Christian-Jewish interfaith relations have come to play a key role in the discourse about Israel and Palestine, exerting a powerful influence in personal, academic and ecclesial circles. For many Christians, at leadership levels as well as in the general ranks, preserving hard-won connections with the Jewish community supersedes considerations of human rights issues that they are aware of but are unwilling to act on for fear of offending Jewish friends and colleagues or disrupting or disrupting institutional relationships. Unwritten rules about not challenging Zionist principles or assumptions of Jewish privilege with respect to Israel impose severe restrictions on academic and theological work, restrictions the more powerful for not being articulated openly. Two unstated but hugely influential assumptions among Christians are: (1) we do not have the right to speak out about Israel and Palestine, this is an issue for the Jewish community alone, and (2) we may take up the issue, but only in the company of Jewish colleagues (translation: with their blessing), and ceding to the Jewish community the right to review and approve all statements that we may make and actions that we may take.
It is time that this issue is surfaced and discussed openly and frankly, even with the discomfort and pain that it often brings. This is important not only for the sake of Christian renewal and a vibrant theology, responsive to the nature of the times, but for the Jewish people as well, who should be confronted with the real problems brought by Zionism, rather than shielded from them. Finally, of course, it is crucial for peace that this barrier to discussion and political action be removed so that peace can come to all the inhabitants of the land.
AMP – PDF: Creeping Normalcy: aka Faithwashing, 2016 – 15 pp.
AMP – PDF: The Anti-Defamation League: Protector of Civil Rights Or Silencer Of Free Speech? 2014 – 24 pp.
IJV – PDF: Antisemitism in Context: Its Use and Abuse – 24 pp.
IPMN – PDF: Principles For Interfaith Dialogue – 3 pp.
TOLEF – PDF: State Worthy of Our Concern, by David Good – 4 pp.
Book: Fatal Embrace, by Mark Braverman
In Fatal Embrace, author Mark Braverman shows how the Jewish quest for safety and empowerment and the Christian endeavor to atone for centuries of anti-Semitism have united to suppress the conversations needed to bring peace. Tracing his own journey as a Jew struggling with the difficult realities of modern Israel, Braverman delivers a strong message to Jews and Christians alike: it is not anti-Semitic to stand up for justice for the Palestinian people. Describing the spiritual and psychological forces driving the discourse in America, in Israel, within the Jewish community, and within the church, Braverman turns to the prophets’ cry for justice and to Jesus’ transformative ministry to show the way forward.