Wednesday, June 04, 2014

‘Jesus Was a Palestinian’: The Return of Christian Anti-Semitism


By Melanie Phillips
June 2, 2014

In posting this piece by Melanie Phillips I am acutely aware that Christians of good faith are divided over the existence of the State of Israel and its place in Middle East history. Of late the swing has been decidedly against Israel by both liberal and some evangelical Christians. The existence of a wall has been described as “apartheid” and the constant persecution of Christians in Israel by radical Islamists is being done with little attempts at restraint by Israeli officials. The danger in any story on the Middle East is the swing from one extreme to the other. If you are pro-Palestinian you are in danger of becoming anti-Semitic. If you are pro-Israel because you believe that the birth of Israel is the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy you are in equal danger of ignoring the rights of Palestinians many of whom are evangelical Christians. – David W. Virtue DD, VIRTUEONLINE

Amos Trust nativity scene with 'Bethlehem wall'

Manger Square was bedecked with huge photomontages of classic artworks featuring Christian imagery superimposed with images from the Palestinians’ modern reality. Caravaggio’s “Ecce Homo” merged with a photograph of Palestinians crossing an Israeli checkpoint on their way to Jerusalem, equating Palestinians with Jesus and his suffering.
—The New York Times, May 25, 2014, reporting on Pope Francis’s visit to the West Bank

Within the Protestant world, many churches are deeply hostile to the State of Israel. They present the Palestinians as victims of Israeli oppression while ignoring the murderous victimization of Israeli citizens at their hands. This much is generally known. What is less known is the even more disturbing fact that this perverse animus is increasingly fed not by the politics of the present moment but by theology.

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