I grew up in a church/movement where end time theology was wrapped up in “the rapture” and unquestioned support for Israel.
Every time there is a blow up in the Middle East, in the West Bank, or in Jerusalem, it was widely accepted that Israel could not possibly be at fault. A love for the OT Israel and our particular slant on “end time events” meant that present day Israel couldn’t do any wrong. They could not oppress. They could not murder. They could not deny human rights. THEY were the ones under pressure.
No one looks perfect in the current conflict. Certainly there are elements in Palestinian politics that love stirring the pot and there are always conservative Israeli elements ready to push back. But to stay back and not bring Israel to task for their abuse of humanity is reckless on our part.
This current conflict caused me to look up Martin Luther King when he took on the Vietnam War. He had been able to persuade LBJ to assist in pushing through Civil Rights legislation, and then King seemed to “turn” on LBJ when King finally came out forcefully against the Vietnam War. For King, however, the two were linked. He needed to speak out.
Human rights should be human rights. It shouldn’t change because you put “Palestinian” in front of the issue. Palestinians, as a people, face human rights abuses constantly while we stand back and say nothing. And our weak reasoning is nothing more than a bad theological stance.
I’m an imperfect pacifist. I admit that. But it is time to pick up the mantle of the prophets and have a sense of urging that we really should “study war no more.”
The past is prophetic in that it asserts loudly that wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows. One day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means. How much longer must we play at deadly war games before we heed the plaintive pleas of the unnumbered dead and maimed of past wars? Why can’t we at long last grow up, and take off our blindfolds, chart new courses, put our hands to the rudder and set sail for the distant destination, the port city of peace?
Can we not chart new courses and find that port city of peace?