Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Israel Palestine - a christian response to the conflict based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
The Israel/Palestine conflict is often and incorrectly presented as an entirely religious issue. Even if the political and economic dimensions are recognised, at its most banal, the conflict can still be incorrectly thought of as two sides having equally legitimate claims to the same land and that the current situation is inevitable and simply unfortunate. In his book, Craig Nielsen correctly identifies the root of the conflict as the ongoing Israeli military occupation and colonization of Palestinian land. He describes the asymmetry of power between the Israeli colonizers and the Palestinian colonized and the horrible human cost that this, as any other, colonial project has had. Historically, the oppression of an indigenous population by a colonial power has had many official justifications, one of which is that the colonizers are acting by divine providence and hence categorically in the right. It is unsurprising that this is also put forth in various ways in the case of the Israeli occupation and colonization of Palestine, which is how we return to the religious aspects. As a born-again Christian, Craig Nielsen describes how his own thoughts on the situation in Israel/Palestine have taken shape and uses as his foil the position of Christian Zionism. For this review, my working definition of a Christian Zionist is a Christian who takes a pro-Israeli colonization position in principle, justified by religious reasons (for example biblical arguments). Craig Nielsen does a wonderful job both setting out the political issues for the general reader as well as arguing against Christian Zionism from within the Christian Zionist’s own framework. There is more than enough material for anyone to get something out of this book, whether they consider themselves Christian or not. The extensive historical account given of the roots of the conflict would serve as a useful introduction while anyone who is more knowledgeable about the issue will find detailed and thought provoking work on the questions of religious identity and Israel/Palestine.
Mr. Nielsen has given us a book that is a must read for anyone who seeks to understand the roots of Zionism and it impact on American Christianity.