• March 26, 2018
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    Jonathan Kuttab Responds!
Jonathan Kuttab Responds!

 

I have carefully read the responses, especially the negative ones, to my article titled "Questions to Christian Zionism" in this web site from earlier this month.
 
None of the responses addressed my theological problems with Christian Zionism or my existential dilemma as a Palestinian Christian . The essence of the negative comments was built on a rather secular approach which blames Palestinians ( including Christians) for the results of the fight between zionism and Plaestinain nationalism. The thrust of the argument is that Palestinians and other Arabs failed to agree to the Zionist project, and resisted it by force, and lost. Having lost, it is unreasonable to expect Israel to now acknowledge their rights and permit them a right to return, or be empowered for fear that they will continue to resist the Zionist project and indeed would refight the war they lost when they tried to resist Jewish immigration into Palestine in the first place. Much was also made of the Arab violence , especially the Hebron massacre which occurred during the long-drawn fight between the local Arab community and the Jewish community, including the new immigrants.
 
I dispute the historical narrative which found the Jewish immigration into Palestine to be innocuous and "meant in the interest of the local population". I do not dispute that Arabs did fear and resist such immigration, and feared that it was to be at their expense. History proved them to be correct, and it is disingenuous to say that such immigration turned out to be a disaster to Palestinians only because they resisted it, and had they accepted it, they would be now living in peace and equality in the new (Jewish) state that Zionist formed. Regardless of the historical narrative, however, the current reality is that the new state claims to be a Jewish state and actively promotes the interest of Jews at the expense of non-Jews, including the indigenous inhabitants, whether Moslem or Christian.
 
The more serious point, however, is that such injustice and inequality is being perpetuated not as the result of a power struggle which the Zionist movement won, but as a divine plan which Christians are expected to support for religious reasons. That is where I took issue with Christian Zionism. I welcome the start of a discussion on that issue, but unfortunately, none of the answers addressed that particular existential dilemma I presented. Both sides in that historical fight committed atrocities and have something to repent for. I happen to be a pacifist, and understand Jesus' commandment to love my enemies to prohibit me ( at a minimum) from being involved in war and killing. Those who do not share that nonviolent understanding will find plenty of excuses for the violence committed by Jews as well as Arabs in their nationalist struggles. Christian Zionism, however goes beyond that and claims that God instructs us Christians to take Israel’s side against the Palestinians in this fight, and that is what I am disputing.
 
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