Thursday, January 15, 2009


The war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza is still raging despite the whole world begging it to stop. This was because of the terrifying pictures of many women, children being killed everyday. The crisis in the Middle East is an extremely difficult issue to overcome because of the historical, religious and political all mixed up. It is a big entangled MESS!


a. Bible History -

According to the Bible, God gave this land to the Israelites. The promise was first given to Abraham, then to Isaac and finally to Jacob (Changed his name to Israel). But when the Israel sinned against God, God punished them by kicking them out of the Land. Yet, prophecies after prophecies given that Israel will return. Miraculously, they did return in 1948 to form their country called Israel.

b. Recent History -

From 1517 to 1917 most of this area remained under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. The Empire was dissolved at the end of World War I. Its successor, modern republic of Turkey, transferred Palestine to British Empire control under the Lausanne agreement that followed WW I.
In 1917 Great Britain issued the
Balfour Declaration for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people". In 1922 Britain allocated nearly 80% of Palestine to a nation named Jordan where it covers the majority of the land of Palestine under British Mandate. Jordan also includes the majority of the Arabs who lived there. In other words, Jordan is the owner of major Arab portion of Palestine.

The residents of Palestine are called "Palestinians". When the nation of Israel was formed in 1948, some of the Palestinians were pushed out of the small land (which at that time mostly filled with rocks with only a small area of farmland). The world thought that the bigger area of Jordan and the Arab nations may want to absorb the Palestinians but they refused. They instead turn them into refugees.

It was only after Israel was formed that the myth of an Arab Palestinian nation was created and marketed worldwide. There is no language known as Palestinian, or any Palestinian culture distinct from that of all the Arabs in the area. There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians. "Palestinians" are Arabs indistinguishable from Arabs throughout the Middle East. The great majority of Arabs in greater Palestine and Israel share the same culture, language and religion.

During the formation of the nation in 1948, there were wars and violence, both from Arabs and the Jews. The Arabs want to destroy Israel but couldn't and everytime there is war, Israel expanded their land including the capturing of Jerusalem. The Arabs and the Palestinians were furious till this day! This brings us to the religious issue.

2. Religion.

a. Judaism -

Most Jews believed in the Torah, mostly the first 5 books of the Old Testament and Jewish teachings from the times of Kings and prophets. So, they believed Israel is the chosen one and the Land that God gave to them is irreversible. Jerusalem is a sacred place where the Temple once stood. They believed the Messiah (Christians believe the Messiah is JESUS!) will come to Jerusalem and ruled the whole world.

b. Islam -

Arabs mostly are Muslims and they believed in the Quran and the practices of the prophet Mohamed. They believed that the prophet ascended into heaven from Al Aksa Mosque in Jerusalem and they revered that place too. They also hated the Jewish people, not so much because they took the Land, they believed the Jewish people are rejected by God for their many sins. Although some Muslims hated the Jews and wanting them dead, most would love to see Jews come under Islam's jurisdiction. Today, there are many Muslims who only hated the government of Israel and not the Jewish people. Hamas is part of those who wish to see Israel destroyed and disappeared! There are also some Palestinian groups who want to do the same!


a. Israel -

Israel today is a thriving democratic country in the Middle East. They are strong in military might as well as in their economy, mostly sponsored by America where there are lots of Jewish politicians and businessmen and women. They have been attacked many times before and always prepared to defend themselves. It is the only mode of survival for them! But sometimes they squeezed the Palestinians too tight by many checkpoints. And then, they built settlements into areas where negotiations are still going on.

b. Palestine -

It is a well known fact today that everyone wants a two-state solution, where Israel and Palestine nations lived side by side in peace. Today, we have two places they could called home for the Palestinians, West Bank and Gaza. But sadly, WestBank is ruled by Fatah group (wanting to make peace with Israel) and Hamas ruled Gaza. Fatah and Hamas don't see eye to eye and recently, fought against each other.

Now, do you see how MESSY things are? As Christians, we must not take sides in war as precious souls are killed needlessly! What would Jesus want us to do?

1. He wants us to have compassion on those who are suffering by doing something.

2. He wants the churches to play a part to be peace makers.

3. He wants us to use this situation to preach the gospel.

4. He wants us to read the Word and be ready for His coming.

5. He doesn't want us to hate anyone.

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