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May 3, 2013 5:03 pm

Church of Scotland Abandons Support for Biblical Jewish Claim to Israel

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The logo of the Church of Scotland.

The Church of Scotland, once a staunch supporter of the biblical Jewish claim to Israel, abandoned that approach in a new report titled “The Inheritance of Abraham? A Report on the ‘Promised Land.'”

“Promises about the land of Israel were never intended to be taken literally, or as applying to a defined geographical territory,” the report says. “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.”

On God’s promise to Abraham to make the land of Israel a home for the Jewish people (“To your offspring I will give this land,” Genesis 12:7), the Church of Scotland says the exact geography of the land is unclear. The land was given to Jews “conditionally” with the understanding that it would “be cared for and lived in according to God’s instruction,” the report says before quoting a slew of anti-Zionist writers who argue that Israel is acting “unjustly” toward the Palestinians.

Scottish Council of Jewish Communities Director Ephraim Borowski said the church should withdraw the report.

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“On behalf of the Jewish community of Scotland, we call upon the church to withdraw it [the report] from the forthcoming general assembly. If the Church cannot build bridges, can it at least refrain from burning them?” Borowski told the London Jewish Chronicle.

Board of Deputies of British Jews Vice President Jonathan Arkush said the document “appears to have been produced with no consultation with the Scottish or national Jewish community” and is “littered with misrepresentations of Jewish history.”

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