I am frustrated but it is a selfish frustration. I felt unheard and my nose got out of joint because a FB friend posted some picture of Golda Meir with a quote about being unable to forgive the Palestinians for “making” the Israelis kill Arab children. I was incensed and posted back and forth with this FB friend until she said something about her Bible saying God gave the land to Israel and God being “the same yesterday, today and forever”. Anyway, I bluntly told her I found the God quote offensive and a manipulative tool to try and assert that her interpretation of God was correct since God doesn’t change. I not so gently reminded her that our understanding of scripture has “changed” over the years even if the God it reveals hasn’t. Well, She deleted the comments. I actually didn’t realize she’d deleted them until I went back to try and find the post. I found the picture but no thread. I’d been looking for it because I was going to add a link to an article I just found about a Catholic Church in the Gaza strip being told to evacuate because Israel planned to bomb their neighborhood that night. Like I said I was selfishly frustrated. I wanted to shove my point of view down her FB throat. Sadly I could have done it with a multitude of articles pointing out how violent attacks on civilians is Israel’s MO.
Case in point, I just got a like on the last post I wrote from Juliet at Still Learning and popped over to see what she writes. You see I don’t know her and prior to this had never read her posts. Her topic–the late night bombing of a neighborhood in the Gaza Strip. You can read the whole post here. The juxtaposition of these two events made me think it was time to speak my mind regarding the Palestinian and Israeli conflict, not that the mind of a middle-aged, white, Christian American has much weight in the matter. But it will make me feel less frustrated so it’s a plus.
I posted these two FB articles on the FB friend’s thread before she deleted the comments. So since they aren’t getting their proper read I want to add them here. I should also have included these two but will have to be content with only posting them now. I guess having slept on my frustration I am not as determined to frustrate her to the point of defriending me. humm…
While my rant started as a FB thread battle, the issue–that we have willfully chosen to ignore what Israel is doing is actually quite serious. Obviously, conservative Christians like my friend support Israel because they have some convoluted idea that as God’s “chosen people” their sinful behavior is of no concern to us and they still have a “right” to “the promised land”. Forget that we are primarily dealing with a non-religious government. And just so you all know, the promised land (according to the map provided by veteranstoday.com) includes parts of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Turkey, Kuwait, and Syria, and all of Lebanon and Jordan. From this Christian point of view, will we be expected to turn a blind eye if Israel begins to bomb those people as well?
Money motivated political leaders support Israel because they are our only consistent ally in an area rich in oil. We’ve got to “keep the peace” but only to the degree that we don’t allow any outside force to attack Israel. The money motivated media spins Israel’s bombs in Palestinian neighborhoods as self defense, invoking the hated Hamas and not the actual civilian targets as the enemy. And of course, the US will continue to be blind. SHAME ON US!!
Golda Meir’s quote was balderdash then and it’s balderdash now. No body makes someone else bomb them. In some rare instances force is a necessary evil to stop a powerful evil (Hitler comes to mind) but those doing the forcing are still responsible for their actions. If we shift the blame, attempt to lessen our culpability, we forget how to stop and let the far enough lines blur. Self defense is different from aggressive retaliation. And folks, Israel is the 11th most powerful military in the world according to Business Insider. It is the most powerful in the region.
If you consider yourself to be pro-peace then do something to bring peace. Start by writing the White House. Tell President Obama to bring Daniel Shapiro home, to pressure Israel to get serious about peace talks, to quit playing politics by taking offense that Israel takes offense and pretending that bruised egos mean something. Bombs are destroying homes and neighborhoods and families in Gaza every day. Precision missiles, aimed at civilian targets, kill every day. Tell the President that Palestinian children are not Hamas. UN relief workers and shelters and schools are not Hamas. The Al Ahli Hospital is not Hamas. A Catholic Church and care facility is not Hamas. Tell the President and if the President won’t listen tell your Senators and Representatives and if they won’t listen tell your neighbors: bombs do not bring peace?! If we kill our children we have no future. Oil should not matter more than blood. God created the Palestinian children, too.