- Pathfinder

Reply To: Why is it important for Christians to keep the sad history of Christian antisemitism in mind when responding to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the present?

Austin Pellizzer

Before this course, and with many years of Israeli education and advocacy under my belt, I honestly had no idea of the extent to which the antisemitism Christians played had actually shaped the re-establishment of a Jewish state. From the pogroms of Eastern Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries to the denial of Jews fleeing Nazi persecution in the face of World War Two, I believe we, as Christians, owe much to the Jewish communities not just in Israel but in the diaspora also. It is essential to acknowledge this sad history not just to see the concept of this conflict under the lens of an already persecuted minority but also to understand the skepticism many Jews and their communities might have when it comes to interfaith dialogue and community. When it comes to a conflict which is so very nuanced, many Jewish individuals feel that a community which has forced them into this situation are the last people who, as a whole, should be dictating and or counselling them on how to approach this conflict, and what they as a whole should feel.
As Christians, we need to approach this conflict, not with just an open heart but also to see the realities that this issue goes far beyond Muslim-Jew, and hits at the core of centuries of persecution by their brothers and sisters who have treated them as anything but fair and in a Christian manner. With this fundamental first step, we might be able to open our minds and approach this conflict with a more nuanced and historical understanding that has been needed from day one.