The ubiquitous meme we see, “I Stand With Israel” is another way of saying genocide is okay. The worst part is Western Christians are the loudest voices. The US news media is univocal in making clear Israel is the victim of terrorism. And yet, the plight of the Palestinians is ignored. Too many of us shrug and give the excuse, “They brought it on themselves.” No, they did not. It is the same argument made when Germany placed severe restrictions on Jewish citizens. American Christians were unconcerned while believing the crisis was brought on by International Bankers (read Jews). Therefore, they brought it on themselves. Too bad so many innocents have to suffer.
Genocide As Policy
Genocide is a part of human history. There are arguments in the Old Testament for genocide against the Canaanites and Amalekites. These arguments apparently justified the genocide of the indigenous people of North America. When people began to realize the horror of this, the US government with church blessings and involvement began cultural genocide against those left alive. “Save the man,” they claimed when we, “kill the Indian.”
Israel’s genocidal policies against the Palestinians have the Western Churches involved too. Evangelicals especially support the continued building of settlements in the occupied territories. Displacing Palestinians, destroying Palestinian farms, and retaliation has not yet made Israel safer. Such practices never will.
Not A Religious War
Genocide is practiced to remove people who are in the way. This conflict is often cast as a religious war – Muslim against Jews. In the minds of many Western Christians, it is merely an extension of Muslims against Christians. The problem is religion is only an excuse to steal land and resources. It appears religion is a motivator for some. But why is it a motivator for orthodox settlers to destroy Palestinians and others to call for peace and warn of impending genocide?
Hamas greatly harmed the Palestinian cause in the eyes of the West. I believe Hamas would commit its own genocide if it had the power to do so. Yet, inflicting more harm on Palestinians will only radicalize another generation. Israel’s response will not end the threat. Israel does not discriminate Palestinian Christians from Palestinian Muslims.
Genocide As Victory
The Second World War ended in Europe with no decisive battle. Germany was destroyed and divided for two generations. Europe’s remaining Jews had few options with the Cold War beginning. The United Nations formed the states of Israel and Palestine. Arab nations refused to accept it. The Palestinians have paid the price ever since. Israel has managed to keep the sympathy of Americans.
The 1982 World’s Fair had a serious controversy arise from the pavilion managed by Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government provided a map of the Middle East in their introductory brochure. The map did not contain either Israel or Palestine. It was drawn with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan holding the territory to the Mediterranean sea. Considering the House of Saud overthrew the House of Hashem and drove it out of Arabia, this was a great lesson in genocidal hatred.
It Is Complicated
Complicated situations do not get easy solutions. Is Israel in a complicated situation? Yes, they are. Is the two-state solution possible? I doubt it. But complete Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories appears to be the way. It will be difficult. The US could help by removing our ill-advised recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capitol and remove the embassy back to Tel-Aviv. Then the US could stop Israel’s lopsided “loan” system to building settlements.
American churches could collaborate in this as well. Is Boycott, Divest, and Sanction a proper response? It is a negative one. Perhaps, a campaign to support Palestinian products would be better? American churches and government should stop supporting the genocide of the Palestinian people.