The Crisis in Israel & Lebanon

by Richard on July 28, 2006

This post will not be fair and balanced. I believe that Israel’s present actions are contributing to the instability of the region and are further endangering her own citizens. That is not to say that I believe that Hezbollah are innocent victims. But I don’t see how anyone can look at the history of that part of the world since the ending of the British mandate in 1948 and not see that it is Israeli aggression which lies at the core of the continuing violence in ‘the Holy Land’. The fact that the wherewithal to pursue that aggression is supplied entirely by the US tax-payer merely adds to the anger I feel at the media reports coming out of southern Lebanon just now.

Let’s be clear. This isn’t a question of whether the Israeli response to Hezbollah is ‘proportionate’. (This far I agree with Dominic Lawson in today’s Independent - the whole notion of proportionality in warfare is preposterous. He is utterly wrong, though, that opposition to Israel implies anti-semitism.) The question is not whether Israel’s response to the kidnapping of its soldiers by Hezbollah is proportionate but whether it is right. In the moral sense, the answer to that must surely be negative. You have to use a very strange moral calculus to justify destroying the infrastructure of a country and displacing thousands of people as a result of the actions of a terrorist group. Neither do I see that there is any pragmatic reason to believe that Israel is doing the right thing. If anything, these actions are likely to increase support for Hezbollah and similar groups. Already there is evidence that Israel is succeeding in building a bridge over the intense division that exists between Sunni and Shi’a Muslims.

What Israel is doing serves to stoke the fires of Middle Eastern hatred of the West and provides plenty of propaganda for those who recruit young men to commit acts of suicidal violence. It is time to stop it, and it can be stopped. One word from George Bush could l could bring Israel to heel, because Israel is utterly dependent on the billions of dollars in receives in US military aid to maintain her armed forces. If Tony Blair has any influence at all in the White House (which I’m inclined to doubt), now is the time to prove it.

That’s why, for what little it is worth, I’m supporting those urging Tony Blair to call for an immediate ceasefire.
UK readers can support this campaign by texting CEASEFIRE to 87099.

Other bloggers say:
PamBG is lost for words (via 42)
Turbulent Cleric finds hope from the young, rails that the Brish government has lost its moral authority and reminds us that Israel was born in terrorism.
Street Prophets tell us that UCC leaders are calling for a ceasefire and the National Council of Churches has launched a season of prayer for the Middle East.

[tags]Lebanon, Israel, ceasefire[/tags]

{ 97 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Joel 07.28.06 at 4:44 pm

This is what we seemed to have accomplished (rom today’s New York Times headline):

“Tide of Arab Opinion Turns Toward Support of Hezbollah.”

The article notes that the strength of Arab street support for Hezbollah has caused many Arab leaders to backtrack from focus on Hezbollah to mostly condemnation of Israel.

2

Kim 07.28.06 at 7:10 pm

A big state founded on ethnic cleansing and violence supports a smaller state founded on ethnic cleansing and violence fight a would-be state founded on ethnic cleansing and violence. Denial of our national origins - our primordial scenes of collective murder - ensures that what goes around comes around - and will go and come around again. Nietzsche with a vengeance.

3

DH 07.28.06 at 7:23 pm

Sorry to suggest that 1948 and Israel being a nation as the problem is totally wrong. Israel deserves to be a nation. If you read history before 1967 there were no incidents and then in 1967 the Arabs unified to attack Israel without provocation. I feel that reading history will show that it was the Arabs that were the aggressors not Israel in the first place. To suggest that we need to support Arab issues rather than a balance between Arab AND Israeli issues is just plain wrong and totally unfair. The point being we must stop Hezbollah from having the ability to do these type of things in the future. I too support a cease fire but only after Syria, Iran and Hammas stop supporting Hezbollah and only after Hezbollah is reduced to a point where future ability to accomplish future goals are achieved.

To talk about the Arab support for Hezbollah increasing, I haven’t seem that I have seen the opposite. When I read and listen to professors who happen to be members of the Anwar Sadat institute stating their support for Israel defnding itself and the response was correct other than magnitude and how the Arab world outside of Syria, Iran and Hezbollah is showing greater support for western democracy in general then onecan be encouraged for the future. When people are so shortsighted and focus too much on the here and now as compared with what actionscan prevent future attrocities then ones paradigm can shift to what is actually the greater good for all people.

4

DH 07.28.06 at 8:17 pm

Well if you are referring to the US and Israel being founded on ethinc cleansing I think you will find that is not the case.

5

John 07.28.06 at 8:28 pm

This post will not be fair and balanced. I believe that Israel’s present actions are contributing to the instability of the region and are further endangering her own citizens. That is not to say that I believe that Hezbollah are innocent victims. But I don’t see how anyone can look at the history of that part of the world since the ending of the British mandate in 1948 and not see that it is Israeli aggression which lies at the core of the continuing violence in ‘the Holy Land’.

I have absolutely no idea how you can square this statement with history.

6

John 07.28.06 at 8:32 pm

Addendum: this conclusion is on par with saying “The root cause of the Holocaust was Jewish aggression against Germany” in reference to its ridiculousness. This conclusion could not be more wrong historically.

7

DH 07.28.06 at 8:48 pm

Amen, John.

8

John 07.28.06 at 8:56 pm

I will agree that there is absolutely nothing anti-semitic about advocating the extermination of 6 million Jews, or justifying the actions of those whose explicitly stated goal is the extermination of said Jews, so as long as those Jews are in the Israel. Outside of Israel is different. But inside Israel, it ceases to be anti-semitic.

9

Richard 07.28.06 at 9:04 pm

“…this conclusion is on par with saying “The root cause of the Holocaust was Jewish aggression against Germany” in reference to its ridiculousness.”
What rot.
There certainly was Zionist terrorism in the 1930’s and 40’s - the bombing of the British mandate headquarters at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946 was commemorated very recently. 92 people died in that act. How else do you define terrorism? Ever heard of Irgun?

10

Bene Diction 07.28.06 at 9:37 pm

I’ll throw some petrol on this discussion.

Why is it the absolutist voices in this discussion are from the US?

11

DH 07.28.06 at 10:14 pm

You mentioned ethinic cleansing and Israel wasn’t founded on that. The statements by Hezbollah, Al Quada, etc. ARE founded on that as a premise. So to equate Israel with Hezbollah and Al Quada is totally a misnomer.

12

DH 07.28.06 at 10:15 pm

“Why is it the absolutist voices in this discussion are from the US?”I don’t see the point and what does thathave to do with “tea in China”?

13

John 07.28.06 at 10:33 pm

How interesting that in order to find an incident of Israeli terrorism, one must reach back all the way to 1946.

Yup. I guess with the King David Hotel attack, that makes the Arab-Israeli conflict Israel’s fault.

Why is it the absolutist voices in this discussion are from the US?

Not all of them. Richard’s British.

14

DH 07.28.06 at 10:44 pm

John, love the sarcasm and your analysis and responses are wonderful.

15

Bene Diction 07.28.06 at 11:08 pm

Richard is British?!?!
Who knew:^)

Under the diplomatic definition of the word, Richard is not being absolutist

And John, your sarcasm isn’t going to cut it, yu are using the counter terrorism argument of just vengence.

That merely escalates conflict, even in a comment thread, and I think people here are smart enough not to go there.

The Vatican, Orthodox and Protestants leaders all over the world are speaking out, chosing not to be anyones lap dog.

16

Richard 07.28.06 at 11:49 pm

DH, I’m as fond of sarcasm as the next bloke. But John’s is entirely misplaced. I looked back to 1946 to back up my statement that Israel was birthed in terrorism, not because you have to go back to 1946 to find such an incident. And that was clear, I thought, from the context of the conversation. That’s a matter of historical fact. I’m not being ‘absolutist’ about this, if by that there’s an implication that blame lies only with Israel in all this. As someone else as said, no one comes out of this situation smelling of roses. But Israel has massive resources at her disposal — Israel receives something like a third of the US foreign aid budget (I believe), billions of dollars annually. If Israel truly desired peace with her neighbours, those resources could be used to build a just peace. If Arabs hate Israel, they have some justification. Arabs have been routinely discriminated against by Israel, deprived of access to health care, prevented from taking economic opportunities and generally treated like dirt. This doesn’t justify acts of terrorism, but it should make us chary of accepting Israel’s self-image as an innocent victim.
On the question of ‘ethnic cleansing’, remember that when Israel was founded, thousands of palestinians were forceably “transferred” - the most conservative estimate puts the number of Palestinians displaced at 500,000. (The UN figure is higher, the Palestinian figure higher still).
The past can’t be undone, but it can’t be swept under the carpet either. The point is, this is all very recent history. In Northern Ireland, passions are still stirred by the events of 1690. Little wonder that nerves are raw in the Middle East about events of the last century.
I’m not in any way suggesting that there’s any easy resolution to this situation. The peoples of the region just don’t trust one another and it will take generations to change that. But the beginnings of that resolution have to lie in a commitment to pursuing a course other than the complete destruction or humiliation of enemies. And a ceasefire would be a small first step.

17

Richard 07.29.06 at 12:15 am

BD - :)

18

John 07.29.06 at 12:31 am

You see, DH, you have to understand that Israel’s Arab neighbors have very limited and simple demands for a just peace: the total extermination of Israel. Surely the Israelis can stop being so stubborn and give in to this very basic request.

19

Joel 07.29.06 at 1:02 am

John,

I rather doubt that 50,000 dead Lebanese would convince you of anything. However, the fact that Hezbollah seems to be enhancing its appeal in the Arab and/or Muslim world ought to make any thinking person wonder whether Israel is really accomplishing anything with respect to its national security.

Again, Israel could have responded in a way that received the backing of Egypt and Saudia Arabia for instance, but now will just find itself more isolated.

As a further point, recent actions may just ensure that Iran stays committed to acquiring nuclear power.

20

Bene Diction 07.29.06 at 1:15 am

Yawn.
Are we supposed to be impressed that you have Christian Zionist rhetoric down cold?
Honestly, if these people would just think like us, we wouldn’t have these problems!

Yawn.
Absolutism versus pluralism?

Did I yawn yet?
Most believers around the world aren’t buying into the WWIII talk, the birthing pains rationalization, Bolton’s root cause routine of Hezbollah intellectualization before the Senate sub-committee., the ‘chaos is the path to order’ justification. I’m not hesitant to state I don’t believe for a second most believers in the US, Lebanon or anywhere else are buying it either.

You see John, we need to understand you have very limited and simple demands for a just peace - in the interest of that just peace in this comment thread, take the last word.

21

Joel 07.29.06 at 1:33 am

John,

On your blog you seem to suggest that anyone who disagrees with you is not only anti-Semitic but favors the extermination of Jews. However, I’d suggest that your own viewpoint represents more of a threat to Israel’s survival.

22

John 07.29.06 at 2:36 am

Joel-

No, I meant it tongue-in-cheek. I don’t think that those on the Left who serve as apologists for terrorism in Palestine are necessarily anti-Semitic. But I do think that those who sympathize with the extermination of 6 million Jews in Israel are morally on par with those who sympathize with the extermination of 6 million Jews in Germany. Israel’s enemies aren’t interested in some sort of settlement with adjusted borders. They say, openly and repeatedly, that their goal is to destroy Israel in its entirety.

These aren’t people that Israel can negotiate with. Yet so many people seem to think that their position is justifiable. I simply do not understand why.

Israel has shown remarkable restraint, as it is carefully targetting Hezbollah positions as much as possible. This is tricky, because Hezbollah is using the Lebanese population and UN posts as shields.

Now I’m being an armchair general here, but this is what I would suggest that Israel do: pull back to more or less 1967 borders. They’re already out of Gaza and can pull out of the West Bank. Recognize those territories as an independent state(s). Then when rockets come flying in from those areas, bomb them from the air. Consider any attack from across that border to be the act of the Palestinian state, and respond accordingly. Hold the Palestinians responsible for their own barbarism. If one Israeli dies, Palestine loses its airport and electrical grid. Repeat as necessary. Which will almost certainly be a lot, since present-day Palestinian culture is intensively violent. Eventually the Palestinians would get the drift: leave Israel alone, and they will get left alone. Attack Israel, suffer even greater casualties. As I said, eventually the Palestinians would figure it out, that or we’d run out of Palestinians.

That’s my solution. A bloody one to be sure, but I can’t think of a better one. What’s yours?

23

Joel 07.29.06 at 3:16 am

What to do? Warren Christopher’s column makes a lot of sense to me:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/27/AR2006072701420.html

24

Dave Warnock 07.29.06 at 8:01 am

John

“Israel has shown remarkable restraint, as it is carefully targetting Hezbollah positions as much as possible. This is tricky, because Hezbollah is using the Lebanese population and UN posts as shields.”

This is rubbish. The following is written by the Academic Dean of the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Lebanon, Martin Accad.

“As for the “real” profile of your so-called “terrorist,” come with me to the Beirut suburbs or to the villages of South Lebanon or to some parts of the Bekaa Valley. I will introduce you to many of my friends who eat the same food you do, watch the same movies, share your humanity, and yet happen to be staunch adherents to a group called Hezbollah. Contrary to many corrupt and double-faced political entities and ideologies in the Middle East, Hezbollah have been active in their social and educational programs, coherent in their message, and uncompromising in their political and militant stance. Whatever one’s opinion is of the group—and I, for one, am not a fan—in a country where war and occupation have often left a vacuum in entire regions of government, it is these characteristics of Hezbollah that have made it so popular to a majority of the most underprivileged, who happen also to be the most sizeable community in the Lebanese population: Shiites. The reality is that practically every man in almost every family in these regions belongs to the militant group that was first born in an effort to resist Israeli occupation of Southern Lebanon in 1982. After having breakfast with them in Beirut, you and I would then sip on a strong black coffee on the plastic chairs of a sidewalk café in the Beirut suburbs and reflect on the tragedy that when Israel and some Western nations promised to get rid of Hezbollah, they effectively vowed the extermination of about a third of the Lebanese population! About 700,000 have been displaced from the South, the Bekaa Valley in East Lebanon, and the Beirut suburbs, and have taken refuge north and east of Beirut. Seven hundred thousand out of a total Lebanese population of 3.5 million, 20 percent of the population, mostly Shiites, are now being cared for and given refuge by mostly Christian schools, churches, and other humanitarian organizations. This is the story of the Good Samaritan at a mega scale! And to think that this is the outcome of a strategy that meant to rouse anti-Hezbollah feelings among the Lebanese population and government. Talk about a failed strategy! Of course, this has happened so many times before that any thoughtful tactician would have learned the lesson by now, but military muscle is always too hedonistic and narcissistic to listen to the voice of reason and history.”

See more at http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/129/42.0.html and http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/130/22.0.html

John, I have to say I find “If one Israeli dies, Palestine loses its airport and electrical grid.” totally unacceptable and am stunned that you can even think such a thing. Why do you have a view that Palestinians are sub-human and not worth as much as an Israeli?

25

Paul 07.29.06 at 9:02 am

I don’t think anyone in this discussion is an “apologist for terrorism”, except possibly those who advocate daily bombing raids (and no guff about targetting please - we are all too wise after the Gulf Wars to know that there is no such thing as precision bombing) to pressurise a goverment of a neighbouring country as an acceptable action. What is this if not terrorism?

26

Beth 07.30.06 at 1:43 pm

We have seen what happens when the Jewish people are weak: pogroms, genocide, mass extermination. For the first time in their entire history, the Jews have a place which welcomes them, which will protect them regardless of any other interests, and which will never say to them “sorry, we have quotas, you can’t come in”. I’m sorry to say that I disagree with you, Kim. America may well have been founded on the genocide of the Native American people; the only genocide upon which Israel was founded was that of the holocaust. And every time the media tug our heartstrings with pictures of the dead in Lebanon, they should be forced to show a corresponding picture of those Israelis murdered by terrorists and in the Holocaust, and in anti-Semitic attacks which are still going on today and will continue to go on forever. There is no excuse for violence, but there are explanations, and I cannot blame Israel for reacting violently to yet another threat to the very existence of her people. I am only sad that she is forced into it.

27

Steve 07.30.06 at 5:22 pm

Let me try to recap John’s position:

1. Since Israel’s enemies in this conflict (I’m taking this to be Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria, and Iran primarily) want the destruction of Israel, anyone who sympathizes with civilians killed in those areas is therefore morally equivalent to the Nazis who killed 6 million Jews in Germany.

2. The only way to resolve this conflict is for Israel to move back to its 1967 borders and then exterminate every last Palestinian until the conflict ends or they’re all dead, which ever comes first.

By following this to its logical conclusion then, it appears his position is that anyone who advocates attempts to end this conflict by means other than genocide against the Palestinians is therefore advocating genocide against the Israelis.

28

dh 07.30.06 at 6:53 pm

John isn’t advocating genocide. Also, many, many Arabs support what Israel is doing other than they think it is a little overboard. I have mentioned the Anwar Sadat Institute member and the like. For you to say Israel is founded on terrorism or ethnic cleansing (defined as elimination by the lkilling not focibly removing) is just absurd. Also, Palestinians have their land it is called Jordon. To say Palestinians have a right to the entire Israel is just plain wrong when there is so much land readily available elsewhere. In fact Joron offered free land to Palestinians for them to migrate and only 5% took up the offer. We need to get the facts right rather than just spin this as an anti-Israel thing when Arabs as a whole support Israel against Hezbollah.

29

Beth 07.30.06 at 7:35 pm

I think the crux of this matter is that one’s sympathies be directed. Of course it is necessary and right to sympathise with those who have lost homes, livelihoods, family and friends. It is right to want an end to this conflict with no more death and destruction - and we must remember that Israelis are being killed too. However, it is not possible to sympathise to the extent of agreeing that Israel should be wiped off the map.

In the end, Israel has done and is doing what every nation has done in human history. Will the English give England back to the Welsh? Will the US give its lands back to the Native Americans? Will the Australians give Australia back to the Aborigines? When they do, then maybe we can all look at Israel stepping down for the Palestinians. Human history is the history of the displacement of people by those who are stronger, or who have stronger allies. And God knows, at least the Jews took these lands out of necessity and not greed.

30

Pam 07.30.06 at 11:05 pm

I think the crux of this matter is that one’s sympathies be directed. Of course it is necessary and right to sympathise with those who have lost homes, livelihoods, family and friends. It is right to want an end to this conflict with no more death and destruction - and we must remember that Israelis are being killed too.

For me, the issue is that - from a basis in Christian theology - I don’t think that any Christian should be “taking sides” at all.

I know that I may *appear* to be taking an “anti-Israeli” stance but I think I’m just trying put forward the view that Israel is not and never has been innocent of atrocities.

What I find appalling is not that people correctly understand that Palestine, Lebanon, Hezbollah and others have committed and are committing atrocities. What I find appalling is that Israel’s atrocities are overlooked. Why? Because we’ll be “anti-Semitic” if we say that bombing a county’s airport is an over-the-top reaction to having three of your soliders captured?

It’s a matter of truth and for reasons I don’t understand, American conservative Christians seem totally and utterly blind to evils committed by Israel.

The wacky Derby premillinial theology of “Support Israel so that the Rapture can begin” seems to have mutated to the theology of “Israel never sins”. Even amongst mainstream Christians who should know better.

It is absolutely mind-boggling to me that any Christian would cheer or pray for the death of any individual human being. I really do sometimes wonder whether I belong to the same religion as people who think that Christianity is about “Jesus is my Superhero”.

31

Beth 07.31.06 at 7:53 am

Pam,

You’re right about taking sides; I just find it difficult not to do so. In Britain, the prevailing feeling I’ve found is entirely contrary to the one you describe. People here seem to accept unquestioningly that Israel is the agressor and that she is in the wrong. We are bombarded in the media with images of suffering Palestinians or Lebanese, but nothing is said about the suffering of Israelis. I suppose that is why I have the attitude that I do - I don’t believe that people are looking at the context for Israeli agression, that a) the Jewish people have a greater need than most for security, and that b) Israel is a legitimate state being attacked by terrorists.

Israel’s actions have unquestionably contravened human rights, and no doubt international laws too, on occasion. I do not believe that any human being has the right to kill another, in any situation, be it rage, war or self-defence. But I believe this because I am a Christian. We can’t be arrogant enough to condemn another, mainly non-Christian, people on the basis of our own beliefs. We can only hope that considerations outside religion, such as compassion for other human beings, will come into play to end this violence.

32

John 07.31.06 at 10:48 am

Steve wrote:

Let me try to recap John’s position:

1. Since Israel’s enemies in this conflict (I’m taking this to be Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria, and Iran primarily) want the destruction of Israel, anyone who sympathizes with civilians killed in those areas is therefore morally equivalent to the Nazis who killed 6 million Jews in Germany.

Not quite. My position is that anyone who sympathizes with those who wish to annihilate Israel is morally equivalent to anyone who sympathizes with the Nazis wish to annihilate the Jews of Europe.

2. The only way to resolve this conflict is for Israel to move back to its 1967 borders and then exterminate every last Palestinian until the conflict ends or they’re all dead, which ever comes first.

Again, not quite. The only way to resolve this conflict is for Israel to move bak to its 1967 borders (with some exceptions) and punish the Palestinian state for terrorism by militarily treating all attacks from that independent Palestinian state as a state action until the conflict ends or they’re all dead, which ever comes first.

On this subject, a couple more comments up the thread, Dave Warnock wrote:

John, I have to say I find “If one Israeli dies, Palestine loses its airport and electrical grid.” totally unacceptable and am stunned that you can even think such a thing. Why do you have a view that Palestinians are sub-human and not worth as much as an Israeli?

Okay, what’s your idea for ending the Palestinian mass psychosis which has made them obsessed with wiping Israel off the face of the earth? If there’s a better one, I’d like to know it.

33

Pam 07.31.06 at 10:51 am

I just find it difficult not to do so. In Britain, the prevailing feeling I’ve found is entirely contrary to the one you describe. People here seem to accept unquestioningly that Israel is the agressor and that she is in the wrong.

Beth, I’m in Britain too and I agree with you about the media’s slant (I’m American by birth but have dual nationality and have lived in the UK for coming up to 18 years.)

In the church I attend, however, intercessory prayers have always been made with the assumption that God wants peace rather than “one side to win”. As an American who grew up in the conservative evangelical scene, I’m not only shocked that people still think Israel is almost totally innocent, I’m also still shocked (although I probably shouldn’t be) by the fact that people think that Christian theology gives us some sort of mandate to choose sides and to wish for the death of the side we’re not rooting for.

34

Kim 07.31.06 at 1:37 pm

A point of theological principle: whence this nonsense about Christians not taking sides? The entire prophetic tradition of Israel speaks of a God who takes sides, who has, e.g., a “bias/preferential option for the poor”. This is basic OT stuff, confirmed in the Magnificat (Luke 1), and in Jesus’ Jubilee manifesto (Luke 4) and his sermon on the plain (Luke 6).

Remember the civil rights and anti-apartheid movements? Did you not take sides? Christians “not taking sides” sounds suspiciously like Christians “keeping out of politics” - which implicitly entails support for the rich and powerful and the continuation of the status quo. This is a false impartiality.

Of course there can also also be a false partiality. There are times to take sides - and times not to take sides - and times to say, “A plague on both your houses!” Christian political responsibility must always be ad hoc and concrete, determined on a case-by-case and even a day-by-day basis. Therefore it must also always be provisional, lest it become ideological: Christians must be free to change their minds, evaluating the evidence as it comes in, its accuracy and reliability, and adjusting their commitments accordingly - always in the light of the God of the Bible, his nature, character and project of shalom - not to mention the mendacity of Fox News!

Having said that, I come clean: Israel is now engaging in over-kill - theologically insupportable and politically diasatrous over-kill. The US should put pressure on Israel for an immediate cease-fire. It would be good for the UK - both its credibility and interests - for Tony Blair to wake up, but his sleep is probably mortal; nor would it make any real difference to Bush and co. A UN peace-keeping force is unthinkable - for Muslims it would just be another cohort of crusaders, and it would repeat the failures of 1982. Sooner rather than later Israel will have to talk, yes, even with “terrorists” (which, of course, would be nothing new), for a military solution is a fantasy. Ultimately, however, the Middle East needs a new generation of leaders of vision, imagination and courage: Israel needs a Mandela, Palestine a Martin Luther King. Otherwise Israel-Palestine will remain an earthly inferno: “Abandon all hope, you who enter here.”

35

DH 07.31.06 at 2:16 pm

Beth, I totally agree with your responses with regard to Israel. However, I do believe it to be Christian to use violence as self-defense. So we agree but from two different premises. For me the reason I support Israel in some of their actionsis because I am a Christian. However, Beth, I loved your responses andthey are encouraging to me. :)

36

DH 07.31.06 at 2:18 pm

Pam, no one is cheering thedeath of anyone. We are supporting actions of self-defense aganist terroism.

37

John 07.31.06 at 3:37 pm

Pam, for someone so committed to avoiding choosing sides, you sure are choosing sides pretty clearly.

38

DH 07.31.06 at 5:35 pm

“Israel needs a Mandela.” What Israel needs a Communist?

39

Beth 07.31.06 at 5:47 pm

I’m afraid I agree with dh on this, Kim - Israel doesn’t need a Mandela, and I’m not sure that Palestine needs a Martin Luther King, either. What they both need is someone who will show them that ethnic hatred, and the violence that springs from it, are simply wrong. I’m tempted to say that they need Christ, except that I am vehemently against a simplistic view that Christianity is somehow the cure for the world’s problems (see previous posts ad nauseam) and against the arrogance of Jews for Jesus and the like. But they certainly need a Christ, someone who teaches peace and who will call them to account for their behaviour. Then again, so do we all.

40

Pam 07.31.06 at 6:35 pm

A point of theological principle: whence this nonsense about Christians not taking sides?

Kim, this feels like a disengenuous comment. The Middle East is a situation where, for 60 years, the involved parties have all committed great atrocities against each other in complicated and multi-dimensional permutations. Theologically reflecting on in the Middle East is in no way comparable to theological reflection on civil rights.

The whole reason that civil rights is a Christian value is because Christianity teaches the equal value (or equal non-value if you prefer) of every human person. How does a Christian come up with the theology that amongst those peoples who have committed atrocities against each other, God values the lives of one group and de-values the lives of the other?

41

Pam 07.31.06 at 6:41 pm

Pam, for someone so committed to avoiding choosing sides, you sure are choosing sides pretty clearly.

I really disagree with your whole approach that to refuse to say that one side is innocent is to say that the other side is innocent. It is just that you are taking such a hard-line position on the absolute innocence of Israel that my mind literally boggles; I really can’t understand how you can think that Israel has not committed atrocities.

Are you familiar with the concept of mimetic violence? There is simply no way that anyone who kills anyone can be considered innocent in any way, shape or form in a Christian theological content. Being violent in any way is sinful. Wishing violence in any way is sinful. Wanting what another has or wants is the road ot violence and is sinful.

42

DH 07.31.06 at 7:16 pm

“Being violent in any way is sinful. ” That doesn’t line up with the moneychangers being thrown out or the OT where God told the Israelites how to defend their country. No one is wishing harm on anyone but like Beth said nations must defend themselves.

Beth “arrogance of Jews for Jesus”. I’m very familiar with that organization. If you doresearch on them I think you would rethink your position. They are in no way arrogant. “simplistic view that Christianity is somehow the cure for the world’s problems”. To call “I am the way…” or “Without Faith it is impossibile to please God.” and “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” or Jesus saying “If you deny Me I will deny you before My Father in heaven.” “too simplistic” seems strange when Jesus is the answer.

It reminds me of the song from the “Imperials”, “Jesus is the answer for the world today above Him there’s no other Jesus is the Way.”

43

John 07.31.06 at 9:09 pm

Israel isn’t innocent in the absolute sense, but it is innocent in the comparative sense. Israel is a mostly peaceful nation committed to democracy, human rights, and getting along with its neighbors. Its enemies…tend to be the opposite. There have been abberations, but they are rare. For those abberations, does Israel deserve to be exterminated?

Those who insist on depicting Israel as the great villain in this conflict are not only taking sides, they are making a comparative judgment that is false. Israel is not perfect, but it is not the aggressor here.

Sure, killing people is bad. Now if you’re going to take the approach that it is always wrong, then it is incumbent upon you to condemn it at all times, not just when Israel commits it.

44

Pam 07.31.06 at 10:04 pm

Those who insist on depicting Israel as the great villain in this conflict are not only taking sides, they are making a comparative judgment that is false. Israel is not perfect, but it is not the aggressor here.

And the person who characterises me as “depicting Israel as the great villain” is misrepresenting me. But I doubt I’ll convince you of that.

My views on “the theology of innocence”: http://tinyurl.com/rn9rn

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Pam 07.31.06 at 10:11 pm

then it is incumbent upon you to condemn it at all times, not just when Israel commits it.

I have said numerous times to you that I condemn all violence. I think I have specifically said I condemn the violence of Palestine, the violence of Hezbollah and the violence of Lebanon against Israel. Do you wish me to add any more condemnations? I condemn the violence of Lebanese Christians against Lebanese Muslims; I condemn the violence of Lebanese Muslims against Lebanese Christians; I condemn the violence of Sunni Muslims against Shiite Muslims, I condemn the violence of Shiite Muslims against Sunni Muslims. I condemn the violence of Turkey against Jews and Christians.

That covers all the parties that I can think of in the region in the last 100 or so years. If you can think of any more, let me know.

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DH 07.31.06 at 10:28 pm

Pam I condemn the violence of terrorists against the inncocent but I don’t condemn self defense against the acts of terrorists or condemn actions which prevent future terrorist activity from occurring in the future.

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Paul 07.31.06 at 11:59 pm

“On another note as an analogy: Robin Hood’s actions of stealing are just as bad as the actions of the King’s and his rulers actions of oppressing the people.”

Who said that? Oh yes DH said it in a previous discussion.

Explain the difference between this and acts of “self-defence” by Israel against Hezbollah terrorists.

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Pam 08.01.06 at 10:12 am

I am in the process of compiling a list of news items from British and US sources. The list will begin somewhere at the beginning of June of this year.

For the very recent events (let’s not even talk about the last 60 years!), this will provide at leas some sort of data. So far, the situtation looks darn complicated to me. I’ll be interested to see how anyone can take this data and devise a methodology of theological reflection whereby we me determine, on the basis of Christian theology, which of the many combattants “God wants us to support”.

I remain with my current point of view that yes, there is truth and God wants us to make moral decisions. The moral decision that God wants us to make is that action that the Messiah taught when he found himself the citizen of a country occupied by foreign invaders: forgiveness, reconciliation and passive resistance.

“Jesus, you can’t be serious? Passive resistance? Forgive them? These guys invaded our land, destroyed our way of life and co-opted our government and now instead of giving glory to the Lord, we are forced to give glory to Caesar. Render unto Ceaser? You’ve got to be kidding? The true Messiah will help us crush these heathen oppressors, so it’s clear you can’t be the Messiah!”

Yep, Jesus’ just war theory. Right.

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Beth 08.01.06 at 12:19 pm

Pam, I’m with you on non-violence. DH and I have argued this one ad nauseam, and I don’t think we’ll ever agree. In my view, there is no sense in which violence can be acceptable within Christian theology. So far, so good.

Nonetheless, I am taking sides in this conflict, and I am taking the side of Israel. I do not believe that all of Israel’s actions have been good, and I would condemn some of them entirely. Nonetheless, I believe that the world, particularly the Christian world, owes the Jewish people a debt that can never be repayed, and part of that debt is the duty to condemn anti-Semitism wherever, and for whatever reason, it arises. That is the main reason why I support Israel, despite the violence and human rights abuses.

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Pam 08.01.06 at 2:42 pm

Nonetheless, I am taking sides in this conflict, and I am taking the side of Israel

Beth, I don’t actually have a problem with you making that decision because you seem to be taking it on “pragmatic” grounds and with the conviction that violence is sinful. What I’m opposing here is the idea that God takes sides when people are violent to each other, that God wants one side dead, that we can know from Christian theology which side he wants dead, and that we as Christians have the obligation to crusade for “the enemy’s” death and that not doing so is tantamount to crusading for the death of “the good guys”.

To me personally, when I look at the history of “the Holy Land” since 1948 - or even before that to the turn of the 20th century - what I see is a complicated tapestry of attack and counter-attack. If we are talking about pragmatic ethical decisions, I honestly cannot even see the lowest form of ethical awareness here; I honestly do not even see anyone looking beyond revenge to the basic ethical idea that my enemy is human. I appreciate that you disagree with the decision I’ve come to, but I’m trying to look honestly at the facts.

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DH 08.01.06 at 2:50 pm

Paul, Israel isn’t stealing and I see no connection to your analogy whatsoever.

Well God took sides when He told the Israelites to destroy the other “ites” for worshipping false gods. Also, Jesusdid aviolent act by throwing out the moneychangers with a whip and telling the disciples to take up additional swords. Even Jesus said He came with a sword. To project total pascifism from the Bible doesn’t make sense when taking the Bible in its entirety.

However, Beth I appreciate your support of Israel. That is one thing I totally agree with you on. I think it is wonderful that we can agree with this. :)

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Kim 08.01.06 at 3:16 pm

Is this Beth the Beth I know and love? That she is in agreement with DH over Israel-Palestine rather suggests that body snatchers have been at work, and that she is now possessed by an alien intelligence (sic).

Hearken to the words of Akiva Eldar, loyal child of Israel and exegete of the covenant, written in November 2003 for the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz:

“It is much easier to claim the whole world is against us than to admit that the State of Israel, which rose as a refuge and source of pride for Jews, has not only turned into a place less Jewish and less safe for its citizens, but has become a genuine source of danger and a source of shameful embarrassment to Jews who choose to live beyond its borders. Arguing that it takes an anti-Semite to call the Israeli government’s policies of 2003″ - and, I would suggest, a fortiori, the Israeli government’s policies of July 2006 - “a danger to world peace is a contemptible cheapening of the term anti-Semitism.”

And for any Americans out there, here is William Fulbright in his classic The Arrogance of Power, written in 1966 - and, alas, even more descriptive of the USA fory years on, clearly suffering from the Vietnamese strain of Alzheimer’s disease :

“Gradually but unmistakably, America is showing signs of that arrogance of power which has afflicted, weakened, and in some cases destroyed great nations in the past. In so doing, we are not living up to our capacity and promise of a civilized example for the world. The measure of our falling short is the measure of the patriot’s duty of dissent.”

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CH 08.01.06 at 3:45 pm

Greetings to all, I just want to tell you how we see it from here, in Lebanon. And Mr. Martin Accad’s article in ChristianityToday reflects a very balanced view, mentioned above by Dave Warnock.
When the Israeli soldiers were captured, Israel retalliated fiercely by bombing not Hizb Allah (this is the proper way of pronouncing and spelling, instead of Hizbollah, or Khizbolah) military posts, but on Lebanon’s infrastructure, roads, airport, port, even antennas of news agencies both local and global, bridges, houses, buildings, reporters, humanitarian aids, trucks… I mean where’s Hizb Allah in all of this?
I, as a Christian evangelical was not sided with anyone, but Israel’s aggression on Lebanon certainly created another ally for Hizb Allah.
No one wants war here in Lebanon, even Hizb Allah. The muslims here want to live in peace. What Hizb Allah wants from Israel is to take back the many prisoners Israel is detaining, some of whom are women and young, and to give Shibaa farms back to Lebanon. Hizb Allah kidnapped the soldiers so that it can exchange prisoners, as it was done before.
Moreover, when Israel was occupying South Lebanon from 1982, Israel was stealing water from Litani river and soil to Israel. When it retreated in year 2000, it planted mines. Many innocent people have died because Israel did not give and till today does not give the maps where the mines are placed.

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DH 08.01.06 at 4:04 pm

The fact is that it is less safe not because of the Israeli government but because of Hezbollah and Hammas. The blame is misplaced. Also what is destroying nations is not the US but terrorism and terrorists that the Arab people as a whole in the majority want to eliminate.

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Steve 08.01.06 at 4:05 pm

DH,

Since when did God speak to you personally and tell you that Israel should destroy the Palestinians and Lebanese? Or what evidence do you have that he did the same to the secular leaders of Israel?

Secondly, I completely disagree with your interpretations of the scripture regarding Jesus’ alleged acceptance of violence. There is no evidence he used violence against any person in the temple - he merely overturned the tables of the money changers and drove the livestock out of the temple with his whip. The scripture itself tells us why he told his disciples to obtain swords - so that prophecy might be fulfilled (”he was numbered with the transgressors”). But the fact that he did not mean for them to use the swords is pretty clearly spelled out when he rebukes them at his capture by saying “he who lives by the sword dies by the sword.”

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DH 08.01.06 at 5:13 pm

I neversaid that Israel should destroy the Palestinians or Lebanese. I only have mentioned my response to Hezbollah and Hammas both known terrorist organizations. If you reread my response I never mentioned Palestinians or Lebanese. Only those who support Hezbollah or Hammas.

Steve, it seems to me using a whip in a temple is a violent act to me. It kind of reminds me of Clinton on his definition of what “is” “is. Using a whip seems to me to be a violent act. To think otherwise seems rather odd to me.

Also, the problem is that Hezbollah are cowards because they dress like civilians and hide behind civilians making this a more difficult operation than otherwise. To me I just don’t see it as CH does. I feel for the people but Arabs as a whole don’t want Hezbollah around aka the support from Egypt, Jordon and Turkey and a tacit support from Saudia Arabia.

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Richard 08.01.06 at 5:25 pm

CH - greetings to you. Thanks for commenting.

DH - you may not “see it as CH does” but he (?) at least appears to be on the spot. Whose perspective should we give priority to?

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Kim 08.01.06 at 5:59 pm

Nice try, Steve, but no one is going to budge DH from his tribal war Lord, his GI Joe Jesus, and his kick-ass Spirit of do-it-to-them-before-they-do-it-to-us. The frightening thing is that DH is representative of that huge swathe of American Christianity that Mark Noll described in The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind (1994), compounded twelve years on by the intensification of a fierce religious nationalism, milked and manipulated by Bush and co., that equates Old Glory with God’s glory. Hence the infamous address of the president to Congress in 2003, when he took the words from the hymn “There’s Power in the Blood” and - no kidding! - identified it with “the goodness and idealism and faith of the American people.”

This kind of chauvinism is not new in America, just more virulent post 9/11 with the neo-cons and the religious Right flexing their pecs in the context of a national ecology of confusion and fear. And it’s hard to see it shifting in the current climate of historical amnesia and sneering, solipsistic dismissal, not just of anything un-American, but of anything non-American. “Europeans?” one famous senator is reported to have said. “For Christ’s sake, they don’t even go to church!”

The commentator Richard Hughes is right: “There is perhaps no more compelling task for Americans to accomplish in the 21st century than to learn to see the world through someone else’s eyes.”

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DH 08.01.06 at 6:15 pm

Oh Kim, just keep on continuing your overgeneralizations of me and your projections of me onto others views which are not 100% mine myself.

My question to you Kim in light of Israel being a minotiry within the Middle East.: If America isn’t going to support Israel than who, in light of how few support Israel? Also, at least your wonderful PM Blair is doing a good job supporting Israel. To show a balance point, you might be surprised to know that I agree with his idea of NATO advance forces to replace the Israeli forces in the fight against Hezbollah.

So to rephrase it: Without the UK or the US who is going to support Israel without suggesting Israel fail to be a nation? Also, why continue to misrepresent Scripture with regard to the blessings of nations who support Israel? That is not to say that America or the UK are so great and wonderful but to a very small extent inthe physical it seems there is a spirtual blessing physically for supporting Israel. (I say this in that true Spiritual blessing comes about only by accepting Christ as ones Savior by Faith in Christ death and resurrection and Faith to know that Jesus is God)

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DH 08.01.06 at 6:17 pm

Kim, we saw the world through others eyes and the others eyes cost millions of lives in WWII. Lets relive Neville Chamberlain and 1938 France these days (sarcasm). God help us.

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DH 08.01.06 at 6:20 pm

“What Hizb Allah wants from Israel is to take back the many prisoners Israel is detaining, some of whom are women and young, and to give Shibaa farms back to Lebanon.” That still is the total answer for their goal is the destruction of Israel in its entirety. If you read their mission statements that istheir desire. This is what must stop for their to be peace or at least put them in a place where this possibility is dramtically diminished.

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Steve 08.01.06 at 6:22 pm

That very well may be true, Kim, but I figured I needed to at least give it one more try.

One more time, DH:

You stated that “Well God took sides when He told the Israelites to destroy the other “ites” for worshipping false gods.”

My response was to question where God had told you or anyone else to destroy the Palestinians or Lebanese (thereby taking sides with the Israelis). If your argument is that “God told them to do it in the past, so it’s okay to do it now,” you better make the “God told me/them” connection to the now. Otherwise, you need to make a case that it’s okay to wage war without God’s direct command.

Second point: We’re talking semantics here. Your argument is that Jesus modeled that it was okey dokey to kill people because he “used violence in the temple.” But nowhere in that passage does he actually touch a person, much less kill them. He overturns tables (physical objects) and drives animals out with a whip (you know, like what a cowboy might do). If you’re going to argue that Jesus advocates warfare and killing in some context, you’re going to have to come up with some other scripture to support it.

And to reiterate, your other scripture about telling his disciples to get swords (or rather, sword) doesn’t cut it, for the reasons I already laid out. From context, the scripture makes it clear that Jesus did not intend for them to actually USE them (especially since he scolds them for doing so when the time comes and they do).

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CH 08.01.06 at 6:36 pm

DH, you only quoted part of my comment. Does that mean that you agree with the rest of my comment?
As for Hizb Allah’s mission statement, please show them to me. If you do, then I will show you Israel’s plan (the Zionist plan of the Middle East region), which is to expand and make Israel’s border from Nile River(Egypt) to Litani River(Lebanon).

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Richard 08.01.06 at 7:26 pm

>> “Lets relive Neville Chamberlain and 1938 France these days (sarcasm). God help us.”

You keep writing things like this, and it is very irritating. Whilst it is clear that Chamberlain’s policy towards the Nazis was entirely wrong in the 1930’s, it was Chamberlain who made the declaration of war on Hitler’s Germany in 1939. Do you want to tell me in what year the US declared war on Germany? This is off-topic for this thread, so I’m reluctant to pursue it, but bringing out the spectre of Chamberlain doesn’t close down the conversation you know.

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Kim 08.01.06 at 7:32 pm

DH, the modern nation state of Israel cannot be equated with the Israel of God in the Hebrew Bible. From this fundamental confusion flow both the political intransigence and the apocalyptic fantasies of the religious Right.

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DH 08.01.06 at 7:41 pm

Well it wasbecause America fell for Neville’s peace in our time. It seems inconsistent to support the war against Hitler and not support Israels right to defend itself. It is also inconsistent to support the war against Hitler and not support the war against a Hitler like Saddam. Isee too much inconsistencies with the pascifist group.

The point is there is no Zionist plan. I also have heard Hezbollah leadership state the goal being the elimination of Israel. Disporve that there is not what I said. It is for you to show what I said is wrong. Hopefully, this will clarify the “mission statement” comment by me.

No CH, I totally Israel other than going a little overboard. I see Hezbollah with regardto the roads, bridges and airports because Hezbollah are cowards who use these things for their advantage. Also, many of these places are housing Hezbollah. As for the prisoners they do not deserve to be returned for their terrorist campaign.

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CH 08.01.06 at 8:06 pm

Look DH, I see what’s happening here in Lebanon. DO NOT tell me that the roads, bridges, airport, port, humanitarian aids, trucks filled with food, Red Cross ambulance, gas stations, antennas of news agencies both local and global are being used by Hizb Allah. I know that the gas place close to my town is no place for Hizb Allah. Moreover, what does the northern region got to do with Hizb Allah? Hizb Allah is in the SOUTH.
Are you positive that there’s no zionist plan? What makes you so sure?
Who’s the guy representing Hizb Allah, who said that their goal is to eliminate Israel. Tell me the guy’s name please. Don’t base your facts on hearsays.

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Richard 08.01.06 at 8:15 pm

“Well it wasbecause America fell for Neville’s peace in our time
And there was me thinking it was to do with traditional US isolationism. I’ll concede defeat on this one. I’d never imagined Chamberlain had so much influence.

Now you’ll tell me in what year the US declared war on Hitler?

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DH 08.01.06 at 9:10 pm

Don’t bait me on this the US support the allies militarily with materiele throughout the war. This answer still doesn’t explain nor have you mentioned the inconsistencies of your views between WWII vs. Israel, vs. Iraq, vs. Afghanistan, etc.

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Beth 08.01.06 at 11:38 pm

This is all getting messy - as it should, perhaps, but I’m not happy with messy right now.

Kim, you want me to condemn Israel? Okay, I’ll do it. But I’ll only be doing it because you told me to and I think you probably know better than I do. I have already said that I condemn the Israel’s actions of violence and abuse of human rights. No-one has a right to violence, and I think we agree on that. The thing is, that war is dirty and unpleasant and evil. As soon as you agree that it’s okay to go to war, you can’t then say “oh, but wait, you can’t, like, kill women and bomb the water supply and stuff.” Either it’s okay for Israel to defend herself with violence, or it isn’t. I believe that it isn’t. But I’d like you to show me an alternative way for Israel to defend herself and her people from wholesale destruction. What else can Israel do other than try to crush the enemies who would try to crush her? Do you have an answer? What’s happening in the Middle East is shit and I pray for it to end. But I also pray that God will help and support a people which has suffered more than any people should ever have to.

dh - broadly, yes, we agree. But I suspect it is for radically different reasons. I support Israel despite the violence; you support Israel and condone the violence. The Bible doesn’t show me that Israel has a right to use violence, any more than anyone else does. I do not equate the modern state of Israel with the Israel of the Bible.

CH - I’m sorry. I know I speak from a position of ignorance. Tell me how you think Israel should react to acts of aggression and violence? That’s not meant to be sarcastic or flippant - I really do want to know what you think.

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CH 08.02.06 at 7:18 am

Thank you Beth. This is the first blog from some 5 other ones I’ve checked where I see people try to listen to people from inside Lebanon. I am ashamed specially of Christians who have turned their backs on Lebanon (the only Christian country in the Middle East), just because Israel is in the equation. Some even argued that Israel will win and must win according to the Bible, etc, to which I disagree.
Israel is not defending itself, it is the aggressor and it retalliated disproportionately. Hizb Allah very clearly stated that the reason for the capture of the Israeli soldiers is exchange of prisoners. Israel should’ve exchanged the prisoners, as it did before. Let Israel give Shibaa farms back to Lebanon. Let Israel give the maps of the mines that were placed on purpose of killing civilians. Unfortunately, the people of Lebanon and the people of Israel have nothing to do with this war. Both want peace and a cease fire and negotiations.
The reality which is blurred by the media: Hizb Allah is resistance, not terrorists. It was born out of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, just like the French resistance was born out of German invasion. Hizb Allah has political group and military group, permitted by the Lebanese government. Hizb Allah and Lebanon want Shibaa farms back. Now when Israel gives Shibaa farms back, Hizb Allah will not have a reason to keep its military wing. There were round tables among the Lebanese politicians (Hizb Allah included) who talked about resolving Hizb Allah’s military wing. But when this war started and Israel retalliated disproportionately all the talks ended. Israel would help alot if it gives Shibaa farms back. The main reason for allowing Hizb Allah’s military wing to function would drop.

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Beth 08.02.06 at 11:32 am

CH - thanks so much for responding. I’m going to go away and do some reading on all this. An Israeli friend of mine suggested reading some books by the author Avi Shlaim, because he feels that I am too pro-Israel. Do you have any other suggestions?

All the best - my thoughts and prayers are with you, as I’m sure are everyone else’s here.

B

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CH 08.02.06 at 2:01 pm

I wish I had books, but there are websites.
I got this one, which is not a Christian one: http://iamthewitness.com/ I got this recently, so I haven’t read everything mentioned in it.

There’s a audio about how the Scofield Reference Bible is used by the pro-Zionists. http://www.ihr.org/main/audio.shtml then find “Chuck Carlson :: April 24, 2004 :: IHR Conference in Sacramento”. You can look at their website too.

http://www.rense.com/ is a news website. Use their search engine.

There are Jewish sites:
http://www.nkusa.org/
http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com
http://www.jewsnotzionists.org

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DH 08.02.06 at 2:50 pm

Beth, you aren’t too pro-Israel. Also, CH the Lebanese are not the ones Israel is after it is Hezbollah. To defend Hezbollah is to defend terrorism.

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CH 08.02.06 at 2:55 pm

This is for DH and everyone who believes that Israel is after Hizb Allah only and has nothing against Lebanon. http://www.fromisraeltolebanon.com

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DH 08.02.06 at 3:46 pm

How do we know it is intentional? We know that Hezbollah hide behind civilians who are innocent making the struggle difficult. I feel for the Lebanese people but we shouldn’t still stay focused on the truth at hand. People are dying but to not deal with Hezbollah causes greater problems. CH I’m praying for you and your people. Don’t think I don’t care for I do. Love in Christ, CH. DH

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CH 08.02.06 at 4:34 pm

Oh I see, so you kill every civilian who is being used as a shield. And then say sorry. So you kill 4 UN peacekeepers for some “vile” reason and then say you’re sorry. So you destroy a Red Cross vehicle and say that there was Hizb Allah inside. So you bomb gas stations and antennas of news agencies and say they were being used by Hizb Allah.
Hizb Allah is not the greater problem now. Israel is the great problem. Hizb Allah will remain and no one can take out Hizb Allah. It is in the government. Thanks for your prayers. It’s good that you mentioned this. We need people who are praying for peace rather than Israel to win. Love in Christ.

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DH 08.02.06 at 5:05 pm

No one is out for Israel to win only for Israel to dramatically destroy Hezbollah to the point where future terrorism can be reduced. To see Lebanon putting Hezbollah in the leadership of their country seems strange. To allow terrorists into government is equivilent to allowing the Nazi party into goevernment. Once this stops and Israel and Lebanon can work together for a common goal of two democracies with no terrorism can there be peace. At the same time, once Hezbollah is eliminated, I pray that Israel will not occupy Lebanon. I have a feeling they won’t but if they do I will be on your side CH. :) I still believein deomcracy for both but as long as terrorists are in the government I will continue to support who I support. I at the same time am on the side ofanti-Hezbollah Lebanese andpray that they will stop having terrorists (who are a minority) in their goevernment.

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CH 08.03.06 at 6:40 am

Beth, read some of Norman Finkelstein’s books: “Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict”, “The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering”, “Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Finkelstein

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asaf benzaken 08.03.06 at 6:02 pm

“I don’t see how anyone can look at the history of that part of the world since the ending of the British mandate in 1948 and not see that it is Israeli aggression which lies at the core of the continuing violence in ‘the Holy Land’.”

Check your facts, mate
through the entire history, the only side who ever declined peace, was the opposite site - but never israel.

when the UN decided to split israel to two nations, 50% arab 50% jews - arabs started a war againts israel
in fact, the arabs started all the wars againts israel. israel was never the agressive side.

the point you are making about the fact that since 1948 the region is not stable because of israel is shallow and pretty ridiculous.

i belive that if you all take a look at this very short film, you will see who israel and the world is dealing with, in the current conflict
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HlaVpqUXF0

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DH 08.03.06 at 7:34 pm

Asaf thanks so much for your input. I am curious of your nationality Asaf because your response here gaveme more clarity and insight into the current situation. Keep giving your wonderful insights. I learned something today and for you I am greatful. :)

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CH 08.04.06 at 7:38 am

“Check your facts, mate
through the entire history, the only side who ever declined peace, was the opposite site - but never israel.”

During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Rabin directed Israeli operations in Jerusalem and fought the Egyptian army in the Negev.

In the late 1970s, when Rabin wrote his memoirs in Hebrew, Pinkas Sherut, he described an episode of the 1948 war that had troubled him ever since, the forced expulsion by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) of 50,000 Arab civilians from the towns of Lod-Ramle. A cabinet committee which checks ministerial memoirs for security leaks ordered that the section be removed and indeed, against Rabin’s wishes, it was. The story was revealed by the English translator of the book and published in “The New York Times” (see Yitzhak Rabin, Soldier of Peace - p.26).

On November 4, 1995, Rabin was assassinated, because he wanted peace and had signed the Oslo Accords.
After Rabin’s assassination, Israel never went back to the Oslo Accords that their PM had signed.

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DH 08.04.06 at 2:12 pm

CH, based on what Asaf said who was the agressors and started these wars? per Asaf “israel was never the agressive side.” “the point you are making about the fact that since 1948 the region is not stable because of israel is shallow and pretty ridiculous.”

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CH 08.04.06 at 3:38 pm

Would someone benefit if I asnwered like this?
DH, the way you are refuting the facts, that since 1948 the region is not stable because of Israel, is shallow and pretty ridiculous.

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DH 08.04.06 at 4:07 pm

TTo clarify Asaf what he is trying to say is “One can’t say it is Israels fault for instability” in light of “in fact, the arabs started all the wars againts israel.”

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CH 08.04.06 at 4:22 pm

DH, I gave you the proof up there! Read Rabin’s memoirs.

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DH 08.04.06 at 6:03 pm

Was that a war? Also, the ones expelled what were their views? Did they violently want all of Israel to be Arab which is unacceptable?

When you look at wars alone you will see it wasthe Arabs not Israel who were the initial aggressors.

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CH 08.04.06 at 7:57 pm

Yes it says it was a war. What would your view be when your home is taken away from you? The Palestinians want a homeland next to Israel. As for the wars, it’s obvious who is the aggressor in 1948. Read above.

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DH 08.07.06 at 4:09 pm

Couldn’t the agressor actually be the group who says ALL of Israel should be Arab? Also, Israel DID give the Palestinians there homeland. Also, Palestine is actually Jordan. In fact the King a while back offer free land to any Palestinian who would cometo Jordan and 95% of the people refused. So in my opinion it isn’t about land but retaliation that the majority of Palestinians desire all of Palestine.

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CH 08.07.06 at 5:24 pm

Provide us with your citation.

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DH 08.07.06 at 6:08 pm

http://www.jcpa.org/dje/articles3/fs4.htm

http://www.eretzyisroel.org/~jkatz/jordan.html

http://www.masada2000.org/historical.html

“Palestinians are by law guaranteed the RIGHT OF RETURN to Jordan, where they are entitled to citizenship, “unless they are Jews.”"

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DH 08.07.06 at 6:14 pm

FYI: Read this and it isfrom a Canadian of all places Canada (no attack on you BENE just being humorous with myself being a American.)

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/kinsella/index.html?post=4033

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CH 08.07.06 at 7:00 pm

The Palestinians have the right to return to their lands and they were forced to leave, although they were the legitimate owners of the houses and the lands, that were taken away from them. Sure, I take you out of the house and then put a law that prohibits you the right to return back to your house. I mean, do you as a Christian find this right?

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DH 08.07.06 at 7:43 pm

If I’m able to obtain better land elsewhere then yes. I feel that Jordan is better land than the West Bank or Gaza. I know as a democratic Jordanian nation they need jobs and what better opportunity than that. Since they moved into Israel leaving their land in Jordan then they should go back to their own land that for thousands of years been their land (Hebron and the land of Edom).

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CH 08.09.06 at 6:44 am

Resolution 237: “…‘urges’ Israel to allow return of new 1967 Palestinian refugees”

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warral 08.10.06 at 8:17 am

What i really can’t understand is when ever we talk of the present day crisis in the middle-east, we reflect back to the Palestinian problem. This Lebanon crisis was sparked by Hezbollah. Even in Gaza it was started by Hamas, both places where israel heve left completely. Wars are cruel, People die, homes are destroyed, thats the nature of war, Israel did not attack Lebanon out of the blue wanting to kill innocent Lebanese. It was brought to them by Hebollah! We should be clear about this, Hezbollah started this war not the Israelis. It is not a war between the Arabs and the Jews, but between a Terrorist Organization Hezbollah and the state of Israel. If i was a citizen of Lebanon i would be pissed with Hezbollah in the same level with Israel for destroying my country!

97

CH 08.10.06 at 2:44 pm

Warral, I will clarify. When Israel invaded Lebanon and occupied Lebanese territories and all of the South, there was no Hizb Allah. Hizb Allah was created because of the Israeli occupation and constant aggression of Lebanon. It was only in 2000 when Israel retreated under Hizb Allah resistance of the occupation. Israel gave the land back, except for the Shibaa farms, which it still occupies.
Everyone knows that Israel had planned the invasion in advance, whether Hizb Allah was going to kidnap the 2 soldiers, or not, simply because Hizb Allah had kidnapped soldiers before and Israel had agreed to exchange prisoners.
Israel tells the world that it wants nothing form Lebanon and that they can live as brothers, but all we see from the start of this war, is Lebanon’s infrastructure being destroyed by Israel itself. And yes, this is planned attack and not a mistake, so that they would make Lebanese government kneel before their demands and conditions of cease fire.
And yes, it goes back to the Palestinian issue, because you should know that there are 75,000 Palestinians living in Lebanon in bad conditions and they are not granted Lebanese citizenship. Israel plans to create permanent settlement areas for the Palestinians in Lebanon, so that the Palestinians will not demand their right to return to their homeland. Israel is putting pressure on Lebanon to grant the Palestinians Lebanese citizenship. This is one of the main issues that Israel wants to resolve as soon as possible.

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