During a recent UN Security Council meeting, a vote of 14-0 voted in support of the Palestinians – and the U.S. abstained from the vote. Israel Ambassador claims, “God is on Israel’s side, but not the U.S.”
In the midst of all this news reporting and commentary, one thing is lost ± the human narrative of Palestine, its people, their struggles to live in a world that continues to deny their existence. It’s not about the Bible or the Koran or the UN. At the heart of it all, it’s about the story of human beings who are suffering.
The 1948 Nakba has created a Zionist-made catastrophe of the destruction of Palestinian society. Today, the Palestinians are separated into the following groups: Citizens of Israel who live in 1948 Mandatory Palestine — Palestinians in Jerusalem who have permanent residency status in Israel; Palestinians of the West Bank; Palestinians of Gaza; Palestinians of the camps; and, the Palestinians of the diaspora. The Zionist enterprise keeps them separate and there is a human cost to their separation.
Last summer, I had the privilege of visiting the Holy Land with my family. It was the first visit there for my husband and our young children. With our American passports, we were able to drive to the North to visit the Old City of Akka, my husband’s village of Sha’ab, spending time with his family. We visited Nazareth. We visited Jerusalem, praying at the al Aqsa Mosque. We drove to my town of El Bireh and spent time with my family. We visited Bethlehem. Anywhere we had the time to get to, we went.
At checkpoints, we showed our American passports and were met with young Israeli soldiers who were friendly. (The difference in treatment is apparent, however, with those who live and work there.
Our experience was not typical in that it is not easy for those with Palestinian identity cards to have the same freedoms and treatment was we were given.)
Meanwhile, Israel’s Ambassador Danon at the UN used the Bible as a defense to Israeli violations of international law and the human rights of the Palestinians.
It’s ironic how all kinds of political groups justify their actions by referring to holy books. My response to Israel and its supporters is also based on the Bible — on the brotherhood of all human beings who have the same father, Adam.
To follow suit, I give you the following from The Old Testament, Malaci 2:10, which reads:
“Do we not all have one father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously each against his brother so as to profane the covenant of our fathers?”
There is an injustice in Palestine. The injustice is that one brother in humanity is dominating and oppressing another brother in humanity. It is a violation of international law and international covenants. It’s also a violation of the Bible’s letter and spirit.
Israelis are occupiers, the Palestinians are the occupied. Israelis have all the rights of citizens of Israel and Palestinians have the agony and the oppression of the occupation. There are walls and humiliation and constant life under occupation.
While I drove around freely enjoying the country, the Palestinians of Gaza live in a prison, the Palestinians of the camps are not allowed to return to their homes and the Palestinians in the West Bank have their movements controlled by Israel. Injustice.
Let’s hope that the UN Security Council Resolution 2334 initiate a process that ends that injustice.