A Christian Foreign Policy?

August 2nd, 2006 / 7 Comments

The New York Times published an article about some of the Christians in Lebanon caught in the crossfire. Members of Hezbollah have been firing rockets from Christian areas, which are then attacked by Israel in retaliation. The situation is worsened by the shortage of fuel – something that happens when you annihilate a nations infrastructure – which has prevented many Christians from leaving these hostile areas.

Hezbollah came to Ain Ebel to shoot its rockets,

said Fayad Hanna Amar, a young Christian man, referring to his village.

They are shooting from between our houses … write that in your newspaper.

I wonder if these events will have any effect the Evangelical Church in America’s current infallible support of Zionism.

In similar manner, Christianity Today recently featured an editorial by Martin Accad, Dean of the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Beruit, Lebanon, who is currently stranded at Fuller, unable to return home. His letter elicits some pointed remarks about Israel’s military activities and more importantly offers strong criticism of pop-culture Christianity’s apocalyptic affirmation of Zionism.

It is unfortunate that our zeal for apocalyptic theology (no thanks to the Left Behind series) has trumped our solidarity with fellow members of the Church body. Perhaps it’s time for the Church to develop foreign policy that favors the worldwide body of Christ and supports the practice of Christianity, rather than a policy founded on nationalism.

Comments (7)

  1. Joe Altorfer / August 3, 2006

    Some more thoughts…
    Look on any major news web site and all you can find are pictures of hurt and displaced Lebanese. If you do happen to find any pics of Israel, they are of tanks, guns and troops. Occasionally I see a picture of Haifa with smoke rising from it. This makes everything very clear. It is very apparent to me that the media is against Israel. Isn’t the media supposed to report on the truth and the news? What is up with them choosing sides? This biased reporting shows that the media is not a news organization but a propaganda organization attempting to indoctrinate the world to see things in the same convoluted way that they see things. Even this Fox News story about 7 deaths in Israel (including a child, hidden deep in the story), only has pictures related to Israel’s military personnel and operations. The other pictures are of suffering and damage in Lebanon. Are you telling me that there are no cameras in Israel except ones that can take pics of soldiers?

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,206815,00.html

    Oh yeah, there is an extra 4 Israeli soldier deaths also hidden in the story. I guess they were not important enough to warrant their own story? I wonder how the story would have been different if these had been Hezbollah or Lebanese lives.

    Here is the same story from the Washington Post. It is just the facts, leaves out any hint of humanity and suffering. The tone is cold and completely devoid of any emotion. (UPDATE: link no longer available)

    Contrast that story with this story from MSNBC where it talks about families, mothers, sons, tears, suffering and devastation.

    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/14167395/?GT1=8404

    I am not sure how much more obvious it could be, the media hates Israel and supports militant Islamic fundamentalist terrorists.

    That being said… The official uniform of the Hezbollah is civilian clothes. They hide behind (or work directly with) civilians. So when a news report says that so many civilians died, I sit and wonder how many were actually terrorists and the reporter didn’t bother to find out. Even still, simply because they are civilians doesn’t mean they are innocent either. Check out this pic of a youth holding up a poster of the Hezbollah leader. (That’s the guy who praised his son for being a suicide bomber.) That kid is not a Christian. He also looks to be just about old enough to man a missile launcher or strap a bomb to his chest and walk into a crowded market.

    http://www.foxnews.com/photoessay/0,4644,1093,00.html?photoNum=1

    On Nationalism…
    No, Israel is not acting nationalistic. They more or less have the support of the US. However, would you use nationalism as a 4 letter word to describe Israel’s actions to defend herself from her terrorist neighbors, if the rest of the world says that she must sit there and take it? Israel has gone over and above what has been expected of them. They have complied with the UN and have given so much to the Arab states around them. Now they obviously feel that the time for diplomacy is over. I believe that they need to attempt to spare innocent lives in their actions, however I also believe that this need is trumped by their need to keep their people and borders safe and secure.

    People have been conditioned to view Israel as the big kid on the block. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Think about it, Israel may have approx. 5 million Jews. Guess how many Arabs live around them in the vicinity of the Middle East? 500 million? I don’t have exact numbers, but the difference must be pretty scary to a small nation, especially when they have been so accommodating to those around them that long for their demise. Yet Israel is constantly vilified while terrorism grows stronger.

    On practicing Christian foreign policy…
    Would it be appropriate to bring up the Bible? Ever hear of Joshua?

    Just what would a Christian foreign policy look like? It is the fact that we are Christians and Jews that these militant Islam bastards have started this war. Their religion is for killing (not converting) all who are not Islam. They practice a religion stuck in the 13th century, full of hate, bloodshed, and certainly not peace.
    Are we not practicing Christianity if we support the War on Terror, currently being fought in Iraq by America and now being fought in Lebanon by Israel? Does God want us to get blown up and beheaded? Or does he want us to fight. I am not sure I can see any other options since the pursuit for peace has long since failed.
    I say all this and think about few short months ago when a couple drawings of allah in a newspaper sparked worldwide riots that left people dead and injured, and property destroyed and buildings burned. The Jesus of the Christians and the God of the Jews is constantly under attack. Where are those riots? But I guess that is easily forgotten.

    You said before that you are just trying to put a human face to the suffering; however, you ignore all suffering in Israel. I just wish people could understand that war is war. It is nasty, dirty, ugly, uncomfortable, gut wrenching, sad, etc, and after 40 years of attempted peace it is obviously necessary. Israel is fighting Iran’s proxy fighters called Hezbollah. They need to destroy bridges and roads to cripple the enemy. This will also hurt any civilians in the area, but it is necessary to eliminate the enemy. Israel cannot simply hold the terrorists at bay. They will be back and in greater numbers (like sand people). Peace will only be achieved through the utter destruction of the militant Islamic terrorist network.

  2. Joe Altorfer / August 3, 2006

    Sorry bout the double post. I had meant to include these links.

    This is interesting

    http://web.israelinsider.com/Views/9028.htm

    Here is another linky.

    http://www.melaniephillips.com/diary/?p=1291

  3. Phil / August 22, 2006

    Joe,
    You’re fucking ridiculous man. There was a 10-1 kill ratio in Israel’s favor. Most of the Lebanese killed were women and children and other civilians. Just because Israel is a nation-state does not mean that its terrorist activities (for one example, the amount of people Israel has kidnapped and holds without trail, or the land mine fields that they left behind in Lebanon from the previous occupation and refuse to grant the Lebanese gov’t access to maps of where the mines are located, many many pages of examples could be given) are justified. Nor do most of its malicious activities ever get publicized. For example, I live in the shadow of the main hospital that serves Palestinians. Israel is trying to shut it down because taking away a hospital is just one more way that Israel can try to get rid of people of the wrong ethnicity. This stuff happens all of the time with astounding coldness, I’m just giving you an example from where I happen to live. Of course, the arthepeid-like legislation of Israel really doesn’t get any news coverage. Don’t you think that if you were a part of a people group who were kicked out of you’re homeland and (the few of you who remained) were subjucated to systematic and institutionalized racism that it wouldn’t trouble you too much if some radicals kidnapped a couple of soldiers?

    Furthmore, as far as the supposed media bias against Israel, that’s just crazy. They couldn’t show tanks of Hezbollah or Lebanon b/c Hez doesn’t have any and Lebanon’s army didn’t participate in the fighting (do you think Israel’s army would stand on the sidelines if Lebanon’s army was pummeling the whole country in the name of disarming a few radical settlers?). Furthermore, the display of Israeli military power is not intended as a negative thing by the media, it is meant to show the force and strength of the Israel/US war machine. It’s meant to demonstrate that any body who stands against such force must be understood as an unthinking (i.e. sub-human) radical whose beliefs/complaints must therefore also be irrational and evil. Furthermore, if the US’s media coverage is so biased against Israel, why does the majority of the public support the US’s blind pro-Israel stance? Especially in situations when the rest of the world (look at UN votes, or a publications regarding these matters by any NGO-aren’t you bothered that the international NGO’s stand so firmly against the actions of Israel?) stand unanimously opposed to particular Israel/US actions. What really scares me how people like you will, obviously, support Israel no matter what they do. It reminds me of the remarks made by the presidend of my university (Hebrew U of Jerusalem) when he stated that the war was a war between the “sons of light” and the “sons of darkness”. I guess when you’re convinced that you’re a son of light, there’s nothing you can possibly do wrong, and if your enemy is a son of darkness, they can’t possible do anything but wrong. This type of thinking will not only justify any action against one’s enemys, but its also that attitude that perpetuates the violence in this region. Israel’s neighbors will be always be its enemies if Israel thinks making peace with them would require them to admit that Israelis are the “sons of light” and they are the “sons of darkness”. I mean, come on. Just a little bit of honesty would put you on the side of truth and justice rather that on that of racial hatred.

  4. Joe Altorfer / September 8, 2006

    Phil,
    I noticed that when you can’t beat me in the arena of ideas, you start with the personal attacks.
    You really don’t know why the people in this country support Israel? Seriously? They are our ally. Of course we are going to support them. You sure do have a dim view of the American people if you think they are automatons following the media. (A media, by the way, who is losing viewers and subscribers by the day) Americans also support Israel because Israel was attacked. (see my comments on the other thread about Resolution 1701) Your reasoning is pure sophistry.
    Also, the media admitted their bias towards Hezbollah.
    http://newsbusters.org/node/6727
    Not only that, but reporters were threatened and couldn’t take video of Hezbollah. Hezbollah held copies of many reporters’ passports to intimidate them.
    http://sayanythingblog.com/2006/08/09/hezbollah_threatens_to_kill_reporter_reporter_prai/

    Did you even read my comments? Israel is fighting a terrorist organization called Hezbollah. Once again, this is not a war against Lebanon. It is a war against a group of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists called Hezbollah. Hezbollah is funded by Iran. Iran has called for the complete destruction of Israel. Iran is calling the rest of the world to convert to Islam or die. Iran is defying the impotent UN by attempting to build an atomic bomb. All this and you are worried about a map of landmines?
    No, I do not care about the UN, France, Germany or Russia. I don’t worry about what the world thinks about me, I worry about what is right. We live in a world governed by the excessive use of power. This means that cease-fires and resolutions will not result in peace. Only through the complete destruction of the Islamic fundamentalists will peace ensue.
    So Israel is wrong because they say that the “sons of darkness” (terrorists) are wrong. With that kind of circular reasoning wouldn’t it be wrong for you to say that Israel is wrong for saying that terrorists are wrong? So no one can ever say that anyone else is wrong other wise they will be wrong, and I am wrong for saying that. Thus moral relativism is born. If I label someone as an enemy I have already conceded the fact that I am right and they are wrong. Getting hung up on the label “sons of darkness” is illogical. They are still wrong and your enemy so even if you called them sons of the devil, or purple monkey horseshoe they will still be wrong because they are your enemy. Therefore worrying about labels like this is an exercise in futility.
    This sons of light/darkness comment also shows your hypocrisy. Your replies immediately attacked me, told me I was lying, didn’t do any research, and was wrong. Your self-righteous rant about “sons of darkness” does not hold water because the university pres was referring to Hezbollah terrorists, not collateral damage.
    So a little bit of honesty would put me on the side of truth. That side is obviously not Israel as you so eloquently wrote. So the side of truth must be with you and the Hezbollah terrorists?
    I always wonder about people whose knee-jerk reaction is to call their opponent a racist. I didn’t bring up race. You did. Reminds me of something Peter Brimelow said. He said that the definition of a racist was “someone who is winning an argument with a liberal.”

    Here is some more perspective…
    http://www.science.co.il/Arab-Israeli-conflict.asp

  5. Isaac / December 19, 2007

    No one will probably read this, but I noticed this statement by “Joe” - Only through the complete destruction of the Islamic fundamentalists will peace ensue.

    How in the world can anyone believe that to be true? Did peace ensue with the defeat of Nazis, Japanese Fascists, Communists? To believe that all we have to do is achieve complete destruction of an idea and peace will ensue reveals an ignorance of the world that is scary to even think about.

    Sorry, I just couldn’t read that and not say something.

  6. Joe / July 23, 2008

    Yes, as with every war, peace was the result of defeating these enemies.

  7. admin / July 23, 2008 / http://scottlenger.com

    @joe: you’re scary.

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