25 August 2014

Some thoughts on Israel-Palestine

**Warning, this will rub you the wrong way...no apologies will be made**

To be rather honest, I think both sides are wrong and here's how I got there. My thoughts are at the end..

a. Theological Perspective

Firstly, we need to understand the Church's theology. The Church is the new Israel...For the new covanent in Christ's Blood fulfills the old one. So strictly speaking "Israel" are those that are members of the Church under the headship of Peter...From a theological perspective the Church and Israel are the SAME...this blog has some good detail which should prayerfully be taken into consideration.

There's another question as to whether modern Judaism is the same as OT Judaism...This post here gives a good explanation as to why it's not. And that is something VERY important to consider...which we'll talk more about later. 

b. The political perspective

Palestine was never a sovergin country, so to say never ruled themselves, whether it was via the Ottoman empire, or the British fact of the matter is there was never a country called Palestine (although it was labeled as such on maps)...So as such, as it's know "Israel" did not exist as such prior to 1947...There are various debates as to what happened, and the legality of the founding of Israel, but that's not the point of this really, it's been quite volatile for quite a while. Those that defend Israel look to WWII and the Holocaust to justify Israel, look at how they were treated, Israel is an act of justice for them...

While not discrediting what happened, do people think to ask questions such as how did this come to be? Were there practices that allowed this situation to happen? While we don't blame victims most certainly, is it possible that a behavior could have had something to do with what happened? (Again, I'm NOT justifying anything, it's as simple as proposing the question...

If we look throughout history, there were times that the Jews most certainly were being discriminated against BECAUSE of their religion. There were also situations where their religion had NOTHING to do with why they weren't allowed to do somethings. The former is never justified (While error does not have rights, every person does have an inalienable right to dignified treatment)...The latter is something entirely different. Let's say for example that a Jewish bank practices usury. Someone not wanting to practice usury does not allow these banks to exist...this is NOT persecution against a religion...it's a persecution against a particular behaviour (which this was happening before the Bolshivek revolution...this was the practice of Tsar Alexander)...it was not the Jewish religion that was being outlawed....usury however was. As I have stated before, the fact that many in Congress, and many of the bankers are such, I don't think the practice of religion is important to these people. I'd say it's more of a cultural item and as such condemning people for being Jewish is absolutely wrong and holding anti-semitic views (hating people because of their Jewish roots) is wrong. There is a major difference between those that practice Zionism and those that don't. Those that have read the Talmud in full know of the different blasphemies of Our Lord. The varying degrees to which this is practiced is an entirely different thing.

I must say there's something rather creepy about the almost absolute dogmatic treatment conservatives give Israel. Why this attitude? What is it that makes the state of Israel an unquestioned dogma?

What I want to know is what do our Christian brethren in the Middle East think of the state of Israel? I don't care what people in "the west" think, I want to know those that are right in the middle of the ground think. If they do NOT support Israel, why not? What are the reasons? Is there a reason why they might stand by Hamas? (The same ones we fund by the way)...those are the only opinions that really matter in the case of Israel vs Palestine. Not yours, not mine (which you'll find out at the end of this rant piece), not anyone else's.

There has been this graphic going around facebook showing that Hamas has rejected peace deals...does anyone ask the question...why? does anyone ask, what was in the peace deal? We're there terms that could not be accepted? What exact language was used? (Again, not justifying terrorist acts...but things need to be considered in their totality) Of course I feel this way about anything, what exactly I'm agreeing to? I'd want to know the exact terms of what I'm agreeing to, just to make sure there aren't tricks that are being played.

c. What each side has done wrong

There was an agreed to boundary in 1947 after WWII ended. This boundary should have been respected, and there should not have been settlements into the territories that belonged to the Palestinians. This effectively was theft (even if not called such). That said of course siding with  a US funded terrorist organization doesn't exactly show the best of character...Nor does using civilians as human shields during bombing attacks to increase the number of casualties. It's rather one side, but do we ask why this is the case? Is it really as simple as Hamas using human shields vs strict targeting? I tend to think that we're being lied to about the whole situation.

d. My actual opinion

I'm of course of the opinion that both sides have a right to exist...I'm not of the opinion though that granting land because of loss of a war is a good justification for such a right to exist. It is perhaps better to consider a different situation where we have two different people living in this area and for the sake politics, it's best to give each their own place. (The two state solution as Pope Benedict advocated for)...It certainly has draw backs. Now I don't have knowledge of the Arabic language....(oddly, I have a friend who wishes to teach me)...but I do know that statement to wipe Israel off the face of the map was NOT said by the former president Ackmuhoweveryouspellhisname.

Given the fact that the media is all owned by the same people and there's an agenda out, I don't know if it can be trusted in this whole situation. In the link that I mentioned earlier, you can see the clear theological basis as to why we must condemn Zionism as practiced. But that said, that doesn't mean I don't believe that a state should not exist. Now, I don't agree with founding a state on a false religion, nor for that matter do I agree with a secular state (as we've seen the disasterous consequences of such)...The governments should be ordered towards the True Faith (Catholicism) with false religions being treated with dignity, but distinction. I would also say that Israel should be re-named to Judah, because the Church is the New Israel and as such it makes no sense to have a political state with the name of Israel.

The funny thing about this whole situation, there are Israeli Christians and Palestinian Christians in this whole debate, and no one speaks about them, no one speaks up for them. There is a presumption that everyone there is of the same opinion. I liken it similar to how the black community is assumed to be liberal, left wing, de facto reverse racists, when it's absolutely not true that all think alike in this situation.

We need to stop with the collective dogma that to question the political situation of Israel equates to being anti-Semitic, just as opposing gay marriage does not mean that one is "anti-gay"…Again, it is important to have the free exchange of ideas, even if they end up being wrong, or if people get labeled one way or another.

I love all of my friends regardless of the positions that one takes in this whole situation…but let there be open debate and discussion for both sides of the issue.

But now that I've come out and question (but not oppose) the status quo, trouble will probably brew.

Pax Vobis

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