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Micael Grenholm, a Swedish charismactivist, apologist and author.

Micael Grenholm, a Swedish charismactivist, apologist and author.

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The Difference Between Palestinian Rockets and Israeli Bombs

I involuntarily get a lot of updates from the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in my social media feeds, since I follow other Christians and some of them think it’s godly to share and retweet war propaganda (frankly, that’s what military forces’ public messages are, per definition). IDF regularly updates how many rockets are being fired from Gaza and how far they reach, but not so often what destruction these rockets cause. And this is of course because most of them either miss or get shot down. Whenever they hit something though, IDF immediately shares it on Twitter:

Breaking Picture

ashkelon

Well… it sure sucks for those people living there, but personally, I wouldn’t kill 200 children because of that. IDF started “Operation Pillar of Defense” before one single person had been killed by the Palestinian rockets. During the conflict though, three Israeli civilians have unfortunately been killed, and IDF could provide some more disturbing images: (more…)

The Idea of the Sinless Israel

Israeli propaganda, describing themselves as protecting civilians while Hamas use them as human shields

Israeli propaganda, describing themselves as protecting civilians while Hamas use them as human shields

As the conflict in Israel and Gaza is going on, conservative Christian friends of mine are posting videos and images that tell the message that everything is Hamas fault while Israel only defends itself, that Hamas wants to kill civilians and use them as human shields while Israel actively tries to avoid hurting civilians, that Hamas wants war while Israel wants peace, that Hamas is evil while Israel is good. Over and over again I hear that if Hamas lays down its weapons, there will be peace, but if Israel does it all Israelis will be killed. One Christian friend told me that Israel is righteous while Hamas has a demonic, Nazi spirit.

Now, there are indeed big differences between Hamas and Israel. Hamas is a fundamentalist organization where there is a lot of antisemitism and hatred, and they do indeed target civilians and use them as human shields. But to blame everything on them and nothing on Israel, is not a true portrait of reality. Israel has done attrocities (for example, the use of human shields) and many of them are on a structural level: the settlements, not letting enough goods through to Gaza in order to stop the humanitarian crisis, breaking international humanitarian law over and over again, etc.

And in the conflict, it is the Palestinians that suffer and die the most. People that are pro-Israel often point out how many rockets Hamas is firing into Israel, but they are often quite silent about the fact that very few die from them. During operation Cast Lead in 2009, 1391 Palestinians died and 5 Israelis. More than half of the killed Palestinians were civilians, while all five of the killed Israelis were soldiers. In the current conflict between Hamas and Israel, over 100 Palestinians have died and 77% of them are civilians. (more…)

Treat Hamas with Social Justice, not Bombs

image

A bomb is exploding in Gaza

Once again, conflict is escalating between Israel and Gaza, and once again, Christians are blessing Israel and ignoring the suffering of Palestinians. My heart breaks when I look at Christians United for Israel’s Facebook page: while they pray for, bless and worry for Israeli victims of Palestinian terror attacks, which is great, there is no sympathy at all for Palestinian victims of Israeli bombings. There is great alarm about the rockets that Hamas fires at Israeli cities, which yet have not killed anyone in the current conflict, while the 70+ Palestinians that have died (including at least eight children) aren’t even mentioned!

Don’t get me wrong, what Hamas is doing is totally unacceptable and we need to pray and act for them to stop. But killing people is not the best way to stop them. It didn’t work in 2012, it won’t work know. When Hamas sees that Israel kills children, they won’t feel less keen to fire their rockets. Violence is a very bad way to end violence, Jesus taught us to love our enemies, do good to them and fight evil with love.

The best way to stop the conflict between Israel and Palestine is through social justice and economic equality. The relationship between Israel and Palestine is very unequal: Palestinians are poorer, live shorter, have worse health care, own less land and suffer more than Israelis. Gaza is experiencing a humanitarian crisis while Israel is enjoying Western standards. And much more Palestinians die in the conflict compared to Israelis.
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Blessing Israel=Ignoring Gaza?

Image from PCPJ

Image from PCPJ

A week ago many Charismatic and evangelical Christians started to express their anger towards the increased rocket attacks from Hamas. They eagerly reported how many rockets were fired every day. They described the pain, fear and horror Israelis felt when they had to flee into bomb shelters (see the clip above). They mourned that four Israeli soldiers had been injured by the rockets.

However, no one I saw mentioned that while these rocket attacks to that point had killed no one, four civilian Palestinians were killed and thirty were injured in the counter attacks of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). There’s no doubt that we as Christians need to sound the alarm when the Israeli people is facing suffering and fear because of the violent terrorist attacks of Hamas. But that duty forces us to sound the alarm even more if the Palestinians is faceing more suffering and fear because of violent IDF attacks. (more…)