Welby ceasefire call highlights cognitive disconnect between Jews and Christians on Gaza

Nov 21, 2023 by

by Patrick Moriarty, Jewish News:

Christians’ approach the justice issues of Israel-Hamas conflict with their heads and hearts while Jews feel it in their gut.

It’s little surprise that Archbishop Justin’s recent comments on Israel and Gaza have provoked some consternation.  The comments on his tweets fall into two predictable camps: those who regard him as naïve, biased or actively hostile to Israel (and by extension to Judaism), and those who dismiss his call for a ceasefire as ‘too little too late’.

Being denounced on social media is an occupational hazard of leadership. More striking – and more heart-breaking – is the wider and deeper struggle of Jews and Christians to understand each other on this issue at all.

Jewish friends ask me, ‘Why are my Christian friends silent, when they were so supportive after previous antisemitic attacks… is it that they sympathise with Jews when they suffer but not when they have power?’

Christian friends ask me, ‘What’s happened to my Jewish friend? We’re usually see eye to eye on everything, so why can’t she see how all this looks?’

Two observations may make the Archbishop’s comments, and the reactions or silence of Christians, a little more understandable.

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