Saturday, January 17, 2009


What has been accomplished from this 'war'/massacre?

- More than 1000 Palestinian civilians dead, one third of which are children.
- More than 5000 people injured.
- The entire infrastructure of Gaza destroyed. Mosques, Christian churches, hospitals, schools, houses were all targets.
- Shameless crimes against humanity.
- Hamas support has grown exponentially
- Hatred for Israel has grown exponentially in the Arab nations.

Nothing can be achieved until Israel and Hamas lay down their guns and talk to each other. Really I can't see any hope without Jesus and the kingdom values of love, peace, justice and equality.

"Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend. We never get rid of an enemy by meeting hate with hate; we get rid of an enemy by getting rid of enmity. By its very nature, hate destroys and tears down; by its very nature, love creates and builds up. Love transforms with redemptive power."
Martin Luther King

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A just war?

More than 1000 Palestinians have died in Gaza in the past 19 days, 90% civilians.

More than 300 of the dead are said to be children.
4,700 people in Gaza have been injured.

Israelis have been killed, including three civilians and 10 soldiers.

In the past week among Israels crimes against humanity are:
- Destroying a Christian Aid medical clinic.
- Shelling a house where they had told 100 women and children to move to.
- For 4 days preventing medics from reaching starving, traumatised children who were standing over the bodies of their dead mothers.

Olmert wants to show Israel's 'iron fist' in order to provide security for the Israeli people. I seriously doubt that he has made his people more secure by orchestrating this bloodbath.

It makes me sick that any Christian could attempt to justify or condone the actions of the Israeli military. It makes me not want to call myself a Christian. I continually have to remind myself of the teachings of Jesus and the values of the kingdom which seem to be lost in the churches blindness and indifference.

To anyone who seeks to use theology or prophecy to in someway excuse or 'be balanced' in their arguments I would recommend 2 books-

'Light Force' by Brother Andrew
'Zion's Christian Soldiers' by Stephen Sizer

Sizer's conclusion is-

…the choice is between two theologies: one based primarily on the shadows of the old covenant; the other on the reality of the new covenant. In identifying with the former, Christian Zionism is an exclusive theology that focuses on the Jews in the land rather than an inclusive theology that centres on Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world. It consequently provides a theological endorsement for racial segregation, apartheid and war. This is diametrically opposed to the inclusive theology of justice, peace and reconciliation which lie at the heart of the new covenant. (p.260).

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Taking sides??

In answer to anonymous-

There is nowhere safe in Gaza. Israel drop bombs on houses killing families. They flee to take shelter in schools, mosques, UN buildings and Israel bomb them.

The 'human shields' argument is ridiculous. They are dropping tonnes and tonnes of the biggest explosives on the one of the most densely populated area in the world. The UN said there was no fire from their building and it was clearly marked. They drop a bomb on a house where they suspect someone involved with Hamas is sleeping, killing his extended family then accuse him of hiding behind civilians. If this was happening to Israelis the world would explode.

No other country could get away with the crimes against humanity that Israel do, because they can, so they don't care....might is right.

I repeat there have been 45 people killed in the West Bank this year without a single rocket being fired.

Yes I have emotional ties to Palestine but I also met some great people in Israel. I am saddened for them also. Do you really think this is going to improve life for them? Even if Hamas were wiped out (which they won't be) another more extreme group will take their place. There will be more rockets and more hatred. Imagine a bomb has landed on your house killing your wife and children. Combine this with a life of poverty and a denial of your human rights. What would you do? Violence breeds violence, evil breeds evil.

Love is the only force capable of overcoming hatred.

I find it hard to believe some Christians attitudes over this. It's not a case of taking sides. There only is one side...the occupier, the military force, the oppressor. I can't fathom how any human being never mind follower of Jesus can see pictures of kids blown to pieces and say they are in support of this evil government. The world is so screwed up.

Was great to walk and pray for peace in Belfast last night. Gave me some hope in the human race.

Some websites to check out and support-

Sunday, January 04, 2009


When I was in the West Bank in 2007 I met a guy who had just come from Gaza. He described the situation and said it was a time bomb waiting to explode (here). Now it has.
In the past couple of years I've checked the news everyday from Gaza and written a few times about the brutal occupation and collective punishment that Israel were enforcing on the civilian population there (eg here, here, here, here, here).

(Picture: Me with some palestinian kids in a refugee camp much like those that are currently being bombed in Gaza)

In the last 8 days Israel has killed over 460 Palestinians and the UN estimates that at least a third are civilians or regular street policemen. We don't know the full extent of the carnage because Israel (again defying international law) won't allow any journalists into Gaza to report on what they are doing.

The disproportionate scale of Israel's assault and the reaction of the US and EU would be laughable where it not for the fact that women and children are being blown to pieces everyday.

George Bush says the Israelis are defending themselves against rocket fire. The facts are that Israel haven't just started killing people this week. During the last seven years, 18 Israelis have been killed by homemade rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, while more than 5,000 Palestinians were killed by Israel with some of the most advanced US-supplied armaments in the world. And while no rockets are fired from the West Bank, 45 Palestinians have died there at Israel's hands this year alone.

This occurs against the backdrop of Israel slowly suffocating both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, with more than 50% of Gazans living below the poverty line and all imports (including UN and Red Cross humanitarian aid) being restricted and controlled by Israel. There have been no exports from Gaza allowed for 2 years.

The western governments are 'monitoring' the situation. I wonder what their response would be to an assault on Israel, or the US or Britain which left nearly 500 people dead in a couple of days.

The reason it sickens and angers me so much is that the traumatised, grieving faces I see aren't just random arabs but they remind me of the most hospitable, friendly people I've ever met. People who are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, mates just like we have here.

The fact of the matter is that an Arab life isn't worth as much as a Jewish, American or European life. But I believe in the Palestinian people. They have a strength and a hope that I pray will sustain them in these dark days.

"The Israelis have the power, the Palestinian people have dignity and despite all odds, still have hope. The Israelis have the airplanes from which they drop bombs in Gaza, they have bulldozers made here in the United States, not far from my home, they can do all those things, but despite this imbalance of power, the Israelis will never be able to destroy Palestinians' hope and dignity."
Holocaust survivor, Hedy Epstein

(Picture: A great night's craic we had with some Palestinian families. The human face to the statistics)