Few Evangelical Christians are active peacemakers. Why?
Some Christians see Israel’s modern state as the fulfillment of prophecy. Others feel the opposite. Both sides caricature the other. Far from Peacemaking, many Christians only fuel the conflict.
Lynne spent much time with both Palestinian & Israel; communities. She learned that,
We disagree on some points of theology, but we agree on the basic human dignity of all peoples in the Holy Land.
Lynne strives to be, and calls us to be:
Brief History of the Conflict:
Beginning in about the 1880s, Russian persecution fueled Zionist dreams and migration to Holy Land. European persecution culminated in Holocaust & and the 1948 establishing of an Israeli state within Palestinian borders.
The indigenous Arab population in Palestine fought for independence from Ottoman & British empires, but then in 1948 was forced from their land. Over 700,000 left or were forced from privately-owned land.
After the 1967 Six Day War, Israel assumed full military control of Gaza Strip & West Bank. Today, most experts support the “Two state solution”. This entails returning military sovereignty to Palestine.
Intifada is the Arabic for “uprising / throwing off”. This is the guerrilla warfare many Palestinian extremesits have used in the years since 1967, with two especially intense periods of conflict since the 1990s.
It’s a conflict about land, but also
Fear of other
Victimhood (on both sides)
(For Israel) Fear of Annihilation
(For Palestine) Displacement, Identity
Lynne shared stories of the current brutal and dehumanizing state of the Military Occupation. Most Israeli citizens are unaware of the daily civil rights violations.
Life in the West Bank
Lynne’s experiences match my own from Palestine and Israel.
1. Separation Barrier
Israel takes more and more Palestinian land. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for Palestinians to access basic necessities, or to communicate with each other.
2. Settlement Enterprise
This is the establishment of Israeli-only housing inside West Bank. Along with the land Palestinians lose, they face many other adverse effects:
- Israel takes, then sells (previously free) water to Palestinians
- Olive Trees are destroyed
- Jewish-only roads and Palestinian checkpoints divide families and communities from each other.
Lynne closed with stories of Jews and Palestinians who are working to bring peace, and a vision for how Christians can join in Peacemaking. Two books that offer a window into the human nature of the conflict are Blood Brothers and The Lemon Tree.