Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Hey Israel, leave Gaza alone!
I have found so much reading on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, as well as the history of the United State's support of Israel. I have read timelines, brief histories and commentaries. The history is interesting and compelling. The maps are probably the most compelling. When you see how the Palestinians land has shrunk over the history of the conflict its indisputable who has the upper hand. If you look at the map above its doesn't even represent the last 9 years.
I found this map at Palestine Think Tank.com. (Click on map to see a larger view)It at least gives us some idea of how Gaza has shrunk up to 2006. You can also see the way that Israel has slowly eroded the Palestinian lands by erecting settlements that make Gaza and the West Bank look like spider legs. Even now the West Bank and Gaza are totally cut off from one another and Gaza residents have limited humanitarian support coming in. Can you imagine living your life in daily fear. And never mind you, you grown up, what about the children. Its no wonder that the mentality of an eye for an eye has corroded the societies of both sides to the point human innocent casualties are just a by product of this ongoing conflict.
We know who the under dog is in this war. Palestinians fight for dignity and freedom and for their homeland. Never mind that Israel came in and "bought" the lands they originally occupied and settled in to make a desert into an oasis. What they did was slowly grab land and create a desert of destruction for those who had little political voice and had to settle for bombs and sniper fire and maintain even an inch of their dignity.
I do not understand why the US supports the actions of Israel. As a graduate of seminary I have great respect for the history of the Israel as it is represented in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). I also feel a great connection to the Jewish religion as it lays the foundation for Christianity and can not be set aside if Christianity is to be fully understood. Jesus himself was a Jew. He grew up in Jewish culture and religion. As I love God, I must respect all of God's creation. But the great history of a people can not negate the violence Israel as a political State has done in the name of "homeland". It has been said that the US supports Israel because we are two of a kind... creating country out of nothing. On the surface this may be true. Our origins may be similar. And the atrocities that the US perpetrated on the natives of this great land might even be similar to what is happening between Palestine and Israel but this does not negate the fact that the actions taken by the US against the natives and Israel against Palestine are dead wrong. Violence, suppression and dislocation are never morally correct. And it is on the power who has the power to do the right thing. If they, Israel, can not see what "the right thing" is, then a third party, i.e the UN, must represent a clear picture of the moral high ground.
The U.S. must take a moral stand rather than abstaining on votes or supporting Israel just because we have intertwined political, economic and social history. I hate the idea of the United States being the world police. But I think the US, until recently, has tried to take stands that represent our history of liberty. Sure both Israel and Palestine deserve this but in the calculations it is clear who is suffering from a whoaful (Is that a word?)deficit that needs some recalculating.