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This Month's Scripture Verse:

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
2 Timothy 3:1-5


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Equality And Inequality For Israel-Palestine

For as long as so many have divided themselves into camps for either side, there is no way that a peaceful settlement can be found between the Israelis and the Palestinians . Such is the price we pay for tribalism. Tribalism can make us feel good especially when it causes us to feel proud of belonging to our groups, but divisions, envy, and enmity are soon to follow. And sometimes, as has occurred with the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians, tribalism irrevocably leads down an irrational path to moral suicide and even physical destruction.

If we are going to search for a peaceful settlement that relies on justice, we must abhor the abduction and killing of the 3 Israeli teenagers as much as we abhor the Occupation and Israel's detention, torture, and killing of Palestinians by Israeli security forces and settlers. And if we want a peace by justice settlement, we must oppose Hamas' rockets fired at Israel as much as we oppose Israel's current coldhearted attack on Gaza. For if one has the right to attack civilians in the name of self-defense, so does the other. If Israel claims the right to attack Gaza because no country would tolerate being attacked by missiles, realize that the Palestinians have the right to attack Israel because no people should have to tolerate being permanently occupied--which includes having resources destroyed and land stolen--by a foreign power. Of course, allowing both to attack each other the way they do is to do nothing but let others be attacked because they are not us. If we continue with that philosophy, who will be left to protect us when we are attacked?

We should note that there is an argument against equating the attacks of one's enemies with own attacks on others. The argument against calls such a comparison 'moral equivalency.' Those who use this term do so to denounce the equating of one's own actions with that of one's enemies. But what those who oppose moral equivalency seem to not notice is that their rejection of moral equivalency is due to their embracing of moral relativity. And moral relativity, from a Christian perspective is nothing short of a denial of God's Word as well as His character because He is not a respecter of persons.

The above is the equality aspect in Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Where the inequality exists is in the strength and oppression one side has exercised over the other. This was the witness of Rachel Corrie when she stayed in Gaza. It is also testified by the statistics gathered by B'Tselem (click here), an Israeli human rights group. Israel has one of the strongest militaries in the world. Israel continues to rob the Palestinians of their means to live. Israel continues to steal land from the Palestinians. And Israel continues to treat the Palestinians like dogs and while feigning that some Palestinians would act like animals.

In the meantime, the world watches the World Cup or whatever follows it. Such is a denial of both our inter-connectivity and the humanity of all the victims, Israeli and Palestinian, of this conflict. Here, the greatest sins are being committed by both those with the most power and those who use a claim to having the moral high ground to take sides rather than work for justice for all.

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