Saturday, 31 January 2009

Jewish radicalism in the IDF

I posted a while back on Hamas, an organization which I consider to be terrorist and therefore illegitimate. The Palestinian journalist Laila links to an Israeli newspaper article in Ha'aretz detailing examples of Jewish extremism within the ranks of the IDF: IDF Rabbinate Publication during Gaza war. I'm no fan of the Baruch Goldsteins of this world. Nevertheless, the challenge - for me at least - is to critically evaluate the information within the context of the "big picture." The big picture, however, seems to be a fairly amorphous concept, as each particular construal involves assumptions that go beyond the "mere" facts on the ground.

Read Laila's post for excerpts. She has also posted a list of ideas for how to support the Palestinians practically and spiritually.

For a Christian organisation whith humanitarian links to Gaza, go to the Mennonite Central Committee website. One of the suggestions they make is to fast for the Palestians. I actually did that in the middle of the conflict, using the Lutheran version of the Liturgy of the Hours as a template. I didn't know what to say, so I prayed the Psalms and texts as if I were there (watching videos like this or this helped). My idea was to pray "vicariously," letting the Psalmist's "Lord open my lips, and I shall proclaim your praise" become potentially that of a Palestinian believer, the Psalmist's praise, lament, and supplication become that of those living in the midst of destruction. I don't know if such kinds of prayer "work" with God, i.e. lead him to strengthen his people, but they certainly opened the texts up for me in a completely new dimension.

[HT for the link goes to Halden. In fact, his latest post - Morally Based Political Action - speaks to my last comments on prayer. He says: " the most morally basic political action is prayer–or more comprehensively, doxology."

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