The Arab Christians are crying out for help. A number of leading Arab Christians published the Kairos document. How should we as Christians respond to this cry of help from our Arab Christian brothers and sisters in Christ? How can you reconcile the suffering that is experienced by our Arab brothers and sisters in Christ with a love for Israel and the Jewish people?
A reaction of Harald Eckert from Germany.
For me personally, there is not a contradiction between a Biblical and historical solidarity as Christians with the Jewish people and Israel, and a humanitarian solidarity between Israelis and Jews on the one hand (wherever they suffer) and a humanitarian solidarity to suffering people and Palestinian or Arab side (especially to our brothers and sisters in Christ!) on the other hand. One is as relevant as the other. It becomes difficult though if we mix those different levels.
It becomes difficult if humanitarian help for example is expected or understood as political solidarity. This creates a lot of problems. I can have a lot of sympathy with humanitarian suffering on all sides. But I can at the same time make a clear distinction concerning the cause of the suffering. And as far as the Palestinian side is concerned the cause (e.g. the goal of the destruction of Israel as main goal of the Palestinian leadership) is not deserving at all our solidarity as Christians. But the suffering people on both sides do.
As long as we keep those distinctions clear on all sides, there is much good reason and much opportunity to help the suffering brothers and sisters on all sides of the conflict.
Harald Eckert, Author of the book ‘ Die biblischen Zeiten der Wiederherstellung und die Gemeinde Jesu in Deutschland – ein Ansporn zu kollektiven Fasten und Gebet‘.