Protestant Church in the Netherlands: “We see no point in a public boycott of a country”

In May, following a meeting with leading members of the Jewish community, the Protestant Church in the Netherlands produced this statement:

Jews and Christians share the scriptures of the First Testament. Christians do not replace the Jews in the Salvation history of God with mankind. The bond God made with the Jewish people has not been suspended; in Christ, Christians of all nations share in the blessing of the God of Abraham. The bond means that replacement theology is being rejected, and that the Protestant Church will always declare herself against antisemitism.

In the self-understanding of the Jewish people land and state of Israel play an important part. For the Jewish people, the Holy Land is also the Promised Land. The Protestant Church acknowledges the right of the Jewish people to live safely in the land of Israel. The present state of Israel has a starting point of international law, which is also entirely, and gratefully acknowledged by the Protestant Church. Wherever the continued existence of the state of Israel is on the line or is denied or where the fundamental safety of the inhabitants is an issue, the Protestant Church feels herself to be called upon to speak out against this and to talk to her partners about this. The sense of insecurity Jews in the Netherlands often experience, shows a parallel to the concern regarding the safety of the state of Israel in the region, and indeed in the global community.

On the other hand, the Protestant Church is aware of the appeal of the Palestinian Christians and is called upon to be critical towards the actions of the state of Israel where the rights of Palestinians are concerned. The disunity which is sometimes experienced in this remains undiminished. Standing for the rights of the Palestinians is no abatement from the emphasis on the safety of the state of Israel and vice versa.

Pajamas Media has since reported:

Then a group of clerics and members from the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN) organized a petition demanding an end to ties between the Protestant NGO Kerk in Actie and Sabeel after it was shown that officials of Kerk in Actie collaborated with Sabeel — an Arab-Christian group — in propagating blatant lies about Israel.

Although the petition was unsuccessful in separating Sabeel from the PKN, the PKN still considering Sabeel to be a voice of the Palestinian Christian people, the PKN nevertheless said this:

The Protestant Church does not support the aims of the flotilla. We think this is counterproductive. We see no point in a public boycott of a country.This disqualify a nation as a whole. That should not be in the case of Israel and not in the case of Gaza.

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