Sunday, March 27, 2016
Weekly Report 4
Recently when speaking to a large conference of Zionist leaders, Donald Trump denied the existence of Palestine in a rather underhanded way, pandering to his audience. There seems to have been a history of support among conservative evangelical Christians of the Israeli government and military regardless of what actions they are taking at any given moment. Many conservative zionist Christians such as the minister John Hagee, base such support of military action on scriptural references of Israel being the chosen people of God. It is important to note that this is one of many ways to interpret such scripture and often, ministers like Mr. Hagee take to a literal or fundamentalist interpretation of scripture that the majority of Christians would perhaps disagree with. Often these individuals remain blissfully unaware of the lives of individuals involved in this conflict. Lives such as Anas Murakatan who lives in the 20 percent of the city of Hebron that is occupied by the Israeli military. Anas and his wife, who was at the time pregnant, were interviewed by Al-Jazeera about their experience of living under occupation. As of December of 2016, all of the residents of this 20 percent of Hebron were being required to give their personal information so as to receive identification numbers to enter the street on which they live. They must report with this number to several checkpoints on the way to their homes and should they find themselves absent from the list owned by the checkpoint officers, they will either not be allowed home, or otherwise have to find another, more difficult route to circumvent the checkpoints. Furthermore, only the residents of the given streets under occupation may enter the area: Thus, they may have no visitors, be they family or friends- no exceptions. As Anas was being interviewed, speaking of his wife, he mentioned that should she go into labor, she would not be exempt from having to submit to the checkpoint stops before boarding an ambulance, which may as well be subject to check-ins, making it's arrival further delayed. After his wife arrives home and is recovering, she will not be allowed to receive visitors and they will have to take the newborn child to be registered, at which point, the child will be given a number as well. While this is an immense inconvenience, this is not the greatest problem. This idea of making someone identify by number is a method of dehumanizing the occupied people. It is a method of stealing identity and self-worth. I would ask those who claim that these actions are the will of God if such a God would ordain the dehumanization of any individual. The answer to that question, no matter what the faith, is an emphatic "no". Whether we are speaking of the three Abrahamic faiths or of Hinduism or Buddhism and so on, all begin with a respect for the dignity of life and hope to relieve suffering. To claim that these methods are correct is always missing the mark, in religious terms.