Op-Ed: The Nazification of Liberal Christianity
Giulio MeottiThe writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly...
In their ideological assault on the Jews, early Christian theologians interpreted the Roman victory over the Jews, the loss of the Jewish kingdom, the Jews’ capital Jerusalem and the land of Israel as evidence of God’s abandonment of the Jews. God was then pictured as “in there punching” on the side of Christianity and Christians against Judaism and Jews.
That monstrous theology is again at the center of Protestant liberal Christianity, which is breathing new life into a demonology that bans Israel from the family of nations. A systematized, hostile conception of the Jews and Jewish history has again become part of Protestant Christianity.
In a new report titled “The Inheritance of Abraham? The ‘Promised Land’”, the Church of Scotland says Israel does not belong to the Jewish people. It is the Christian dismissal of collective Jewish endeavour.
”Promises about the land of Israel were never intended to be taken literally, or as applying to a defined geographical territory,” it says. “The ‘promised land’ in the Bible is not a place, so much as a metaphor of how things ought to be among the people of God. This ‘promised land’ can be found, or built, anywhere.”
The New Testament, the report states, contains a “radical re-interpretation” of the concepts of “Israel,” “temple,” “Jerusalem,” and “land.”
“The boundaries of the land are described in different ways in different situations,” the report says. “Abraham’s descendants, ‘numerous as the stars in the sky’, will receive ‘all these lands,’ and through them ‘all nations on earth will be blessed’“ (Genesis 26:4). This suggests a more inclusive picture than “the land of Canaan” (Genesis 12:5) or even “from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates” (Genesis 15:18).
According to this Christian document, Jewish history has become “Palestinian Arab history” and the Jewish nation (“Am Yisrael”) that ruled in the Holy Land for a thousand years and developed a world-shaking culture never existed.
The Christian document is pure anti-Semitism, since it presents the Jews as stateless beings.
The Church of Scotland’s report is the first major Christian document envisioning a world without Israel. It contains the same diatribes of the early Christians against the Jews, like Jerome’s “the Jews as Judases”, Augustine’s “the Jews as Witness People” and John Chrysostom’s “slay the Jews”.
But the Scottish case is not isolated.
In 2006, the UK Church reviewed its investments in companies with ties to Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria.
Bishop Riah El-Assal, the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, is a well-known apologist for Islamic terrorism.
Anglican cleric Naim Ateek is the founder of the notorious, Jerusalem-based Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Center, which promotes a theology severing any link between God and the Jews.
All five of the mainline Christian denominations in the United States – Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Lutheran and United Church of Christ – have debated or adopted policies intended to divest or boycott Israel.
In Australia, the National Council of Churches passed a motion backing the boycott.
In Europe, most of the Protestant churches adopted BDS. The Church of Sweden promoted a boycott of Israeli goods. The official Lutheran State Church is also a source of anti-Israeli attitudes. In 2010, the International Advice Council of the Church of Norway, the highest Church authority in Norway, decided to call for a full boycott of Israel. In 2007 the Protestant Church in the Netherlands reexamined “policy of solidarity with Israel.” The British Methodist Church has also seen a number of resolutions against Israel passed in recent years.
With 26 member Churches, the South African council has endorsed an “academic and cultural” boycott of Israel.
By promoting the demonological theology formulated by the Church of Scotland, liberal Christianity has become unabashed apologist for Arab rejectionism, wrapping genocidal violence against Israelis in the mantle of innocent suffering and caricaturing the Jews as a divinely forsaken people, superseded in God’s favor by ”New Israel”, stripped of any right to a land or a future.
There is an immense, drastic and immediate consequence of this new Christianist theology: the Palestinization and de-Judaization of the holy land with the corollary of an Islamicized Christianity.
The odious and mendacious invention of a “Palestinian Jesus” persecuted by the Jews, which is central in the Scottish report, is strategic to the Arab-Islamic campaign that includes boycott and terrorism, the “right of return” and political attempts to isolate Israel internationally.
The Palestinian Authority’s television aired a program asserting that the tales of the Bible took place in what is today Yemen, not in the modern State of Israel.
A PA-TV show also argued that Palestinians are “the true descendants of the biblical Israelites.”
Abdallah al-Hourani, the former Palestinian minister for refugee affairs, told the newspaper Al-Hayat al-Jedidah: “The Crusaders lived in our land for 242 years, until the liberation of their last outposts, and Israel is like a tree that has flowered on land not belonging to it. No matter how much it is fertilized, it cannot put down roots, and when the fertilizer stops, it will die”.
To understand the importance of this anti-Israel Christian campaign, one must recall that history has seen another similar manipulation of the Bible: the “Aryan Jesus” of Hitler. The pro-Nazi Christians recast Jesus as an Aryan fighting against the Jews. According to Hitler’s theologians who met at Wartburg Castle, Jesus was not a Jew, but a Galilean opponent of Judaism.
The Christian Bible was then stripped of all “Jewish influence.” As the Aryan Jesus was the Christian legitimization of the Nazi Holocaust, the Arabized Jesus, promulgated from Bethlehem, is a tool in the Jihad against the State of Israel. The Scottish document,in fact, urges readers not only to back the boycott movement, but also to lobby the British government to pressure Israel to deny the presence of Jews in Judea and Samaria.
After Hitler’s “Final Solution”, which tried to destroy the body of the Jewish people, and Stalin’s war on “cosmopolitan Zionism”, which tried to destroy the heart of the Jewish people, it’s now the turn of the Palestinian Al Aksa fabrication, which is seeking to destroy the history of the Jewish people.
Will Christians help the Muslims accomplish it?