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Reading: The Impact of Christianity on Israel-Palestine Peace Relations

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The Impact of Christianity on Israel-Palestine Peace Relations

Author:

Rachel Sutphin

Abstract

When analyzing the Israel-Palestine conflict, one may be tempted to focus solely on the political and historical situation of the geographic land. However, it is also important to consider the deeply embedded religious traditions of the area. When doing so, one will come across Christian Zionism, an impediment to peace. Some of the most prominent voices find validation for their narratives and actions through Christian Zionism. Zionism, in all forms, is an ideology that anchors Jews to Eretz Yisrael, the land of Biblical Israel. Some forms of Zionism include a system of balancing accumulations of land, resources, and wealth with the displacement of Palestinians. This belief that the Jews have a divine right to the accumulation of land and resources legitimizes Zionism in their conquering of the past-legitimate Palestine. Thus, as Palestinian scholar Edward Said states, Zionism is an imported ideology in which Palestinians “pay and suffer” (Said, 1978).

Christian Zionism consists of a variety of beliefs that promote and protect the Israeli state and government, while also dehumanizing the Palestinians and equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. As a result, Christian Zionism is a challenging obstacle, one that is necessary to overcome to establish peace. Therefore, due to Christians being called to live peacefully (Colossians 3:15), the Christian tradition must seek and adhere to an alternative theology to Christian Zionism. Palestinian Christian Liberation Theology is a relevant way to interpret Scriptures based on the Christian tradition of peace found in the Old and New Testaments. Palestinian Christian Liberation Theology disputes dual-covenant theology and dispensationalism, two characteristics of Christian Zionism, while focusing on liberating the Palestinian from the oppression under the Israeli occupation. Therefore, Palestinian Christian Liberation Theology provides a workable road to peace, while Christian Zionism is solely a road block.

How to Cite: Sutphin, R., 2018. The Impact of Christianity on Israel-Palestine Peace Relations. Philologia, 10. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/ph.v10i0.7
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Published on 30 Apr 2018.
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