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Remarks on the Twelve Points of Berlin Expressed by Groups from Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Canada and France

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Written on: 21. 06. 2012 [06:28]
registered since: 18.12.2010
Posts: 2
Remarks on the Twelve Points of Berlin Expressed by Groups from Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Canada and France, gathered by Michel Sternberg (Amitié Judéo-Chrétienne de France)

First Part : A Call To Christians and Christian Communities
Remarks expressed on Points 3 and 4

3. To develop theological understandings of Judaism that affirm its distinctive integrity
•- By eliminating any teachings that Christians have replaced Jews as a people in covenant with God.
•- By emphasizing the common mission of Jews and Christians in preparing the world for the kingdom of God or the Age to Come.
•- By establishing equal, reciprocal working relationships with Jewish religious and civic organizations.
•- By ensuring that emerging theological movements integrate an accurate understanding of Judaism and Christian-Jewish relations into their theological formulations.

[from Asia, Africa and Latin America, and feminist, liberationist or other approaches,] should be deleted

•- By opposing organized efforts at the conversion of Jews.

4. To pray for the peace of Jerusalem
[Some groups, but not all, are in favour of a suppression of this "Political Point 4" ???]
•- By promoting the belief in an inherent connectedness between Christians and Jews.
•- By understanding more fully Judaism’s deep attachment to the Land of Israel as a fundamental religious perspective and many Jewish people’s connection with the State of Israel as a matter of physical and cultural survival.
- By reflecting on ways that the Bible’s spiritual understanding of the land can be better incorporated into Christian faith perspectives.
•- By analyzing and eventually critiquing the policies of Israeli and Palestinian governmental and social institutions according to the principles of justice, peace, dignity and respect of all human lives [when such criticism is morally warranted] ; by acknowledging at the same time both communities’ deep attachment to the land. MODIFIED
•- [NEW ADDING, suggested by the Swiss AJC] By requiring and insisting on objectivity and plurality in the news presented by media concerning Israel and Palestine.
•- By critiquing attacks on Zionism when they become expressions of antisemitism
[this item was much discussed, but no better formulation was proposed].
•- By joining with Jewish, Christian and Muslim peace workers, with Israelis and Palestinians, to build trust and peace in a Middle East where all can live secure in independent, viable states rooted in international law and guaranteed human rights.
•- By enhancing the security and prosperity of Christian communities both in Israel and Palestine.
•- By working for improved relations among Jews, Christians and Muslims in the Middle East and the rest of the world.

Second Part : A Call To Jews and Jewish Communities
Remarks expressed on Points 6, 7 and 8

6. To re-examine Jewish texts and liturgy in the light of these Christian reforms
•- By grappling with Jewish texts that express superiority or intolerance versus non-jews, realizing that many religious traditions have uplifting, inspirational texts as well as problematic ones. The emphasis for all religious traditions should be on texts that promote tolerance and openness. MODIFIED: [appear xenophobic or racist] DELETED
•- By placing problematic texts within their historical context, in particular writings from the times when Jews were a powerless, persecuted and humiliated minority.
•- By addressing the possible re-interpretation, change or omission of parts of Jewish liturgy that treat others in problematic ways.

7. To differentiate between fair-minded criticism of [Israel] Israel’s policy and antisemitism. MODIFIED: Israel should be replaced by Israel's policy.
- By understanding and promoting biblical examples of just criticism as expressions of loyalty and love. [REFERENCES should be added in a separate appendix to the document, particularly for points 6 and 7 ]
- By helping Christians appreciate that communal identity and interconnectedness are intrinsic to Jewish self-understanding, in addition to religious faith and practice, therefore making the commitment to the survival and security of the State of Israel of great importance to most Jews.

8. To offer encouragement to the State of Israel as it works to fulfil the ideals stated in its founding documents, a task Israel shares with many nations of the world
- By ensuring the full application of equal rights (and duties) for religious and ethnic minorities, including Christians, living within the Jewish state. MODIFIED
- By achieving a just and peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Third Part : A Call To Both Christian, Jewish and Moslem Communities and Others
No Important Remark Expressed on Part 3

An agreement was generally expressed about this third part of the 12 Points.
The common call of Jews and Christians to all communities of the world appeared as an expression of the double universal vocation of Judaism and Christianity. This was made possible by more than 60 years of deep dialogue.