|From Gaza to the battle for Jerusalem|
As the rockets rained down on israel, few condemned the attacks, and there was a smile of satisfaction as the weapons supplied through the tunnels of Egypt hit their targets . The terrorist group Hamas was a proxy for many nations surrounding Israel, the religious extremist eager to use the Palestinian issue. The rockets did little harm, even 6,000 of them, but it caused fear, and this fear exploded in angst in air attacks and ground invasion of the Gaza strip in an attempt to stop the attacks and the weaken the rule of Hamas. Some called Israel's retaliation an "act of terrorism", but they too cared little for the Palestinian people whom they used as a proxy and a human shield to come against Israel. The mark of religious extremism is that there is little concern for humanity and for lives lost on all parties, the heavy handed retaliation by Israel, or the continuous provocation by the Arab nations and Hamas.
Hamas has been killing gays at Gaza strip -a fact often forgotten by the "Liberals" as they paint Palestinians as victims of aggression. They even paid the families of suicide bombers to go into suicide missions. They lived by the sword where they killed without conscience in anger and revenge. Some have criticised Israel for sealing the borders of Gaza as a ploy to force economic submission and starvation. However, since Hamas seize power in June 2007, the border has been breached allowing free flow traffic, of Eyptians and Palestenians cross to and forth until the Egyptians sealed the border. On the Israel side, they have the right to seal the border with Gaza on security concerns when Hamas took over control, known for its suicide attacks against israel and its charter calls for the destruction of the state of Israel. It also denies the Jewish Holocausts. They are even targeting the less than 3,000 christians living in Gaza. In Oct 2007, the manager of a Christian bookstore was publicly beaten and tortured for spreading Christianity. There is no religious freedom. Only Gays are more persecuted than Christians, where they are tortured and killed by the Palestenian security forces if found.
Basic humanity and decency is often lost in religiously motivated conflicts. No one deserves the suffering that the Palestiniens is going through, the deaths of the innocent, the economic and social hardship. Gaza strip was a large refugee camp where poverty and discontenment rose to demand a political party, even a terrorist organization to redeem them. However, redemption did not come, just more deaths and suffering. Violence begets more violence. In a discussion with a colleague, he hope that Israel would destroy Hamas and Palestine Nation. He claimed that "This is what the Bible says". What does the bible says?
In Gen 15:18-21, God did promise Abraham and His descendents, the Gaza strip. This was again confirmed when the Jews came into the "promised land" from Egypt in Joshua 1:4. . When Jesus came, the Jews were looking for a Messiah to restore the Jewish rule from the Romans, and to restore the Davidic kingdom. The promise of God to the Abraham may have lapsed after they failed to claim it by faith and occupy the lands given. Therefore the only land remaining that the Jews may have a reasonable right is the Kingdom of Herod in 1st century Judea which includes the city of Gaza and Jerusalem. There is only one way for peace between the Philistines and Israel, that is for each side to forgive, and for the Palestinians to accept Israel's ownership of Jerusalem. There may be no end to these continual cycle of conflicts until there is forgiveness and acceptance of each other's existence and land entitlement. The real conflict is not about Gaza but about Jerusalem whom Hamaz would like to be the capital of an islamic Palestine. However, the Jews has been yearning for two thousand years seeking a return of rightful ownership of Jerusalem, and has suffered millions of deaths for their Jewish identity which is bounded to Zion. It was the reason that they were sent to the Holocaust to be slaughtered, and for which they fought two wars for their freedom.
There can be no doubt that Jerusalem historically belongs to the Jews and if the Arab nations do seek it then there can be no lasting peace. In fact, the Arabs suceeded in defeating the Catholic Church in the Crusades who also sought Jerusalem understanding that this was the key to Jesus return when the temple is rebuilt at the temple mount.The Arabs knowing this, built the "Dome of the Rock" mosque on the temple mount as a road block to prevent this possibility. The Dome is clearly marked with inscriptions from sura Maryam 16:34-37, denying Jesus sonship as God: Allahumma salli ala rasulika wa'abdika 'Isa bin Maryam -"In the name of the One God (Allah) Pray for your Prophet and Servant Jesus son of Mary. The temple mount was extremely sacred to the Jews, whom both the Catholic Church and Arabs also sought. Therefore, the real battle is not only for Jerusalem, but for the temple mount fearing that the Jewish Messiah will really come back to be the champion for the Jews.
Religious extremism takes away basic humanity, dignity and basic human rights. The moral religious laws at the end are without grace nor mercy and often calls for retaliation, an "eye for an eye". Jesus never wanted to have anything to do with the Jewish zealots fighting the Romans occupiers. True Christianity is seldom represented by the militant agressive political bandwagon. Jesus knew His purpose, to proclaim the coming of the kingdom of God, to proclaim the Gospel, the Gospel of God's love, grace and mercy (rather than proposition 8), the good news of the way to return to God without the works of the Law. He came to be amongst humanity - to those that epitomises mankind's lack of humanity in the name of religion in their treatment of the outcasts of society. The nature of religious fundamentalism is to dehumanise the people - when we insist to use the term Homosexuals when referring to Gays, when we call sexual Orientation a chosen lifestyle instead of something so instrinsic to one's humanity. We have closed our eyes, our hearts and mind, to the suffering and harm that we have caused.
True Christianity is found in a humbled heart, full of God's love, grace and mercy, following the footstep of Christ giving living waters to a humanity that is wary of religion and its laws, and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the name above all name, by which we are saved and have our being and hope of salvation to come, and faith to believe that Christ is with us through His Holy Spirit. Jesus lived a simple and humble life with few possessions or wealth. He gave up all the grandeur and majesty and worship in heaven to come down for us. He identified with our humanity by becoming one of us. At the cross of calvary, it was not only death that Jesus suffered, but his humanity and dignity was lost when he was paraded naked through the streets of Jerusalem, beaten and bloodied, not treated with any decency, respect nor dignity even though He was innocent. Therefore, today at the right hand side of God, Jesus understands the suffering of the Gay people, our humanity denied, being striped naked with no rights and even asked to defend why gays should not be criminalised. His hand of love and grace reaches out to you today in the midst of the storms of life where gays faced mortars and rockets every day from the Christian Right and Muslim religious fundamentalist.
Let God arise out of Jerusalem