"The Christian must discover in contemplation, and in the giving of his life, those symbolic actions which will ignite the people's faith to resist injustice with their whole lives, lives coming together as a united force of truth and thus releasing the liberating power of the God within them." - James Douglass, Contemplation and Resistance.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Those Who Do Wrong are Silenced
A few weeks ago, Nonviolent Jesus reported the following words from Patrick Cockburn: "Gaza is dying, its people are on the edge of starvation. A whole society is being destroyed. The sound that Palestinians most dread is an unknown voice on their cell phone saying they have half an hour to leave their home before it is hit by bombs or missiles. There is no appeal."
In response, Palestinians have been placing their last weapon, their bodies, in front of the houses about to be destroyed, risking their own dismemberment to peacefully resist brutal and blatant injustice. Yet even these desperate attempts to stand for justice are condemned, and precisely by those who have accepted the mission of protecting human rights: "On November 18, hundreds of people crowded in and around the home of Mohammed Baroud, a leader of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) after Baroud received a telephone call warning of an Israeli air strike. The calls from the Israeli air force are meant to terrorize Palestinians into fleeing. But Baroud refused to leave his home in the Jabaliya refugee camp, and hundreds of neighbors gathered outside the building, with about 50 climbing on the roof to chant anti-Israeli slogans. With dozens of people remaining in the house in a round-the-clock vigil, the Israeli military called off at least two air strikes, according to the Kuwait Times."
The reaction from the human rights community was a swift and decisive condemnation: "Prime Minister Haniyeh and other Palestinian leaders should be renouncing, not embracing, the tactic of encouraging civilians to place themselves at risk." In other words, the tactics of Gandhi and Martin Luther King are now crimes, but the bombing of innocent civilian's houses in an act of collective punishment is not.
The Lord hears the cry of the poor. We Christians are too stupid and unhip to fill our ears with the nonstop blast of extremist chatter that has deafened the majority in this country. We are simple people who believe in simple justice, and we hear the cry of Jesus in the screams of the Palestinians as they wait to be slaughtered:
"Two weeks before, in the town of Beit Hanoun, some 200 women surrounded a mosque where a dozen Hamas militants were trapped inside by a siege of Israeli tanks and bulldozers.
Responding to a call by Hamas commanders, the women marched in front of the vehicles as they prepared to demolish the mosque. According to reports, the women went into the mosque, helped the male fighters disguise themselves and led them to safety. During the standoff, Israeli forces opened fire on the women, killing two in a hail of bullets. A few days later, the Israeli military took revenge--with a nighttime air strike on an apartment building in Beit Hanoun that killed 19 people, including eight children and 11 members of the same family."
Some will say that the Palestinians are guilty of violence, and indeed some are, but not as guilty as the Americans who sit with stuffed ears and folded hands while 3 billion dollars a year pours into corporate coffers to build weapons to shred human beings in Gaza. And, in the words of Moltmann, "He enters not only into the situation of the limited creature, but even into the situation of the guilty and suffering creature."