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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Anti-Semitism and Israel

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Anti-Semitism and Israel

I have taken strong stands against the policies of the Israeli government toward the Palestinians and will continue to do so. Charges of being an anti-Semitic are leveled at almost any critic of Israel and of me too. There is a clear distinction between critics of Israel’s government’s policies and being an anti-Semite.

There are some Jews that I like and some I do not like. If that is anti-Semitism then so be it.

The same of true of the few African-Americans I know, some I like, some I don’t. The same is true for Latinos, Asians, Episcopalians, Mennonites and also men and women. I’ll admit it. I don’t like some of the people I meet and deal with. There are many I like. I am peculiar in many ways but not in that way.

The nation of Israel was created and plunked down in old Palestine where Jews and Arabs have lived and hated, warred and loved each other for centuries. When this new nation was set up for Jews, the Arabs took umbrage. For all kinds of tortured reasons, Israel backed by the United States has the power, wealth and military strength to maintain its position of power and dominance. The Palestinians, a huge portion of them, live in poverty, bondage and resentment.

They hold claim to the same land Israel lays claim to. Each has historical, political and religious beliefs supporting their positions. Some Palestinians have used violence against innocent Israelis to protest their wretched estate. The Israeli government has responded with brutality and sophisticated weaponry to take revenge on suspected so-called terrorists. Negotiations are tried and when they fail each side blames the other in a never-ending blame game and violent revenge. The incredible self-righteousness of both side needs to be excised. Neither side is right or wrong; they are both very wrong and partly right. Only negotiations can work.

In the name of defending Israel, the government has taken land, set up camps, cut off water, hacked down ancient olive trees, destroyed homes, built walls, impeded Palestinian’s travel and murdered suspects, not taking time for trials and punishments. Recently the Israeli Supreme Court has barred many Palestinians from living with their Israeli spouses and children in that country. So much for family values so touted by the U.S. government. Many more Palestinians have died in this conflict than have citizens of Israel.

There are many citizens of Israel who decry their government’s policies. They are seldom mentioned in the American media. Jewish groups in the United States opposing Israel’s policies are under-reported. Then of course any non-Jewish groups or individuals who criticize Israeli policies are easily labeled anti-Semitic.

I know the issues are complex and difficult to solve. However, I will always back the underdog, the poor, hungry and oppressed. That is what I believe to be the way of followers of Jesus. We can exert powers of persuasion by helping the poor.

The United States and the governments of Europe and Asia should make the Israelis and Palestinian leadership sit down and talk and negotiate 24/7. They sit until an agreement is reached for a peace that can work and humanity restored to those warring peoples. . The appalling, stalling, guile and gall of either side refusing to talk until certain conditions are met must be dismissed out of hand. Sit down, talk, negotiate and find a way to peace.

1 Comments:

Blogger Kateliz said...

It is one thing to be called anti-semetic because you are a Jew hater. It is another to be called anti-semetic because you are stupid. Israel was not just plonked down in the middle of a bunch of Arabs. The Jews simply went home. But who except an anti-semite would deny that the survivors of the holocaust
had no right to return to their land. Have you forgotten that Jesus, a Jew lived in the land now called Israel some 2008 years ago and was murdered by the Romans and the rest of the Jews scattered to the world. You Christians have such a strange and anti-semetic sense of righteousness. Funny you should mention Mennonites since they were among the most open about their anti-semitism. Until today that is, with you righteous christians going out of your way to support the Arabs in their quest to eliminate Jews and Israel itself.
You call it peace and yet there can be no peace as long as 6 million Jews murdered go unnoticed by people like you as you wring your hands over a people who refuse to acknowledge Israel's right to exist.. Yes indeed, you are deeply anti-semetic. And a hypocrite.

2:18 PM  

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