Mon | Jun 25, 2018

Roper's vs Robinson's Jerusalem thesis

Published:Tuesday | January 2, 2018 | 12:02 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:


Rev Dr Garnet Roper was in his scholarly element, in his commentary chastising the Government's diplomatic "pass" on the recent vote by the United Nations Assembly to reject United States President Donald Trump's unilateral declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of the Political State of Israel. Left to stand alone, not only would I have deemed it required reading but I'd have declared that it illustrated the redeeming quality of Roper's scholarship. 

Alas, Gordon Robinson, opinion writer par excellence, obviously departing from characteristic satire, served up the historical perspective on the political scramble for Jerusalem qualifying Roper's political submission for a cloak of fig leaves. 

The foundation of the actions of  Israel, against Palestinians, and the support it gets from the Western Alliance, is paranoia NOT religious faith! Political Israel is an implanted State of which the entire Arab community is absolutely intolerant. So there is a credible fear of annihilation. Robinson gave an excellent account of this.

Peace can only occur in that geopolitical space as the fulfilment or affirmation of Holy Covenant with Spiritual Israel. We should distinguish the political State of Israel from the Spiritual Israel of the Covenant. 

Regarding the political State of Israel, which is the centre of what Robinson correctly cited as unnecessary controversy, Jamaica's diplomatic stance, more than just reflecting pragmatism over principle, as Roper charged, is absolutely correct. The political assertions to the contrary are not, regardless of mealy-mouthed persistent repetition of them. 

Diplomats tend on the softer side of resolving conflicts, especially when they are not representing hegemons or imperial powers. That's why what they do is called diplomacy. Don't be misled by false teachers about this. 

The political State of Israel has done wrong many times. I wonder, though, if even Rev Roper confuses this and, thus, might have wrongly lambasted several of his Missionary Church denomination's rival churches for an Israel position he despises. He charged that: "For the last century and a half, the imperial rulers of the world, Britain first and now the USA, have recruited sections of the emerging faith community" to develop a spiritual narrative that is supportive of Israel. Which one he meant was unclear.

Hylton W. Dennis