“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
The recent reports of Jews attacking Christians in Israel are real.
There indeed has been a surge in Jewish harassment and assaults on Christians and church properties in Israel since the start of the year.
For instance, a Jewish man toppled and damaged a statue of Jesus in the Church of the Flagellation on the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem’s Old City; the Tomb of the Virgin Mary was vandalized on the Mount of Olives; a monastery in the Armenian Quarter was defaced with offensive anti-Christian graffiti (“Death to Christians”, etc.); several gravestones were flattened and smashed in a Protestant cemetery on Mount Zion; an Orthodox Jewish man was arrested for throwing a rock through a window of the Upper Room on Mount Zion; and Israeli settlers reportedly set upon an American Christian tour group at an Armenian restaurant in the Christian Quarter, leaving behind what many described as a battlefield.
How should we, as Christians, respond to this? The Bible is clear that Christians should respect and befriend the Jews. Genesis 12:3 says we should “bless” the offspring of Abraham. Isaiah 40 urges us to “comfort” the people of Israel. The Apostle Paul, in Romans 11, adds that we must “show them mercy!” We have biblical commands to stand with Israel and be gracious to the Jews. Therefore, we should not condition our support for Israel on whether or not these attacks end.
ICEJ Australia National Director