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Dutch Church Closing Israel Office

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The Dutch Reformed Church synod has decided to close down its representation in Israel, which has been headed for 11 years by the Rev. Geert Cohen Stuart.

For many years, the Dutch Reformed Church had a representative in Jerusalem for contacts with the Jews.

In recent years, there was friction between the synod and Cohen Stuart because he was thought to be too one-sidedly pro-Israel and to have too little eye for the Palestinians.

Instead of a permanent representative, the Dutch Reformed synod will maintain a visiting representative, who will make periodic trips to both Israel and Jewish communities elsewhere, including the United States.

Cohen Stuart had a Jewish ancestor who was baptized about a century ago.

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