'Church of Scotland amends disputed Israel paper'

Revisions of controversial publication made after uproar over text's rejection of Jewish scriptural-based rights to Israel, BBC reports.

May 18, 2013 03:58
1 minute read.
The General Assembly Hall of the Church of Scotland, Edinburgh.

Church of Scotland 370. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons/Green Lane)

The Church of Scotland revised a paper it had published that rejected Jewish scriptural-based rights to the land of Israel after it caused waves of controversy among the Jewish community in the UK, BBC reported Friday.

The report entitled “The Inheritance of Abraham” was changed after a meeting with representative of the British Jewish community and was set to be discussed and voted on next week at the convening of the church’s general assembly, it was reported.

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According to The Guardian, the church agreed to change the report’s introduction to reflect that it has never doubted Israel’s right to exist.

Controversy erupted over the original papers rejection of “claims that scripture offers any peoples a privileged claim for possession of a particular territory.”

The authors of the text questioned whether Jews would “today have a fairer claim to the land if they dealt justly with the Palestinians,” due to their claim that land ownership is conditional, it was reported.

Israeli ambassador to the UK, Daniel Taub last week slammed the church’s report saying it “plays into extremist political positions” and “belittles the deeply held Jewish attachment to the land of Israel in a way which is truly hurtful.”

According to BBC, Reverend Sally Foster-Fulton, convener of the church and its society council said the views expressed in the report were consistent with those long-held by the church.

“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,” Foster-Fulton was quoted as saying.

“We are clear that the citizens of the State of Israel have a right to live in peace and security. We are clear that there should be a Palestinian State which also can live in peace and security,” she added.

JTA contributed to this report.

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