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Thursday, 24 July 2014

Church of Scotland joins the Anti-Semitic Circle

The Date of Infamy speech was delivered by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt to a Joint Session of Congress on 8 December 1941, one day after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor Naval Base. It achieved that title from the first line of the speech when Roosevelt described the previous day as "a date which will live in infamy." An hour after, Congress had passed a formal declaration of war against Japan and brought the U.S. as combatant into World War II.

July 16, 2014 is another day that could also qualify as a Date of Infamy.  If claims by the extremist and anti-Semitic fringe group Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) are true, it was then that the Church of Scotland (CoS) formally joined their anti-Semitic circle.

The CoS establishment has held strong anti-Israel views for several years and has steadily ramped up its verbal aggression of Israel and of those who believe in the rights of the Jewish People to self-determination.

In May 2011 the Kairos Document, “a revisionist document of hatred for Israel and contempt of Jews” (Simon Wiesenthal Centre, June 24, 2011), was adopted by the World Council of Churches of which CoS is a constituent member. This document soon became what many now consider as the Third Testament, demoting the Old Testament (the Bible) and the New Testament into subservient status.

The church reached new heights in May 2013 when it published its “Inheritance of Abraham” document. This is unequivocally anti-Semitic and totally denies Jewish human rights and the national liberation movement of the Jewish people. It has been described as “Bluntly anti-Semitic . . . the delegitimisation not only of political Zionism - but of Judaism itself.”

The principal Jewish communal organisations responded with outrage and disgust. The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC) described the document as “An Inquisition-era polemic against Jews and Judaism.”

Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, in a restrained rebuke, described it as “harmful and hurtful” to relations between the two faith communities. Rabbi Mirvis issued a challenge to CoS.  He said:

“In respect to matters pertaining to the Middle East, [the challenge] is, while working together, what can we do collectively and separately that will advance the cause of peace by building confidence, respect and understanding, while avoiding the spread of suspicion, mistrust and fear.”

The response to that was not unexpected. The CoS programme of regular meetings, featuring speakers from the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) and Christian Aid—effectively inciting against Jewish and Israeli legitimacy—continued apace.

Gaza rocket strikes Sderot factory
Gaza rocket strikes Sderot factory, engulfing structure in flames. Group of employees manages to escape blazing building; three lightly injured; emergency crews working to quell fire; other rocket lands in open area without causing injuries, damage. (Jerusalem Post, June 28, 2014)

The picture is an example of what a Church of Scotland-sponsored “EAPPI peace activist”, Maureen Jack, recently reportedly describe to audiences thus:
“I think it’s important to put into context the issue of rockets from Gaza . . . The rockets are Qassam rockets from Gaza that are fired on Israel. They are not like V2 rockets that were fired during the Second World War. They are small rockets which can pierce a roof but can’t pierce a wall”.

The Kairos document came to the fore with CoS allegedly organising, in association with Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC)—a group with a record of interaction with terrorist sympathisers and Holocaust deniers—an invitation to host Archbishop Atallah Hanna, one of the document’s authors.

On July 2014 at a public meeting in Dundee a SPSC spokesman claimed:

“On this tour, Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign is teaming up, it’s the minnow and the whale working together, but were working with Church of Scotland officially. On this tour Atallah Hanna met last night with all the leaders, with all the Christian Churches in Scotland. They had prepared a statement of solidarity when he delivered his speech. I think they tore it up and they’re preparing a stronger statement and we hope that when this statement emerges we hope that it will be a game changer. We hope it will persuade large numbers of people of the imperative of taking solidarity action. So we're working with partners from religious fields in order to promote this tour.”

The C0S statement duly arrived, in which was offered this little gem;

“We also unequivocally condemn in the strongest terms possible the indiscriminate firing of rockets by Hamas against civilian targets and the ongoing Israeli blockade and bombardment of Gaza (resulting so far in the deaths of more than 200 people, 80 percent of whom were civilians and 20 percent children).”

One could be forgiven for sensing an echo of the behaviour of European churchmen and Nazi Brown-shirts in the 1930s.

Not all Christians subscribe to this recent collaboration:

“Be assured that not all of us in the Church of Scotland hold the views in this report . . . there is little support for things Jewish within the establishment of the Church of Scotland, but within the wider church we do have a number of ministers and leaders who love and pray for the Jewish people and their God-given right to the land”—Donald. (Private communication).

The problem is that such dissenters have yet to speak out. They must do so quickly to have their church distance itself from bizarre groups that are controlled by prejudiced individuals with predisposal to demonise the only democracy in the Middle East; Israel. They must act before their Church’s partnership with the Circle of anti-Semitism becomes irreversible.

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