- 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?

Lillian Gillespie

Ian, what a good point. I am grateful that accepting and understanding Jewish traditions was never undermined by my Christian faith. Your point about a false dichotomy and exploitation are so astute. I think the best that we can do as we learn more about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is move forward from the legacy of Christian hatred towards Jews by celebrating essential (!) Jewish contributions to our faith and treating all sides in the conflict as Christ would have.

For me personally, it is sometimes hard to empathize with a Palestinian desire for an independent state when I see news reports that terrorist groups intentionally use schools, hospitals, etc to operate. I question whether they would be the ones in power if Israel were to make more concessions. But, I was roommates with a girl whose mother fled Palestine, and I saw her hatred of Israel. I wanted to treat her with love and also understand the conflict through her experience. I think that experience made me realize how much more complicated all of this is, and the positive role that a Christian worldview can play in understanding and attempting to bridge the divide.