From a Southern Baptist heritage, to the bosom of the original Christian Church, this BLOG is one man's COMMENTARY on his continuing Journey To Orthodoxy.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
An Example of Respectful Discourse on the Middle East
These comments were posted under the Article "Request To His Eminence Metropolitan Phillip ". I think that some who visit JTO miss out on the heart of a matter by not participating in the discussion in the Comment section. This discourse was worthy to post here for all to see because it gives clarity to the heart of the matter and the purpose to the post from OrthodoxProphets.blogspot.com.
Debbie Espen Said...
"I cannot agree. I agree with his eminence. You forget that many Palestinian people are Christian. And that Israel is practicing a form of apartheid, creating ghettos and committing genocide against the Palestinian people. No wonder they fight back! The government of Israel is not the Jewish people. Please remember that distinction.
So does America practice Apartheid by keeping the Mexicans out? We consider this our nation. Those within our borders rightfully have full rights and liberties as long as they do not commit crimes. Those from without have no rights and if they shoot missiles into our sovereign territory we will stop them. Why is Israel any different? Your comments imply that you do not recognize the Nation of Israel's right to exist. Herein lies a political question and not a theological one. The Metropolitan shares your views. My point is that to subjugate his parishioners to his political view under the cloak of his Bishopry is not acceptable. Ghettos" Genocide? Where? The Gaza Strip was given to the predominantly Arab (they are not Palestinians-It is a new word being used since Israel became a nation) populace a couple of years ago by the Israeli government. They have created their own ghettos by continuing to wage terror using the newly acquired land to kill innocents in Israel. Where is your compassion for the Israelis on the Gaza border who have had to live in bomb shelters since their government forcibly removed them from Gaza to allow the Arabs to live there? You are apparently listening to one propaganda mill. All I am suggesting is that all be held accountable for the lack of peace. By the way, why do the people you defend purposely put rocket launchers in their own neighborhoods knowing that Israelis will fire on them? Could it be that the loss of a few women and children is an acceptable propaganda tool to help promote their political agenda. They did this in Lebanon as well. Who is more worthy of death...an Arab child or an Israel child? Neither. All should pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Orthodoxy sees the Church as the "Israel" of the new Covenant not the nation. We understand the difference between Jews, Judaism and the Nation of Israel. I am not a dispensationalist defending Israel's right to exist because of some evangelical interpretation of prophecy. I see the human equation and I am asking our Metropolitan to expand his narrow and biased view. I would ask you to do the same.
Debbie Espen said...
Nathan, I greatly respect you for your willingness to do research and your openness to discover information, as evidenced by your studies in religion and religious history. In light of this, Instead of getting into a back and forth discussion on each point,I humbly suggest that you do some further research on this topic - you may discover that there is more to the story than you are presently aware of, much like what you experienced regarding the subject of 9/11, which you wrote about in a recent blog entry. You can view these documentaries free online at freedocumentaries.org: Occupation 101; Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land. You can go to these websites: IfAmericansKnew.org; B'Tselem.org; NormanFinkelstein.com; Tikkun. You can go to YouTube and watch any Anna Baltzer videos or If Americans Knew What Israel is Doing. You could check out some books, such as I am a Palestinian Christian by Mitri Raheb; They Dare to Speak Out by Paul Findley; Ethnic Cleansing by Ilan Pappe. You can research Rabbis for Human Rights. (Several of these resources are Jewish.) Unfortunately, be prepared to have what you thought you knew be blown away, and be disappointed and shocked.
Debbie, If you will look closely you will see that the theme of my discourse is not the blind and compete support of the nation of Israel, rather it is how our Bishops step into the political fray with an obvious blind slant toward their Arab brothers who are as viscous and vile and culpable as some claim the Israelis are. As one comment put it, "the unreasonable bias and political gerrymandering of many within our Church in attacking the Jews and Israel at every opportunity." I have written another article called "Are Antiochians Anti-Semite?", where I state that the modern day Israel is Zionism and not all Jews support the state. I also disclaim Dispensationalism that gives a pass on everything Israel does based on a false system of eschatology. Islam is a violent religion founded by a false prophet who was verifiability a pedophile. The devaluation of women and children, the indoctrination of hate and murder for the cause of Allah (not God), the pronounced agenda to annihilate the Jew then move on to "the people of the book" (Christians)in order to dominated the world, is enough for our Bishops to know that they should not stand shoulder to shoulder with these evil, Christ denying humans just because they are ARABS! Have Israeli soldiers committed atrocities? Of course, incidents can be found just as seen by some American soldier's aberrant behavior. But does the government as a whole condone, support and train their soldiers toward such actions as Islamic groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah? Have you ever seen an Israeli soldier pick up a child and use him as a shield during combat? To my knowledge, no. There is a marked difference in the value of life. Please see the Addendum I added to my last post. Listen to the son of one of Hamas' founders. He is now a Christian living in California. He is an eye witness, was int he thick of the evil on the ground, and gives the truth without propaganda or ethnic bias. I have been studying in the arena that you have suggested, including Talmudic Judaism, the Illuminati and their alleged plan to dominated the world. I still question as to why there allegedly were no Jews killed in the World Trade Towers on 9/11, except one who was visiting and one in the plane. There were over a thousand Jewish employees who worked there and it was not a holiday. Your admonition is well taken. When I discover truths relevant to the Orthodox Church and its conduct in relation to the Middle East, I will point them out.
Debbie Espen said...
Some reasonable and valuable points, Nathan. Well taken. However a few comments: Allah is not a name. Allah is the Arabic word for God. They believe in the same God of the Bible, and the Bible is one of they do consider the Bible top be a Holy Book. Yes, Islam was founded in violence, but it is not unlike the Bible's Old Testament. The religion itself is intended to be a religion of peace, and most Moslems do want to be good and peaceful people who value life dearly. Also, many Arabs are Christian, and they should not be forgotten. They are in the middle of this, too. Lastly, yes, Israeli soldiers do use Palestinian people, often children, as human shields, and have been filmed doing so, at high risk to the journalists, for they Israeli government does not want that info getting out. I have seen such film as well as other such atrocities done by Israeli soldiers and by Israeli (illegal) settlers on Palestinian land. Anyway, what is going on at this time in Gaza is plainly overkill. Lastly, I very much enjoy discussion with you, Nathan, since you are reasonable, calm, and do your homework. Keep up the good work!
Debbie, It is refreshing that you understand the nature of this discourse. Can one stand with either side in 100 support over the other? Well yes, but should Bishops of a Christian Church? This is my exhortation to the Bishops and the mistake I think they show...their "bias". The argument that the Palestinians can do what they want to and it is justified because of the tyranny of the oppressor is Old Testament "Eye for an eye" theology which Jesus came to change. Critics of my posts without exception condemn Israelis but justify the same atrocities by the Palestinians. This is my point: Sin is sin. A missile is a missile and dead children are dead children no matter what the intended target. I am asking the Bishops to speak to and condemn BOTH. (So far they haven't.) For this I am called a Christian Zionist, a hater, a heretic, Cain, spiteful, self-proclaimed (false) Christian. This is an example of how deep this bias goes. I got your book and am reading it. I will consider recommending it to my readers. I also went to the site you mentioned, unfortunately I cannot recommend it. It is unintelligent and apologetically biased using media manipulation and video editing tactics that are dishonest propaganda. There are better sites out there to present the pro-Palestinian view, however proving one side worse than the other has never been the focus of this discussion.
Debbie Espen said...
Of course you are, indeed, correct Nathan. While I understand the frustration and despair the Palestinian people are feeling, two wrongs do not make a right. Both parties should target military targets only, never civilians.