stop the wall!

23 August, 2005 at 9:29 pm 1 comment


Homileo pointed me to a photo album of the apartheid wall being erected by the Israelis to seal in Palestinians (yes, I know they claim it's to keep out suicide bombers, but they use it to exclude Palestinians from Israeli territory, regardless of how long they've lived there. I spoke to a Palestinain who found himself and his family on the wrong side of the wall. His business was in Jerusalem, and he can no longer get there. He can't enter the city. Jerusalemites pay high taxes, but get significant privileges as a result. These Palestinians had been cut off from their livelihoods, but still had to pay Jerusalem taxes! Of course, they'll have to sell up and move away. And the only people who'll buy their houses are Israelis's – for a peppercorn price!). Standing in Abu Dis, which cuts that village in half, at the foot of the wall is an incredible experience. Literally unbelievable! A nation that is founded on the memory of the Holocaust and the Warsaw ghetto is creating just such a ghetto in its own borders.

I have become uncomfortably aware of how crucial to a gospel witness opposition to the Wall is. In 2003 American Christians gave the Israeli government $65 million towards its settlement programme. It gave them that money to deprive Christian Palestinians (among others) of their lands and livelihoods! The Christian Right has poured billions into Israel in support of their land grab policies. A combination of the OT texts about land and guilt over the Holocaust has led to an uncritical, vociferous and deadly support for Israeli oppression and terrorism in the occupied territories. What sort of witness is this? Are Palestinians to believe that the God we see in Jesus Christ sanctions this sort of oppression? Christians there are losing their faith. And the Muslims see Christianity as synonymous with American expansionism and anti-Arab policies.

When support for Israel is so loudly and effectively being proclaimed as the gospel, it is incumbent on the Church to preach the Truth, live the Truth and do the Truth! This isn't about particular political dispositions. It is about what the Truth of the God revealed in Christ means today in Palestine.

Go to http://www.stopthewall.org/ – it's a good website.

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Entry filed under: current affairs.

discovering dissonance rock & redemption

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. homileo  |  24 August, 2005 at 8:01 am

    Wol, your points are well made concerning the disingenuous use of the wall by Israel. My Palestinian friends confirm the same. The wall is quietly being used to pressurised Palestinians to move into the ghetto created by the wall. Their homes are then snapped up at dirt cheap prices. Soon East Jerusalem will be another Israeli suburb.

    Concerning the ingenious Palestinian believers in Christ. This it is a church that requires our immediate attention. They are declining rapidly. Will the only witness to the gospel in the Holy Land be the imported and sycophantic ‘Christian Zionist’ version of the gospel?

    If you want to read something truly frightening in this regard. Check this out:
    http://www.icej.org/about/about_disengagement.html

    Reply

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