Attacks on Churches

On November 3rd, Sabeel met with a group of retired and current teachers in Israel to discuss a recent increase in attacks on Christian churches in Palestine and what the Israeli curriculum teaches about the history of anti-Semitism and Christianity. Over the past two years, there has been an increase in attacks on churches by Israeli Jewish citizens, whom the Israeli government explains are psychologically unstable or unhealthy. 

The group of teachers contacted Hebrew University Professor Orit Ramon who researches the way Christians and Christianity are presented in the Israeli state curricula and taught in the state education system. Professor Ramon’s research shows that the Israeli state curricula and teaching portray Christians and Christianity (as well as anyone who is not Jewish or even Jewish Orthodox) in a very negative way, creating hatred among school children towards Christians. The curricula in particular draws on the history of anti-Semitism in Europe. 

In June, Sabeel organized a meeting that was attended by many Christian leaders to discuss the spike in attacks on churches. Although they could be seen as simply part of the ongoing violence between Palestinians and Israeli Jews, Sabeel wanted to examine the situation further. Sabeel is planning next to meet with Professor Ramon and later meet with Jewish centers in Israel that focus on Christian-Jewish relations to discuss their work and the possibility of collaboration.