The heads of Christian churches in Jerusalem have come out against the Israel’ government’s attempts to impose new taxes on churches. (Their statement) points out that such impositions mark “a radical departure from the consistent practice of every previous State to have governed any part of the Holy Land, including the Ottoman empire, the British Mandate, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the State of Israel itself". The new aggressive policy is " direct contradiction to the mandate of the United Nations Organization" on the founding of the State of Israel (Resolution 181 of November 29, 1947), which applies not only to Jerusalem but also to the two national states that it [The UN] authorizes to be established in the Holy Land. These new charges contradict the solemn promises given to the Churches by successive Israeli governments, most notably confirmed in the wake of the June 1967 war. Any person of good will must understand that the abrupt imposition of unprecedented new taxation on the Christian Churches could only come at the expense of their ability to maintain their presence in the Holy Land and to continue their ministries of pastoral care, education, welfare and health."
COMMENT: They should be careful. The last Christian to go around telling the tax collectors of Israel to repent ended up being treated rather badly by the authorities.
Of course, I expect this will all be Desmond Tutu's fault. If he had kept his mouth shut about the situation of Palestinians in the Holy Land in stead of blurting out the truth like some Old Testament prophet calling the world to account in the name of God, the Israelis would probably not be so pissed with Christians at this moment in time. But then, perhaps I am reading too much into the situation. I mean this is about money and the Jewish Israelis, despite unfair stereotyping, do not have the monopoly on greed.