The essence of the report is that according to the Bible, Jews have no more attachment to the land of Israel than anyone else. Hence "promised land" is in quotation marks in the report's title -- because there is no promised land.
In the report's words: "The New Testament contains a radical re-interpretation of the concepts of 'Israel,' 'temple,' 'Jerusalem' and 'land.' When the Bible mentions 'Israel,' it does not mean Israel; when it says 'temple,' the Bible does not mean the Jewish temple; 'Jerusalem' does not mean the city of Jerusalem; and 'land' does not mean land.
"Promises about the land of Israel," the report continues, "were never intended to be taken literally, or as applying to a defined geographical territory."
Even during the worst excesses of Christian anti-Semitism in the Middle Ages, it is doubtful that any normative Christian body declared that "Israel," "the temple," "Jerusalem" and "the land" no longer meant or were ever intended to mean what those words represent.
This claim is not only profoundly anti-Semitic. It is an act of theological forgery; it makes a mockery of the Bible as a coherent document and it renders Christianity inherently anti-Semitic.
It would be as if a major post-Christian religious body had announced that "Jesus," "Christ," "crucifixion" and "resurrection" had never meant what Christians and the New Testament had always understood them to mean. Imagine if a major Muslim body declared that Jesus means Muhammad; Christ means Quran; crucifixion means Islamophobia; and resurrection means the Hajj.
I have never equated criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. But the Church of Scotland report is not about criticism of Israel; it is about invalidating the Jewish people and invalidating the Jews' historically incontestable claims to the land upon which the only independent states that ever existed were Jewish.
--The Church of Scotland report asserts that the Bible does not support the existence of a Jewish state: "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. ... "
--It asserts that justice and the existence of a Jewish state are mutually exclusive: "There is a direct conflict of interest between wanting human rights and justice for all and retaining the right to the land."
--It asserts that the Jews' return to Israel has no biblical basis.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”
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