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Kirk’s Holy Land report revised

24 May 2013

SHUTTERSTOCK

THE Church of Scotland revised its report on the Holy Land after criticism from Jews and Christians.

Objections were expressed to a report by the Kirk's Church and Society Council, The Inheritance of Abraham? The Promised Land at an emergency meeting on 8 May with representatives of the Jewish community in Scotland and the Council for Christians and Jews (CCJ).

The report was due to be discussed at the General Assembly yesterday. The CCJ had described the report as "ill-considered, regressive, and insensitive to UK Jewish anxieties".

A joint statement issued after the meeting on 8 May, said: "We agreed that the drafting of the report . . . has given cause for concern and misunderstanding of its position and requires a new introduction to set the context for the report and give clarity about some of the language used."

The Revd Sally Foster-Fulton, convener of the Church and Society Council said last week: "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. We are clear that the citizens of the state of Israel have a right to live in peace and security. We are clear that there should be a Palestinian state which also can live in peace and security.

"We condemn anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. We will always condemn acts of terrorism, violence and intimidation whether the perpetrator is an individual, a community or a government."

The CEO of the CCJ, the Revd David Gifford, said: "The CCJ exists to bring Christians and Jews together and facilitate proceedings in a way that the various parties can talk and discuss areas of mutual interest but different sensitivities in a way that befits people of faith."

The outcome of the meeting, he said, demonstrated "the ongoing need for this sort of assistance".

A revised version of the report can be read here.

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