- 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?

Stevin Surajin

In my time spent learning history and educating myself about the history of our world and its effects on the way we live, one especially troubling part is the way that the Jewish people have been treated throughout history. But I also find the term “Christian antisemitism” to be a troubling concept. Antisemitism is an idea that is not found within scripture. I cannot think of any solid arguments for it or instances where Jesus, the disciples or the apostles espouse violence towards Jewish culture or the Jewish people. If anything we see the opposite where it is the gentiles that are discriminated against in some cases (As in when Peter refused to eat with the gentile converts, for which he was admonished by Paul).

However, does this mean that I am denying the fact that Jewish people have not been affected in Europe? Of course not, Jews have been throughout the years the victims of many false accusations (such as being falsely accused of blood libels), facing expulsion via the Alhambra decree (which forced Jewish people to convert or to be expelled from their homes), and even sadly facing demonization from influential figures such as Martin Luther. However, it is also important to recognize that these responses and actions fall outside the purview of Christian conduct as mentioned in the Bible which should be the authority on how we live our lives.

What I do think is especially important and is something that can be agreed upon, is to recognize that like a lot of ideologies, Christianity too can be corrupted and be used to spread discord and destruction throughout the world. And as Christians, we must recognize the damage that Individuals, organizations, and empires have wreaked havoc on the Jewish people through a fundamental subversion of Christianity for personal gain or biases. It is this knowledge that should inform us as we make decisions concerning the present Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in that scripture or our belief in Christianity should be the driving factor as we are involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.