After reading of the report and the outrage it was stirring up within the Zionist Lobby, I had a hunch the Church of Scotland would cave-in. So I guess I’m not surprised but it still saddens me. As one author commented,
“The indigenous Church in Palestine are learning to our shame that they cannot rely on the wider church to advocate for them or speak biblically and theologically on their behalf”.
From an article announcing the report a month ago,
In a new report titled “The Inheritance of Abraham? A Report on the ‘Promised Land,’” the church said Israel’s claim to the occupied territories could be invalidated by its treatment of Palestinian people. The report will be voted on by the 700 church members who attend the annual general assembly later this month. If the paper is passed by a majority, it may become “the considered view of the Church,” a spokesperson said. (PressTV)
Follow-up article posted today,
In May, the Church of Scotland published a major report on Israel-Palestine entitled the Inheritance of Abraham. Under pressure from the Zionist Lobby, however, the report was swiftly removed from their website and a revision promised.
Read the original report….and the heavily redacted revision here with changes highlighted.
A ‘before and after’ comparison is both illuminating and depressing. It shows that what was promised would be a minor rewrite of the introduction, to provide “context”, actually became a major rewrite of the whole document. It appears the Church of Scotland has censored itself and limited its own theological discussion under intense pressure from the Israeli ambassador, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities and the Council of Christians and Jews. (Stephen Sizer blog)
I thought some of the most interesting points redacted were,
- A reference to Jerusalem as ‘the most contentious religious and political issue’ has been deleted.
- The quote from Ben Gurion (‘The Bible is our mandate’) has been removed.
- All references to the book of Joshua in relation to the occupation of the land have been removed.
- The reference to “the violence used to deprive some 750,000 Palestinian people from their homes” has been toned down.
- References to the State of Israel have been amended so as to dilute criticism of the state and to remove any suggestion that it is ‘an ethnic democracy’.
- The reference to Luke 4:25-30 (Jesus’ rejection by the Jews in Nazareth) has been deleted…
- The reference to Paul’s writings about the Jews in Romans 11 has been deleted….