The covert cooption of James Parkes

May 30, 2018 11:50
sukkot jerusalem

A christian reveler holds a Star of David while marching in an annual parade during Sukkot in Jerusalem in 2007. (photo credit: REUTERS)

JAMES PARKES (1896-1981), an Anglican clergyman and groundbreaking historian, was unquestionably the most tenacious polemicist against traditional Christian antisemitism in modern or, for that matter, any times. From “The Jew and His Neighbour: A Study in the Causes of Anti-Semitism” (1930) to “A History of the Peoples of Palestine” (1970), Parkes published 25 books and some hundred articles on aspects of Jewish/Christian relations. While traditional Christian communions with long-standing Middle Eastern presences held fast to theological reservations about the return of Jews to their historic homeland, Parkes felt the reemergence of a Jewish polity to be redressive, rather than regressive. He richly earned the sobriquet as the preeminent “Christian Zionist.”

Since the extension of Israeli control over the West Bank in 1967, neither in Israel nor among Jews worldwide is there anything close to consensus over the assertion of Israeli sovereignty in these areas.


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