Respect Judaism, Condemn Israeli Politics

Submitted by: Tony Magliano

Every Christian should have a deep respect for Judaism.  When we consider that our Lord Jesus, our Blessed Mother Mary, St. Joseph, the twelve apostles, and the very first disciples were practicing religious Jews, and that the Christian New Testament is firmly rooted in the Jewish Scriptures of the Old Testament, how can we not have but the highest respect for Judaism.

But having the necessary deep respect for Judaism does not therefore mean that Christians must also have respect for the unjust policies of the state of Israel toward Palestinians. Opposing Israeli government injustice is not antisemitic. On the contrary, it calls Israel to a high moral standard in the spirit of the great Jewish prophets.

Sadly, decades of human rights violations like denying adequate supplies of water, blocking access to family farms and olive groves, as well as building Israeli settlements on stolen Palestinian land are among the injustices Palestinians have long suffered in the Occupied Territories, especially in Gaza which is known as the world’s largest outdoor prison.

The Oct. 7, 2023, brutal terrorist attacks by Hamas upon Israel, resulting in the deaths of approximately 1,200 Israeli children, women and men, combined with the abduction of more than 200 Israeli hostages is unconscionable and deserving of our condemnation.

But Israel’s brutal response, resulting in over 30,000 deaths of mostly innocent unarmed civilian Palestinians in Gaza is also an act of terrorism – and even worse terrorism than that suffered by Israel.

More 11,500 Palestinian children have been killed  from Israeli bombs and missiles – mostly supplied by the U.S. and several other nations resulting in large profits for numerous arms manufacturers (see:

Israel’s determination to kill every single member of Hamas has resulted in the collective punishment of all Gazan Palestinians.

Hospitals, schools, neighborhoods, and churches have not been spared from Israel’s wholesale non-stop bombing. Most Palestinians in Gaza have little or no access to clean water and sanitation, food, medicine and fuel due to Israel’s blockade.  United Nations experts have accused Israel of “intentionally starving” Palestinians in Gaza (see:

Collective punishment is both gravely immoral, and an act against international law. The International Court of Justice has ordered Israel to ensure that all vital supplies are to immediately be made available to every needy Gazan. And that all efforts to end hostilities are to be made. However, Israel is ignoring international law and moral law.

Having suffered so terribly from the Holocaust, one would think that committing large scale murder of innocent children, women and men would be unthinkable for Israel. Yet, almost unbelievably, Israel is committing genocide – yes, genocide – upon the innocents.

Furthermore, Israel is not even following the Mosaic principle of reciprocal justice, that is, measure for measure which states “eye for eye, tooth for tooth” (Exodus 21:23-27).  Instead, Israel has inflicted far more death and destruction upon mostly innocent Palestinians in Gaza, than it suffered from the deadly attacks of Hamas.

And of course, for Christians we must take to heart, and put into action, the most relevant words of the Jewish Jesus, the Christ, the Lord: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, offer no [violent] resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on [your] right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. … You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you” (see:

Therefore, let us tirelessly pray for peace in Gaza, and everywhere.

And please regularly urge President Biden (see: and your national legislators to demand a quick permanent total ceasefire in Gaza, to restore full funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, and to quickly mount massive emergency supplies – with all routes open – in order to reach every desperately needy Gazan.  And please kindly give a donation to our war-torn Gazan brothers and sisters via Catholic Relief Services (see:

And let us unite with Pope Francis in his urgent call: “Stop the bombs and missiles now!”

About the Author

Tony Magliano is not a member of the AUSCP. He is an internationally syndicated Catholic social justice and peace columnist. He is available to speak at diocesan or parish gatherings. Tony can be reached at

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