In Palestine, 16-year-old girls are arrested, terrorized, and abused. Women are compelled to wrestle soldiers to free their screaming, pleading sons. Parents are forced into burying their children who have been killed by the Israeli military.
Yet, for as egregious as these acts are, we don’t hear Christians knocking on any doors to raise awareness or advocating for an end to the occupation, you know, the way Jesus would.
Before anyone accuses me of being hypocritical, understand that I come from a unique background. Being a Palestinian who was raised as a Christian, I see the utter distortions and manipulations that perpetuate Palestinian oppression. Christians, especially in the United States, are duped into supporting Israel because of cherry-picked biblical quotes.
“God says that he blesses those who bless Israel.”
“It’s in the Bible that this is their homeland.”
I hear it all the time.
So, what about all of the people who don’t believe in the Bible? Are they simply forced to endure and suffer persecution because of your theological perceptions? How would Christians feel if Muslims demanded them to accept the Quran? Many would be in an uproar. Just as we wouldn’t expect anyone to push their beliefs on us, we can’t push our beliefs on anyone else.
Palestinians can’t be expected to acquiesce to one of the world’s most brutally oppressive regimes, all because the Bible supposedly mandates Israel’s right to occupy, suppress, and dominate. None of these are true. Biblical prophecies are often misrepresented and taken out of context. But that’s the way our world works. Many Christians are quick to forget about the true teachings of Christ, yet they’re eager to support Israel. What lies at the root of this support is a deep-seated prejudice against Arabs. We’re misconstrued as bloodthirsty demons. Israel should evict us because we don’t understand tranquility, people believe.
If you’re a Christian, you can’t selectively pick verses to justify Israel’s inhumanity. And you certainly can’t turn away from oppressed peoples. Jesus wouldn’t have. Jesus stood up to a tyrannical Roman government, irrespective of the consequences. So why won’t many Christians take a stand for Palestinians?
Palestinian Christians are restricted from visiting churches in Jerusalem. Palestinian Christians can’t travel freely. Palestinian Christians are treated as strangers in their own homeland. But most Christians are unaware of their Palestinian Christian brethren.
Furthermore, support for Israel is in blatant contravention to biblical doctrine. Jesus never would have supported a regime that subjugates millions, conducts murderous assaults on the Gaza strip, and which openly discriminates against non-Jews. Palestinian Muslims and Christians are disenfranchised, hopeless, and at the mercy of a tyrannical occupier.
Christians, the next time you think that God stands with Israel, ask yourselves if God stands with murder. In 2014, during Israel’s last malicious act of genocide on Gaza, over 2100 Palestinians were killed. 1462 were civilians.
Christians, the next time you think that God stands with Israel, ask yourselves if God stands with the restriction of Christians from going to church. A lot of Palestinian Christians in Jerusalem have cited the Israeli occupation as the reason for their departure from their historical homeland.
Christians, the next time you think that God stands with Israel, ask yourselves if God condones the mistreatment of one’s neighbors. Jesus commanded people to love their neighbors. Is Israel loving its neighbors when it steals their land, builds illegal settlements, and boots them out?
My fellow Christians, you are not supporting God’s will. You are supporting contradictions. You are supporting ethnic cleansing. You are supporting the most heinous injustice against humanity. Palestinians aren’t the ancient biblical enemies they’re depicted as. Palestinians, both Muslims and Christians alike, are the colonized who advocate tirelessly for freedom and equality, and who stand firmly in the face of colonization. Those are Christian values at their core. In fact, those are human values all are innately entitled to.
Stop with the blind support. Open your eyes and see the stark injustice and occupation. If Jesus were here, he’d side with the Palestinians. And he wouldn’t just be condemning Israel. He’d be condemning all of you, too.