Al Nakba 1948
Two short video’s with New Testament Professor Gary Burge offering a thoughtful theological response to the present day problem in Israel-Palestine.
“World-wide commitment to peace in the Holy Land is vital.” We must “question the assumptions underpinning the Israeli oppression of the Palestinians….We in South Africa remember with gratitude the extraordinary phenomenon of the world-wide movement against apartheid. And after years of tribulation, here we are, finally, free! South Africa, once a pariah state, and an embarrassment to many is now a blossoming democracy. And all because people around the world prayed for us, supported us, and were even willing to go to jail for us.
Now, alas, we see apartheid in Israel, complete with the ‘Separation Wall’ and bantustans that keep Palestinians rounded up in prisons. History tragically repeats itself. Yet, injustice and oppression will never prevail. Those who are powerful have to remember the litmus test that God gives to the powerful: ‘How do you treat the poor, the hungry, and the voiceless?’ And God judges accordingly.
We need to put out a clarion call to the government of the people of Israel, to the Palestinian people, saying, ‘Peace is possible. Peace based on justice is possible. We will do all we can to assist you to achieve that peace, because it is God’s dream, and you will be able to live amicably together as sisters and brothers.
We in South Africa had a relatively peaceful transition. If the madness which oppressed us could end as it did, it must be possible for the same to happen everywhere else in the world. If peace could come to South Africa, surely it can come to the Holy Land. Somehow, the Israeli government is placed on a pedestal in the US, and to criticise it is to be immediately dubbed antisemitic. People are scared in the US, to say ‘wrong is wrong’, because the pro-Israeli lobby is powerful – very powerful. Well, so what?
For goodness sake, this is God’s world! We live in a moral universe. The apartheid government was very powerful, but today it no longer exists. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pinochet, Milosevic, and Idi Amin were all powerful, but, in the end, they bit the dust.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu in his foreword in Speaking the Truth, Zionism, Israel and the Occupation.
Skull picture from a fascinating story told here: http://cindyrosstraveler.com/tag/duffys-cut-mass-grave/
The Baptist Missionary Society (BMS) have a superb resource called ‘Catalyst‘, published quarterly, one of which was specifically on the subject of Israel and Palestine. The article can be requested through the post or viewed on line here, and I whole heartedly commend this to you.
Additionally, David Kerrigan, Director General of the BMS, has a most excellent blog karnaphuli.typepad.com, in which he has an article on the relationship between popular Christian Zionism and theology. You can view it here, as well as another post on ignorance not being an option, here.
“The bride is beautiful but she is married to another man.”
Zionism is a multifaceted ideology, making definition difficult. Generally, it may be defined as ‘the national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the land of Israel.’ The term ‘Zionism’ was first coined as late as 1892 by Nathan Birnbaum, and expressed in his published paper ‘The National Rebirth of the Jewish People in Its Homeland as a Means of Solving the Jewish Problem’ in 1893. The term ‘Christian Zionism’ was probably first used by Theodore Herzl, as he described the convictions of the Christian founder of the Red Cross, Henri Dunant. It can be defined as ‘Christian support for Zionism and the state of Israel and, by implication, opposition to people and groups deemed hostile to Israel.’ Continue reading “A Brief History of Christian Zionism”