A christian point of view

Discussion in 'Israel and Palestine' started by Harmageddon, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. Harmageddon
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    Harmageddon Member

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    Hizbullah's attacks stem from Israeli incursions into Lebanon

    By Anders Strindberg

    08/01/06 "Christian Science Monitor" -- -- NEW YORK – As pundits and policymakers scramble to explain events in Lebanon, their conclusions are virtually unanimous: Hizbullah created this crisis. Israel is defending itself. The underlying problem is Arab extremism.
    Sadly, this is pure analytical nonsense. Hizbullah's capture of two Israeli soldiers on July 12 was a direct result of Israel's silent but unrelenting aggression against Lebanon, which in turn is part of a six-decades long Arab-Israeli conflict.

    Since its withdrawal of occupation forces from southern Lebanon in May 2000, Israel has violated the United Nations-monitored "blue line" on an almost daily basis, according to UN reports. Hizbullah's military doctrine, articulated in the early 1990s, states that it will fire Katyusha rockets into Israel only in response to Israeli attacks on Lebanese civilians or Hizbullah's leadership; this indeed has been the pattern.

    In the process of its violations, Israel has terrorized the general population, destroyed private property, and killed numerous civilians. This past February, for instance, 15-year-old shepherd Yusuf Rahil was killed by unprovoked Israeli cross-border fire as he tended his flock in southern Lebanon. Israel has assassinated its enemies in the streets of Lebanese cities and continues to occupy Lebanon's Shebaa Farms area, while refusing to hand over the maps of mine fields that continue to kill and cripple civilians in southern Lebanon more than six years after the war supposedly ended. What peace did Hizbullah shatter?

    Hizbullah's capture of the soldiers took place in the context of this ongoing conflict, which in turn is fundamentally shaped by realities in the Palestinian territories. To the vexation of Israel and its allies, Hizbullah - easily the most popular political movement in the Middle East - unflinchingly stands with the Palestinians.

    Since June 25, when Palestinian fighters captured one Israeli soldier and demanded a prisoner exchange, Israel has killed more than 140 Palestinians. Like the Lebanese situation, that flare-up was detached from its wider context and was said to be "manufactured" by the enemies of Israel; more nonsense proffered in order to distract from the apparently unthinkable reality that it is the manner in which Israel was created, and the ideological premises that have sustained it for almost 60 years, that are the core of the entire Arab-Israeli conflict.

    Once the Arabs had rejected the UN's right to give away their land and to force them to pay the price for European pogroms and the Holocaust, the creation of Israel in 1948 was made possible only by ethnic cleansing and annexation. This is historical fact and has been documented by Israeli historians, such as Benny Morris. Yet Israel continues to contend that it had nothing to do with the Palestinian exodus, and consequently has no moral duty to offer redress.

    For six decades the Palestinian refugees have been refused their right to return home because they are of the wrong race. "Israel must remain a Jewish state," is an almost sacral mantra across the Western political spectrum. It means, in practice, that Israel is accorded the right to be an ethnocracy at the expense of the refugees and their descendants, now close to 5 million.

    Is it not understandable that Israel's ethnic preoccupation profoundly offends not only Palestinians, but many of their Arab brethren? Yet rather than demanding that Israel acknowledge its foundational wrongs as a first step toward equality and coexistence, the Western world blithely insists that each and all must recognize Israel's right to exist at the Palestinians' expense.

    Western discourse seems unable to accommodate a serious, as opposed to cosmetic concern for Palestinians' rights and liberties: The Palestinians are the Indians who refuse to live on the reservation; the Negroes who refuse to sit in the back of the bus.

    By what moral right does anyone tell them to be realistic and get over themselves? That it is too much of a hassle to right the wrongs committed against them? That the front of the bus must remain ethnically pure? When they refuse to recognize their occupier and embrace their racial inferiority, when desperation and frustration causes them to turn to violence, and when neighbors and allies come to their aid - some for reasons of power politics, others out of idealism - we are astonished that they are all such fanatics and extremists.

    The fundamental obstacle to understanding the Arab-Israeli conflict is that we have given up on asking what is right and wrong, instead asking what is "practical" and "realistic." Yet reality is that Israel is a profoundly racist state, the existence of which is buttressed by a seemingly endless succession of punitive measures, assassinations, and wars against its victims and their allies.

    A realistic understanding of the conflict, therefore, is one that recognizes that the crux is not in this or that incident or policy, but in Israel's foundational and per- sistent refusal to recognize the humanity of its Palestinian victims. Neither Hizbullah nor Hamas are driven by a desire to "wipe out Jews," as is so often claimed, but by a fundamental sense of injustice that they will not allow to be forgotten.

    These groups will continue to enjoy popular legitimacy because they fulfill the need for someone - anyone - to stand up for Arab rights. Israel cannot destroy this need by bombing power grids or rocket ramps. If Israel, like its former political ally South Africa, has the capacity to come to terms with principles of democracy and human rights and accept egalitarian multiracial coexistence within a single state for Jews and Arabs, then the foundation for resentment and resistance will have been removed. If Israel cannot bring itself to do so, then it will continue to be the vortex of regional violence.

    Anders Strindberg, formerly a visiting professor at Damascus University, Syria, is a consultant on Middle East politics working with European government and law-enforcement agencies. He has also covered Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories as a journalist since the late 1990s, primarily for European publications.

    Copyright © 2006 The Christian Science Monitor. All rights reserved.
     
  2. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Psst... just because it's written by the Christian Science Monitor doesn't make it a Christian perspective. If anything, this sounds like the RWA perspective.
     
  3. CSM
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    CSM Senior Member

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    Absolutely correct. In fact it is exactly the opposite:

    http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/1540

    Of even greater interest is past fellowship recipient Anders Strindberg. Despite common knowledge that the Christian population in the West Bank has shrunk enormously due to Muslim persecution, Strindberg writes that the Christians in the Holy Land were victims of the "Judaization" that created Israel. He even accuses Israel (falsely) of desecrating and destroying Christian religious shrines, something the Palestinians have done on more than one occasion. He also refers to Israel within the 1948 borders as "occupied Palestine."

    Strindberg's rants against Israel are particularly troubling, since Israel officially recognizes Christianity as a religion with freedom of worship whereas Article 7 of the Palestinian Authority Constitution states that Islam is not only the official religion of Palestine but also the basis behind all law. The PA constitution is similar to that of Saudi Arabia, where Christian persecution is well known. Indeed, the Christian community in the West Bank has appealed to the pope himself to save them from Muslim persecution. Yet Strindberg—who has also praised the Shia terrorist group Hizbollah (which has played a huge role in the destabilization of formerly Christian Lebanon)— writes that it is Israel's Jews who are persecuting Arab Christians. Strindberg also says Christian Zionists are under the control of "neoconservatives" and the "Israel lobby" in America, and emphasizes the opinion of Mahmoud Abbas that Israel is really Palestine. He doesn't mention that Abbas' Ph.D. thesis denied that the Holocaust ever occurred in Europe.

    One has to wonder if Strindberg has even heard about the 2002 siege of the Church of the Nativity, where Christian priests were held hostage by terrorists from the PLO. When the church was finally freed, it was discovered that the Palestinian terrorists inside had defecated on Christian shrines and stolen all the gold icons.

    But Strindberg is just one example of Princeton's "diversity" of views in Middle East studies. Incredibly, I could not find any past fellowship recipients who actively promoted Israel's right to exist in published documents, nor any who disproved and condemned Palestinian propaganda and lies against the Jewish state.


    Strindberg is well known for his anti-Israelii/pro-terrorist stance.
     
  4. theHawk
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    theHawk Registered Conservative

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    The Jewish state did not exist there before WWII, and the UN simply took the land and gave it to them. It was wrong and it was stupid to try to set up a non-muslim nation in the middle east. But back then the West could care less about the feelings of "sand-*******". Now its coming back to bite us on the ass.
     
  5. Said1
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    Said1 VIP Member

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    All those references to UN resolutions. :laugh:

    Was someone supposed to do something about non-complience of resolution 1559? I mean the 'non-removal of militia forces'.
     
  6. CSM
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    I presume that is a rhetorical question.
     
  7. Said1
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    Uh. Yeah. Rhtorical. That's the ticket. Yo. :gang1:
     
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  8. Harmageddon
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    Harmageddon Member

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    True, that does not make it a Christian perspective.
    I would not say that it is the exact opposite to a Christian perspective.
    Isn't the Christian perspective to stand up for the oppressed/dispossessed of the world, and rise against tyranny and oppression?
    I agree. However, it seems the West still couldn't care less.
    The UN is indeed powerless - sad, really, since its original foundations were to prevent the kind of situation humanity faced in WWII, in which one nation took on the world, and 62 million people died in the process, including a holocaust on the Jews.

    By undermining the UN continuously, we are geared once again committing ourselves to the same mistakes - the pieces are moving, the lines are being drawn in the sand. Apparently, we favour war over peace.
     
  9. Said1
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    Institutions are only as powerfull as their governing bodies allow them to be. Their ability to agree and convince or coerce other less powerful members to vote in their favour (best interests) is how things do or don't get done. As was the case with the League of Nations.
     
  10. Harmageddon
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    Harmageddon Member

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    True.
    The UN was first erected (oooohh) containing mostly nations that were the "allies" in WWII. When they included everyone else, though noble as it might have seemed, they effectively crippled their own foundations.
     

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