- 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?

William Duggan

As Christians, it is crucial to acknowledge our historical role in the events leading up to the Zionist movement in Europe. The persecution of Jews by Christians significantly contributed to the rise of secular Zionism and the subsequent creation of a Jewish state. This, in turn, played a pivotal role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

While both Christian and Jewish perspectives affirm that Israel is the ancestral promised land for Jews, we cannot ignore that the establishment of the modern state of Israel—whether for secular, religious, or both reasons—resulted in the displacement of nearly a million Palestinians who had lived there for centuries.

Our Christian responsibility compels us to recognize and own our biases and the part we played in this complex situation. Moreover, as Christians who are generations removed from those who persecuted European Jews, we must approach the conflict with empathy and understanding for both Jews and Palestinians. We should also be aware of the larger religious and geopolitical forces influencing the conflict, each with its own unique interests. By keeping this history in mind, we can strive for a more just and compassionate response to the present situation.