And Now It Begins...May We Speak With One Voice

Today the news came that the Israeli military began a massive bombing of Gaza and more than 200 people -men, women and children - were killed. The death toll is expected to rise. This bombing was begun , we are told, in retalliation for rocket launches from Hamas into Israeli territory resulting in one death and several injuries. According to Israeli sources this is only the beginning of a large scale military campaign to crush the Hamas resistance. The U.S. government immediately blamed Hamas for the violence and demanded that Hamas stop shooting rockets into Israel - no condemnation of Israel. And no mention of the many months of an Israeli blockade of Gaza depriving the Palestinian people of basic necessities like food, water, and medical supplies. Further, in the U.S. media reports there is great time given to interviews with Israeli officials defending Israel's actions and precious little time allowed for the Palestinian officials to express their viewpoint. How to respond?

It is becoming increasingly clear to more and more observors that this conflict is of the David and Goliath type. In this case, however, Israel is the Goliath and the Palestinians - David. One posseses planes and tanks and bombs including nuclear weapons that could destroy the opposition in a flash. The other has limited range rockets, guns, suicide missions, and rocks thrown by children. So, in retalliating for the death of one Israeli , the Israeli military kills more than 200 people including women and children. It is clear who holds power in this situation. And it is clear that a whole people are being slowly and systematically exterminated by this superior power. Furthermore , it is also clear that this superior power is backed by the most powerful military nation on the earth - The United States. Israel is the major recipient of U.S. military aid. How to respond?

I believe that it is time to speak out as a Christian Church with one voice. We cannot simply sit by and allow this slaughter to continue. We cannot continue to permit our tax dollars to fund more and more injustice and the slow slaughter of the Palestinian people. With a new President we hope that our blind support of the unjust practices of Israel will cease. Nevertheless, it is up to us, the American people, to see things as they really are, and to sound this call again and again. Through our protests, our strategies of resistance, and our intelligent non-cooperation we must speak out in the name of justice and peace. We dare not do any thing less and still call ourselves followers of Jesus Christ.

Stefan Andre

No comments: