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In the hyper-sensitized reality of the region in which any criticism of Israel is swiftly and often unfairly branded as anti-Semitic, it can become counterproductive to inflame rather than explain and this means to hear the narratives of both sides, to articulate the suffering on both sides, not just the Palestinians.
The biblical teaching is clear. It always contests political power. It incites to "counterpower," to "positive" criticism, to an irreducible dialogue (like that between king and prophet in Israel), to antistatism, to a decentralizing of the relation, to an extreme relativizing of everything political, to an anti-ideology, to a questioning of all that claims either power or dominion (in other words, of all things political), and finally, if we may use a modern term, to a kind of "anarchism" (so long as we do not relate the term to the anarchist teaching of the nineteenth century).
Since I was 18 years old, I have taught the Bible. For the last fifteen or twenty years, I have taught every Sunday when I was home or near my own house, so that would be 35 or 40 times per year. Half of those Sundays, the text comes from the Hebrew Bible. I have had a deep personal interest in the Holy Land and in the teachings of the Hebrew people. God has a special position for the Jewish people, the Hebrews, or whatever. I know the difference between ancient Israel and Judaea, and I know the history. I don't have any problem with the Jewish people.
We can trust only ourselves. The president of the United States has to look out for U.S. interests — that is what he was elected to do. He does not have to look out for Israel's interests, nor do I expect him to. The bottom line is that Obama is president of the United States — not the world — so when it comes to Israel's interests I trust the prime minister's discretion.
James Baker was the only leader in America who had the guts to stand up and act against Israel's malignant disease: the settlements. When he was the Secretary of State, he simply informed the Israeli government that he would deduct the sums expended on the settlements from the money Israel was getting from the US. Threatened and made good on his threat. Baker thus confronted the "pro-Israeli" lobby in the US, both the Jewish and the Christian. Such courage is rare in the United States, as it is rare in Israel.
The people of Israel, through the Mother of the Saviour, were kinsmen of Christ. But in the kingdom of God ties of blood are not sufficient... Christ, therefore, rejects the ties of blood ; He demands the tie of faith, the hearing of the word of God. Whoever is united with Christ by baptism and by living faith is mother or brother to Him. So the question is not : Was Christ a Jew or an Aryan? It is : Are we members of Christ by baptism and by faith? For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision ; but a new creature (Gal. vi, 15).
Lukewarm people feel secure because they attend church, made a profession of faith at age twelve, were baptized, come from a Christian family, vote Republican, or live in America. Just as the prophets in the Old Testament warned Israel that they were not safe just because they lived in the land of Israel, so we are not safe just because we wear the label 'Christian' or because some people persist in calling us a 'Christian nation.
It is not in our interest to govern you. We would like you to govern yourselves in your own country. A democratic Palestinian state with territorial contiguity in Judea and Samaria and economic viability, which would conduct normal relations of tranquility, security and peace with Israel. Abandon the path of terror and let us together stop the bloodshed. Let us move forward together towards peace.
My daughter is an unarmed noncombatant. That should matter. It should matter, in particular, to progressives who believe, and justly so, that the inalienable rights of human beings, children in particular, take clear precedence over the strategic designs of nation-states and the appetites of nationalism. It should matter, as well, when progressives turn a blind eye to war crimes committed against Israel - or, for that matter, to war crimes committed by Syria against Syrians. The assumption is that Israel's crimes are of such Third Reich magnitude, that anti-civilian violence committed by its enemies is either negligible or justified.
Hey, here's a way to stop suicide bombings — give the Palestinians a bunch of missile-firing Apache helicopters and let them and the Israelis go at each other head to head. Four billion dollars a year to Israel — four billion dollars a year to the Palestinians — they can just blow each other up and leave the rest of us the hell alone.
This is what has become of the rule of law. Two sets of books. One for Us, and one to throw at Them. Apartheid. We are what we have created. We are what we do, and the injury we do in a thousand ways to millions of others. We are what we turn a blind eye to. Our Israel is what it has become: Apartheid.
I will now say, not only to our delegate to Congress, but to the Elders who leave the body of the Church, that he thought that all the cats and kittens were let out of the bag when brother Pratt went back last fall, and published the Revelation concerning the plurality of wives: it was thought there was no other cat to let out. But allow me to tell you, Elders of Israel, and delegates to Congress, you may expect an eternity of cats, that have not yet escaped from the bag. Bless your souls, there is no end to them, for if there is not one thing, there will always be another.
It is my considered opinion that the State of Israel is a racist state in the full meaning of this term: In this state people are discriminated against, in the most permanent and legal way and in the most important areas of life, only because of their origin. This racist discrimination began in Zionism and is carried out today mainly in co-operation with the institutions of the Zionist movement.
This conflict has been going on for too long. It is essential that the parties start new direct negotiations and negotiate a sustainable peace, with the support of the Quartet. The path will be arduous, no doubt, but the objective is worth it, for the Israelis and the Palestinians and the entire region: an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine, living side by side with the State of Israel in peace and security.
(When asked merely if they accept evolution, 45 percent of Americans say yes. The figure is 70 percent in China.) When the movie Jurassic Park was shown in Israel, it was condemned by some Orthodox rabbis because it accepted evolution and because it taught that dinosaurs lived a hundred million years ago-when, as is plainly stated at every Rosh Hashonhan and every Jewish wedding ceremony, the Universe is less than 6,000 years old.
With the drums of the long war banging, Israel's line on Hamas has been well received. The US administration urged European and Arab countries to freeze direct aid to the Palestinian Authority, and on February 15, the U.S. congress started moves in the same direction. Israeli security officials had been involved for quite some time before in urging the U.S. administration to increase its operations in Iran, including covert acts of regime change - efforts that were yielding their fruits in 2006. As was disclosed by Seymour Hersh and others, during Israel's recent war on Lebanon, the U.S. administration has viewed this as preparation, and a "test" for the option of an attack on Iran.