Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Speaking Freely


 I generally sleep soundly. But a few nights ago, I found myself awake in the dark hours, agonizing over the situation in Gaza and the West bank, as well as in Israel.

(I am distressed by the assumption some make that any criticism of Israel's government or Zionism in general is anti -semitic, shutting down in advance legitimate discourse. Myself, I distinguish between the Jewish people in general and the current government of Israel. And between the Palestinians, in general, and Hamas.)

The situation is dreadful. There are no easy answers--perhaps there are no answers. 

Of course, the murder and hostage taking of Israeli civilians was terrible. Of course, the Israeli government responded.

But the response is looking increasingly like genocide, ethnic cleansing. 

As I told a Jewish friend, early in this struggle, a time machine would be helpful--if we could revisit the Balfour Declaration which sought to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine, partially in sympathy for what the Holocaust had done to the Jewish people and partially to avoid taking in all the refugees. (Boatloads had already been turned away.)                                                                         

And I find myself wondering. What recourse do the Palestinians have? Forced from most of their homeland, living in mandated areas under military occupation and the steady, government-encouraged encroachment of settlers.  Would Hamas have flourished had a two-state solution been worked out? 

Another question that troubles me. Do Bible-believing evangelicals see this conflict as the necessary prelude to the Apocalypse and the Second Coming?  Those same Bible believers who say God gave Israel to the Jews? Are they quietly cheering things on?

Yet another example of the harm religion does. No wonder I stay awake.



jennyfreckles said...

This! Exactly.

Thérèse said...

I sadly agree.

Marcia said...

You described the situation succinctly.

Anvilcloud said...

I was going to get into it but decided not to.

Sandra Parshall said...

I can't bear to watch or read the news anymore. Yes, what Hamas did was terrible. Yes, what Israel is doing to the innocent people of Gaza is a form of genocide. And there's not a single thing I can do about it.

GPearson said...

Thank you for "speaking freely" Vicki. I too, feel this way but I'm hesitant to voice my opinions. Yes, both countries have suffered terribly and to what end? The Palestinians are being persecuted just like the Jews were persecuted. I understand why Israel wants to destroy Hamas for the unspeakable things they have done, but that's Hamas - not the whole of the Palestinian people.
I'm not very hopeful for a resolution to this conflict in the near future.