Aaron David Fruh

Christians Lack Moral Authority to Instruct Israel on Its Response to Terror

It wasn’t long after the barbaric butchering of innocent Jews at the hands of radical Hamas Islamists on October 7 before Christian leaders began placing blame for the terror attack on Israel. A predictable shift to moral equivalency.

One week later, on October 15, the USA National Council of Churches of Christ, in their official response, declared, “While we condemn the Hamas attack and recognize Israel’s right to protect its people, we affirm the value of all human life. We, therefore, call upon Israel, with its overwhelming firepower, to temper its response in the name of human decency.” The Council then advised that Israel’s “anticipated retaliation in Gaza, from which Palestinian civilians cannot flee due to the closed border, must not match or exceed the brutality of Hamas’ assault.” The language is clear: Israel has “overwhelming firepower,” exhibits a lack of temperance, and has to be reminded to show human decency in their “retaliation in Gaza.”

The NCC’s pathetic comparison between Hamas’s butchery and Israel’s right of self-defense (Israel’s response “must not match or exceed the brutality of Hamas’ assault”) shows the extent to which the NCC draws from historic European Christian Antisemitism and Replacement Theology. Banal. The statement called upon the Biden Administration to “not allow the conflict to deflect from a consideration of root causes of the enmity between Israelis and Palestinians.” Translation: Israel is to blame for the acts of terror perpetrated by Hamas.

The World Council of Churches predictably drew a parallel between Israel’s self-defense and Hamas’s terror in their official statement on October 12: “The World Council of Churches appeals urgently for an immediate cessation of this deadly violence, for Hamas to cease their attacks and ask both parties for de-escalation of the situation.” The WCC’s call for an immediate cease-fire reveals that the organization is up to its old tricks,” said Dexter Van Zile, a longtime critic of the organization who currently serves as editor of Focus on Western Islamism, a website published by the Middle East Forum. Van Zile noted that the “WCC wants to protect Hamas from the consequences of its actions and hinder Israel’s ability to defeat its enemies and protect its citizens. Churches that belong to the WCC and pay dues to the organization fund the abandonment of the Jews to their tormentors.”

The Episcopal Church endorsed a statement released by Churches for Middle East Peace, an organization of which it is a founding member. Once again, the language of the statement attempts to draw a parallel between Israel and Hamas: “The actions of Hamas and the Israeli response in Gaza in no way advance peace, but rather cause loss of life and harm, grief and devastation . . . not only to the individuals affected but also to the legitimate cause of the Palestinian people in seeking an end to the decades-long occupation and the blockade of the Gaza Strip.” In this statement, the Episcopal Church delegitimizes the State of Israel by focusing solely on the “legitimate cause of the Palestinian people,” and it also demonizes Israel for its “decades-long occupation and blockade of the Gaza Strip.”

The Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, an organization comprised of Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, and Protestant clergy, painted Israel as the aggressor in the conflict, so much so that the Israeli embassy to the Holy See called attention to the “linguistic ambiguities and terms that allude to a false symmetry” that were included in the statement. “To suggest parallelisms,” said the embassy, “where they don’t exist isn’t diplomatic pragmatism, its just wrong.”

When Christian leaders self-righteously raise the issue of moral equivalency and demonize Israel for defending itself in the face of an existential terror threat, they should recall it was their murderous actions against Jews in the long, bloody history of European Christian Antisemitism that forced the Jews to learn how to defend themselves against violence. These cowardly leaders should remember that when Jews proclaim “Never Again,” the anguish embedded in those two words draws from the bestial murder of six million Jews at the hands of Hitler’s willing executioners who were, for the most part, baptized Christians—both Catholic and Protestant.

Because of this, Christian organizations have absolutely no moral authority to instruct Israel on its response to terror. Why? Historically, the greatest threat to Jewish existence has been Christianity. By turning a blind eye to the continued acts of Palestinian violence against Jews, these Christian leaders expose the deep arrogance and jealousy over God’s choice of Israel that led to Christian pogroms, Inquisitions, and ultimately, the Holocaust.

The truth of the matter is that if Hamas put down its weapons today, there would be no more war, and if Israel put down its weapons today, there would be no more Israel. The fact that these Christian organizations refuse to admit the obvious but rather shamefully attempt to draw a moral equivalency between Israel and Hamas reveals the depth of their contempt toward Jews. Maybe instead of attempting to claim moral superiority over Jews, these Christian leaders should consider the abyss of depravity into which they have fallen.

About the Author
Aaron David Fruh is a Research Fellow at The Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP) and the President of Israel Team Advocates, whose mission it is to change the growing anti-Israel narrative on college campuses. Aaron is the author of five books including The Casualty of Contempt: the alarming rise of Antisemitism and what can be done to stop it (editor), and Two Minute Warning: why it’s time to honor the Jewish people before the clock runs out. Aaron has written for The Jerusalem Post and The Algemeiner.
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