Thursday, January 15, 2009

Gaza

I'm pretty sure you've all heard enough news on Gaza recently and you feel inundated with facts, but I feel that I need to speak out in some way on this. So here are a few snippets of thought on the recent Gaza conflict/war/emergency.

It is a tangled, convoluted mess with two sides who hold absolute positions. On one hand, there is Zionism who believes theologically that God gave them the land and it is their right to have it. On the other hand, the Palestinians argue that they also have a right to the land: historically, religiously, culturally. I was talking with a pastor at my church about it and he made the point that, theologically, there is no middle ground. To which I have to admit is true. But I think we also have to look at Zionism as something more than theology, because it is ultimately a political organization using theology to mask its motives.

Historically, Zionism wanted land. It didn't even have a particular eye for Palestine. It even looked at Uganda at one point.

In its more modern incarnation, it wanted land. Post WW2 it took far more than then the UN proposed. It has spread out, constantly grabbing more land, "settling" more areas as if nobody already lived there and the land actually needed them to settle it down.

All along the way they have disenfranchised Palestinians, imprisoned Palestinians, and killed Palestinians.

Even in Old Testament law, this seems to be a little over the top. First, you covet the land. Then, you steal the land. Then you murder to keep the land. That covers at least 3 of the 10 Commandments handed down to Moses.

Finally, I am still dumbfounded at how Christians can continue to support Israel. The Bible speaks of a God of justice for all, of love for all.... of caring for those in prison, of providing for the orphans, of feeding the poor. Not praying that missiles would hit the right targets, as someone mentioned recently seeing in a church.

2 comments:

Darrel said...

Interesting post. Lots of good, well thought out ideas.

The land that Israel has "grabbed" (Gaza, West Bank, Golan Heights) was used by Israel's neighbours not so much for settling but rather as a staging ground to launch attacks on Israel. When Israel captured these lands in the various wars where it was the defender not the attacker Israel settled the land in an effort to preempt those same lands from being used to stage attacks on them again.

As far as the current situation is concerned there is plenty of blame to go around - from the Israelis not allowing the free flow of goods, people, etc. and the Palestinians for continually lobbing missiles into Israel and hiding behind women and children while they do it.

Just my $0.02

Eric said...

The 'defender' reasoning has certainly been used frequently by Israel but I think you need to look further back, first to the beginning of the Zionist movement under Chaim Weizmann, the subsequent activities that Britain turned a blind eye to and aided, and ultimately Israel rejection of the UN partition in 1947 which led to Israel forcefully taking much more land then was set aside for them. The events that are justified by the 'defense' theory stem out of much earlier grievances against the Palestinians.