When regarding the Arab-Israel conflict it is common to believe that being a Christian comfortably places one on the side of the angels. But historically, Christians have been unconscionably comfortable with the sins of omission and commission against our Jewish brothers and sisters. It is unsettling to think how easily those same rationalizations, funded by political fervor or misplaced outrage, could reemerge within western Christianity. This is especially relevant given the current volatility in America’s political discourse. Cries for social justice are quickly turned into scapegoating, and if our history has proven anything, it is that the Jewish people are often the first scapegoats.
Because this is the case, Christians who are informed ought to be prepared to affirm our checkered past while recognizing the complexities of the current conflict. Both Israel and their Palestinian neighbors have a right to exist, but in a conflict which is deeply motivated by the pursuit of God’s land, we do well to remember that, in the end, it is the peacemakers who will be called children of God.