The Catastrophe

Follow the above link to a little miniseries that Al-Jazeera is doing on Al-Nakba. Al-Nakba or “The Catastrophe” is what Palestinians call the loss of their land in 1948 at the hands of Israeli Zionists. A few reflections from the first part:

  • Even the fact that Palestinians refer to the events of 1948 as “The Catastrophe” indicates that there is another side to a complex story that is only told from a pro-Israeli perspective here in the West.
  • The establishment of Israel was not the result of a gracious act of God to give the Land to his people but rather the result of Britain’s colonialist aims to establish a pro-Western state in the Middle East.
  • Zionism often couches this unjust and oppressive political agenda in spiritual language. The name of God is invoked in order to legitimate an unjust cause.
  • The presence of Eastern Orthodox Christians in Palestine is usually ignored because a Christian presence there does not fit into a framework that desires to paint all Palestinians as backwards “Muhammadans.”
  • Western Christians who are under the assumption that being a Christ follower comes with an unquestioned support of the modern state of Israel have been duped into supporting a cause that is about corrupt political power-grabbing and Western colonialism. We take the name of God in vain when we claim that God is behind the illegal occupation of Palestine.

Reframing the Israel-Palestine Conflict

This is a link to an awesome video that discusses the way the Western media frames the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Essentially, this unquestioned narrative states that Israel is always innocent and is merely “responding” to Palestinian “terrorist” attacks. Within this narrative the deaths of Palestinian civilians is considered collateral damage done in the name of “counter-terrorism.”

Reality check:

  • Rockets fired from Gaza into Israel are fired for a reason. Nothing happens in a vacuum. There is a long history between these two people groups that must be incorporated into our narratives. 
  • Dropping bombs or firing rockets on civilians is never OK. Even if Israel is the one dropping the bombs or firing the rockets (or the US for that matter).
  • From a Palestinian perspective (or a non-American one, for that matter) Israel is the aggressor. 

We must stop telling only half of the story.