Gosh, I'm tired.
Posted by aogSunday, 12 January 2003 at 18:04
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This morning in adult sunday school
the pastor spent the time going over personal stories from the West Bank. As expected, all of these involved hardship alledgedly imposed byIsraelis. Even the dire economic straights were claimed to be entirely caused by Israeli actions which were described without any context. There was the article promoting the Jenin massacre myth. At one point, after dissenting yet again from the official view, I was challenged on where I got my information and "who controls that?"". I disputed that that was relevant and that I got my infomration from a variety of sources but the challenger was unmollified. The best challenge to my claims was about the Palestinian Charter. My claim was that it had never been changed and my source was the copy I pulled off the UN mission of the Palestinian Authority website
. The counter was that the US State Department claimed that it had been changed, and who was to pick between those two sources? The problem is that if it hasn't changed, it makes the two state solution infeasible and shows that it's not the Israeli side that's the biggest violator of agreements.
The most disconcerting moment was a segue from stories about the IDF violating churches. I pointed out that Palestinian had used chuches for military purposes so perhaps this wasn't completely unjustified. We went to the occupation of the Church of the Nativity as an example. This was excused by gathered Lutherans for two reasons: the gunmen were being pursued by the IDF and they didn't actually fire their weapons from the Church. I didn't know how to respond to that. But at least this week I wasn't the lone voice of dissent - someone tried to bring in context instead of just reading sad tales.
Why the excuses for Palestinian behaviour? I think it was revealed when the pastor mentioend that things are different for those who have power and those who don't, and that the Israelis are powerful. I suppose those with this view consider it pointless to think about why it's the Israelis are powerful. Or that being powerless isn't a moral blank check. But that would require making actual judgements and that's hard. Better to leave it someone else.