|Zoughbi Zoughbi at Wi'am in Bethlehem|
The 'power' is fear. And it's got us in its grasp. In conflicts like this one, it's like some kind of contagion, passing from community to community, infecting friendships and decent people doing decent things. Consultants load it up, travel with it on their laptops and project it as the latest Powerpoint presentation. But it's fear, it's anxiety. In the service of oppression. And I'm finding that a sad and scary thing. Up close, this week.
|A bold vision of peace with Ir Amim in Jerusalem|
The only way to read the assault on all these people and their institutions is that Israel (or its ruling government) believes they're evil, marked by a darker human spirit than all others. And because that's so, because Palestine is and always will be beyond the reach of decency, they must be denied their human rights, and denied their God-given right to organize nonviolently, and denied their lands and freedom and ability to govern.
In Walter Wink's work, the theological task is both identifying the 'powers' and meeting them in the courageous spirit of love, nonviolence and redemptive suffering. Twenty years ago, this sounded so cool and hip and edgy. Now it just seems hard. But hatred can't cast out hatred, said MLK, and fear can't banish fear. Only love can do that.
I'm not afraid for my life this week. I'm so privileged in that regard. I don't have to worry about bombs and midnight raids and stray rubber bullets. But I am afraid. I'm terribly afraid for relationships I once cherished, really cherished. They're being sacrificed, a good many of them, on the altar of anxiety. They're being sacrificed, because some consultant spreads fear and innuendo and morbid suspicion, in the service of occupation and oppression. I'm not afraid for my safety, but I'm profoundly saddened by the havoc this fear is wreaking on my life. And so many, many others.
|Daoud at Neve Shalom|
The weekend of April 29 and 30 brings a two-day conference (JUSTICE FOR PALESTINE) to Peace United Church of Christ and Santa Cruz.