Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
July 25th, 2014 by Joel Watts

Walking a line that is not so fine on Israel

A flag, with the Shahadah, frequently used by ...

A flag, with the Shahadah, frequently used by Hamas supporters Proportions: 9:16Citation needed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As one who has no problem going controversial, I find that this topic is something I stress about with finding the correct words. I strongly condemn the attacks by Hamas and Israel. I mean, Israel lives with people in their house who have a sworn blood oath to eradicate them. People like to really focus on the current situation with Israel and Hamas without taking into consideration the centuries predating the last 50-60 years. Yet, I’m not sure Israel has the best footing in their attacks on Hamas either. A pinpoint operation should be a pinpoint operation. Further, there should not be a ceasefire until Hamas is gone from Gaza.

Instead of arguing for one side or the other without actually knowing each side, I have stayed out of it. I do not believe an American can rightly suggest to either side the route to take and find it sad when some of my fellow bloggers attempt to craft carefully designed methods for the path to world peace.

I also look around at what is going on in Europe with the increase of anti-Semitic protests and a general feeling that it is now okay to say Jews are the the devil. And I cannot help but to connect it to American sentimentalarians who take the side of Hamas. I have to wonder if there isn’t something ingrained in automatically taking Hamas’s side? Does that tell us anything? But, that would be stepping into something I don’t really know much about.

So, there is tumblr post a Rabbi (who supports Israel) posted this morning. I think it is profound enough to share.

This Is Not Jewish (How to Criticize Israel Without Being Anti-Semitic).

Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).


6 Responses to “Walking a line that is not so fine on Israel”
  1. Have to partially disagree. Though I oppose the violence against civilians by both side, the violence is not practiced equally by both sides. Neither is the reporting on each side done equally. For example, Hamas offered to recognize Israel in spring of 2006 and 2008 and Israel ignored the offer. In addition, Hamas proposed a 10-year truce, a truce that was ignored by the media (see http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/deafening-silence-proposal.html).

    In addition, Hamas got its start when Israel rejected and opposed a secular Palestinian resistance movement.

    Finally, we don’t see Hamas laying siege and cutting off or steal land and economic resources from Israel, we do see that with Israel’s apartheid policies. Just as no country would tolerate the firing of missiles on its people, no people should tolerate permanent occupation by a hostile foreign power. If we are going to adequately address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we have to void ourselves of all tribalistic urges to side with one group or the other. It is only then that we will be able to see what real justice requires from both sides.

  2. Know More Than I Should says

    I tend to agree with Mercutio: “A plague a’ both [their] houses!’ Ah, but then that’s already happening, isn’t it?

  3. Joel,
    But didn’t you write the following:

    “Further, there should not be a ceasefire until Hamas is gone from Gaza.”

    That isn’t taking a side?

    Finally, we are all at risk to fall for tribalism whether with this concern or others. Whenever we have a strong affinity for a group such as a nation, race, religion, denomination, ideology, or whatever, we risk falling for tribalism. It is something that we must watch out for.

    • I did. It is a security issue. If Israel wasn’t secure borders, they should remove the force trying to ensure Israel’s defeat. That’s not taking a side, but stating a reality of geopolitics.

      For instance, if the United States wants to stop immigration, put up a bloody wall. That’s not taking a side, but stating a point.

      I have no doubt we are all at risk for tribalism, but that doesn’t mean everything is.

  4. Know More Than I Should says

    When one goes around with a chip in one’s shoulder, any ol’ excuse will do, The same applies to countries. For more on how this applies to the current Middle East situation, follow the link below.


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