Friday, February 12, 2010

American Christians and Israel’s Brutal, Murderous Oppression of the Palestinian Peoples

"Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard." (Isaiah 58:6-8; emphasis added)

"And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the sabbath day. And he stood up to read; and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." (Luke 4:16-21; emphasis added)

People need physical, as well as spiritual, salvation. Do you realize that, as Christians, we are required to help those who are being oppressed to be set free? Remember slavery here in the U. S.? Lots of Christians, in those days, believed that slavery was okay; they even believed that slavery had biblical support. But the oppression of people is always wrong. The brutal oppression of people, like Israel's murderous and brutal oppression of the Palestinian peoples, is morally wrong. How, then, can so many Christians support Israel? Because they believe they have biblical support for the existence of the modern nation of Israel; that's how.

But Christians seem to forget, very conveniently, that Christ himself foretold the overthrow of both Israel and Israel's most holy city: Jerusalem.

"But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it; for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. Alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! For great distress shall be upon the earth and wrath upon this people; they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led captive among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled." (Luke 21:20-24)

For the most part, the Jewish people—as a nation—rejected Christ and his message of salvation. The "armies" that Christ said would surround Jerusalem were the Roman armies, who destroyed the Jewish temple in the year7o A.D.

St. Paul, a Jew who had become a believer in Christ, told the Jews who rejected Christ:

"The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet: 'Go to this people, and say, you shall indeed hear but never understand, and you shall indeed see but never perceive. For this people's heart has grown dull, and their ears are heavy of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should perceive with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn for me to heal them.' Let it be known to you then that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen." (Acts 28:25-29).

This doesn't sound like God's has promised the land of Palestine to the unbelieving Jewish peoples to me . . . it sounds, to me, like he has cut them off.

When are Christians, especially American Christians, ever going to GET IT? When will these Christians ever realize that Israel's brutal, murderous oppression of the Palestinian peoples is a moral evil; and when will they ever realize that supporting Israel's brutal, murderous oppression of the Palestinian peoples is a moral evil too?

I realize that I am more sensitive than most people are about these sorts of issues. It bothers me that the Israelis can bury little Palestinian children in the rubble of their own homes; blow them to pieces with U. S-made tanks and missiles; destroy hospitals and kill the hospital personnel who are trying to care for the injured Palestinians.

I realize this doesn't bother most people . . . not even most Christians. Hell, most Christians in America SUPPORT THIS!

But I am right. And I feel the way that I feel because God allows me to feel this (as difficult as this is, at times, for me). God wants me to tell people what I feel and why I feel the way that I do so that, perhaps, someday, someone will actually get a glimpse—just a taste—of what I am feeling; of what HE is feeling, and perhaps these people, too, will begin to do the right thing: to speak-up for those who are being oppressed and slaughtered by the nation of Israel and begin working to set them free.

I will not be quiet. I cannot be quiet. Israel is wrong—very wrong—and so are the Christians who support Israel.

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