Man's Kill-Culture ----
I tried to copy this photo from the above link onto this comment, but I was not successful. Maybe someone more computer literate can tell me how. Anyway, it is a photo of Chief Joseph, a great chief of the American Plains Indians, in December 1890, starved to death and frozen in a grotesque position in the snow, US Army soldiers in the background standing near their horses. He had been photographed many times in his prime in full Plains Indian regalia draped with beautiful blankets, in full feathered war bonnets. Now he lay in the snow in rags, disgraced, disrespected, his little rag-tag followers also dead, mostly women.
Whenever I look at this photo I feel a great sense of injustice, because I descend from Native Americans, and I can understand how Arabs would feel that their fellow Arab Palestinians had suffered an injustice. It is a sense of loss that is hard to accept, but accept it they must since they cannot change history no matter how they try to "review" it to come up with their own versions of the "resolutions" and agreements to make their case. The Jews feel a sense of injustice whenever they see photos of the piles of skeletal Jewish dead in the yards of Hitler's crematoriums. I can understand how the powers that be felt that sense of injustice with them and helped them gain a homeland.
Who do I blame for the injustice suffered by Chief Joseph and his people? The US Army and its "kill-culture" against Native Americans? No. The Americans fought the battles and won the war, and felt justified in making the land free and safe for themselves. After all, hadn't they purchased the land from Napoleon? But Napoleon never had title to the land either. So land belongs only to the victors for a time, and is lost again one way or another to a more powerful, more determined, better armed invader, time and time again throughout history all over the world. The losers wisely accept defeat and live on.
There have been bloody battles everywhere that man has settled. Those who defend Palestinians forget that before a Jewish homeland was declared, the Palestinian Arab tribes fought many bloody battles amongst themselves. That is an inconvenient truth the defenders of Palestinians choose to ignore.
I don't believe in Jesus as God, but He was wise to tell His followers to put away their swords; the Romans were too powerful and it would not serve their purpose to keep on fighting. His aim was for his people to keep the integrity of their ancestors' beliefs and not fall in with the Romans as the Pharisees did. He spoke not too far from where the current skirmishes between Palestinians and Israelis are going on now.
The Palestinians would do well to put down their weapons and make peace. They revere Jesus as a prophet, same as the Jews do. They both revere the old Scriptures no matter what they call them or who they claim had them first. Jesus lived as a Jew who actually walked that land, He was not a Muslim, and Mohammed only went there in his dreams while still in Medina or Mecca, and so the land is holy to the three major religions and it should be made safe for anyone in the world to come there.
Surely life is easier now for everyone in America more than 100 years after Chief Joseph's demise since there has been peace for that long, but at the loss of the original culture that was there. The defeated that wished to keep their culture gave up everything and stayed together in reservations set aside for them so they could be protected from their enemies and keep their language and some customs and part of their religion, though they were pressured to take Jesus as their Savior in order to show gratitude to their "benefactors". Most have assimilated and share in the bounty that we know now, and we are free to practice whatever religion or to not practice any.
The point I'm trying to make is that the Palestinians were no more a nation than the followers of those Native American chiefs so long ago. The American tribes had their kill-culture too, and took land from each other. The Palestinians are Arab tribes, with opposing Islamic creeds, not sovereign nation states. The American Indians warred amongst the other tribes and never joined forces to beat back the enemy, and doing so would not have accomplished much owing to the fact that the invaders had the latest technology and financial support as Isreal does now.
However the Palestinians lost the land they thought was theirs is a moot point now. They are facing too determined a people who feel as much a historical claim to the land, and much of the Western world agrees, though Israel has been cautioned to stay within the first agreed upon borders. It is a historical fact that most Jews were taken out of the land they have reclaimed, and in truth share common ancestors with the Arabs. Mohamed makes much of "Zionists" and Jews, but Zionism was a movement in the late 19th Century to establish a homeland for Jews. Of course the Palestinians don't want any new borders, but the Israelis have not only taken an inch, they have taken a mile, many miles, and they will not give them up due to the incitement from their radical Zionist element. They have not only won the battles, they won the war, and most of the world recognizes their hard-won state.
Who amongst the Arab states has made a determined effort lately to oust the Israelis? The Palestinians once had the support of their Arab neighbors, but that is lacking now. Their neighbors fought with them at first, but they lost too. It would be best to stop these ineffective suicide bombings and missile firings that cause the Israelis to retaliate. It is the Israelis who react, and it is the Palestinians that are the agressors. The Israelis also could make quite a case for themselves if they had someone like Mohamed to enumerate all the killings and injuries their innocents have suffered from the Palestinians. We here could make a case for Shiites who have suffered loss of life at the hands of Sunnis and vice-versa, but Muslims ignore that.
Arab Muslims have made the Palestinian situation such a bone of contention, that they are obsessed by it to the extent that they are willing to re-invent history and provide weak arguments as justification. Palestinians have not been alone as residents of that land all those generations that they claim; there were Jews and Christians in that land, and there still are.
So, yes, I wonder why Palestinians continue to agitate only because I see that it has been futile to do so for so long. That land is so small compared to other vast nation states like the United States, so people have nowhere to run. There could be peace there if only the Palestinians would stop their attempts to oust the Jews by suicide bombings and missiles that kill and injure innocent Jews and cause the Israeli army to try to disarm them causing death and injury to the Palestinians in turn.
I think that the leaders of other Arab states have tried to broker a peace, but the Palestinians refuse. Only Arab leaders can try to control the Palestinians, since they choose to ignore the UN, and only Israelis can control their own radicals. The rest of the world just seems to want to stay out of their affairs.
I printed out Mohamed's essay, all five pages of it, and I am sorry to say that his arguments do not convince me that it is a good idea for the Palestinians to continue their skirmishes. I feel he is just reiterating what he hears from his elders who have picked up the situation in Palestine as an Islamic cause. As a devout Muslim, he will not contradict what his elders teach him. In his culture it would be unthinkable to have an indipendent thought that goes against the beliefs of the culture.
Port Orchard, WA
I posted something similar prior to her post and a disagreement following. I repeat them as comments to this blog topic.
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible