Can We Care About Gaza? Kevin H

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26 Responses

  1. LInn says:

    KevinH-A very good, thoughtful post. I actually believe there are some Christians who are of the persuasion that their support for Israel and wiping Gaza off the map will result in the Second Coming. I am personally not of that persuasion (I believe that Jesus will come, but it’s not going to be due to human efforts).

    What Hamas did in Israel on 10/8 was horrible and Hamas and its leaders should be punished. However, the constant destructive bombing of Gaza is not currently achieving that goal, but is creating another generation of Muslims who will hate Israel and the West (especially in the USA) more than it already does. What’s worse is that I have no idea what to do about the situation. I pray that someone will propose and uphold a cease-fire, that Israel will stop the bombing and that a two-state solution will be proposed.

    I have always supported the Jewish people, but not always the way Israel chooses to do things. I believe there is a distinction.

  2. Jean says:

    If we’re being honest, then IMO we have to acknowledge that Christian Zionism, which represents a large swath (perhaps the majority) of Evangelicals in America, do not view Palestinian Christians as fully Christian nor Palestinian people generally as fully human on the same level as Israeli Jews.

    The double standard our political leaders are supporting will have long lasting multidimensional consequences for our country and the world.

  3. Terry says:

    I was in a heated conversation earlier this week with a friend who defined Israel as “God’s Chosen People” and Palestinians as “Evil”. When I tried to make the case it was more complicated than that, he came back with “didn’t God tell David to kill ALL the Palestinians?”

    To this I had to explain that David fought Philistines (not Palestinians) but was not told to kill them all, and my friend was probably thinking of Joshua and the command to conquer Canaan. He had lost interest after that mouthful and could only quote “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you”, and he didn’t want to be on the side of those who cursed Israel. (Implying I was treading dangerous water)

    This is the mindset of most current American evangelicalism.

  4. Michael says:

    Three excellent comments…some days I’m glad to own the place…

  5. Kevin H says:

    Thanks, Linn. I have no idea what to do about the whole situation either. My only real hope is Jesus’ Second Coming, but I would hope it won’t have anything to do with first having to wipe the Palestinians off the map.

  6. Kevin H says:

    Jean, I wouldn’t say that all Christian Zionists view things that way, but sadly I think a large amount do.

  7. Kevin H says:

    Terry, there is often no reasoning with those who have already made up their mind, no matter how little information they used to make up their mind. I’ve been there in those same conversations on this topic.

  8. toft says:

    Will someone please remind the readers of the historic persecution of Jews across the world. And then ask why they say “never again.”

    To simplify this down to a calling for a “two State solution” is to just have no clue of the politics and history of the Nation of Israel and the historic persecution of Jewish people over the millennia .

    A better understanding of today’s problems is to listen and understand the chant and slogan “from the river to the sea.”

    My there be Peace In Jerusalem!

  9. Michael says:

    toft,

    I would think in a pretty well read crowd like this there is lots of awareness of the historical persecution of the Jews.

    What we’re praying for is any solution that doesn’t include the extermination of Palestinian innocents…unless you consider that collateral damage to securing Israel…

  10. Toft says:

    “…unless you consider that collateral damage to securing Israel”

    Throwing a bomb insult is not a way to discuss and neither is repeating slogans from a far.

    If you are as well read as you claim it would be far better to walk the readers through the historic persecution and chasing of Jewish people and the participation of the players involved, including the Christian church.

    Stop deflecting about Palestinians and rather inform so people can make so readers can have informed opinions rather than headlines.

    Maybe consider comparing the Hamas leadership in the same manner you do Calvary Chapel leadership. It always come down to evil people.

  11. Kevin H says:

    Toft,

    “To simplify this down to a calling for a “two State solution” ” and,

    “Stop deflecting about Palestinians”

    Nowhere in this article nor in the comments was there any mention whatsoever of a “two State solution”. This article was not at all about trying to solve the issues of Israel and Palestine, but rather an exhortation to care about people, especially to the many Christians who have seemingly shown a lack of care.

    If you think this is about “deflecting about Palestinians”, then you have completely missed (whether ignorantly or purposefully) the focus and purpose of the article, when ironically you may be one of the people who most needs to hear it.

  12. Kevin H says:

    This article was written to a largely Christian audience, many of who are evangelicals. Within that audience, there are already many people who are and have historically shown care about the Jewish people. There is likely little need to educate them on the “historic persecution of Jews”. Even at that, I still gave an acknowledgment of the rising antisemitism right now and its evilness, it was not ignored.

    However, within this audience, there is a much greater need to draw attention to prejudices that are causing many to care mostly, if not only, about the Jewish people, while callously minimizing, if not completely disregarding, the plight of the Palestinian people.

  13. Michael says:

    “Israeli bombing killed civilians sheltering at an ancient church in Gaza. Where’s the outcry?
    By Sa’ed Atshan

    Like other Palestinians and Israelis with family members in Palestine/Israel, I have found the latest and unprecedented outbreak of violence between Israel and Hamas hitting closer and closer to home. My dread became reality on Oct. 20 upon hearing from Tanya, one of my relatives. Her family lost a loved one who had been sheltering in the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Porphyrius in Gaza, one of the world’s oldest churches. An Israeli airstrike hit one of the four compounds of the church, killing 18 Palestinian Christians, and injuring at least 20.

    Amidst the grief, Tanya reminded us to celebrate Aunt Elaine, our relative, who was a devoted teacher and school principal. She was killed in the bombing. Tanya said: “Gaza is all our family. The neighborhood was bombed. The walls are standing but our homes are destroyed. This time is beyond anything we’ve witnessed, and we all thought we witnessed the worst.”

    My social media feed was then saturated with family, community members and others mourning the dead. In one post, a photo showed a couple, the husband in a blue suit and red tie, embracing his wife in a blue-and-white dress. I learned from Tanya they were Marwan, an art teacher with the Catholic Church, and Nana, who worked for the United Nations in Gaza. “RIP,” the caption read. “We love you all — You are in a better place.”

    Then a message from former Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, who is Palestinian American, went viral. In a post with more than 20 million views, Amash announced that several of his relatives, including two of his cousins, Viola and Yara, were also killed in the church blast. He added a picture of the two young women, dressed in Christmas colors, with holiday lights, a wreath, tree decorations and a Santa hat behind them. In a subsequent post, he shared, “My family and I would like to express our heartfelt appreciation for the many kind and gracious messages of condolence for our beloved cousins in Gaza.”

    Elaine, Marwan, Nana, Viola and Yara were among the remaining 1,000 Christians in the Gaza Strip. While most Palestinian Christians in the Occupied Territories reside in the West Bank, the number of Christians in Gaza, and across Palestine/Israel, has been dwindling to less than 2% of the overall Palestinian population. Most members of these communities have migrated to Europe and North America seeking economic stability and peace of mind.

    Yet across the diaspora, the images of death and destruction from Gaza reignite traumas among Palestinian Christians and Muslims around the world. The 2.3 million residents of this besieged land do not have safe zones or shelters. Since the horrific attacks of Hamas against Israel on Oct. 7, Israeli bombardment of Gaza has led to the deaths of more than 8,000 individuals, disproportionately children.

    Many are injured or remain trapped underneath the rubble, and there’s difficulty rescuing them as hospitals are collapsing, and Israeli-imposed shortages of water, food, medicine and electricity are excruciating. The Christian community had to hold a mass funeral to bury the dead outside of the Church of St. Porphyrius, followed by a mass baptism service for the children of the community in case they, too, may soon die.

    There is fear now that the Christian presence in Gaza, and across Palestine, may ultimately disappear altogether. The rubble lying around the Church of St. Porphyrius is heartbreaking, particularly when considering its symbolism for the community and the church’s rich history. “The Church of St. Porphyrius’s original structure dated to the 5th century, and the current structure, in a historic quarter of the city, was built in the 12th century. It is named for a former bishop of Gaza, Saint Porphyrius, and placed where he is believed to have died in A.D. 420,” according to the Washington Post.

    And the heartache continues to unfold in Gaza — with reverberations far and wide. On Oct. 30, the Rev. Mitri Raheb, a Bethlehem-based Palestinian Lutheran leader in the West Bank, shared that “an Israeli air strike bombed the Arab Orthodox Cultural and Social Center in Gaza, a brand new and state-of-the-art building that houses most of the Christian activities in Gaza, destroying the main auditorium.” Before-and-after images circulating widely on social media juxtapose what was a beautiful and modern community center, now amid rubble.

    Palestinian Christians, descendants of the oldest Christian communities, feel largely abandoned by the world — particularly by other Christian communities in Western countries — who seem indifferent or even hostile to the Palestinian struggle for freedom and human rights.

    Palestinians, both Christian and Muslim, are subjected to collective punishment from Israeli bombardment, and we are praying for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. U.N. officials have called for the prevention of ethnic cleansing and genocide in Gaza.

    A recent poll also found that 80% of Democrats and 56% of Republicans believe that the United States should call for a cease-fire.

    I hope that every form of violence and oppression in Palestine/Israel will end — sooner rather than later — so that Jews, Christians and Muslims can share the land as equal neighbors. Regardless of faith or ethnicity, we deserve to live in peace and security.”

    Sa’ed Atshan is a professor of peace and conflict studies and anthropology at Swarthmore College.

  14. Michael says:

    toft,

    I do not believe that my readers are ill informed about the tragic history of the jewish people.

    I would hope that they are as outraged and broken by the stunning rise of anti-semitism as I am.

    I do not understand how the deaths of innocent civilians (and their pets) among the Palestinian people does not evoke in you the same concern and grief that we have about the lives lost to Muslim terrorists.

    Israel has the right to exist and prosper peacefully…but in the kingdom of God, so do the Palestinian innocents.

    We are also witnessing the baptism of thousands of new terrorists around the world because we do not recognize this simple truth. The aftermath of these actions will end up being worse than what we have already seen…

  15. DH says:

    How about instead of a 2 state solution, the West absorbs all the Christians and Atheists and the Muslim countries absorb all the Muslims in Gaza?

  16. Michael says:

    DH,

    We both know that’s not going to happen.

    We have to find a way to bring peace where the problem is…and that may not be possible.

  17. DH says:

    Why is that not possible?

  18. Michael says:

    DH,

    The first reason is that Palestinian Christians undoubtedly want to live in the land they grew up in, not migrate to a foreign country.
    The second reason is well known…the Muslim countries will not take their brethren and want to eliminate Israel.

    This brings to ind our own border issues…the obvious solution is to help make the countries migrants flee from livable…but we prefer using the border as a political football…

  19. DH says:

    Thanks, Micheal.

  20. Jean says:

    DH,
    Are you proposing that the USA support/promote ethnic cleansing? Isn’t ethnic cleansing a crime against humanity that the USA historically has criticized when other countries or tribes carry it out?

  21. DH says:

    Jean,
    How could you come up with that from my comment about a peaceful solution?

  22. Jean says:

    DH, what is the substance of your proposal at 11:19 am?

  23. Pineapple Head says:

    I think people do care about Gaza. They would love that patch of land to flourish. They would love the Palestinians to take all the resources provided for them and carve out a wonderful present and future. People want peace. But Hamas has different goals. And as long as they do, the Palestinians will suffer at the hands of their own leaders. Israel is not perfect, but they have agreed to 2 state peace plans. But the Palestinian leaders have rejected them. So, Israel is burdened with having to deal with a regime that wants them destroyed. I don’t desire that any innocents suffer, but to make it out like Israel is the evil villian is a big stretch. Hamas reminds me of some of the narcissists I’ve dealt with.

    Golda Meir said (after the 1973 war), “When peace comes we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons. Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”

  24. DH says:

    Jean,
    “Muslim countries will not take their brethren and want to eliminate Israel.”

    Along with Hamas and many Palestinians.

    Hence, to them, there is only one solution.

  25. toft says:

    Michael

    Don’t assume and try to put words into people:

    “I do not understand how the deaths of innocent civilians (and their pets) among the Palestinian people does not evoke in you the same concern and grief that we have about the lives lost to Muslim terrorists.”

    This statement is just plain bad and a form of misinformation with the intention to either sway or insult the other.

    Now to answer your question or statement; which ever it is.

    Yes all of these deaths, mutilations, and violence are horrible as are all wars and what evil socio/psychopathic people do to others. It is historic amongst humanity and the ground cries with the blood of Able.

    The problem today in Israel is Hamas, the ideals and people behind this must be brought to justice and prosecuted for their actions. The difficulty and consequences of such actions are the innocent will always be used as shields, politically and in reality by these evil men and women. Who do you support and how do you stop such evil?

    To help you understand my perspective on this, I used to travel to Israel for business 2 – 3 times a month and did so for over three years. To this day I have regular weekly zoom meetings with friends who live there. I am not Jewish and would call myself Christian. I have traveled through the West Bank, Golan Heights, and Palestinian Governed land of Israel. I am well aware of the complaints and tensions which exist between the peoples.

    I have not nor would ever visit Gaza. If you consider and understand the modern history of that strip of land it, is a pariah amongst the Arab Muslim Nations. Politically it is being used by those who want to bring genocide to Jews and the Nation of Israel. Evil men doing evil things to the innocent’s and their pets and they even videoed it as they did so.

    Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem.

  26. Jean says:

    DH, you wrote:

    “Muslim countries will not take their brethren and want to eliminate Israel.”

    First, Some of Israel’s neighbors already house many thousands of Palestinians, who were evicted from their homes in1948.

    Second, Israel has peace treaties with several Arab countries, and it would be slander to accuse them (e.g., Jordan) of wanting to eliminate Israel.

    Third, what would you say if someone said America will not welcome our brothers from Central America? Do you think we should open our borders to every Christian from Central America who wants to migrate to the USA? If not, why should Israel’s neighbors open their borders to the Palestinians?

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