I picked up this interesting story from Religious News Service, and found myself agreeing completely with the Roman Catholic Archbishop. Many American evangelicals, fundamentalists and well as other well meaning Christians might think that the modern day state of Israel is somehow based on a Biblical foundation for its existence, but it is not. The New Testment makes very clear that there now is only one “Israel of God” (Galatians 6:16), and it is not the modern state of Israel: it is the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. Having said that, I think there are compelling reasons to support the modern day state of Israel. They are an important ally of the United States, but their existence has nothing to do with Holy Scripture.
SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER URGES POPE BENEDICT XVI TO DENOUNCE ARCHBISHOP WHO DENIED JEWISH PEOPLE’S LINK TO LAND OF ISRAEL
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is urging Pope Benedict XVI to immediately denounce a statement by Melkite Catholic Archbishop Cyrille Salim Bustros at a Vatican Synod on the Middle East wherein he asserted that, “We Christians cannot speak about the promised land for the Jewish people. There is no longer a chosen people. All men and women of all countries have become the chosen people. The concept of the promised land cannot be used as a base for the justification of the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of Palestinians.” He added that, “[t]he justification of Israel’s occupation of the land of Palestine cannot be based on sacred scriptures.”
“This political stunt, wrapped in theological garb, not only insults every Jew but flies in the face of the statements and actions of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, both who have visited Israel and expressed solidarity with her people,” charged Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, dean and founder and associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, respectively, who have had audiences with both Pontiffs. “The Archbishop’s statement comes at the end of the conference wherein the so-called “Palestine Kairos Document”—which openly denies the right of Israel to be a Jewish state—was presented at the Vatican for the first time. These developments demand immediate action by the Pope. Hopes for peace in the Middle East will only come when both sides recognize the rights of the others. These latest moves, left unchallenged, will damage interfaith relations and embolden anti-Semites and terrorists,” they concluded.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).
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