New York, NY, May 6, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today denounced as “stunningly offensive” a paper published by the Church of Scotland which negates the core beliefs of Judaism regarding God's promises about the Land of Israel and the Jewish people. The very premise of the paper reflects a classic rejection of Judaism in the broadest sense.
The church paper, entitled “The Inheritance of Abraham,” which was published online by the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland just days before its May 18 General Assembly, selectively highlights scriptural and theological claims of Jews to the land, and rejects verses in which the land is promised to the children of Abraham. The report's introduction describes it as the council's "latest reflection on the ‘questions that need to be faced,' as the political and humanitarian situation in the Holy Land continues to be a source of pain and concern for us all."
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
This stunningly offensive paper which attempts to undermine the religious legitimacy of Jewish beliefs is a classic rejection of Judaism. By brazenly dismissing Jewish self-understanding of its own Bible - the Torah, the Church of Scotland has disregarded nearly five decades of progress in Jewish-Christian theological dialogue by promoting religious principles which deny the legitimacy of Judaism and were used for centuries to justify the brutal repression of Jews.
The paper’s blatant one-sided perspective falsely conflates the political state of Israel and the religious significance of the Land of Israel for both Jews and Christians. The selective citation of Biblical scripture in order to question Israel’s legitimacy is an affront to Jews around the world and to the State of Israel.
Since the Biblical era, Jews have maintained an unbroken connection to the land of Israel, and in 1948 the Jewish State of Israel’s legitimacy was firmly established under international law. We call on the leadership of the Church of Scotland to respect the religious basis for the relationship between the Jewish people and Israel and to reject this document.
The report also promotes a gross distortion of the connection between the Holocaust and the establishment of the State of Israel as being based, in part, “…as a compensation for the suffering of the Holocaust.”
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.