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Ephraim Borowski, Scottish Council of Jewish Communities Director, demanded that Christians condone the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and elsewhere as Biblically endorsed, or accept they are committing "an outrage to everything that interfaith dialogue stands for". Borowski, who once dishonestly obtained an endorsement from the Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond for a a book that libelled Scottish PSC as "demonising Jews" and then had to pulp all 6,000 copies of the libellous publication, concluded that the abandonment of the view that the Bible endorses ethnic cleansing and Jewish supremacy in Israel/Palestine "closes the door on meaningful dialogue".

Mick Napier
5th May 2013

An article in the Jewish Chronicle shows how isolated Zionists are from the mainstream of public opinion. Entitled Scottish Church to debate Jewish right to land of Israel, the piece reports that un-named "Jewish leaders" have attacked the Church of Scotland for concluding what every sane person has already decided - that the Christian or Jewish Bibles are not (any longer) to be treated as title deeds to modern real estate and that Israel's violation of Palestinian human rights is very bad indeed.

The Bible was also used to "justify" an earlier settler colonial project of dispossession The Church of Scotland is Presbyterian and votes on matters of policy and will vote later this month on a document from its Church and Society Council, The Promised Land.  A "Jewish leader who did not want to be named" attacked The Promised Land as a "deliberate attempt to question Israel's right to exist [and] very damaging to interfaith relations in Scotland and throughout Britain".

The Church of Scotland may well soon conclude that Christians should not support exclusive Jewish claims to the land of Israel or use the Bible to "settle contemporary conflicts over land".  This modest and entirely humane proposal is in line with overwhelming and decent Scottish and world-wide opinion.  

It is labelled "ill-considered" and "regressive" by Scottish Zionists. Ephraim Borowski, Director of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities, demanded that Christians condone the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and elsewhere as Biblically endorsed, or accept they are committing "an outrage to everything that interfaith dialogue stands for".  Borowski, who once dishonestly obtained an endorsement from the Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond for a book that libelled Scottish PSC as "demonising Jews" and then had to pulp all 6,000 copies of the libellous publication, concluded that the abandonment of the view that the Bible endorses ethnic cleansing and Jewish supremacy in Israel/Palestine "closes the door on meaningful dialogue". 

Claiming to act "on behalf of" all Scottish Jews, Borowski called for the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland not to discuss their Committee's proposal!  UK Jewish Board of Deputies' Jonathan Arkush claimed the entire UK Jewish Community was committed to ethnic cleansing.  He found enough words to say that he was at a loss for words: "I am at a loss for words that the Church of Scotland should have delivered such a slap in the face to the Jewish community."  Then, in the only way that Zionists seem able to respond to human rights advocates, and just as his comrades have insulted, inter alia, the Scottish Trade Union Congress, the University and College Union, the Green Party, Friends of the Earth and the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Arkush insulted the Church of Scotland:

It is an ignorant and tendentious document masquerading as a theological statement. The Church has done a deep disservice to itself by producing a document without any regard to the trust, respect and dialogue on which interfaith relations should be based.

After thus condemning  the efforts of the Church of Scotland to align their theology and the Christian Bible with elementary norms of justice and human rights, the spokesperson claiming to act "on behalf of" Scottish Jews condemns any "arrogance of telling the Jewish people how to interpret Jewish texts and Jewish theology...[as] breathtaking".  Damn your theology but how dare you even criticise mine!

The Scottish Zionist response would not be a Scottish Zionist response if it did not try to conflate support for human rights with anti-semitism; this does not disappoint. The Church of Scotland document that asks for equality and respect for Palestinian human rights reads, they claim, "like an Inquisition-era polemic against Jews and Judaism".

The Church of Scotland report states: "There has been a widespread assumption by many Christians as well as many Jewish people that the Bible supports an essentially Jewish state of Israel. This raises an increasing number of difficulties and current Israeli policies regarding the Palestinians have sharpened this questioning."

The document argues that from a Christian perspective, "the desire of many in the state of Israel to acquire the land of Palestine for the Jewish people is wrong. The fact that the land is currently being taken by settlement expansion, the separation barrier, house clearance, theft and force makes it doubly wrong to seek biblical sanction for this".

Faced with Israeli criminality and US-backed instransigence, the document proposes "economic and political measures involving boycotts, disinvestment and sanctions against the state of Israel focused on illegal settlements".

The Zionist CEO of the Council of Christians and Jews, David Gifford, is reported to have waffled incoherently that "the report was ill-considered, regressive and insensitive to...the range of Israeli public opinion" and asserted that a commitment to equality "smacks of Christian superiority over Judaism".  Ah, the moral universe of ethnic cleansers!

Cambridge academic Ed Kessler, condemned the document for failing to "appreciate that there are two narratives — one Jewish/Israeli and the other Palestinian/Arab" and for having "a partisan agenda — the promotion of Palestinian rights".

Sally Foster-Fulton, Convenor of the Church and Society Council, said:

The Church of Scotland chose the words of its report carefully to question and challenge, not condemn or dismiss. It cannot and will not shy away from difficult subjects nor from speaking the truth in love — otherwise how we will ever progress? A good friend speaks the truth, even when that truth is a hard one. There can be no lasting peace without justice — that is surely the truth."

The Church of Scotland is to be congratulated for tilting towards the side of justice and human rights, however late in the day.  "There is a special place in heaven for those who repent."

Mick Napier
Edinburgh 05 May 2013

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