- 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?

Devin Humphreys

Writing as a Catholic, I know all too well the checkered history of antisemitism within the Church. On one hand, for years on Good Friday when the Church offered her Solemn Intercessions, the Jews were referred to as “perfidious” and blamed as a collective religious group for the death of Jesus, and only in 2011 was the form of the Solemn Intercession we offer on Good Friday finally amended to acknowledge the Jewish people as those “to whom the Lord our God spoke first.” On another hand, in 2019 I had the opportunity to visit the Museo della Memoria in Assisi and learn about the clandestine protection of Assisi’s Jewish population by the cooperation of the city’s mayor, a printmaker, and the diocesan bishop to provide the Jews of Assisi with false identity documents which ensured that every Jew in Assisi survived World War II. Thus, when thinking about the sweeping impact Christian antisemitism has had on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, my mind is drawn to the examples we have in history of how others forged another possible path, taking action to stand in solidarity instead of demonize a whole people. In turn, I think we are called to keep in mind how much more common the first of these paths has been in Christian history, so that we may lean towards the second, better path in the years to come.