Letter: An English Christian’s thoughts on the Israeli-Hamas Conflict

Examining the news through the lens of Christian principles and values can provide some clarity when complex situations like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict return to public view.

As an active member of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) of the United Kingdom, I hold to socially conservative and economically left-wing values, and I greatly appreciate the perspective of Christian social teaching held by The Collegiate Commons. As such, I decided to respond to your recent article dealing with local responses to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, to provide an English Christian’s perspective.

Firstly, Israel’s right to defend itself is undeniable. However, the means employed in war should still align with moral principles, including just war theory. The actions taken by Israel, including the bombing of the orthodox Church of Saint Porphyrius and the shooting at the Holy Family Catholic Church raise ethical concerns. As Christians, we should condemn any violence against religious institutions and innocent civilians, regardless of their nationality.

On the other hand, Hamas is clearly the instigator of the renewed conflict as a result of their actions on Oct. 7. Their radically militant ideology and use of Sharia law as a guide are contrary to Christian values.

Although Hamas leaders have called Christians in Gaza “partners in suffering,” much of that suffering is caused by Hamas’s own hands, as well as the hands of other militant groups that Hamas refuses to prosecute. The kidnapping and brutal murder of Rami Ayyad in 2007 is one particularly heinous example, as well as more recent persecution of Christians in Gaza and the West Bank.

While Israel may not be perfect, they appear to be the lesser of two evils. Christian communities outside the conflict zones thrive in Israel due to economic opportunities, religious freedom, and access to education.

Max Stenner is a student from Blandford Forum, England. He is the local representative for the Social Democratic Party. He also has a substack where he writes about topics like the economic philosophy known as distributism. Letter cover image courtesy of Ali Jadallah/Anadolu via Getty Images.

Note: Publishing letters to the editor does not constitute an endorsement of the views expressed therein by The Collegiate Commons, its editorial board, or contributors.

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