Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Far be it for me enter the fray concerning the capital of Israel. But I'm going to, so here goes.

It comes after I saw this link on the Catholic herald website, "Jerusalem church leaders in Jordan condemn ‘Judaization’ of city", and that looks pretty bad. It seems to be almost universally the case that 'Christians' side with 'Palestinians' and therefore are against 'Israel'. Rather like the tyranny of not drinking fair trade coffee, voting UKIP and supporting Brexit. Indeed, if the average Catholic did any of these things and mentioned it in public then they would probably be publicly stoned. Well, not by people in the pews, but but by 'official' Catholics. It is not just the secular state which has a right-on agenda.

Today I'm identifying as a Fair Trade planet
So the idea that Mr Trump (hated by the liberal intelligensia - how dare he stop supporting abortion oversees!) could declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel ticks all the right boxes, and pushes all the correct buttons, and liberal rage boils over (tinged with religious self righteous fury).

Of course living in a country which has just voted to leave the European Union so that, in part, we can decide our own fate: it seems ludicrous to say that Israel cannot decide on its own capital. How would it be if the United Nations said that St Dogbreath-on-the-Marsh was now the capital of England! And I know some of the history and some of the problems of Isreal, but are we really saying that as long as we do not allow Israel to call Jerusalem its capital then peace will reign?

But, I hear you cry, should I not listen to the voices of the Christian and Catholic leaders on the ground in Israel and Jordan? Well, perhaps I should listen to them more...


my degree looked into the formation of the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate, a document which for the first time put forward a positive view of Judaism (Nostra Aetate also said a lot more which was pretty badly thought out - but I digress). None of us, surely would decry such a statement. Except, of course, that the Bishop, Cardinals, and Patriarchs in the Middle East at the time did such a thing. They did not want anything positive said about Judaism at all. And they lobbied pretty hard to make sure that it did not.

Nostra Aetate is all well and good, but it does not mention
witches, covens, or the worshipers of the Norse Gods.
I'm in Glastonbury, this is important.
Some may have done it for anti-semitic motives (in fact we know that some did) but most did it for the simple reason that they feared that if the Church said anything positive about the Jews, then the Muslim Arabs would persecute the small Christian communities in their midst. I understand that. But it always makes me read such statements as we find in the link above in a particular way.

I have a easy way to deal with all of this in my mind.

I compose myself, and drift off into mystical prayer, and try to envisage Our Lord standing there in front of me. Then I ask Him a simple question: "What is the capital city of Israel". He will either say "Shechem, Penuel, Tirzah and then Samaria" (in which case He is talking about the Kingdom of Israel before its destruction in the eighth century by the Assyrian Tiglath-Pileser) or He will say "Jerusalem".

Now, is this the Capital?
Jerusalem, the city of David, God in the midst of its citadels.

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