Friday, 18 July 2014

Israel - how do you see it?

In various discussion with others over the issue of Israel and Palestine I found myself writing this to explain my position:

 The origins of the nation (with or without a God) are set in time and the religion of the Jewish people and their identity is inseparable and has, on many occasions, been the source of great opposition throughout the ages - finding its culmination in the Shoah. The happenings in the Ancient Near East put upon them (from others - not self-assigned),  or at least confirmed, the 'chosen people' label. Something I think, from the early dealings, might just be right.

The blood guilt felt after the War (1939-45) resulted in the the Israel we see today (modern Israel) and that which Balfour proposed  towards the end of the First World War was done - a formalised homeland for the Jews; and like the Samaritans almost two thousand years before them, the Palestinians became displaced. Winners and losers - and one had the backing of Western might. Not the best solution but  there was never going to be one.

The problem is (for me) that some acted to do God's job for Him and so putting the Jews back where "they ought to be' is up there with those who seek to rebuild the temple. It fits the conditions of prophecy physically and yet the key, as the God I cannot leave out tells us, is not the outer (physical) condition or appearance but is the heart and this is where the conflict ( // to the greater Jihad of Islam) really begins.

Modern Israel is a physical reality and, if the broadcast on it I watched a couple of years back is true it is a generally secular state. This means that Israel is but an ersatz offering in the spiritual sense.

I listened to a most interesting discussion on the World Service recently. Interesting and disturbing because it sounded like something that preceded Kristallnacht as the US Jews were portrayed as those who controlled the bulk of the nation's wealth. Shylock-like they hold the US to ransom and by dint of this ensure US (and UK where apparently the situation is the same) support for modern secular Israel. A worrying listen in every sense.

I understand that the placing of the Jews back into Jerusalem, a place found in Palestine, fitted the bill and fulfilled the Seder hope of ' next year in Jerusalem' - the cry of a displaced people but of course, like the Jews the Palestinians aren't going to go away as they take upon themselves the displaced label - but they haven't the warrant of the West and the emotional credentials that the Shoah brings, have they? 

But no one thought of that when the homeland became a nation did they? And so the scene is set and the conflict continues without charity or understanding from Israel and with bitter recriminations and a blood feud to settle from Palestine. (This is where God's 'leave none alive' policy in the OT saved lives - but that was something for then, not now!)

I find myself turning to the prophet to the Jews, Micah, and his call that those who would please God and live as His would exercise humility, seek justice in everything they do (and are) and exercise mercy - see little of that from them. Nothing of the stuff that confirms being God's people just the actions of people defending the rights of ownership without exercising the responsibilities YHWH would desire from them. My view will undoubtedly be unpopular with Zionists (Christian or otherwise) who, in the same way that many Americans fail to see their nation's actions as wrong, do the same with Israel.

The view that Israel, right or wrong, is always right because they are God's people is in itself wrong but if they are then surely God will call them to account and in the now see them live in a place where blessing them is difficult. I think that goes for those who support them too.


Cathy F said...

Love your wise musings. It is an impossible situation.


Stan said...

Funny how all these evil things happen in the "Holy Land"!

Vic Van Den Bergh said...

And yet, perhaps oddly, religion has nothing to do with it Stan! This is about politics, inappropriate exclusion and blood guilt - I don't think you'll find the Church has it's fingerprints anywhere on the whole proceedings.

It's strange but atheism/communism/fascism have more blood on their hands than the Christians and yet everyone plays the same (sadly wrong) card and points to religion.

Hey Ho - makes life fun