Rev. P. Verhoeff President of the Board of the General Synod The Protestant Church of the Netherlands
Dr. A.J. Plaisier General Secretary of the Board of the General Synod The Protestant Church of the Netherlands
Dear Rev. Verhoeff and Dr. Plaisier,
We thank you for your timely response to our letter concerning your recent communication with Israel’s Ambassador to the Netherlands.
You write that you “are astonished by [our] completely undifferentiated and embittered reaction.” We are bewildered as to why you should be astonished. In the time that has passed since your letter to the Ambassador, the background and context of our letter to you has been discussed in the media*, and is a matter of public record.
Our reaction was born of years of observation of trends in liberal Protestant denominations world-wide, in which initially obscure documents like the Amman Call, the Bern Perspective, and the Kairos Palestine Document insinuate themselves into the policy statements of major church groups. These trends stand on a firm foundation of hostility to and contempt for Israel for by the World Council of Churches (WCC) over the period of many decades. The WCC, together with its contemptible documents, has served to energize and validate the BDS movement, which seeks nothing less than the eradication of the State of Israel as a Jewish state by reframing the Middle East’s only democracy as the worst pariah of the community of nations. Kairos has become the mission statement of those who completely deny the legitimacy of the State of Israel, and whose historical revisionism erases thousands of years of connection between the Jewish people and the Land.
Within a very short period of time, Kairos was met approvingly by many groups in different Protestant denominations. If you wish to understand why Jewish defense groups look differently at Protestants today than they did five years ago, you might want to look at the recommendations of the Committee on Middle East Policy of the Presbyterian Church (USA), released in the last weeks. That Committee also embraced Kairos – even as its historical section went even beyond Kairos in de-judaizing Middle East history. Kairos’ thought also infuses two outrageous and insidious overtures of the San Francisco Presbytery. Or you may want to take a closer look at calls from Sabeel and others that take issue with statements that Protestants are opposed theologically to supersessionism. Left unattended, important Protestant denominations are on the verge of adopting a pre-Holocaust attitude toward the nation of Israel.
Your letter to the Ambassador was a response to the call of Kairos. We did not – and do not – conclude that you have embraced all of it. We are pleased by your reassurances of support for an Israel, born as a “sign of G-d’s faithfulness,” and living within secure borders. But understand that Kairos is a manual for the destruction of Israel. Invoking it will provoke the harshest reaction from Zionists and other supporters of Israel’s right to stand as an equal among nations. You may disagree with some of Kairos’ content, but by joining the choir of supporters, you are adding credibility to a movement that is incompatible with Israel’s integrity and survival.
Should you wish, we are available to discuss this matter, crucial to all parties concerned, face-to-face at our headquarters in Los Angeles, in the Netherlands, or – most appropriately – in Jerusalem.