• OTHER \ Nov 20, 2007
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    Dutch Christians no longer see 'inalienable bond' with Israel
Dutch Christians no longer see 'inalienable bond' with Israel The opinion poll, which was commissioned by the Hague-based United Civilians for Peace (UCP), revealed 60 percent of Dutch Protestants and 69 percent of Roman Catholics oppose "an inalienable bond" with Israel.

Only 15.5 percent of 640 respondents said they supported the bond, with a similar number saying their churches should form an equally strong bond with Palestinian Christians.

"The poll is an encouraging sign," Minister Henri Veldhuis, a general synod member who supports altering the clause, told Haaretz. "A more balanced interpretation of the clause is perhaps possible, giving more attention to the Palestinians and more freedom to criticize the occupation," he explained.

One of the synod's prominent members, Jan van der Graaf, warned against the poll's potential influence on the debate. "The synod must disregard the poll. Theological decisions depend on Bible and tradition - not surveys."

A final decision on the question is only to be announced by the PCN's general synod in March.