I got up this morning thinking about writing a blog post about the horrible carnage taking place in Gaza and my reactions as an American and as a Christian involved in several ministries on the West Bank and Jerusalem. Since 2005 I’ve traveled to Palestine, Jordan and Israel on numerous occasions. I just returned from Bethlehem on May 8th via Tel Aviv. The “peace talks” had just collapsed and Abbas had just struck a deal with Hamas. It was a brave move on Palestine’s part but one that frankly held hope for reconciliation of the entire area if Israel just had a little patience. Then the kidnapping of the Israeli settler kids occurred and Netanyahu immediately tried and convicted Hamas in the press with little evidence. He incited hatred and revenge on the part of the right wing Israelis leading to the tortuous death of a Palestinian teen. The asymmetries of the situation keep getting played out with Israel, supported by billions in arms from the US, reacting in ways that suggest their only objective is to make things so bad for the Palestinians that they will leave giving the biblically arch conservatives their way by ceding the entire land, once Palestinian, to the Israelis from the Mediterranean to the Jordan. What started out, as a 50-50 split of the land in 1947, now about a 22-78 split, will result in their initial objective: 100% Israeli. Tough luck Arabs, you loose. I was going to write further about my observations of life under Israeli occupation as I experienced it living along side Palestinian Christians and Muslims but the blog post written by David Shulman summarizes better the current situation as well as any article I’ve read recently. Please take a moment to read his words.
Regardless of what side you take the risk is that when you have a people subjected to such unbalanced carnage and devastation, you leave them with only one likely option and that is support of terror and more violence. We have plenty of evidence in the Middle East with Iraq and other repressive regimes falling to radical governments. Can’t we learn that this militant reaction to any threat just does not work?