Mainline Protestantism, Anti-Semitism, and the "Christian Century"

Dec. 17 2014

For almost 100 years, the Christian Century has been a major publication of mainstream American Protestantism. During the 1930s and 40s, it distinguished itself by its conspicuous lack of sympathy for Jews in Hitler’s Europe and its hostility toward Zionism. When he took over the publication in the 1970s, James M. Wall tentatively apologized for its prior sins, but did not give up its anti-Zionism. Since his departure, the magazine has backed away from such positions, while Wall has become a regular contributor to the openly anti-Semitic Veterans’ News Network, a purveyor of 9/11 conspiracy theories. Dexter van Zile writes:

As Wall’s tenure proceeded, the Christian Century became fundamentally hostile toward the Jewish state, largely mirroring—and fueling—the cult of anti-Zionism that existed in mainline Protestant churches in the United States. Under Wall’s leadership, the magazine treated the Jewish state just as the magazine had treated Jews under [the previous editor’s] leadership.

When Wall retired from his post as editor of the Christian Century in 1999 and took on the title of senior contributing editor, . . . his anti-Israel bent became even more pronounced. In his regular columns, Wall’s obsession with Israel became full-blown, with his writings becoming increasingly unhinged from reality. In 2005, he wrote a piece that falsely asserted that Israel’s security barrier completely surrounded the city of Bethlehem. Also that year, he described Hizballah and Hamas—two terrorist organizations—as “Muslim non-governmental groups.”

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Jewish-Christian relations, Protestantism

For the Time Being, Palestinians Are Best Off under “Occupation”

Nov. 18 2019

Many who profess concern for the Palestinians agree that Israel ought to abandon its presence in the West Bank—which remains controlled by Jerusalem, even as most of its Arab residents live under the governance of the Palestinian Authority (PA). But, writes Evelyn Gordon, the Gaza Strip, from which Israel withdrew completely, provides a clear demonstration why West Bank Palestinians are beneficiaries of the status quo:

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More about: Gaza Strip, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian economy, West Bank