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  • Continuation of Israel/Palestine discussion

Dec
23

In an ongoing effort to live out our Messiah’s command to be peacemakers, I have been hosting a discussion here in the Dojo between a Jewish and a Palestinian friend, both of whom follow Jesus, both of whom see the Israel/Palestine conflict from very different perspectives.

Jacob and Rana are both passionate, charitable and committed to bringing the love of Jesus to both Palestinians and Israelis in a way that honors God and brings true peace…however, they don’t always agree on the details as to how that can be accomplished or the actions that have happened in the past which have prevented it thus far.

You can read their discussions in the comments section of the following posts:

http://jmsmith.org/blog/political-criticism-or-antisemitism/

http://jmsmith.org/blog/israel-palestine-cartoons-and-antisemitism-contd/

http://jmsmith.org/blog/discussion_jew_palestinian/

Both Jacob and Rana have expressed the desire for a “do over”, a chance to begin again and discuss the issue in greater detail with regards to what they perceive to be the key issues.  I agree that this is a good thing and a necessary step in any discussion where the issues are so involved and generate such passion and emotion on the part of all participants.

So in that regard, I would like to ask each of them the following questions and invite them to respond at will and as they have opportunity.

Questions for Jacob:

1. What are the theological and political reasons which lead you to believe the modern state of Israel has a right to the land it now resides in?  And could Israel have a political right to the land without having a theological right to it, or does the theological claim to the land necessitate political action to ensure possession of it?

2. Do you believe how one views the modern state of Israel is inextricably linked to how one views the Jewish people as a whole?  What role do you see the Jewish people playing in salvation history and is this inextricably tied up with the modern state of Israel?

3. What things, if any, do you believe Israel as a nati0n has done which have been unjust and a hindrance to true lasting peace?  What is your response, for example, to the accounts of Israeli soldiers regarding the ground-level actions taken against opposition within the occupied territories as presented in “Breaking the Silence” or other eyewitness accounts?

4. Given the original (and varying) Biblical borders of the Promised Land to Israel under the Sinai Covenant, what do YOU believe Israel’s modern borders should be?

5. What do you believe should be done to rectify the situation for Palestinians, such as Rana’s family, who were either forced to flee their ancestral homes or who remain but are treated as second-class citizens by the majority within Israel?

Questions for Rana:

1. Do you believe Israel as a nation, particularly as a homeland for the Jewish people worldwide, has an inherent right to exist?  And what is your response to political bodies or groups within the Arab world who have overtly declared that Israel does not have the right to exist?

2. What do you believe the reaction should be on the part of the larger world to Hamas’ leadership in light of Hamas’ open association with violence and terrorism in the past?

3. What role, if any, do you see the Jewish people playing in salvation history and is this inextricably tied up with the modern state of Israel?

4. To what degree should things like suicide bombings and rocket attacks on the part of hard line groups within Palestine be held responsible for the Palestinian plight for freedom and recognition as a sovereign state?

5. What do you believe is the most important thing necessary on the part of Israel to bring about true lasting peace?  On the part of Palestine?

As I’ve said many times throughout this discussion, if fellow followers of Jesus cannot discuss this issue charitably and honestly, what hope do other cultures/groups/governments who are without Messiah have?  Thus this truly is a form of ministry–one of the most practical forms of ministry, I would argue–to a watching world in need of healing and reconciliation.

Blessings to all,
JM

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Comments

  1. Jacob I.

    James-Michael,

    This is great! Thanks for taking the time to post such well-thought-out questions. I’m excited to answer these. It may take a day or two for me to post a response.

    Thanks!
    Jacob

    [Reply]

    jm Reply:

    Yeah man, take your time. The holidays are busy, so I understand if you and Rana don’t have time to respond soon. If you’d rather email your answers to me I’ll post them as a separate post so the discussion stays fresh.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Jacob I. on December 26, 2010 at 8:22 pm

  2. oso

    Sounds promising, I look forward to reading this.

    [Reply]

    Comment by oso on October 1, 2011 at 4:26 am

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