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Background Briefing Part 2

February 28, 2013

So I realise after reading yesterday’s post that I spewed a lot about myself but didn’t really get to why I was going- in anything like a deep way.

So here’s a quick non-authoritive historical account of the current conflict. Please do further reading of your own on this complex issue. So two thousand years ago most Jews were kicked out of present day Israel/Palestine. People still kept living there. The Jews maintained their cultural identity thanks partially to two thousand years of racism against them in Europe. So in the 20th Century (1939-1945) Hitler (definitely not the first ruler to scapegoat the Jews, but definitely their biggest scourge) kills millions of them in an inexplicable act of violence (mind you when MapHitler was 8 years old his father beat him into unconsciousness-  violence begets violence). So the Holocaust speeds up the 100 year old Zionist movement- the call for a Jewish homeland in the Middle East. After a lot of trouble (See The Promise awesome tv show that explains most of this) in 1948 Israel and Palestine (the mainly Arab population who had been living in the land) are created out of a quick draw-a-line-on-the-map-and-get-the-hell-out-of-there deal that surprisingly leads to confusion, violence and instability. Basically the line on the map that was given to Palestinians has been gradually encroached upon, sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly by the Israeli State. For all intents and purposes, the Israeli state is acting like it wants all Arabs to leave Palestine so it can expand and sustain it’s own power.

Now I don’t really feel like I have a side in this. I get the point of Jewish Zionists that they have suffered generations of persecution based on their culture. I do not advocate the abolition of Israel. However there are a lot (I think hundreds of thousands) of Arab Palestinians who live in refugee camps as legal “non-people” with no citizenship in Jordan, Syria or the other Middle Eastern countries they’ve escaped to. The Israeli government refuses to let them come back. In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the tiny remnants of the Palestinian State are literally fighting for survival. The Israeli State (not with the support of 100% of the Israeli people) encourages Jewish settlers to move into the area and pressures the existing Arab Palestinians to leave, just go anywhere else. Kids are hassled going to school, Settlers bully and beat up Palestinians under the protection of the Israeli Defence Force, all because, to the Israeli government, the Arabs are “in the way”.

So basically I’m going to be with the Palestinians who are fighting to keep their homes, livelihoods and culture in tact from an oppressive state who sees their lives as an inconvenience. I’m going to see the work of the full time CPTer’s and decide how involved I want to get. The architect of CPT Ron Sider in a very challenging speech (for professing Christians) urged Christians to be prepared to die non-violently in the name of peace and live as courageously as those who “take up arms for peace… dying bravely for the belief that this one last war will bring about a greater peace”

It’s a challenge I feel called and compelled to take up. I can’t crap on about the stupidity and uselessness of war if soldiers of war are prepared to put their bodies on the line for their beliefs whilst I sit in my comfortable Australian living room criticising them. To be frank, I don’t really have a choice but to go. Anything else would be inconsistent, dishonest and my conscience would point at me and laugh whilst I wasn’t looking calling me a hypocrite, coward and liar every time I spoke about pacifism or demanded people of faith started taking their religions seriously and not just at Sunday feel good sessions. Who knows, I might die- but I’d rather live believing in something enough to die for it than to not really live at all and just exist day to day with a “what if” sitting at the back of my mind.

So, hopefully this post more truthfully answers the question…


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One Comment
  1. Jon permalink

    Good words, sir. God bless you

I would be honored if you espoused your narrative here.....

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