This timely study guide casts new light on the misuse of Christian theology to justify Israel's dispossession and oppression of the Palestinian people and to obscure the real history. It will help those who use it to understand how this hurts everyone who lives in the Holy Land, whether Muslim, Christian or Jewish. It is necessary reading for anyone who believes the churches -- in the best tradition of social justice advocacy -- can support Palestinians in their quest for full rights in their land.
In cutting to the chase and addressing political Zionism, the ideological underpinning of the State of Israel and its actions for more than half a century, Zionism Unsettled is to be commended. Like all other –isms that have brought deep tragedy upon innocence, this one too is bound for the dustbin of history. Jews, Christians and Muslims all have a place in the Holy Land, but none can yearn to be superior and expect to live in outer—or inner—peace.
Homeland: Oral History of Palestine and Palestinians
The nationalistic, exclusionary, and racist ideology of Zionism is the exact antithesis of the core spiritual values and moral teachings shared by the three Abrahamic traditions—Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. Zionism Unsettled is a path-breaking publication that points the way toward achieving real peace with justice and reconciliation among all the Children of Abraham in our shared Holy Land.
Francis A. Boyle
College of Law
University of Illinois
Zionism Unsettled is a monumental achievement. This comprehensive, compassionate, and fearless critique of Christian and Jewish Zionism should be taken up by churches, seminaries, universities, and community groups who are ready to move away from the destructive impact of Zionist ideology and theology. This is a true gift and invaluable tool for a church that today must follow its social justice calling, as it did in the struggle against Jim Crow and South African apartheid.
The urgency of the Palestinian plight in the face of Israeli intransigence indicates that intentional, concrete, and sustained public action is necessary to respond credibly to the crisis. Zionism Unsettled is a welcome study guide. It will prove an effective vehicle for helping to mobilize public opinion so that both attitudes and policies can be transformed in the face of an imperious and exploitative ideology.
Columbia Theological Seminary
Zionism Unsettled adds a much-missed factual basis to a long-overdue debate about the terrible dilemmas of the current situation in Israel-Palestine in both their practical and moral dimensions. The theological exegeses strike me as particularly informative and certain to engage the intended audience.
Former Assistant US Secretary of Defense
Career Diplomat, US State Department
Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, 1989-1992
In my work I am inspired by the great Jewish prophets' struggle for justice and freedom, while simultaneously I am often astounded how certain strains in Judaism and Christianity invoke the Bible in order to justify oppression and social wrongs in Israel/Palestine. Therefore I welcome the effort to emphasize a conception of Judaism and Christianity that espouses universalistic ethics – whereby all humans are imago dei – and to use it to expose injustices carried out in my homeland.
Israeli Political Scientist
Author, Israel’s Occupation
Zionism Unsettled opens a window into the ideological aspects of the history of Israel/Palestine and the reasons for the emergence of colonialism and apartheid there. It sheds light on many critical facts, the knowledge of which can revolutionize public opinion in the US regarding Israel.
Israeli Economics Analyst
Author, Political Economy of Israel's Occupation: Repression Beyond Exploitation.
Zionism Unsettled is an amazing book and is certain to perform, if not miracles, then a very serious broadening of the conversation about Zionism. And that is its intent: Having quoted powerfully and persuasively from the writings of Israeli, American and Arab Jews and Palestinians about Zionism as the core problem underlying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the authors underscore that it is important for American communities of other faiths “to enter into the discussion.” We have seen many times the courage and dedication that Presbyterians bring to the most intractable problems in their striving to support justice. This is yet another critical and very welcome example of that courage, and I thank them for it.
Co-founder and Director
Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network
Zionism Unsettled goes far beyond the prevailing superficial approaches to the conflict. This publication is a must-read for all those who are interested in arriving at a just and lasting peace where people of the region can live together as equals. Without solving the Israeli Palestinian conflict in a just manner, the whole region will remain unstable.
Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem
The Zionist narrative has silenced the truth and made peace-making an exercise in futility. Zionism Unsettled puts the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in its true context as a system imposed by an external regime onto a group of people in order to subjugate and control them. This handbook is an important tool for achieving these two crucial, and inextricably connected, goals: both peace and justice.
The denial of the rights of the Palestinians is largely driven by the exemption of Zionist ideology and its real-world implications from any serious scrutiny. Zionism Unsettled explains accurately and concisely why it is essential to look at the theological roots of Zionism, and how it has appealed to both Jews and Christians, in order to understand the true nature of the long ordeal suffered by the Palestinian people, as well as the real roots of so much of the strife in the Middle East.
Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies
I encourage pastors and congregations to take advantage of this new publication. Zionism Unsettled provides a valuable opportunity to explore the political ideology of Zionism. Our congregations need to understand not only the humanitarian crisis or the specific policies involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but also to examine the basic framework that lies behind these policies and crises.
Visiting Prof. of Ecumenical Studies and Global Ministries
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Former Stated Clerk, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
This well-documented study condemns exceptionalism: the belief that a particular people is so favored by God that it need not observe hard-won international standards of morality and justice, but may pursue self-defined projects of ethnic cleansing without regard to the victims. Christianity and Islam are guilty of exceptionalism but so is Judaism, which in the form of political Zionism stands in the way of a pluralistic solution to the problem of Palestine.
Alice and Staughton Lynd
Co-authors (with Sam Bahour)
Homeland: Oral Histories of Palestine and Palestinians.
Christian churches have historically made many strategic theological mistakes, with lamentable consequences; an uncritical endorsement of the modern Zionist theological project is one of them. Zionism Unsettled can help us unravel the errors, face the realities of the Occupation, and work toward restorative justice in the Holy Land.
Author, theologian, speaker
Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries
Today’s Zionism is not about the love and universal peace of the Messiah’s coming or of Jesus’ promised return, but about religious justification of the State of Israel’s domination of the land and people of Palestine—and it must be rejected by every person of good will. Zionism Unsettled is the first—and long past due—critique of Jewish and Christian Zionism that is essential for all Christian leaders to read, absorb and integrate into their theology, ethics, and professional lives.
Baltzer Distinguished Professor of Religion
Chairperson, Department of Religious Studies
This groundbreaking critique of Zionism from a Christian perspective is required reading for all people of faith who care about justice and peace in the Middle East.
Rev. Dr. Stephen Sizer
Vicar, Christ Church
Virginia Water, England
Zionism Unsettled is a well-timed and important study guide. I urge you to read it carefully and make it priority reading and study for all those you know. We must understand how the people of Palestine suffer injustice and oppression. With the wisdom and insight shared in this book we have an opportunity to take actions that are essential to bring long-overdue justice to the people of Palestine and Israel.
James M. Wall
Christian Century magazine
Former Editor (1972-1999)
Before you can speak the truth, you have to know the truth. Zionism Unsettled is an important resource any church leader can use to break the taboo of silence in love, authenticity, and power. And the truth will set us all free.
United Church of Jesus Christ
In using the Bible to justify the dispossession and oppression of the Palestinians, Christian Zionism is pro-Israel but, ultimately, anti-Jewish because of its violent, exclusive misunderstanding of the God of justice and compassion. This theology cannot bring justice, peace, or liberation to the Holy Land and this study guide clearly shows why.
Author, Occupied with Non-Violence: A Palestinian Woman Speaks
Quaker Meeting House, Ramallah, Palestine