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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Israeli Settlers

This being a blog for youth ministry and being that there are so many other political blogs out there, I almost NEVER do this.

But I want to know why no one is commenting on this situation.

I've been watching FoxNews most of the morning. Maybe it's because I'm quite interested in Israeli statehood and such that I'm more aware of the news going on. But this is really really big stuff, folks. The kind of stuff that splits nations.

Ariel Sharon has decreed that the Gaza Strip and the Western Bank will go to the Palestinians and that the Jewish settlers ("set-lers" as the reporter keeps saying) must move today. In the Gaza strip they have gotten nearly everyone out of their homes in Kfar Daroum, but there are quite a few holed up in a synagogue. The Israeli army has been there all day dragging the settlers out of hte synagogue and the settlers have put up quite a defense.

The settlers are upset because they feel that Sharon has betrayed them. After all he had encouraged them to settle there and he almost always was on their side. They are also angry that Jewish police are doing the forceful removing to their own. This really enrages them.

At teh synagogue they ahve poured oil on the steps so that the guards have a hard time getting in, they link arms to hold one another together, they have put up barbed wire on the top of the roof-they even have a portapotty on the roof, expecting to be there quite a while.

Meanwhile the troops have been in and out of the main room pulling settlers out forcibly, sprayed them down with water, and the image that strikes most of them to the heart are the big metel boxes that they have lowered onto the roof to use as cages to take out the settlers. For many of the settlers this is a reminder of the boxcars that Holocast victims were shuttled into during the Nazi occupation.

I'm blogging on this because it is such a difficult entanglement to understand and find a position on. For years I have been always on this side of Israeli statehood, that Israel fought hard during the 6-Day War to win this land. A great deal of blood and sacrifice has been made to form this State and any giving up is seen as giving up on the cause of Jewish Statehood.

On the flip side, as I heard one reporter say on the radio-If we believe that this land belongs to the Jews, one day it will. What is important now is peace-and if the Palestinians will agree to a ceasefire, agree to lay down their weapons, agree to stop bombing then give them the land.

I still believe in a complete Statehood for Israel, but I'm hoping that Ariel Sharon sees this as a move towards the greater good. And I hope that both sides will stop bombing each other and make an effort towards peace.


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