It does not cease to amaze me how the Church of Sweden – of all organizations – continues to view the very presence of the People and State of Israel in the ancient lands of the Bible as an undue infringement and as 'robbing' the Palestinians of their land.

Archbishop Jackelén and Mrs. Lundy-Wedin could walk through the hills of Judaea and Samaria with open Bibles in their hands - and on every hilltop they would find Jewish communities which blossomed a thousand years before the birth of the Christian faith itself, and 1600 years before the birth of Islam.

Let two examples suffice: Shiloh, the town which housed the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant for centuries; and Tekoa, where a shepherd was taken from his flock of sheep to become the Prophet Amos. One would assume or at least hope that these places – and many others! – would somehow be familiar to the leadership of the Church of Sweden.

To treat the Jewish people as anything but indigenous to the ancient Biblical homeland of Israel is proof of a profound lack of historical – and theological – knowledge. Certainly, from a Church one would expect more.

Is it too much to hope for that, if only for a moment, the representatives of the Church of Sweden would put aside their political pamphlets and open a time-honoured Book to read and ponder the indisputable history which is written for all to see in the - BIBLE?!

Ilan Ben-Dov
Israels ambassadör i Sverige
Publicerad på ambassadens hemsida 20 november 2019

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