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Israel angry with Scottish Church report criticising its policies

February 14, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Israel has denounced a paper by the Scottish Church which denies “Jews’ special claim to the land of Israel.”

The paper entitled “The Inheritance of Abraham,” which was published last week rejects “claims that scripture offers any peoples a privileged claim for possession of a particular territory.”

According to Israel’s Jerusalem Post, the paper further states that “reconciliation (between Palestinians and Jews) can only be possible if the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the blockade of Gaza are ended.”

The report was published on the Church’s website, but is to be discussed during the Church’s general assembly on May 18. About 723 members are going to vote on whether they are for or against the report. The church is to discuss further economic and political measures against Israel.

In addition, it includes demands to cancel investments in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, and “urges the UK Government and the European Union to use pressure to stop further expansion of Israeli settlements in the Occupied West Bank.”

The Israeli ambassador to London said that should the Church adopt the report, it would be a “reverse hit to the powers that push towards tolerance and peace in the region.” He also said that the report serves positions of political extremists in the region.

The Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported the writers of the report as saying: “Jewish people have to be provoked in order to stop their belief that they deserve special treatment because they are victims.”

“They have to know that their unjust and unethical treatment with the Palestinians cannot continue forever,” they added.

The Church’s spokesman told the Israeli newspaper that what was mentioned in the report was not “anti-Semitism,” which he held is a theory that does not completely exist.

The Church does not deny the right of Israel to exist, the spokesman told the newspaper, but it questions Israeli policies in the light of a framework that could preserve peace in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

The report questions, the spokesman argued, the absence of justice regarding dealing with the Palestinians and dividing the country. “It considered that it is wrong that scriptures are used as a basis to grab the land.”