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Reply To: Have you ever been told that supporting Israel prevents you from supporting Palestinians? After taking this course, how would you go about responding to false accusations like this?

AvatarJonathan Nolasco

Directly, no. But there seems to be an assumption by some that Christian support for Israel is intrinsically harmful to Palestinians, rooted in “Christian Zionism” and “Imperial Theology”. The conflict is framed as zero sum. Supporting Israel is necessarily harmful to the Palestinians.

I think it’s important to recognize our historical and spiritual affinity to the Jewish people and their national homeland. As Robert said, we can’t claim to have no bias so we should own it. I think this raises the question, what do we mean by “supporting Israel” and “supporting Palestinians”. Because people define support in different ways it’s important to be clear. As a Christian, I support a form of Zionism that believes the Jewish people should be able to establish a home in their ancient homeland. But as a Christian I also support the general right of Palestinians to their own self determination in a land that they have also have cultural and historical ties to. The challenge is when the expression of those rights are set up in mutually exclusive ways. So I think my main response would be to encourage greater reflection and clarity about what we mean by support, how have those notions of support come in conflict, and what would it look like to understand support for Israel and Palestinians in ways that honor the fundamental rights of both sides.