During the Second Intifada, a wall was built in Israel’s West Bank separating the Israelis from the Palestinians. Nearly twenty years after the wall’s construction, it remains a hotly contested structure. Some claim that it is a safety measure against terrorist attacks, others call it an “apartheid wall” and argue that it allows for racial segregation. However one sees it, the wall is symbolic of land without peace.
Throughout the Bible, believers are encouraged to “love thy neighbor” regardless of circumstance. This simple commandment is the central message of the Philos Project’s recent documentary, Hope in the Holy Land. The film follows Todd Morehead, a Zionist Christian from California, as he journeys across the Holy Land, interacting with both Palestinians and Israelis living in the area.
Like most of us, Morehead has his own presumptions concerning the conflict. As someone who supports Israel’s sovereignty, he had previously categorized the Palestinians as the enemy of peace. As he embarks on his journey, however, he realizes that “regardless of whether you see the Israelis as good guys or bad guys, you can not deny the suffering of the Palestinian people.” Ultimately, the struggle is between “the people who are suffering a lot” and “the people who are just trying to exist.”
Morehead’s journey reveals the struggle of Jews and Muslims, Christians and Gentiles, Palestinians and Israelis alike, all struggling to exist peacefully in the midst of violence and political unrest. The conflict is deep and ugly, and the Instagram infographics attempting to explain the situation often fail to truly capture its magnitude. Author Yossi Klein Halevi argues that “one of the main obstacles to peace is an inability to hear the other side’s story.” This documentary does just that.
The film addresses a lot of misconceptions about the conflict and wrestles with what a Christian’s response should be. It challenges the typical conservative understanding of the conflict while simultaneously rejecting progressive solutions. Hope in the Holy Land offers a legitimate exploration of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the age of social media infographics and uninformed hot takes; it is a deeply moving, educational film for anyone struggling to decipher this centuries-old conflict. There is hope in the Holy Land for both Israelis and Palestinians and this documentary is spearheading the way.
Hope in the Holy Land is available for purchase on the Philos Project’s website.
Photo credit of Hope in the Holy Land.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.