Pray for peace in the mideast. I tried it and was promptly vilified for my alleged cheap moral equivalence by one reader who is, I gather from other posts, a partisan of Israel and another who is a partisan of the Palestinians. How good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in hostility. And all because I said there were no winners, just sinners and victims. You will note that I did not say anything about moral equivalence. That’s because I don’t believe there is anything approaching symmetry in the relationship between Israel and Gaza which was, you know, kind of the point of the link I offered which described the massively unjust situation Gaza is in and the no-win situation Israel has, in its folly, created for itself. It was, apparently, an article neither reader read. I post the link again in the hope that they will.
So, to be clear, I do not believe in the Immaculate Conception of the State of Israel. I think it pretty obvious that Israel has the lion’s share of blame (and power) here and have foolishly painted themselves into a corner with their own massively unjust treatment of Gaza. I might add that crazy American Evangelical theories about how Israel is “God’s Anointed” (no, that would be Jesus, crazy Evangelicals) and how any questioning of Israeli policy is an assault on God have not helped and have massively contributed to the embrace of Unreality:
Fun fact, crazy Evangelicals: According to the Bible that Catholics don’t know nearly as well as Bible-based Evangelicals, St. Paul says that the fulfillment of that promise to Abraham is not a secular nation-state in which abortion is the law of the land, but Jesus Christ. No. Really:
So you see that it is men of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” …. Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many; but, referring to one, “And to your offspring,” which is Christ. (Galatians 3:7-8; 16)
So since Jesus and not the State of Israel is the fulfilment of that promise, does that mean “Israel has no right to exist” if it is merely a secular nation state? Don’t be silly. Does the US, or Australia or Canada or Spain have no right to exist because they are not divinely founded? Who says a nation has to be divinely founded in order to exist? No. It merely means that Israel is a fallible secular nation state and crazy American Evangelicals should stop paying it divine honors which properly belong to the Lord and Savior they are supposed to be worshipping.
Meanwhile, people interested in addressing reality in Israel (and they do exist)
…need to face the fact that trying to maintain military superiority while functioning as Manhattan on the Mediterranean in their abortive and contraceptive culture while their enemies keep multiplying in a festering ghetto is a doomed proposition. This choice to live in unreality, like all such choices, and will guarantee that Israel goes the way of Outremer if nothing changes. Reality has a way of refusing to go away.
At the same time, I am a firm believer that just because you are a victim doesn’t mean you can’t sin too. So Palestinians remain moral agents who are choosing to sacrifice innocents–their own and others–in order to just land a punch. Do they have good reasons for wanting to land a punch? Sure. Does being a victim take away the sins of the world? No. Do good ends justify evil means, such as killing civilians, their own and Israel’s? No. In short, everybody remains a moral agent, though Israel holds virtually the entire deck of cards vis a vis Gaza. I don’t know how to resolve that, so I pray for peace because I think God can resolve it if we persistently ask him to do so–and I get attacked for it.
A Song of Ascents.
1 In my distress I cry to the LORD,
that he may answer me:
2 “Deliver me, O LORD, from lying lips,
from a deceitful tongue.”
3 What shall be given to you?
And what more shall be done to you,
you deceitful tongue?
4 A warrior’s sharp arrows,
with glowing coals of the broom tree!
5 Woe is me, that I sojourn in Meshech,
that I dwell among the tents of Kedar!
6 Too long have I had my dwelling among those who hate peace.
7 I am for peace; but when I speak,
they are for war!
It takes three to make a quarrel. The full potentialities of human fury cannot be fully realized until a friend tactfully intervenes. – G.K. Chesterton