Naming Jerusalem the Capital of Israel by President Donald Trump was a shameless ultra nationalistic move by Trump to pay off some of his far right constituents, including his son in law Kushner.
It was a typical selfish nationalistic “America First” move where you only take care of yourself, Donald Trump and American interests first.
Prof. Marvin Wilson of Gordon College writes “The number one obstacle to Peace is Nationalism, because it so often insists the denial of the other guy. A biblical view can’t be Anti Arab and Pro Israel or Anti Israel and Pro Arab…….God’s heart is where Justice is.”
Our politicians deal with this conflict as if they are dealing with equal parties, which is not the case at all. The USA government has pumped billions into the Israeli military. Israel in turn has impoverished the Palestinian population by military checkpoints and walls separating people from their homes, work and families to totally mess up the Palestinian society and market places.
I have witnessed this firsthand two years ago on a delegation with the Christian Peacemaker Teams. This was evident especially in places like Hebron where there were military checkpoints everywhere and all of Palestinian society was controlled, complete with systematic mid-night raids, for over 50 years now!
Just to put this into context, my parents lived with a similar situation under Nazi occupation for just five years but it ended, reparation was made and peace happened.
It is very sad that every succeeding Israeli government without exception has oppressed the Palestinian people.
The idea of a place for the Jewish people for a homeland after WW2 was good and honorable but the Palestinians have suffered immensely because the new State of Israel.
It was to be a state for Jews only, such that the Christians and Moslems in the West Bank and Gaza became second-rate citizens or were given a temporary status that could be revoked at a whim.
When one sees violence from Palestinians it is in most cases a reaction to the oppression from the Israeli military.
So the symbolic move by one country, the USA, to name Jerusalem the capital of only Israel is like a black eye and the last straw to Palestinians.
Jerusalem is important and meaningful for all: Jews, Moslems, and Christians.
Some Jewish people will claim the land on the basis that God promised it to them in the Old Testament.
However, even if this is true then what about all the warnings by the prophets? The prophet Jeremiah said “If you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless, the widowed, nor shed innocent blood, not follow other gods…you may live on the land.” The Bible is full of texts like this in the book of Amos. “But let justice flow like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream…..”
About the land again, there is the Biblical story of King Ahab and Jezebel who wanted the vineyard of their neighbor Naboth. They had him killed but there was no blessing in that; both Ahab and Jezebel met a terrible death.
We need to stand up for all Naboths and join the prophets that spoke on behalf of the oppressed, the political prisoners and the poor.
Some will quote Genesis 12: 3 “I will bless you (Israel) and whoever curses you I will curse; and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” But as mentioned above, there is no blessing when Israel acts unjustly.
The U.S.A, as a permanent Security Council member, has blocked all U.N. human rights resolutions affecting Palestinians and has allowed Israel to rule over them like an Apartheid State.
Sadly Canada is complicit in remaining silent on the root causes of injustices that have occurred!
Even now if Israel ignores International Law, steals Palestinian land and keeps on building settlements, there will be no justice, no peace and eventually a breakdown of the State of Israel, as even the Israeli newspaper Haaretz suggests.
The same is true for some criminal Palestinian action, there is no blessing on some of their behavior either.
Please know that there are wonderful Jewish human rights organizations doing great work for peace: B’ Tsellem, Jewish Voices for Peace, and many more.
In all my inquiries I have made good friends with both Palestinian and Israeli people.
As a two state solution has been wrecked by the Netanyahu Likud government’s actions, it will now in the eyes of the world have to start treating all the people of the land equally as in any real democratic state with Jerusalem as the Capital for all it’s citizens.
Peace/Shalom/Salaam to all,