- 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?

Daniel Saba

Understanding Zionism and the creation of the State of Israel within its proper historical context inescapably leads one to the sins committed by the Western World. Tempting as it may be to ascribe all of this to 20th century monstrosities (that are perhaps less rooted in religion), any honest analysis one could conduct would bring them to earlier European history, wherein bigotry was in fact rooted in a poor understanding many people had about their Christianity.

On many college campuses, many people understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as if it were an extension of western colonialism and European nationalist ideology. I don’t think these approaches are always wholly without value (the conflict would not be what it was without European colonialism or without nationalism) but they are missing the point if they don’t add this important third approach: very many persecuted people, whose persecution has historically had everything to do with religiously based bigotry, came to believe they needed to establish the State of Israel.

Being a Christian often means one’s moral compass is inextricably linked to a particular ethical framework rooted in their religion. Christians must take great care then, in realizing that, historically speaking, other “Christians” were inextricably linked to garbage ideology because of how they misunderstood their religion.