Not what the Psalmist had in mind…

Ps 104:32: “May the glory of the LORD endure for ever;* may the LORD rejoice in all his works.
He looks at the earth and it trembles;* he touches the mountains and they smoke.” A picture of a strike in Gaza.


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  • RJS

    Well Scot,
    The conflict in Israel/Palestine is terrible.
    But I am not so sure that the Psalmist would agree with your title – if you read down a couple of verses.

  • Scot McKnight

    The one without sin can toss the first stone.

  • Margot

    another family feud

  • ChrisB

    “The one without sin can toss the first stone.”
    How about the one who doesn’t intentionally target civilians on a daily basis?

  • ChrisB, is intentionality the only important factor? I don’t know that you can target a Hamas leader’s home in a civilian neighborhood without some knowledge that you will in fact kill the rest of his family and some of his neighbors. Does this somehow constitute an exception to your requirement of intentionality?
    Today in church (a Covenant church, Scot) there was a guest speaker, a minister to missionaries, that kept talking about how Jesus can drive out all the devils in Gaza. He said it over and over, he prayed it even, “Jesus, drive out the devils in Gaza.” I couldn’t help but wonder why he didn’t ask God to drive out the “devils” in Israel as well. He never even used the name “Hamas,” just “devils in Gaza,” and he spent a good deal of time warning us against saying “‘those people’ over there are…” when in truth his rhetoric did not reflect this message. I think this is a topic that requires very careful wording.
    Why didn’t he ask the pertinent but oft-neglected question about why the “devils” are there in the first place, and why they are so angry? I’ll say it one more time in a different way: What part of the violence against Israel is systemic and what part is subjective? And why is Israel off-limits for this sort of analysis for fear of being branded anti-semitic?

  • James Petticrew

    I have no love for Hamas and I utterly condemn and deplore what they are doing. However Israel has also targeted civilians, the on going blockade of Gaza has driven civilians into unemployment, near starvation and the lack of medical supplies has undoubtedly led to avoidable deaths. This has led to a despair that has driven some in Gaza to join Hamas and others to at least passively support them. Palestinian Christians have been among those who have had land taken from them with no compensation for Israel’s defensive wall or had their homes bulldozed in reprisals. I can’t fit either Hamas’s actions or those of Israel with the vision of justice held by the OT prophets or the Jesus’ Way of the Sermon on the Mount.
    I want to call for justice for both sides in this conflict and side with neither.

    Israel is fallible and human as we all are. Yet, what can a nation do with neighbors determined to keep killing them? Criticizing is easier than finding alternatives. But if anyone has alternatives to suggest, I’d be interested. Just make sure the alternative you suggest is realistic — as if the missiles were aimed at your homes and public schools.

  • Scot McKnight

    Derek, I grieve too … not just for Israel but also for the Palestinians.
    In my judgment, you’ve defined me out of the options by using the word “realistic.” I’m not a political realist; I’m an anabaptist.
    My pragmatic point: the realist options that have been used since the 60s have proven themselves inordinately unrealistic and unncessarily violent. The only solution, apart from embracing the way of Jesus, is for these two peoples (1) to commit to nonviolence and (2) sit at the table and compromise for peace.

  • RJS

    As an individual it is easy to be an anabaptist rather than a political realist. As a nation or a national leader – is it really? For example – should Obama take a realist or an idealist approach to US defense? Where do we draw the line?
    Personally I think that Bush drew the wrong line – but I don’t think that radical nonviolence and pacifist idealism would have been the right line.
    Israel is a complex situation – and I always have mixed feelings as I have many friends who are living, working, and raising families there.

  • Your Name

    Israel targets neighborhoods because that’s where Hamas stores/fires its missiles. If it is physically impossible to defend yourself without firing into neighborhoods, what do you do?
    Remember that Israel and Hamas/Fatah/Gaza signed a cease-fire which Hamas has ignored. The blockade will cease when the missiles cease.
    Unless you want the Israelis to just sit there and die, this will continue until the Palestinians get tired of watching their children die.

  • Scot:
    Israel will commit for long periods of time to peace and militant Islamists will not.
    Is non-violent resistance the only answer you can affirm?
    It worked for MLK because there was a population with a conscience who eventually awoke.
    It would not have worked in WWII and it would not work in Israel.