things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free Galatians 4:24-26
In May 2013, one can’t help but watch astonished a media attack conducted by the State of Israel on the Church of Scotland. On May 22, Israeli newspaper Haaretz—the unofficial Voice of the Shin Beth secret police—published an opinion article by Ben Cohen, titled “The Church of Scotland’s parody of Judaism.” One of its first paragraphs opens with the words “The great majority of Jewish readers would most likely plump for that rather unfashionable, much maligned term, ‘anti-Semitic,'” providing me with a good introduction to what at first sight looks as Israeli anti-Scottishness.
The affair surrounds an innocent looking theological treatise. The Inheritance of Abraham was published in two versions. The first one was published in the first days of May and caused protests from the Israeli Ambassador to the U.K. and from representatives of the Jewish community in Scotland. The Church of Scotland removed it from its website, and shortly afterwards published a new version, which according to Israeli sources “many of the provocative words and references in the original report which the Church disingenuously says were ‘misunderstood’ have been excised from version two.” Luckily for the Free People, the website of Stephen Sizer, still offers the original, while the new version is hosted by the Church of Scotland’s site.
Aren’t they Calvinists?
The affair is difficult to be trusted. Before explaining the link to Calvinism, let me say that the abovementioned document makes a serious attempt to be what Western readers will call balanced. For example, it quotes: “that understands the modern state of Israel as the fulfilment of biblical prophecy and thus deserving of political, financial and religious support.” It presents a short historical review, a variety of theological arguments regarding the true nature of the Land of Israel and The True People of Israel. It does not contain extremist claims of any type. Moreover, Calvinist churches, as the Church of Scotland, are supportive of Judaism due to a misinterpretation of the Bible.
Nowadays, many would have troubles to identify a Calvinist Church or even to identify its message. The most prominent person linked to them claims that he is a Christian; this is difficult to accept. People of God neither sign assassination orders nor send others to die for them. Yet, President Obama behaves in such a way. Even in the 16th Century Book of Concord, Calvinists are defined as erred Christians, legalists who opened the backdoor to Judaism. This is a direct result of their interpretation of free-will.
Now, Israel is calling them anti-Semites. I waited almost a month, following the incredible articles on this issue while asking myself “is this for real?” Of course, despite their traditional “Jewishness,” Calvinist Church occasionally deviate from their masters’ wishes.
The Failed Boycott
I visited the USA for the first time in 2006, after having been invited by a tiny website related to Times and by the Presbyterian Church, which is also Calvinist, with false promises of political asylum. Yet, at that moment of time I had serious reasons to trust them since these were the days of an ongoing battle between the American Presbyterian Church and American Jews.?
In 2004, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church adopted a policy of “phased, selective divestment” from American corporations operating in Israel due to the barbaric assassination of Rachel Corrie by the IDF. This was seen as a measure for influencing the Israeli government; the companies included: Caterpillar, Citigroup, ITT Industries, Motorola and United Technologies. American Jews became wild and eventually managed to cancel the church decision on the grounds that one cannot behave toward neighbors in such unfriendly way. (They referred to themselves as “neighbors of the Presbyterians” but ignored Israeli Jews as “neighbors of the Palestinians.”) Sadly, the church made a sharp turn towards Israel, bending to pressure from American Jews. In June 2006, the 217th General Assembly overwhelmingly (483-28) replaced the original decision, requiring the consideration of “practical realities,” a “commitment to positive outcomes” and an awareness of the potential impact of strategies on “both the Israeli and Palestinian economies” (Jewish Setback in Berkeley).
The claim of American Jews on this issue is even more disconcerting. Israel defined Sunday as a working day in clear disregard for its Christian citizens and neighbors. How can they demand respect if they do not respect others?
If this is a repetition of the Presbyterian fiasco, why did Israel deploy the anti-Semitism weapon of mass destruction against its traditional friends? Are they barbarians?
The “Friend of Conan the Barbarian” Trick
One of the surprising characteristics of this affair is the vast distance between the theological paper and the tirade against it on Hebrew media which made a clumsy attempt to link the report with organizations regularly criticized by Israel. This is a typical intimidation technique. At least once a week, I get hate-emails from an American Jew who dislikes my articles but can’t refute them. In one of them, he attempted the “Friend of Conan the Barbarian” Trick. “You gave an interview to Mr. X,” he said, “he has said this and this and does that and that,” he added. “So what, does my giving an interview implies acceptance of the interviewer views or actions?” I countered rendering this timeless approach useless. The Church of Scotland proved to be softer.
Israel deployed not only its controlled media to the task, but also the nasty NGO Monitor. Based in Jerusalem, this tiny thought police is an Israeli version of the ADL. It defines its goal as to end the promotion of “politically and ideologically motivated anti-Israel agendas” by certain NGOs. It was formalized in 2007 by the Registrar of Non-Profit Organizations in Israel. In February 2012, journalist Uri Blau claimed in Haaretz: “the organization sought to block the publication of one contributor and to get hundreds of thousands of Shekels from anonymous sources.” It is widely considered to be unofficially linked to the State of Israel.
NGO Monitor is obsessed with certain organizations, one of them is the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem, founded by Palestinian Anglican Rev. Naim Ateek, former Canon of St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem. Sabeel is Arabic for path (like Hebrew “shvil”), but it refers to water fountains found along paths; a proper name for a godly organization. This organization claims to “strive to develop a spirituality based on love, justice, peace, nonviolence, liberation and reconciliation for the different national and faith communities.” It openly supports a confederation between a Palestinian and Israeli states; hinting even at the possibility of Jordan joining such Middle Eastern Switzerland.
Despite this and the fact that Sabeel has more than once denounced anti-Semitism, NGO Monitor has accused it of “anti-Semitic deicide imagery against Israel, and of disparaging Judaism as ‘tribal,’ ‘primitive,’ and ‘exclusionary,’ in contrast to Christianity’s ‘universalism’ and ‘inclusiveness.'” Daniel Fink, writing on behalf of NGO Monitor, claimed that Ateek had described Zionism as a “step backward in the development of Judaism,” and Zionists as “oppressors and war makers.” Israel cannot take Sabeel to Court, but it has transformed it into a parallel of Conan the Barbarian. Great weapon to use against the Church of Scotland.
The article published by the Church of Scotland includes a rather innocent mention of Rev. Ateek. This was used by NGO Monitor, which launched a wild attack against that church, event that must be defined as an example of Jewish anti-Scottishness. NGO Monitor claims: “According to the research institute NGO Monitor, the new report by the Scottish Church is influenced by Sabeel.” The NGO assessment continues vilifying Sabeel. A link was created, a chunk of Israeli political mud flew from Sabeel to the Church of England.
The attack was clear, though clumsy. If I were Gerald M. Steinberg, the extraordinarily honorable President of NGO Monitor, I would be ashamed of referring as “research” to quoting what is openly cited in the Church of Scotland article. I am writing this next to the largest University in Bolivia where “research” is defined as “pressing the ‘enter key’ after having filled Google’s input line.” Same applies to you, Mr. Steinberg. Now you know, how unjustified dirt thrown on you feels. Israel’s answer is clear, but why? Why would Zionists wildly attack a church relatively close to them?
Calvinist Star of David?
The City of God
There is neither Jew nor Greek Galatians 3:28
What was the Church of Scotland’s sin? Why Zion declared a nuclear war on it? Why it became anti-Semitic? I recommend reading the article linked above, even keeping a copy of it. Actually it doesn’t stick to traditional Calvinist positions. In the past, I published The True People of Israel, which actually is deeper in its analysis of the issue, but the conclusion is the same. The true People of Israel are those following God; the true land of Israel is Celestial Jerusalem. This article subtitle contains an important citation from Galatians, shortly after it the text adds: “if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:29. Judaism recent adoption of Genetics as its Holy Grail is aimed at hiding this Biblical fact.
The Scottish paper concludes: “From this examination of the various views in the Bible about the relation of land to the people of God, it may be concluded that Christians should not be supporting any claims by any people to an exclusive or even privileged divine right to possess particular territory. We believe that is a misuse of the Hebrew Bible (the Christian Old Testament) and the New Testament to use it as a topographic guide to settle contemporary conflicts over land. In the Bible, God’s promises extend in hope to all land and people.”
This is the crux of the matter. The Church of Scotland quotes what is obvious to anyone reading the Bible: Zionism cannot be justified on religious grounds. Even Jewish Orthodoxy*knows that. The Church of Scotland has stepped on the thick feet of its Calvinist Masters and is now paying the price. Those anti-Semites!
* Jewish redemption is far from the Spiritual Redemption professed by Christians. Jews expect a physical redemption based on a Godly Kingdom in the Land of Israel. All the religious interpretations until the 19th Century didn’t leave any place to a Zionist party rushing to conquer Arab lands. That was the role of a future Messiah. Thus, any cooperation between Zionists and Orthodox Jews was impossible. Then a Maoist-styled Giant Leap Forward took place and things changed. Traditionally, the Jewish Orthodoxy believed that the abovementioned redemption would arrive in two stages. The early stage is called “Messiah Son of Joseph,” and would include the physical stages of bringing the Jewish people together; this stage is symbolized by a bull.The second stage is the “Messiah Son of David,” when a spiritual Messiah would restore the Kingdom of God. This stage is symbolized by a donkey; Christian readers would immediately recognize Jesus triumphal entry to Jerusalem riding one (John 12:12-16). In the 19th Century, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, was one of the Orthodox Jews who created the base for cooperation between Zionists and Pharisees. What he did was simple, and is known as “Hamoro shel Mashiah” (“Messiah’s Donkey” in Hebrew, a book by this name was published in 1998). He claimed the secular Jews (i.e. the Zionists) can take the place of “Messiah Son of Joseph” as a collective entity, creating the base that would allow the Pharisees – the Orthodox Jews – to produce the “Messiah Son of David” in the new and secular state. It worked. The political alliance produced a state accepted by most Jews. Neturei Kartais one of the few Jewish groups that do not accept this unholy contraption. Yet, these days, the wheel is starting to turn backwards.
Roi Tov is a graduate—among others—of Tel Aviv University and the Weizmann Institute of Science. In addition to his memoir, Tov is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Molecular Physics and other scientific journals. He won various travel writing and photography awards.
In his writings, he tries to reveal life in Israel as a Christian Israel Defense Force (IDF) officer—from human rights violations to the use of an extensive network of underground agents. He was recognized first as a refugee and subsequently as political prisoner of Bolivia.