Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Glaring Injustice

       It may be politically incorrect to criticize an ally, but political correctness concerns itself only with appearances while truth lies deeper.
       In the current Middle East conflict it is not surprising that the Palestinians fight back with whatever means they have.  The imbalance of power is startling.  The world watches as the Israeli army with its advanced weaponry, air power and protective 'iron shield' pummels the boxed in enclave of Gaza.  After several days of fighting the numbers tell the story: on July 16, 2014, one Israeli casualty; more than 200 Palestinians dead--mostly women and children.

       For days now I have struggled to find a way to express the conflicting feelings I have as I watch the crisis raging.  In a global world this problem is not regional, it is universal.  To try and understand the roots of the conflict I watched the Youtube documentary of the 1967 war: 'Six Days in June'. (I recommend it).  The issues are complex and there is enough blame on all sides to go around--but continuation of the conflict is heinous as it poses a world threat.  Two things seem clear to me: 1) the state of Israel has the right to exist but its present governance imposes unjust military oppression to those occupied and 2) Palestinians have an equal right to self-rule with freedom from the 'iron fist' that crushes them but they must move beyond the barbarism of terrorism.

       The state of Israel was founded at the end of WWII because of the Holocaust.  Over the years as I learned of the horrors of that dark period of history when governments' treatment of the Jewish people over time led to that 'final solution' I was appalled that so called civilized and educated people failed to see the glaring injustice of the choices made--people driven from their homes and forced into ghettoes, often walled-in and denied freedom of movement under military occupation, without ability to find work and feed their families, denied basic rights and effectively cut off from the rest of the world--thus treated until that choice was made to exterminate them!

       In retrospect one sees an escalation over time of cruelty that led to that 'final solution'.  The horror of it is almost beyond belief--yet it happened.  For years my compassion for and support of the Jewish people had been unflinching--until I visited the Holy Land five years ago and saw the ugly walls built by Israel to isolate the Palestinians; witnessed Palestinian homes demolished and their roads destroyed to prevent easy passage; I saw the massive sprawling settlements Isralies built on undeclared lands despite the prohibitions.  I personally witnessed a support rally at Bethlehem University for a young woman due to graduate who had been arrested for no apparent reason and deported back to Gaza with the claim she was there illegally.  I saw Christian Palestinians evicted from their homes living in tents under trees in their yards, forbidden to enter their homes on trumped up charges for minor infractions (the aim being to drive them from their homes to 'cleanse' Jeresulem of all non-Jews).
       In this I saw once more a government's cruel treatment of a segment of people under their rule.
                          A five hour 'Humanitarian Pause' is not enough!

                 In counseling we learn that the abused often becomes the abuser.
                      Oh Israel, you dishonor your God of Love and Justice!

1 comment:

  1. As a wise friend once said: "Friends don't let friends drive drunk. Just because Israel is our ally doesn't mean we should let it behave badly without consequence."