In those days, the Zionist movement of using Palestine as the homeland for a new Jewish nation was seen by many as a minority view of those of Jewish faith. But over time, it seems to be established fact that if you are Jewish, then you are pro-Israeli, even if that may be alien to the interests of the country in which you have citizenship. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington, working on behalf of pro-Israeli causes, including continued U.S. foreign aid and military support to that nation.
Because of the strong lobbying efforts in Washington and the growing support for Israel in America, increasingly the foreign policies of the U.S. have been subservient to the perceived national interests of this new nation of Israel. Annually, about three billion dollars a year is being given to Israel by U.S. foreign aid (the largest of any grant to any country). Also, there is about three billion in private donations to Israel from U. S. citizens. The rest of the world sees the overwhelming support being given to the viability of this new nation of Israel.
I say the "new nation of Israel" because that is what it is, taken from the property and land owned by Palestinians before them. The arguments that there is a biblical or theological basis for the founding of this new nation on the property of others are not valid. As a Christian and from that viewpoint, that holy land is Christian, the Church is the New Israel and Jerusalem is the new holy city. From a Christian perspective it is as much our holy city as it is Jewish or Islamic.
But right or wrong, the facts on the ground are that the new nation of Israel does exist, and needs to be recognized as such. But that does not mean we have to continue to support the step by step process that they have taken to occupy the land of others, whether that be in Jerusalem, the West Bank or the rest of Palestine. Only when and if our nation recognizes that "two wrongs do not make a right" and that our regrets for the holocaust and our antisemitism do not warrant taking other people's land, will the world have respect for our moral judgment. Because of our one-sided support in the formation and maintenance of this new nation of Israel, we have lost too many lives for too long a time, including many of our fine soldiers.
In the face of the overwhelming military power of the Israeli and American alliance, the only real hope for peace and justice in the Holy Land will be by active, non-violent, civil disobedience as practiced by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Palestinians and others need to be willing to sacrifice with non-violent civil disobedience and fill up all the Israel jails if necessary. That will hardly be worse than the ongoing violence and the extended concentration camps in which they now find themselves. This cause for displaced Palestinians is one of the major "civil rights" causes of our day.
For how many more years will American soldiers and civilians be killed for the antisemitism of America following World War II? We need to pray and work for those planning for peace and justice in Palestine today.
Harold C. Parker, D. Min.