You may have watched the third presidential debate a few months back in which Governor Romney confronted President Obama on his dealings with Israel. Governor Romney argued strongly that the President had failed to sustain and strengthen strategic connections with Israel. Such negligence would impact negatively and dramatically America’s foreign policy in the Middle East.
I wonder what the six men charged with overseeing Shin Bet—Israel’s intelligence agency focused on protecting Israel from terrorism—would say of Governor Romney’s charge. I look forward to watching the new documentary, The Gatekeepers, which interviews all those who led Shin Bet the past thirty years.
Here’s what Richard Cohen of the The Washington Post has to say about the documentary:
“The film is a tough indictment of Israeli policy, particularly the continued occupation of the West Bank and the expansion of Jewish settlements there. All of the former officials are traditional Israeli secularists, and they show a commendable loathing for the religious militants that Israeli governments continuously pandered to. Above all, though, they are critical of government after government that lacks a strategy to somehow withdraw from the West Bank and instead relies on oppression. “You can’t make peace using military means,” says Ami Ayalon, head of the Shin Bet from 1996 to 2000 and a former navy commando.”
One doesn’t have to be an American or Israeli secularist to see that there is a problem with trying to make peace using military means. While many Israelis may be more concerned for making safety, not peace, can there ever really be safety without peace? Religious centrists can see there is a problem with using military means to make peace or safety without peace. Religious centrists also understand that religious militancy only leads to hate and more bloodshed. Evangelicals need to guard against religious militancy. African American Evangelical civil rights leader John M. Perkins said something to the effect of, “Why do we as Evangelicals have to love one kind of people and hate another kind of people? I don’t get it. I can love the Jew and the Palestinian at the same time.” Perkins knows how painful hate can be and how difficult it is to center on love. Perkins was the ‘beneficiary’ of religious and/or secular militancy over the years in the form of white supremacy. White militants beat him within an inch of his life in 1970 in Mississippi. While it has been a difficult and challenging road for him, the only thing Dr. Perkins is militant about is God’s centrist love revealed in Jesus that makes enemies out of friends. He did not respond in kind to his oppressors, but has worked to build peace between whites and blacks and other divided people groups here and abroad over the years. For him, love is the final fight.