Shuck and Jive

Friday, January 02, 2009

Act for Peace in Gaza

Mark Koenig of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program, blogs at Swords Into Plowshares. Here are ways we can Act for Peace in Gaza.

Here is Another Israeli "Accident" at Sea.

This is from Sabeel's Reflection on Gaza.

This is from Shanna O'Brien (M. Div.) Shanna has worked with Naim Ateek of Sabeel in Palestine. She has spoken to our congregation about her work there.

The conflict started long before 1948.

The "conflict" (which is in my opinion a very sanitized term for the situation) began at the end of the first World War. The Zionist movement itself started gaining strength at the end of the 19th Century. They set their sights on the historical lands of Israel. You could say the rest is history, but it is a dark history of manipulation, uprising, back-room deals, and false promises made to everyone involved by those in power.

Basically the British made deals with the Zionists (because they were all European and had $), promising them land in the British Mandate of Palestine for a homeland for Jews. The Zionists took that promise and ran, trying to take over all of the land they could. The Arabs (Palestinians) who were already living there clearly had a problem with this idea. The British promised them that they would have autonomy after the Mandate ended.

Unfortunately though, WWII came along and the British couldn't control the conflicts in the Mandate and the war in Europe so they basically handed the Mandate over to the Zionist authorities (European Jews) who began systematically trying to clear the land they wanted of Arabs. Israel was established in 1948 and they have been trying to systematically clear the land they want (all of historic Israel, including Gaza, the West Bank and the Golan Heights--which are part of Syria ) of Arabs ever since.

This "conflict" has been going on for over 100 years. The Occupation had been going on for more than 40 years. The siege of Gaza has been going on for over 13 months. The massacre of Gaza, this time, has been going on for one week today.

This is not a "conflict". The Israelis are attempting to annihilate an entire people. This particular attack will end with more Palestinians dead and the entire world buying the justification that their deaths were for Israeli security, and that they were within their rights to kill them.

The world will ignore the fact that the Palestinians, being a people under an illegal occupation, are within their rights according to International Law to rise up with force against their occupiers, and continue looking at them as a group of belligerents. The world will continue to ignore the fact that Hamas was elected with democratic elections, overseen by US and other international observers, and as the elected government for the Palestinian people has a right to act with force to protect those people.

Israel, as the occupier, is mandated by International Law to protect the Palestinians and provide them with basic humanitarian supplies...which they do not do. Israel is in direct violation of International Law by firing cluster bombs (which are illegal), by denying access to medical care for wounded, by denying entry of medical equipment and supplies into Gaza, by denying entry of fuel, water, food into Gaza, by targeting hospitals, schools, pharmacies, and places known to be occupied by civilians with their missile attacks.

There is nowhere for civilians to escape in Gaza ... it is the most densely populated are in the world (according to the UNRWA) and 75% are refugees (see below). If a bomb is dropped there, it is dropped in the vicinity of civilians.
This is from Sabeel:
We believe that the real message of the Palestinians to the world is a genuine cry for freedom and liberation. The Palestinians did not initiate the violence. The prolonged illegal Israeli occupation is the real cause for the violence in our area. Israel has shut the door on justice.

The only way that can guarantee a lasting resolution of the conflict is for the United States ' new administration to dare and open the door of justice. We believe that it is the narrow gate of which Jesus Christ spoke. It is the gate that leads to a life of peace and security.

"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it."

This is the narrow gate of justice. This is the basis of international law. The way of military domination, occupation, violence, and wars is the wide gate that leads to destruction; while the gate that seems narrow and hard is the one that leads to justice, peace and security for both sides.

We have tried the wide gate and it has only brought us destruction. It is high time to try the narrow gate of justice so that we might find life.
Presbyterians are
invited to act here.


  1. Sad. Israel has become a monster.

    PCUSA once had a strong divestment movement. Now, after terrorist threats aimed at the church from Radical Zionism, that voice seems to cower.

    We should divest from Israel 100% and not let one penny of our tithes and offerings go to support Israeli terrorism.

  2. thanks for this john - i've been so busy reading other sources about gaza i hadn't even looked at the pres. peacemaking program or sabeel. also - thanks for the stuff from pcusa - i'm going to bring it up at our next mission committee meeting - see if, as a church, we can take some action to help.

    :) brooke, from rivervision.

  3. Captain--The PCUSA really got bullied. There comes a time when people need to take a stand.

    Brooke--Great idea! Thanks for visiting!

  4. Excellent post. The message from Sabeel was on target.

    The possibility of a two-state solution has long past. It can’t be done. There is no contiguous land area for the Palestinians. The only solution is one democratic state for all its citizens, equal rights for Arabs and Jews. South Africa did it, so can Palestine /Israel.

    At lecture given on May 15 , 2008 at given at UCLA, Ilan PappĂ©, an Oxford University-educated Israeli historian and former Haifa University professor, urged the audience not to use the word “conflict” when describing what is going on in Israel/Palestine. “There is no conflict between the rapist and his victim nor the occupier and the occupied.”

  5. Hello,

    I want to counter the misconception held by many that IDF targets Civilians.
    The argument that the Israeli army targets Civilian is easily debunked by mathematical statistics (for example using the “Chi-square test”).

    If Israeli Defence forces (IDF) targeted Civilians, then there would be attacks on a lot of homes not housing Hamas-members. The person who states that Israeli deliberately targets Civilians has the burden of proof; because an overwhelming amount of evidence shows that IDF targets the terrorists of Hamas. Israeli newspapers reports of IDF’s warning civilians prior to the attacks
    Google at IDF Dover

    Israel also gives hospital care to persons in Gaza hurt by the attacks aimed at terrorists:

    Statement from IDF”:
    “The IDF Spokesperson wishes to emphasize that the IDF will continue its operations in the Gaza Strip and will target terrorists, in addition to anyone who harbours terrorists or provides any type of assistance in relation to terrorist activities.”

    Persons whom harbours terrorists in their homes has a responsibility in their terror attacks.

    That Hamas don’t cares about the Children living in Gaza is clear by the fact that they are shooting rockets (aimed at Israeli communities) among Civilians.
    The effect of this is that Civilians mistakenly sometimes get killed, when IDF attacks the rocket ramp. Hamas is to blame for the death of Civilians, not IDF.

    Let’s contrast IDF’s policy of not attacking Civilians with Hamas policy of killing Civilians:

    The persons, who say that Israel should stop their attacks in Gaza, prioritize the life of Hamas terrorists, instead of Israeli civilians.

    If IDF don’t strike the weapon caches and the terrorists in Gaza; then these weapons and these terrorists kills Israeli civilians. Israel, just like other democracies, has the right do defend her citizens against terrorists (in this case Hamas).

    Every person living in Gaza, not supporting Hamas, must be happy for the reduction of the military strength of the terrorist organization Hamas.

    From Anders Branderud
    Geir Toshav, the authentic Netzarim, which is in Ra’anana in Israel (; who are followers of Ribi Yehoshua – the Messiah – in meta-Orthodox Judaism

  6. Sorry, Anders. The Alan Dershowitz talking points are long debunked, Rush Limbaugh type evasions.

    Burden of proof?
    "Early Monday, an Israeli airstrike on the Jabalya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip destroyed the family's house, located next to the Emad Aqeel mosque, the intended target, which was also flattened. Rescuers tried frantically to save the girls. Iman was lucky: She was half-buried in the debris.

    One by one, the cries stopped, Iman recalled in an interview. She could see the leg of her 4-year-old sister, Jawaher, whom her family called Ayah. She could touch her hair. But minutes later, Ayah stopped breathing. "

    LOL, you offer statements from the IDF as though anything they say would be credible. There are no greater liars an deceivers on earth.
    I'm beginning to think the effort to debunk the Protocols of the Elders was an elaborate disinformation campaign.

    Where is your proof that the IDF doesn't target civilians? The entire world saw them do so in Lebanon. A war they started and lost.

    Are you trying to say Israel didn't ram the boat full of civilians that Cynthia McKinney was on? You think I would believe you over her?? What makes you credible in any way?

    "Persons whom harbours terrorists in their homes has a responsibility in their terror attacks".

    Then don't blame Hamas for rocketing Israel. Israel is a terrorist state and it's people "harbour" IDF.
    What you're really trying to say is that Gazans deserve to die for democratically electing Hamas.
    Typical Zionist double-speak.

    You're of the "blame the victim" mentality. Much the same way women have been treated in Israel after being raped.

    So, you say the Shoah is "self defense, do you? Let's talk about Sderot. Israel is murdering hundreds upon hundreds of Gazan men, women, and children. In eight years of rockets aimed at Sderot, how many have died?
    13. That's how many. 13.
    Don't even try to justify genocide by 13 deaths. It just shows the inhumanity I accuse you Zionists of. Thanx for qualifying my statements.

    And lastly, LOL, you call yourself a "Gentile". You're a Nazi is what you are.
    My blog is here...

    Anytime you want to debate with your weak, AIPAC outlines I'll be more than happy to feed you the Matzah Balls of truth.
    There is no argument on Israel's behalf. The world is speaking and Israel will heed or suffer the consequences of their actions.

  7. Ilan Pappe now chair in the Department of History at the University of Exeter, has written and excellent article titled Israel's righteous fury and its victims in Gaza” on the Electronic Intifada web-site.

  8. I find it most tragic when those who struggle for peace are labeled radical leftists, and those who call themselves evangelical and presume to take the biblical high ground, strive instead for more death and genocide.

    Open warfare is a human trait. All humans become monsters in its art and practice.

    People may appeal to violence out of fear, despair, and hopelessness, or out of greed, avarice and the lust for power. Either way it is out of a general lack of an alternative vocabulary.

    The Gospel presents the vocabulary of the Kingdom of God and of the Prince of Peace. It answers our lust for violence. But we have to trade the worship of Mars for the worship of the Crucified One. We should all learn to speak His language.

    But if we can't even be faithful to it in the small things, how can we hope to preach it in the big?

    It's a tough problem, but of one thing I am sure. Those who reject peacemaking and reconciliation even in the small, reject the Prince of Peace Himself, and with Him the chance to be called "sons of God".

    Their bones litter the Earth and they are called the sons of Mars.

    "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."