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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Israel, Palestine, and the old saying about how two wrongs don't make a right

Christians and Israel « Deeper
If you find yourself in disagreement with the author’s central claims, I urge you to still give the letter a read. Consider what they have to say. The majority of the letter is devoted to understanding 2 key ideas: first, God’s promise of the land to Abraham and his descendants, and who it applies to (here’s a hint: the Israelites were not Abraham’s only descendants); and second, the conditional nature of Israel’s possession of the land. They were to treat the people in the land, especially including aliens, the poor, and so on- with justice, or risk losing it altogether (which they did when God sent both kingdoms into exile- only hundreds of years later were they allowed to return and partially reoccupy the land).
Now if the equations were as simple as Israelis = bad guys and Palestinians = innocents (or, conversely, Palestinians = bead guys and Israelis = innocents).
You know what would be a refreshing change of pace in this discussion? If one side (or better, both) would actually stop the pointless finger-pointing and finally admit that its own side perhaps isn’t as completely innocent as it portrays itself to be. By omitting key facts, this open letter shows itself to be nothing more than another example of this trend. While I have no intention of whitewashing or excuse Israel’s numerous wrongdoings, it would be equally objectionable to ignore the many wrongs that have been committed against it.

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