Church of Scotland releases revised report on Israel

The Church of Scotland has published a revised version of its report on Israel after hearing concerns from representatives of the Jewish community in Britain and abroad.

Concerns centred on the language used in the original report.  The meeting with the Council of Christians and Jews led to the Kirk clarifying several beliefs:

  • that the citizens of Israel have the right to live in peace and security
  • that there should be a Palestinian state also with peace and security
  • that all forms of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia should be condemned
  • that all acts of terrorism, violence and intimidation whether the perpetrator is an individual, a community or a government should be condemned 

The clarifications were issued in a statement after the meeting and are reiterated in the revised report, "The Inheritance of Abraham?".

Reverend Sally Foster-Fulton, Convener of the Kirk's Church and Society Council said: "We are grateful for the dialogue that has grown out of the questions being asked of our report.

"We believe that this new version has paid attention to the concern some of the language of the previous version caused amongst the Jewish community whilst holding true to our concerns about the injustices being perpetrated because of policies of the Government of Israel against the Palestinian people that we wanted to highlight.

"The views of this report are consistent with the views held by the Church of Scotland over many years."

The report will be presented for discussion to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, which opened in Edinburgh today.

Mrs Foster-Fulton continued: "We remain committed to dialogue and conversation, especially with those who we may disagree.

"We are particularly concerned to make sure that those who are on the margins and whose voices are rarely heard get the opportunity to be listened to.

"We specifically stand in solidarity with Christians who live in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory and we will also continue to listen to the voice of the Jewish community here in Scotland and abroad."