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Despised and Rejected, Brother Palestinians

The Walls of Old City of Jerusalem
The Walls of Jerusalem

Approaching the walled city of old Jerusalem is an experience like none other.  Great armies have marched on these same walls, many with great fear, never to return.

A friend told me that word on the Christian “grapevine”  was that the Muslims in Palestine were planning to hold a “march” to pray against Jerusalem/Israel. The response was for Christians in the West to form prayer groups to” protect” Israel.

I hadn’t heard about this, so I checked it out. It’s all about “perspective”.

Sure enough, the “demonstrations” are the yearly remembrance of the “Nakba” or  “Catastrophe”, when hundreds of thousands of Muslim and Christian Palestinians remember their forcible removal from their homes and their land when Palestine was “occupied” by Israel in 1948.

I support peace and resonable security for Israel, and violence from either side is a tragedy. I also support resonable living conditions for the Palestinians;  Palestinian Christians and Muslims, and even some Jews are opposed to Israel’s political policies. There are many unjust laws and practices.

This automatically puts me at odds with many in the Evangelical church here in the West.  It is odd to me that  followers of Jesus seem to be the least open to hearing about the suffering of the Palestinians. I’ve even heard of one Christian leader who goes so far as to doubt the salvation of anyone who doesn’t fully “support” Israel. He must have no idea that the church in Palestine is alive and well, and certainly not supportive of Israel’s repressive regime.

In the meantime, Palestinian Christians feel abandoned by Western Christians because of their support for policies that favor Israel, allowing the occupation to continue and land to be confiscated  for the building of settlements.

I’d like to propose that there are no Christians on the face of this earth who are more despised and rejected(and ignored) by the Western church than are the Palestinian Christians.

This year, I’ve been studying the Book of Isaiah in our Bible. Towards the end, the Prophet Isaiah writes that  “people from every tribe and nation will someday worship in Jerusalem”. It seems to make sense to open our hearts to every tribe and nation now in preparation for this time.

Who are we, only human after all, to judge that one tribe or nation is not ‘worthy’ of God’s friendship?

Here’s a bit of news about what happened at a recent demonstration:

http://mondoweiss.net/2011/05/nakba-day-in-occupied-west-bank-feels-like-a-tinderbox-with-shakespearean-clouds.html

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