An blog by a member of the Catholic peace movement, Pax Christi, to explore the nexus between contemplation and resistance. "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.
Sunday, January 04, 2009
Jesus is a Palestinian
They are the image of our pierced savior. Their crucifixion has been long and heightened with all the cruelties that contemporary ingenuity can dream of. Every day they cry out to God. But they have not been broken.
"He had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
Nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by others;
A man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity;
And as one from whom others hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him of no account."
- Isaiah 53: 2 – 3
Like Yahweh’s Servant they have been deprived of their human face. They are not human beings like Americans and Israelis are human beings. If their children are killed, it does not matter. They only understand violence.
We, the protectors of humanity, are not like them: "Strip away the clichés and the vacuous newspeak blaring out across the servile media and its pathetic corps of voluntary state servants in the Western world and what you will find is the naked desire for hegemony; for power over the weak and dominion over the world’s wealth. Worse yet you will find that the selfishness, the hatred and indifference, the racism and bigotry, the egotism and hedonism that we try so hard to cover up with our sophisticated jargon, our refined academic theories and models actually help to guide our basest and ugliest desires. The callousness with which we in indulge in them all are endemic to our very culture; thriving here like flies on a corpse.” – Jennifer Lowenstein, "If Hamas did not Exist", Jan. 1, 2009.
They are crucified because they are weak and in the way of our quest for dominance.
"By a perversion of justice he was taken away.
Who could have imagined his future?
For he was cut off from the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people.
They made his grave with the wicked..."
- Isaiah 53: 8 – 9
And what is said about the crucified people? If they had been willing to silently starve while Israel cut off food supplies, if they had been willing to simply die, disappear, and graciously eliminate their inconvenient presence from the land Israel craved, they would have been forgiven. But when they decided to live, when they became aware of their crucifixion, protest against it and struggle to escape from it, then they are not even recognized as human beings, and the practiced litany is intoned against them: terrorists, Al Qaida, suicide bombers...
At the moment of this writing, they are being "disappeared" and their bodies thrown on rubbish heaps. Their deaths will not be investigated. They are dying not because of anything they have done, but because of who they are. They must die in order to terrorize and paralyze the others.
Indeed, they bear the sin of many. Their death is necessary so that Israelis may enjoy the good life.
"Strip away the current symbols and language of the victims of our selfish and devastating whims and you will find the simple, impassioned and unaffected cries of the downtrodden; of the ‘wretched of the earth’ begging you to cease your cold aggression against their children and their homes; their families and their villages; begging you to leave them alone to have their fish and their bread, their oranges, their olives and their thyme; asking you first politely and then with increasing disbelief why you cannot let them live undisturbed on the land of their ancestors; unexploited, free of the fear of expulsion; of ravishment and devastation; free of permits and roadblocks and checkpoints and crossings; of monstrous concrete walls, guard towers, concrete bunkers, and barbed wire; of tanks and prisons and torture and death. Why is life without these policies and instruments of hell impossible?" – Jennifer Lowenstein, “If Hamas did not Exist”, Jan. 1, 2009.
Today Gaza is the new name for Golgotha.