Israel Palestine Conflict Teaching Tool

Jul 8, 2024

from the Committee on the Promotion of Social Righteousness

There is a great deal of noise in our world these days. The temptation to tune out the many voices that fill the air is strong. Yet, we live in the world and not apart from it. Our neighbors, whom we are called to love, come in a variety of viewpoints, personalities, and circumstances. While this is true of many things, it seems especially so in the case of the current conflict between Israel and Palestine. It is important for us to engage with what is happening, even when it is far away and/or complicated and controversial.

In its work to share information, to encourage consideration of our siblings both near and far, and to enable more informed interactions that focus on truth and goodness, the Committee on the Promotion of Social Righteousness offers ideas on why we need to remain concerned and up to date on the situation in the Holy Land.

In the broadest sense, we recognize that this conflict causes great harm to other human beings, our fellow children of God.  Death, displacement, hunger, and great uncertainty have become an ever-larger part of daily life for far too many.

As Christians, we, like our Jewish and Muslim siblings, are children of Abraham. In faith, we are connected to those on both sides of the conflict, and the dividing line between religious groups in the conflict is not as clear as many attempt to make it. Indeed, our Palestinian Christian siblings are pleading with American and other Christians to hear their cries for help and to remember that justice is a vital part of what the scriptures instruct us to hold in focus and to keep in mind as we live out our faith.

Closer to home, many of our American Christian siblings are very concerned about what is happening in the Holy Land in large part because they see current events as a move toward the return of Christ. Whatever we personally understand/believe about the relationship between ancient Israel and the modern nation state of Israel, we will encounter those who understand/believe differently. It is important to be up to date and well informed in order to dialogue in a positive manner. It is far too easy to argue with or dismiss those who don’t see the situation as we do. It is also important to have a solid understanding of the words we use to discuss the situation.

Also closer to home, many of us have Muslim and Jewish friends who are hurting. Their pain comes not only from the conflict itself, but also from words they hear and actions they see. Fear has increased and comfort decreased.

As Americans we are facing national elections. The very complicated situation in the Holy Land is not properly reducible to sound bites. It is important that we have both historical and current knowledge as this conflict is a part of our national debate. In order to make better judgements about what those running for office say, we have to rely on far more than what we hear at political rallies or read in memes and advertisements.

The CPSR wants to help increase the presbytery’s level of understanding and offers a true/false quiz as a teaching tool. It is important that all sides of the discussion start with the same definitions.  Please use, share, and learn from this quiz as you see fit.

Questions and comments can be directed to Larry Anderson or Jane Martinez.

Download the quiz