From the Editors

Is there any hope for a just peace in Israel and Palestine?

A two-state solution seems as far off as ever. It’s also the only viable way forward.

The conflict between Israel and Palestine hasn’t appeared on this magazine’s editorial page in a long time. While this is not by design, nor is it exactly by accident. Our editorials aim to reflect the consensus view of the Century editors, and there has long been little consensus among us on how to talk about this conflict. The same is true of the larger Christian community we serve and are part of. Few issues are more fraught, few conversations more likely to veer quickly into knee-jerk reactions, oversimplified narratives, defensive postures, accusations of hatred, or paralyzing despair.

When US Christians talk about Israel and Palestine, we should do so with care, recognize that we’re guests in someone else’s conversation, and resist easy answers. What we say—or fail to say—may put people’s lives in danger, both in the Holy Land and in the United States. After the latest round of fighting, which killed more than 240 Palestinians and 12 Israelis—and sparked a spate of attacks on diaspora Jews—here is what we believe it is responsible and necessary to say.

Both Palestinians and Israelis have suffered intense trauma. It is written into their history and their bodies, handed down from generation to generation, and deepened by the fear that continues to overshadow their daily lives.