Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Opinion

November 2, 2010

Lion and the Lamb: We should strive for an Oasis of Peace

CROSSVILLE — We are fortunate in Cumberland County to have public space on the Courthouse lawn in Crossville where rallies concerning domestic and international issues can be held. A recent photo in the Chronicle depicts a group with a banner proclaiming "America: pro-Israel." One wonders whether that will provoke a counter-rally with banners proclaiming "America:  pro-Palestine?" Probably not, because our government already treats the state of Israel as our fifty-first state. We yearly give enormous amounts of money to Israel for armaments.

The problems between Israelis and Palestinians are deep-seated and long-lasting, requiring the best efforts from all sides to find honest and equitable solutions. It is interesting that some Jewish writers, living in both America and Israel, are speaking out against the way the state of Israel continues to treat Palestinians.

Marc H. Ellis, professor of American and Jewish Studies at Baylor University, writes, "Jews who argue openly for the freedom of Palestinians, over whom Israel has military and territorial power, are branded as self-haters and traitors. Can we Jews argue for a sharing of the land that would give Jews and Palestinians dignity, equality, and justice? When a claim for rights is made for 'us' and not for 'them,' a hypocrisy surfaces that eats away at the Jewish tradition found in the Hebrew Bible prophets."

Ellis concludes his thoughts saying, "May God give us the strength to testify to a fidelity that is inclusive of Jews and Palestinians, even and especially as the unity that is called for seeks to silence those who protest in the name of justice."

Gordon Levy, a Jew living in Israel, is a thirty-year writer for Ha'aretz and a contemporary Amos-type prophet who says of his country: "Everything is tainted--not just the military and state institutions, but the teachers who fail to protest the closing of Palestinian schools, the engineers who build the fences and roads between the settlements, the journalists who do not report, the artists and writers who remain silent [about the way Palestinians are treated]."

The challenge in this situation is one raised in 1948 when Israel became a state: "But what about the Palestinians?" There is no question that Israel has a right to exist. But Hamas has occasionally lobbed bombs into Israel, adding to the enmity and desire for revenge.

Richard Hoff, writing from California, notes: "The ultimate responsibility for this decade-old blood feud lies with Israel, and only Israel has the power to turn it around. The Hamas madmen have been driven mad by generations of living with Goliath's boot on their neck. The fact remains that if you drive people out of their ancestral land, pen them up in refugee camps, impoverish them, and continue to build 'settlements' on land that many recognize as belonging to the Palestinians, they will hate you and fight back."

It is unfortunate that today's state of Israel, like ancient Israel's monarchy, has opted to copy worldly nation-states in its violent ways of possessing land instead of showing the world the new way to possess land that God intended in the promise to Abraham.

If you are up to reading on this issue, I suggest two books: "The Punishment of Gaza" by Gideon Levy (Verso), and "Footnotes in Gaza" by Joe Sacco (Metropolitan).

Finally, I give you a piece of hope for Lions and Lambs. Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam is a community in Israel where humans live together as an "Oasis of Peace" that for more than thirty years has been dedicated to dialogue, cooperation, and a genuine and durable peace between Arabs and Jews, Palestinians and Israelis. (www.oasisofpeace.org).

May we all live in peace and hope.

• • •

This column is sponsored by Cumberland Countians for Peace and Justice, an organization composed of representatives from various churches in the area, and dedicated by the local writers to the theme that the lion and the lamb can and must learn to live together and grow in their relationship toward one another to ensure a better world. Opinions expressed in “Lion and the Lamb” columns are not necessarily those of the Crossville Chronicle publisher, editor or staff. For more information, contact Ted Braun, editor, at 277-5135.

 

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Lion and the Lamb: A promised land?

    Back in biblical times there was a group of people who believed that God had promised them a segment of land on this planet that would be theirs forever. Who could have known back then that this ancient promise and territorial justification would be used by their descendants today to claim the same segment of land?

    July 29, 2014

  • We the People: Bring back the American dream

    Our economy continues to expand. The stock market is at record levels, yet many ask why so many of us are struggling?  Barely half of us believe the American dream is attainable.

    July 29, 2014

  • Tidbits: Taking a low-tech break

    Feeling increasingly strangled by my electronic leash, with phone, text messages, email, social media and a variety of other forms of communication always at my side, I took the weekend off.

    July 28, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Governing before and after mass corruption

    Laws in America were originally written simply. Every citizen could read them quickly and understand their meaning. The founders wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance and the Constitution of the United States, none of which was longer than 4,500 words.

    July 28, 2014

  • We the People: The last dance

    Charlie Hayden’s last recording session with his early partner, Keith Jarrett, was in 2007.  The songs they played were mostly melancholy.  The second album coming from that session includes Weil’s “My Ship” and Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” The dark ballad “Goodbye,” by Gordon Jenkins, was the final track.

    July 22, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Living in a pressure cooker

    The Gaza Strip, a small Palestinian territory about the size of Washington, D.C., has been in the news almost every day.  Its key location at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea has attracted a number of occupying powers over the years, and it has  been at the center of much Middle East history.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: The excitement of election day

    On March 12, 1996, there were 427,183 votes cast in the presidential primary election. Among those votes was mine, the first vote I cast in an election, just two days after my 18th birthday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Raising the minimum wage

    My first job from which FICA was withheld was a minimum wage job, seventy-five cents an hour. And yes, even then no one could live on that little money. However, I was a high schooler living at home where my father provided room and board. The job gave me pocket money to buy gasoline, to take my girlfriend out for movies and burgers, and to buy tickets for baseball games.

    July 21, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Children on the move

    The news this past week has focused on the humanitarian crisis developing on our southern border. Thousands of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras seeking to escape from the violence, human trafficking and extreme poverty in their countries have been entering the United States.

    July 15, 2014

  • We the People: Memo to gun rights groups

    The recent incident in California helps us understand why we cannot rely on mental health services alone to solve the problem of gun violence.

    July 15, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014