Christians Should Denounce Antisemitic Violence

When I wrote recently about the need for Christians to oppose the growing antisemitic violence in the U.S. and elsewhere, I did not imagine I was saying anything especially controversial. It seemed to me a given that Christians should condemn the rising hatred of Jews and the violence accompanying it, whatever the source of that hatred: Jesus calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves.

We present to you an excerpt of a second essay published at the Times of Israel by Angela Winter, a friend of CMJ USA. Angela Winter is a former features reporter with The Baltimore Sun who teaches classes in churches about the history of Christian antisemitism. She writes about Jewish-Christian relations, Protestant Christian theology, and the Holocaust.

I was deeply, perhaps naively, shocked at the responses from some Christian (and some non-Christian) friends to my previous essay. Yes, they said, the increase in antisemitic violence in our country is regrettable. But then they hastened to add that it’s also understandable, given what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians. I could hear the subtext: We aren’t going to worry much about hatred against Jews, these friends seemed to be saying, because we empathize with the perpetrators’ anger. Maybe they weren’t saying it outright but the implication was there: The Jews have only themselves to blame. When I mentioned the rabbi stabbed in Boston last month, one friend told me we must try to understand the feelings of downtrodden pro-Palestinians who are attacking Jews here and around the world. Feel with them their misery, their frustration, she said, quite sincerely.

In fact, I do feel their misery. I also feel the fear and anger of Jews under attack solely because they are Jewish.

Read the complete essay at the Times of Israel.

Photo by the Kincaidibles via Flickr (cc)

Christians against antisemitism

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