Israelis Celebrate Statehood while Palestinians Despair with Nakba

Israelis Celebrate Statehood while Palestinians Despair with Nakba May 16, 2016

I am for the existence of the State of Israel. I think it is a just concept for Diaspora Jews who suffered so much while living for centuries in Gentile lands. But I also am equally for the Palestinian people. So, I am not a respecter of persons, and I don’t God is either. I say this even though he chose the people of Israel to perform a certain task among the nations–to be a testimony to him. Therefore, I believe Palestinians are entitled to their own land and nation just as much as Israeli Jews are.

That’s what the new and fledging United Nations believed in November, 1947. The Security Council passed Resolution 7 that provided for there to be two states in Mandate Palestine: a Jewish state and an Arab state for those indigenous peoples. It suggested borders, but they were only for the two sides to discuss and choose. It is true that those Arabs generally were upset with so many Jews immigrating to the territory where they lived, and this caused them to reject Resolution 7 to their own peril.

The UN didn’t, and never has, had a military to enforce its own resolutions. Thus, as soon as Resolution 7 was passed, the Soviet Union told the United States that they, as the two superpowers, should make Resolution 7, even if it required force. But the U.S. said no because Congress had adopted an isolation perspective to world events due to being exhausted from WWII.

Yesterday, Israeli Jews celebrated their statehood that began sixty-eight years ago. At that time, Jewish leaders had published a Proclamation of Independence at midnight, May 15, 1948, that caused war and led to the formation of the State of Israel.

But also yesterday, Palestinians observed the same event which they call Nakba, meaning “Catastrophe.” Why? That war resulted in so many Palestinians (called Arabs then, not Palestinians) leaving their homes and land to escape the path of war, and they never were able to return to them. Moreover, they never were compensated for their loss. Plus, many of them wound up in UN Refugee Camps where some of them have lived ever since.

This problem was further exacerbated when Arab states attacked Israel in the 1967 Six Day war, and Israel gained four other territories, which the UN identifies as “occupied territories.” Due to both wars, in 1948-49 and 1967, Israel imposes on Palestinians what Palestinians call “the occupation.” Many people fail to take this into account when they see Palestinians committing acts of terrorism against Israel. I don’t condone it, but it should be recognized that they want back what they lost. The formation of the modern State of Israel solved the Jewish Diaspora that was called “the Jewish Problem,” but it happened at the expense of the Palestinians, which I call “the Palestinian Problem” even though I don’t mean that they were equal problems.

To me, it is a further tragedy that many American Evangelical Christians, with whom I count myself, are taught in their churches by their pastors or by other leaders to give carte blanche support to the State of Israel while ignoring, or even opposing, the plight of the Palestinians. This is preposterous and makes me embarrassed to be an Evangelical. They reject the style of the Hebrew prophets, who constantly sounded the call for Israelites to love their neighbors as themselves, to help the poor and disenfranchised. That’s Palestinians. You see all this Jewish and Christian television in America that calls for supporting Israel, and you never see the same on television for Palestinians. Yet there are way more Palestinians who are professing Christians than Israeli Jews.

Jews got their state sixty-eight years ago. It’s been sixty-eight years now, and Palestinians still don’t have their own state. What a catastrophe for Palestinians!

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