Sunday, 28 October 2012

The problem of Israel - an outpost of the loathed USA

The problems that I have with Israel are these:

As last night's film showed, it is a mirror copy of the West, in particular the USA from whom it gets so much funding and enthusiastic support from the powerful Israeli lobby in the corridors of power.  There are many US companies in tiny Israel.  I feel the UK is the 51st state of the US and Israel is the 52nd.  Both countries are swift to carry out the wishes of
the USA in the Middle East.  As a result, both the UK and Israel incur the wrath of the vast majority of the populations of the Middle East who are horrified by the West's and Israel's attack, invasion and occupation of first Afghanistan from 7 October 2001 and then Iraq from the 19 March 2003.  I include Israel with the West and NATO because, as I say, it looks and feels like a very powerful Western nation.  They even speak the most impeccable English, too!

While Israel continues, by its own tragic admission in last night's film, to be "surrounded by enemies", it is a failed state.  It can make the desert bloom but it cannot turn enemies into friends.  It cannot turn the victim mentality of the Palestinians into bosom buddies.  "It is more blessed to give than to receive" is beyond its comprehension.  It simply takes yet more land in the West Bank for itself, feeling that is fair enough when it gave up Gaza.  But that was without the agreement of any Palestinian.  And what was left behind was razed to the ground to prevent the hated Palestinians from benefiting in any way!

In addition, the abysmal track record of who does the most killings puts Israel at the top of the league.  Its might is right, shoot first ask questions later tactic means it simply ratchets up the loathing.  The occasional extra-judicial killings by Mosad don't exactly help, either.  Those of us who want to be proud of Israel, continue to observe their answer of aggression to every problem, in utter amazement at such a foolish and counter-productive policy.  For them, it is always war, war and never jaw, jaw.  Lots of military aggression against the Lebanese and Palestinians but not lots of talking or acts of sacrificial giving or sharing of the land.  Now, threats against Iran to wipe their nuclear installations off the face of the earth.  No balance of terror is allowed by Israel; only they are allowed to place Iran and Syria under the threat of nuclear annihilation, with the blessing of the USA.  All their wars have got them absolutely nowhere.  It has not given them the peace and security that other Western nations enjoy.  Israel and the West are not respected by so many in the Arab world.

Yet, knowing all of this, many evangelical Christians look upon Israel as the apple of God's eye.  It doesn't say much for God!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

"I'm glad I'm not a woman or a homosexual in a Muslim country!"

Such was the comment of one pro-Israel Christian and friend of mine in a church meeting.  

It sounded as though he was pitying women who have the misfortune to be born a Muslim.  Unfortunately, I think that leads to some trying to improve their lot by bringing our own Western culture and true religion to them in their darkness.  They don't know any better but, rejoice - good news - we do!  We can help them on the road to enlightenment and freedom and appreciation of how the West does all things best.

Was he not overlooking how we each regard our own way of life as superior and the best.  Muslims regard the Christian West as being decadent and degenerate.  They don't want to be pitied or looked down on.  Just left alone, I think.

I do find it ironic (to put it gently) that a Western Christian should be so sorry for Muslim women when, for most of its life, women have been very much second class citizens in and out of the Church.  Only in more recent years, after 2,000 years, have women finally been allowed to take some leadership roles but, only in the Protestant churches.  Only since the Second World War were women awarded degrees in the UK!

Only in 1967, did we decriminalise homosexuality and it was no longer lawful to imprison them for homosexual acts.  The evangelical Church did nothing to bring about this reform.  At least, the churches followed secular society by welcoming the homosexual but, not what they see as the homosexual sin, nor allowing them into any influential position in their fellowships.

Islam and Christianity are similar in some of their beliefs - especially on women and homosexuality.  Both Muslims and Christians are children of Abraham, have Jesus Christ as a major prophet (Islam) or as fully divine and fully human (Christianity) and, both are very strong on having the one, true God.  Both faiths are patriarchal, are obstacles to championing women's rights and, certainly (but not my church), remain obstacles to women equality in church leadership roles.

All this yet, my friend and Christian is so glad that he is not a woman or a homosexual in a Muslim country.  He should be mighty glad he is not a woman or a homosexual in the UK!