Rolling out the Racists
You’ve got to hand it to them, their enthusiasm for the demonising of Jews and Israel never wanes!
In Scotland, by “them” of course we mean people of influence, such as politicians, academics, medical professionals and, perhaps the most influential of all, the Church of Scotland and their associated agencies.
Scottish Friends of Israel have highlighted the clearly anti-Semitic rhetoric of the Church. The Rt Rev Lorna Hood, then Moderator of CoS, was challenged on what steps her Church would take to avoid descending further down that slope. She denied there was any problem.
Her successor, the current Moderator, Rt Rev John Chalmers, is from the same mould. Despite warnings from concerned bodies, including prominent Christian ones, he is permitting, often spearheading, anti-Jewish programmes. The latest such event is the hosting by the CoS of Rev Dr Mitri Raheb, a Lutheran leader from Bethlehem, described by Malcom Lowe of the Gatestone Institute as having “used theological garb to cover an extremist political agenda to demonize the Jewish people.”
In a speech in Bethlehem in March 2010, Mitri Raheb said: "Actually, Israel represents Rome of the Bible, not the people of the land. And this is not only because I'm a Palestinian. I'm sure if we were to do a DNA test between David, who was a Bethlehemite, and Jesus, born in Bethlehem, and Mitri, born just across the street from where Jesus was born, I'm sure the DNA will show that there is a trace. While, if you put King David, Jesus and Netanyahu, you will get nothing, because Netanyahu comes from an East European tribe who converted to Judaism in the Middle Ages."
Raheb is a vociferous denier of the legitimacy of the State of Israel, which he seeks to undermine by violence that is not crudely physical but radically theological aiming to awaken response from Christians, Muslims and even a handful of Jews who long to see Israel vanish from the map. And pronouncements from the CoS apparently mirror that aim.
Not too long ago, European anti-Semites would tell the Jews; “Go back to Palestine”. Now, Jews hear inciters such as Raheb say; “Go back to Europe.”
Recently, the Church of Scotland’s St Stephen’s in Glasgow provided a platform for loud-mouthed Yvonne Ridley, spokesperson for the CoS new “partners”, Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Her theme is: “Make Scotland a Zionist-free zone”. Any Jew worth his salt knows what she means.
True to form, the Church of Scotland will soon present Raheb to the faithful in Edinburgh, co-hosted by Kathy Galloway, Head of Christian Aid in Scotland. It will be the old slogans with a not-so-new coat of paint!