The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities said that, despite recent revisions, the Church of Scotland’s report on Israel remains “unacceptable.”
The report, entitled “The Inheritance of Abraham,” was endorsed by the church’s general assembly Thursday in Edinburgh. It is a revision of an earlier text the church’s Church and Society Council published earlier this month and then withdrew amid Jewish condemnations of its assertion that Jews have no special claim to Israel. The report further said that Israel should be boycotted and that Western support for Israel is rooted in Holocaust guilt.
“The country of Israel is a recognised State and has the right to exist in peace and security,” the revised report said. “We reject racism and religious hatred. We condemn anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. We will always condemn acts of terrorism, violence and intimidation.”
But the report still rejects “claims that scripture offers any peoples a privileged claim for possession of a particular territory.” It further states that “those who remember the reality of apartheid first hand and the consequences of international campaigns on their own nation concur with proposals to consider economic and political measures involving boycotts, disinvestment and sanctions against the state of Israel focused on illegal settlements.”
The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities, which offered a withering assessment of the first report, rejected the revision. Although “most of the excesses of language in the original report have been modified, the unacceptable underlying message remains unaltered,” the council said.
“For that reason, it is unlikely to be embraced by mainstream opinion in the Jewish community, and we do not consider that it will advance the cause of the peace in the Middle East that we all, Jews, Christians, and Muslims, so fervently pray for.”