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Israel, Palestine, and Leaving Colonized Faith
KTF Weekly Newsletter
This week was a heavy one. We have seen many die and go missing in Israel, and will see many, many more die in retribution. All of the loss of life is tragic and we must pray for peace, for the many innocent lives lost because of the machinations of the powers that be. Pray for everyone who lost friends and family. Pray for the Israeli captives. Pray for Palestinians who now face the prospect of a choice between risking death and leaving their homeland never to be able to return. Pray for those who have chosen to leave and cannot because of blockades. Pray for the amplification of the voices within Israel calling for peace. And beseech God for a real, viable solution for the Palestinian people who have been fighting displacement, occupation, and blockade for decades. If we never do anything to put right what has happened to Palestine, this will not be the last attack like this, born of popular desperation.
Sy is off this week, but he will have more on this next week. Jonathan’s highlights all revolve around Israel and Palestine.
For some background and a Palestinian, Christian perspective on the conflict, you should listen to our interview with Rev. Munther Isaac. Rev. Isaac has consistently spoken prophetically, accurately, and intimately about the Gospel, Christian Zionism, and Solidarity with the Palestinian People. His words ring especially true today. We pray that his family, friends, and loved ones are safe as there is almost no way to leave the bombardment now taking place where he lives.
This song by The Brilliance called “Brother” is one that grounds me in the midst of crisis and conflict when I might be tempted to justify violence. Every person is made in the image of God, even those who maim, abuse, violate, and commit all manner of evil. We must resist the urge to dehumanize or otherwise crush the image of God in our fellow created ones. We are to love our enemies as Jesus commanded without exception.
Like many of you reading this message I have the privilege of internet access, electricity, working technology, and resources to read, reflect, and be present to my own feelings about a world shaken by unspeakable violence. But the temptations to speak and act out of unprocessed anger or fear are many. This post by civil rights advocate and Sikh activist Valarie Kaur is one that has grounded me amidst the fear, hate, and war-mongering of so many. As she suggests, we should open our hearts to grieve. And would we respond to Jesus’ invitation to do the difficult work of mourning with those who mourn.
There are many, many articles and interviews to read already. This podcast features a sobered and unsettled Steve Hendrix, the Washington Post’s Jerusalem Bureau Chief. It resonated with me deeply because the Post did not edit out his emotions and his astute analysis felt informed by his genuine, human connection to people in harm’s way. Moreover, we must not divorce Context and history from our understanding of this week. The interview does a good job of orienting listeners to the decades-long occupation that just burst back into our collective consciousness.
Thanks for reading, and see you next week.
Jonathan and Sy