Praying for the Peace of Israel-Palestine
In the not-t00-distant future I want to write a major blog post on why I am so strongly in favor of URGENT action for a just 2-state peace in Israel-Palestine. I just can’t do it, now. I am too anguished to do more than pray.
Suffice it for now to say this: Until the mid-’80s, even after I became a pacifist, I was a zionistic, mostly uncritical supporter of Israel. My next door neighbors growing up were elderly Jews with numbers tattooed on their arms–Holocaust survivors. And my first young awareness of Middle East issues was shaped by the 1972 attack on Israeli athletes by PLO terrorists at the Olympic Summer Games in Munich. That shaped my views. I was convinced that all Palestinians were terrorists and that liberal failure to support any actions Israel took was due to anti-Semitism. Even after becoming a pacifist in ’83, I thought all the blame was on the “Arab” side.
It wasn’t until I started meeting Palestinian Christians in the mid’80s that my views began to change–as I realized how one-sided the U.S. media is. I still deplore Palestinian terrorism (or anyone else’s terrorism), but the state-sponsored terrorism of Israel, including starving whole peoples, should not get a free pass. The Israeli press does NOT give a free pass. If you go to the English-language sites of the major Israeli newspapers, you will find a huge range of views–hawks to doves to pro-Palestinians–views that would be suicide for any U.S. editor to allow. There is more debate in the Israeli Knessett (Parliament) than among U.S. politicians–who outdo themselves working to try to be more pro-Israeli and hawkish on Palestinians than others. This DEEPLY distorts U.S. views, especially those of U.S. Christians.
I would say more, but I can’t just now. I am worried for my friends the Awad family (Palestinian Baptist Christians who are leaders of the nonviolent movement that gets ZERO attention in the U.S. press) even though they live in the West Bank, not Gaza. If Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders would all travel to Gaza to be nonviolent human shields and call for a cease fire, maybe we could stop the madness. I am no religious leader, but I will volunteer to be in any such delegation. We cannnot wait for governments. We must act NOW!
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