August 19, 2006
by: jovial_cynic
I picked this article up from the Palestinian Pundit, which pointed to a Haaretz article regarding the World Council of Churches and their decision to encourage members to sell of investments in Israel, siting "Multinational corporations... involved in the demolition of Palestinian homes," as well as "the construction of settlements and settlement infrastructure on occupied territory, in building a dividing wall which is also largely inside occupied territory, and in other violations of international law."

This divestment is similar to the tactic used against South Africa two decades ago in a fight against apartheid. Interestingly, the Electronic Infatada draws up an article addressing the similarities between Israel today and South Africa's apartheid regime.

The parallels with apartheid South Africa are many and striking. Like its earlier apartheid cousin, Israel menaces all its neighbors with an impressive array of nukes and the largest military establishment in the region...

The old South Africa bombed, strafed and invaded all its neighbors with some regularity, crippling their commerce and extracting horrific death tolls from refugee camps and other civilian targets. The last time Israel invaded and occupied Lebanon, it left 30,000 corpses.

Western Christians tend to have a knee-jerk response to anything going on in Israel, assuming that Israel is always right because they are God's chosen people. It doesn't help that the United States has such a friendly relationship with Israel, both in the corporate sector and in the media. Hopefully this move by the WCC will create more of a discussion among church folks, allowing them to make a more educated decision about what's going on in the Holy Lands.
np category: religion


Kristen said:
Cool re-design! Very nice.

RYC-I usually don't provide links because they reveal where I work, etc. But if I remember, I'll send you a copy this week via email.

August 20, 2006

Luke said:
Not to be overly critical but...

You are probably one of the most critical people of the 'corporate' church I know, yet when they band together in a 'world council' as it were, and decide something against Israel, you side WITH them?

It's hard to know what the answer to all this is. But God gave them the land which is more than enough for me to support their continued possession of it. Obviously the Palenstinians don't 'own' it; never really have.

I'm not sure if you're jabbing me because of my post on my blog but I don't have a knee-jerk response to Israel. I have a confused one.

August 22, 2006

jovial_cynic said:
Ah... you missed my point. My post said I hoped this move by the WCC creates more discussion among church folks. I wasn't making the claim that the WCC is "right" or that I'm siding with them. But I do think that the WCC's position will likely generate some new opinions on the matter. Because really -- what's an opinion with an opposition to that opinion?

And no - I know you don't have a knee-jerk response to Israel. I just sent you a comment because I hadn't heard from you in a while. :)

Lastly - how do you feel about Israel's possession of the land in relationship to Israel's status with God? God yanked Israel out of the land several times in the OT as a result of their disobedience... if Paul asserts that Israel is currently cut-off from God (to be grafted in again later), why should they currently possess the land?

August 22, 2006

Luke said:
Okay, I'm short on time...

I think that in order for Israel to be 'grafted in' again they have to occupy the land according to scripture. I don't want to lengthen that time frame needlessly. If the land was given to them by God, then I'll let God take it away from them, I won't have a part in that by my views or (if I had the power) my political persuasion.

August 22, 2006

jovial_cynic said:
... I'm not sure I follow you.

My point is that Israel's possession of the land, scripturally speaking, is contingent on their right-relationship with God. Give Paul's statement about their current status, one might argue that they don't have any moral right to the land. Land ownership, in the current setting, is governed secularly, and not morally. To say, "God gave them the land which is more than enough for me to support their continued possession of it," doesn't work if they don't have right-relationship with God.

August 22, 2006

wonder said:

If God wants Israel to possess the land, why does He need the US supplying weapons to do it?

August 24, 2006

wonder said:
Let me re-phrase that:

If God wants Israel to possess the land, He DOESN't need the US supplying weapons to do it.

seems to me He got the job done some time back with a kid armed with only a slingshot

August 24, 2006

jovial_cynic said:

David (kid with a slingshot) didn't win the promised land. David was around more than a thousand years after Israel possessed the land. Israel's possession of the land happens immediately after the time of Moses, and during the time of Joshua. David led one of the battles against the Philistines after Israel already occupied the land, but it wasn't the first fight against the Philistines, and it wasn't the last.

Just so you know.

August 24, 2006

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