory, for the blockade of Gaza and for the anti-Boycott law."

“Recent” actions? Israel has been building illegal settlements since 1967. Gaza has been blockaded since 2006. The West Bank has lived under permanent blockade for decades.

·       "We assert our sincere belief that to be critical of the policies of the Israeli Government is a legitimate part of our witness and we strongly reject accusations of anti-Semitic bias. We regularly engage with and critique policies of all Governments, where we deem them to be contrary to our understanding of God's wish for humanity."

Well said.

Central to the Church’s discussion is this excellent passage…

“To Christians in the 21st century, promises about the land of Israel shouldn't be intended to be taken literally, or as applying to a defined geographical territory; The 'promised land' in the Bible is not a place, so much as a metaphor of how things ought to be among the people of God. This 'promised land' can be found or built anywhere.”

The report’s key conclusions appear the same as before. Christians should not be supporting any claims by any people to an exclusive or even privileged divine right to possess particular territory… It is a misuse of the Hebrew Bible (the Christian Old Testament) and the New Testament to use it as a topographic guide to settle contemporary conflicts over land.

And regarding Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory the Church remains committed to the following principles (previously set out and agreed by the General Assembly):

That the current situation is characterised by an inequality in power, therefore reconciliation can only be possible if the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and the blockade of Gaza, are ended.

The Church of Scotland condemns violence, terrorism and intimidation no matter the perpetrator

The Church of Scotland affirms the right of Israelis and Palestinians to live within secure and fixed boundaries in states of their own.

The Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank are illegal under international law.

The Church of Scotland should do nothing to promote the viability of the illegal settlements on Palestinian land.

That human rights of all peoples should be respected, and this should include the right of return and / or compensation for Palestinian refugees.

That negotiations between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority about peace with justice must resume at the earliest opportunity and the Church of Scotland should continue to put political pressure on all parties to commence such negotiations, and asking all parties to recognise the inequality in power which characterises this situation.

That there are safe rights of access to the sacred sites for the main religions in the area.

This stance seems pretty robust to me, and the Church’s support for refugees’ right of return is very welcome. However it also raises questions. Why, having already emphasised that the crisis in the Holy Land is characterised by "an inequality of power", call for the two sides to be thrown together again in fruitless negotiations? Negotiate what? Freedom? Is that negotiable? The return of stolen lands and property? Is that negotiable? These matters are already decided by international and humanitarian law and numerous UN resolutions waiting to be enforced. How can the Church approve so-called 'negotiations' while one party is still under illegal occupation with a gun to his head? What justice is likely to come out of that? The Church does urge the UK Government and the European Union "to do all that is within their power to ensure that international law is upheld", but that surely must come first, rather than relying on discredited talks.

The report going in front of the Church’s Assembly appears unchanged in substance and has cleverly sidestepped objections. The only caving-in, so far, has been the senior clergy's agreement to listen to the Zionists' impertinent demands in the first place.

I can only wish the Assembly an enjoyable week ahead and, on this issue, firm judgement.


Stuart Littlewood is a frequent contributor to My Catbird Seat.  He is writer-photographer in the UK. His articles are published widely on the web. He is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation.

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25 Comments »

  1. DaveE May 19, 2013 at 1:05 am - Reply

    Thanks again, Stuart, for doing our homework for us.    I think your analysis is "bankable" (to use the Jewish term) and "truthful" to use the Gentile term.
     
    It never ceases to amaze me (not in a good way) how Christ, who showed SO MUCH courage standing up to the Jews and contemporary Christians, who would rather "prey" than speak out or act decisively, have so little in common.  At least with regard to COURAGE and commitment to justice.
     
    I hope the Church of Scotland's stance, as wishy-washy as it was, inspired some other Christians to GET SERIOUS about the zionist / Jewish problem.

  2. Stu May 19, 2013 at 1:59 am - Reply

    Thanks Dave, but we'll have to wait till Thursday (I'm told) to find out what they're really made of. I'm hopeful, especially if they read Florence Leone's article 'Abraham is not my father'.

  3. Dan May 19, 2013 at 6:38 am - Reply

    How great of them!  And to think, it only took a few hundred years to come to a conclusion that is blatantly self-evident. They should have read Poncho Threetrees and saved themselves a bunch of time.

  4. Wally May 19, 2013 at 6:59 am - Reply

    IF the Bible is truly "the WORD of GOD" and the Jews are to be given that land because of that fact, then the inhabitants of that land should have to live EXACTLY BY THE RULES AND COMMANDS in that bible. ALL OF THEM ……. EXACTLY.

    • larry kelley May 19, 2013 at 4:53 pm - Reply

      Wally… the Holy Bible is the Word of GOD and if you 'refresh' your memory you will remember that the Jews rebelled against GOD and HE allowed them to be scattered… more than once,
      Remember that We/they have a new covenant now; see Hebrews 8. Don't think Zionism fits that description…

    • Forrest May 20, 2013 at 7:43 am - Reply

      Wally! Youhave been hoodwinied by the Zionist Christains who are owned,and bribed. To learn the trurh.Begin with SATAN AT THE WAILING WALL BROTHER NATHANAEL KAPTNER.COM. And, EXPOSINGZIONST CHRISTIANS.Brother NATHANAEL KAPTNUR.Com.

  5. Frank May 19, 2013 at 7:27 am - Reply

    I suppose we can now anticipate some exposions in Scotland

    • Debbie
      Debbie May 19, 2013 at 3:13 pm - Reply

      @Frank,

       

      You mean EXPLOSIONS ?  Indeed!

      It is refreshing that people are begining to grasp the multiplicity of vile methods used by the Zionist entity.

       

      The fact is this : 'The state of Israel'.  It is NOT a state. Founded in terror and genocide, no fixed borders, and no obedience to the many UNGA and SC Resolutions. 

       

      • George May 20, 2013 at 5:14 am - Reply

        Agreed

      • traducteur May 21, 2013 at 3:39 am - Reply

        …and consequently has no right to exist, none at all.  The Church has got that part wrong, unfortunately.

  6. Elizabeth Morley May 19, 2013 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    Thank you, Stuart, for spotlighting the inconsistency in the Church of Scotland wanting talks to resume given that it has recognised the gross imbalance of power! On the positive side, I sensed that the new version was, if anything, even harder-hitting, as if to say to the Zionists: "You asked for it!" I enjoyed the overt criticism of Israel's anti-boycott law and the added demand that existing settlements be removed – just two examples of how the Zionists meddling backfired.

    • Stu May 19, 2013 at 8:18 pm - Reply

      In my earlier article I said: "While rightly stating that Israeli settlements on Palestinian turf are illegal under international law, it simply calls for a halt. Justice requires a giving-back." Seems the CofS has taken that point on-board. Good for them!

  7. Bob Johnson May 20, 2013 at 2:00 am - Reply

    The scripture, in this case the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, does claim that God gave territory to the Hebrews/Jews/Israel. This is a fundamental cause/excuse for the religious violence in the Middle East. The only lasting solution to the problem is to admit the Bible is not from God but is from ancient Hebrews/Jews and they wrote it to promote their own people and nation over everyone else. To do this we need a revolution in religion as the American founder and Deist Thomas Paine calls for in his enlightening landmark book on God, Deism and religion, The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition. Paine wanted a religious revolution based on our innate God-given reason and Deism. I think Thomas Paine was right!
    Progress! Bob Johnson
    http://www.deism.com

    • Florence L May 20, 2013 at 3:33 am - Reply

      Agreed, Bob Johnson.

       

      Does the Church of Scotland recite the same Creed as Roman Catholics: I believe in god, the father almighty, creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only son, our lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary [father unknown], suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he arose again, according to the scriptures. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of god the father, where he shall judge the living and the dead. I believe in the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen. — nothing about pledging allegiance to Abraham or to Hebrew Scriptures. — see also Thomas Jefferson's Syllabus, and "Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth." http://www.angelfire.com/co/JeffersonBible/      

      • Former Catholic May 20, 2013 at 7:47 am - Reply

        I am pleased that the Church Of Scotland stood up for Christ,and notthe Pharisses. The Vatican 2 Catholics sold out to these powerful forces,and changed so much to please the Zionist Matrix.  The Fundamentalisst Christians in the US are even worse,and have turned the Republican pary into a madhouse for extremist Isreali Policy.. SE EXPOSING ZIONIST CHRISTIANS. BroVids.Com

    • DrMeatwadPhD May 20, 2013 at 5:44 am - Reply

      You know it Bob, expose the fraud religious (torah, bible koran) as nothing but hebrews promoting themselves. There is no logic to the followers of that garbage.

  8. James Woroble Jr May 20, 2013 at 4:15 am - Reply

    Contemporary ZIo-Jews, genetically, have as much in common with the ancient Hebrews as Eskimos do with our American forefathers.   The 'chosen' people??? Try the poisen' people!!!   The Thirteenth Tribe by Arthur Koestler (Jew)   http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/13trindx.htm    

  9. DrMeatwadPhD May 20, 2013 at 5:42 am - Reply

    The jewish religion has these events also known as "prophecies" that must be fulfilled before they can claim some "right of return" to an israel.

     

    The problem is, the zionist has pretended that todays' Israel fits that prophecide return for the jew. Yet not one of the many of those pre-return prophecies have really happened. For example, for the jew to have a God gifted return to israel, they MUST have a living messiah. So where is that fantasy-man at Mr. Zionnazi?

     

    None of the jewish prophecies THEIR books have in black and white regarding a "return to israel" (the site of many genocide by the jewish) have ever happened, not a one of them.

     

    Nice when they claim that land is theirs and they proceed to kill the rightful property owners for their lands.

    • Cool Blue May 20, 2013 at 9:23 pm - Reply

      All must see the PROPHECIES OF MT ATHOS.'666' Brother Natahanael Kaptnur. YOU TUBE. Brother Nathanael Kaptnur Foundation.Com..

  10. Charles May 20, 2013 at 6:11 am - Reply

    It's about time to actually put a "name" to the problems which are threatening the world peace. Zionism is the entity responsible for the most attacks on Christianity and moral values in the world. It is the root cause of many of the problems in the world banking and economy and the single most destabilizing factor in the Middle East.

    • Dante Ardenz May 20, 2013 at 7:52 am - Reply

      So true Charles. This Zionist Power is overwhelming and it permiates our lives in an Orwellian Fashion. Left/Right,and Middle is beholden to them. All falls to their media/banking power. we now see what Christ encountered in his ministry and that is a deep statement coming from,someone who left religion due to the Isreali apologists they seem to all have become.. I credit sites like,this,and Brother Nathanael Kaptnur Foundation.Com in clearing up much abput this theologicaly.   SE THE END OF SOVEREIGHN AMERICA.BROVIDS.Com

  11. Edward McKenzie May 20, 2013 at 10:46 am - Reply

    Regarding the old “God gave this land to our tribe” riff, it should be noted that this whole concept rests upon an event which happens inside a DREAM which occurs within the mind of a biblical LITERARY CHARACTER – Abram/Abraham – in a book (Genesis) written by members of the Jerusalem priesthood (either in Jerusalem or in Babylonia) sometime in the late 7th or 6th century BCE. As is now the general consensus amongst the majority of modern biblical archaeologists and scholars of the ancient Near East (including myself), the patriarchal narratives, the exodus from Egypt, the Joshuan conquest of Canaan, and the United Monarchy of a David and Solomonic mini-empire are all the literary products of the religious imaginations of those who wrote, compiled, and edited the Hebrew Bible between the late 7th century BCE and the early 3rd century BCE (the core period of biblical composition). None of these events actually occurred and most of the characters in these narratives are purely LITERARY, including the “God of the Bible” Yahweh, who started his career as the tribal war-god of the Shasu Bedouin (mentioned in 14th and 13th century BCE Egyptian texts). Yahweh or Yahu was one of many regional pagan deities who, in his case, was adopted by the tribal people known as Israel sometime in the 12th or 11th centuries BCE (at the earliest). This Iron Age tribal group worshipped him along with other Canaanite deities such as Asherah, Ba‘al, El, etc. Biblical monotheism was more or less a priestly ideal rather than the historical or religious reality on the ground, as archaeology has found out. And so that you might be able to examine the verse from Genesis which I referred to above, I have included here a transliteration of the original Hebrew, word-for-word synonyms, and a translation. So the next time some nutball comes to your house and says, “I had a dream in which God gave to me your beautiful home and farmland, so you need to pack your bags and let me take over your property,” you might want to direct them to the nearest Mental Institution. It’s all just clever fiction, folks. That’s all it is and ever was.
    Genesis 15:18 – ’Abr?m’s Dream
    bayyôm hahû’ k?rat y?hv?h ’?t-’abr?m b?rît l?’m?r l?zar‘ak? n?ttatî ’?t-h?’?re? hazz?’t minn?har mi?rayim ‘ad-hann?h?r hag?d?l n?har-p?r?t :
    bayyôm hahû’ – On that very day; k?rat y?hv?h – Yahweh cut (a reference to the sacrificing of animals in the making of a covenant); ’?t-’abr?m – ’Abr?m; b?rît – a covenant; l?’m?r – an un-translated marker introducing direct speech (‘saying’); l?zar‘ak? – Unto your seed (to the descendants of Isaac, Ishmael, and Keturah [the Midianites and others, see: Genesis 25:1-4]); n?ttatî – I have given; ’?t-h?’?re? hazz?’t – this land; minn?har mi?rayim – from the river or stream (1) of Egypt (most likely the Wadi el-‘Arish, or the ‘Wadi of Egypt’ in the northeastern Sinai, roughly 80 km., or 50 miles southwest of Gaza, and as indicated in Chronicles 13:5, was the southern-most limit of Israelite settlement); ‘ad-hann?h?r hag?d?l – to the great river; n?har-p?r?t – the river Per?t (the Euphrates River at 2800 km, or 1,740 miles long, is the longest and greatest river in Western Asia and flows from the mountains of eastern Turkey through Syria and Iraq to the Persian Gulf).(2)
    On that very day [in a dream], Yahweh cut ’Abr?m a covenant, (saying): “Unto your seed I have given this land, from the stream of Egypt to the great river, the river Per?t (the Euphrates).”
    NOTES
    (1) The Semitic word n?h?r can refer to a river,  branch of a river, or a stream, such as an underground stream, or a desert wadi; Francis Brown, S. R. Driver, Charles A. Briggs (eds.), The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2010, original pub. 1906), 625.
    (2) While in the Greek, this river is called the Euphrates, in Assyrian it was called the Purattu, more closely resembling the Per?t in Hebrew, and in Old Persian this great river was called the Ufr?tu; Ibid., 832.

  12. Akidahamad May 20, 2013 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    Let us assume that God did give to Abraham and his descendants land. But, are the current occupiers of Palestine descendants of Abraham? And didn't God give the land to the descendants of Abraham on the condition that they remain faithful to their Creator? Those who call themselves Israelis today are brutal and oppressive, and most are atheists!

  13. Greg Bacon May 21, 2013 at 6:47 am - Reply

    Better look out, Scotland, there's a price to pay for being 'uppity' to the Khazar land thieves.
    Before you can say 'haggis,' you'll start getting attacked by 'al CIA Duh' types.

  14. read more here November 19, 2013 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    Very good post. I’m dealing with a few of these issues as well..

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