Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Some Thoughts about Israel, Iran and the Church

1. What Netanyahu wants the American Public Affair Committee wants. What APAC wants is what our politicians want. Our politicians want the support and money of the wealthy Jews who have the power to sway elections.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky wants the US to use overwhelming military force against Iran if American intelligence shows that Teheran decides to build nuclear weapons or enrich uranium. Remember when American intelligence said Iraq was building nuclear weapons? We invaded, destroyed that country, and killed hundreds of thousands of civilians. American casualties were five thousand dead and 30,000 wounded. Our government has pledged to rebuild Iraq at taxpayer’s expense.

Violence begets violence. Overwhelming military force against Iran has unforeseeable consequences that will kill people and destroy nations and bring division and hate against all concerned.

2, The American Israel Public Affairs Committee and Benjamin Netanyahu are pressing President Obama into preparing for war against Iran if that country develops nuclear weapons. The President is insisting wisely on letting policies of sanctions and isolation to get the government of Iran to cease its actions.

The outrage of the government and people of a sovereign nation Iran is quite understandable. They don’t want others interfering in their internal policies. This is especially galling to Iran, as Israel is widely believed to possess nuclear weapons. The U.S has not pressed that country about its nuclear capability. The U.S., Russia, United Kingdom, France, India, Pakistan and North Korea all possess nuclear weapons. Frankly, Iran is no more a threat to using nuclear weapons than any of the others. They are smart people who know what war destroys

War brings death and injury not so much to the military but the civilians, the elderly, women and children Violence begets violence. It looks like we learn nothing from the last ten years of war.

3. Here is Wikipedia on Nuclear Weapons:

Since the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nuclear weapons have been detonated on over two thousand occasions for testing purposes and demonstrations. Only a few nations possess such weapons or are suspected of seeking them. The only countries known to have detonated nuclear weapons—and that acknowledge possessing such weapons—are (chronologically by date of first test) the United States, the Soviet Union (succeeded as a nuclear power by Russia), the United Kingdom, France, the People's Republic of China, India, Pakistan, and North Korea. In addition, Israel is also widely believed to possess nuclear weapons, though it does not acknowledge having them.[4][5][6] One state, South Africa, has admitted to having previous fabricated nuclear weapons in the past, but has since disassembled their arsenal and submitted to international safeguards.[7]

4. If the US goes to war to defend Israel, I believe the undercurrents of anti-Semitism alive and sick in this country will erupt. I suspect this will be true among southerners, black and white poor, the bikers, neo-Nazi and extreme right wing white supremacists. It will be taken out on Jewish business people, violence against Jews who are alone and isolated. I also believe there is plenty of anti-Semitism among the genteel WASPs and upper crust Roman Catholics. I hope I am wrong. I truly do. But I have a lurking fear.

I suspect my own motives in this, as genteel anti-Semitism was part of my family upbringing. My long time criticism of the Israeli government’s treatment of the Palestinians may color my judgment. But I know I am not an anti-Semite. I have been accused of being one by some of my critics. But my Jewish friends remain friends knowing quite clearly of my criticism of the Israeli government and APAC.

We must not let the fear of being judged an anti-Semite prevent us from criticizing Israeli policies that have lead to oppression of the Palestinians and threatening war. We cannot be intimidated by such fears. If we lose friends who don’t want to listen to our views, what have we lost?

Since the leadership in Iran is clearly anti-Semitic and denying the holocaust, it is no wonder that many in Israel and the United States fear Iran. While that fear is real, it should not direct American foreign policy that involves the whole mid-east and not just Israel. President Obama has made himself clear on that and we should support him.

5. American politicians want money and support from American Jews. It is no wonder that thoughtful, objective evaluation by the administration and congress of Israel-Iran relations is always pro-Israel. We saw the ludicrous support Netanyahu received when he spoke to the joint session of Congress last year.

Here is a role that American Christians can provide leadership and a more objective voice in the beating war drums in Israel and Washington, DC. I don’t mean General Conventions and Assemblies of various denominations. I mean local parish churches need to deal with this dangerous issue. Clergy and lay people on local levels can take anti-war stands on this issue. They can provide discussion and communication between Jews, Muslims and themselves.

Another war in the mid-east where the United States is not threatened on our soil is useless and can only bring more dissension and violence – mostly to the innocent people of Iran, Israel and other countries too.


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