I am a Palestinian Christian citizen of Israel and I speak from this perspective. We continually live in a war zone in Israel/Palestine. This war includes psychological warfare. The media plays a significant role in depicting the problem as well as the level of humanity of the other. During war we encounter dehumanization, fear, worry, anger, revenge, division, blame, pain, atrocities, extremism, false logic, and shame.
Life stops and death is free to move in all its forms. Communities are polarized and people are concerned about their daily activities not looking for long term solutions. In such a situation, as a follower of Jesus I want to remind myself and others of divine wisdom in the following points.
1. Human life is precious in God’s eyes and in the eyes of His people. Our actions and feelings should never downplay the importance of preserving every human life regardless of their background, gender, or political convictions.
2. Hate and revenge are never the best way forward. No doubt, we need to address all forms of evil but this should not be a permission to hate or to revenge. Our call is to affirm the love of God to all people regardless of their history or moral standards.
3. Justifying your group at all costs is never a fair and wise approach. We should be praying and looking for stopping the spilling of bloodshed as well as for long term solutions. Revenge is short sighted.
4. Sacralizing war and military actions is extremely dangerous whether it is done by right wing Jews or by Hamas or Christians or others. Religion should not be an ammunition for war. Such approaches distort and blurs our ability to find God. The best way to find God is to look at Jesus Christ.
5. A zero-sum mentality is foolish. Considering demography in Israel/Palestine as well as the history of our region, peace is the best option for all of us. But peace should be willing to seek an acceptable solution for both Jews and Palestinians. It should be full of dignity not of humiliation. The dignity of peacemaking is a needed spiritual awakening.
6. In this season, we refuse to worry or live in fear. Instead, our eyes are gazing on God seeking his mercy in prayer. We trust God’s sovereignty and ability to shape history as well as to move it in the right direction.
7. Our mission in such a reality is to be peacemakers. We want to be the conscience of Palestinians and Israeli Jews. We want to be the sane mind in a blood thirsty reality. We want to choose peace for all the inhabitants of Israel/Palestine.
Despite our courage and conviction to follow the prince of peace, we covet your prayers and solidarity. We are encountering a bad day and hope that this too shall pass. May the day be short and its night be less gloomy. May we be the candles of hope, of peace, of faith, and of love. Remember the followers of Jesus as well as Israel/Palestine in your prayers.
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