Feb 27, 2008

Did Jesus Live in Occupied Territory?

By Jan Markell

The United Methodist Church (UMC) is at it again, although other denominations have engaged in this abysmal behavior as well. Their 225-page report, "Israel-Palestine: A 2007-2008 Mission Study," likens Jews to "monsters" and compares the actions of Israelis to Nazis. Strange, indeed, when Hamas TV is currently running a kids' special suggesting that they "eat Danes, not Danish pastries." The UMC uses "terrorism" to describe Israeli actions while the actions of Palestinian Arabs are described as "activism." The desire to strap explosives onto oneself has dropped to that level, I guess, in the eyes of the UMC.

The 11 million-member church is expected to take up the issue of divesting stock from companies that do business with Israel at its quadrennial national conference in April. And those behind the effort are asking for the following:

1) That Israel end its "occupation" and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantle her security wall which has reduced homicide bombing by 95%. Here's a note to the UMC: Israel didn't "occupy" or "colonize" anything. She has seized land since 1948 only to take territory that would defend her from further attack. She got her God-given land back very officially in 1948. But at the end of the 1800s and early 1900s, tens of thousands of Jews died in malarial swamplands in Israel so she could have a homeland of her own far away from Russian pogroms (which my grandparents fled) and Nazi Holocausts.

2) The UMC asks for recognition of the full equality and rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel. They have it! Arab residents of Israel even serve in her parliament known as the Knesset! This serves as a springboard to launch legislation against Israel but Israel treats her Arab citizens well. In a recent poll, 90% of Palestinians wanted to stay under Israeli rule and not the rule of Hamas or Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah.

So why this call to action? The UMC says, "For one, it works. Two, it's moral (you've got to be kidding). Three, it's non-violent. Four, churches actually have years of experience in morally responsible investing/divesting." They conclude, "For most of the 1990s under the Oslo so-called peace process, the world lived in naive hope that things were improving, and shifted sentiment from the harsh realities of occupation, oppression and brutal Israeli repression of nonviolent Palestinian resistance during the intifadas."

It wasn't the Israelis who were brutal during the intifadas (Palestinian uprisings in Israel.) The Palestinians even purged all of their brethren who may have sided with Israel and continue to do so to this day. And it wasn't a pretty sight. They bring new meaning to the word "brutality." They even strap explosives to mentally retarded people, children, and willing women who aren't even promised sensual glories in "paradise."

Since Oslo I in 1993, Israel has offered to give away the candy and the candy store! World leaders have been racing towards a "two-state solution" ever since but it is the Palestinian side of the deal who continues to lob rockets into Israeli cities as this is being written and have threatened all-out war since Oslo began. Israel is restraining from a full attack against these rocket-launching terrorists, mainly in Gaza, for many reasons.

But the United Methodist Church and other denominations participating in such things, present or past, write, "As the apartheid moved into the towns by the barrel of the gun, a number of people of faith sought a response that would be most appropriate." The barrel of a gun is only needed when one side is under siege and Israel has been under siege by one Arab/Muslim group after another, even after Oslo I talks began years ago. But protecting herself and her citizens results in the comparison to Nazis and monsters.

One has to wonder how much stronger delusion can get in the region where Jesus walked, taught, and died. Did He live in occupied territory? I encourage the Methodist Church and others who think like they do to go after the REAL monsters. There are multitudes to choose from including the leaders in Sudan, North Korea, China, Kenya, Communist regimes, Muslim leaders, other African nations, and a number of other barbarians who deserve the term "monster." Divest in those nations, UMC, and not America's ally, a democracy, and a nation created by God, inhabited by Jews with Western and humanitarian values.

You can view the UMC Mission Study