Evangelicals blast J'lem Day boycott

Group: Arab pressures have turned Jewish return to city into "immoral act."

malcolm hedding 298.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
malcolm hedding 298.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A prominent Jerusalem-based evangelical organization slammed on Tuesday the decision of much of the international community to boycott celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, calling the move a "perverse and immoral act." "The Jewish restoration to Jerusalem in modern times is one of the clearest cases of historic justice ever, whereby a people longing to return to a land and a holy city from which they were violently uprooted millennia ago finally realized that sustaining dream. Yet due to Arab pressures and threats, the Jewish return to Jerusalem has been perversely turned into an immoral act," Rev. Malcolm Hedding, Executive Director of the International Christian Embassy, wrote to Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski. The unabashedly pro-Israel Jerusalem-based evangelical ICE was established in the city in 1980 at a time when foreign embassies were leaving the city to relocate in Tel Aviv. There are currently no foreign embassies in Jerusalem due to the city's disputed status. The letter came just one day after US Ambassador to Israel Richard Jones, as well as EU representatives, boycotted the official Knesset ceremony marking Jerusalem Day. "Jerusalem remains a 'burdensome stone' among the nations, as borne out by the decision of much of the international community to boycott this year's Jerusalem Day observances," Hedding wrote in his letter. Earlier this week, Lupolianski blasted foreign government for planning to boycott this week's events. "Whoever does not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel does not recognize the state of Israel," Lupolianski said.