There’s been some allusions and not so subtle hints from some of my Christian friends that by virtue of our vocal support for the end of the current violence in the Gaza strip as well as advocacy for peace in the Middle East, we have somehow:
- Been subsumed by the mainstream anti-semitism of Malaysian society, or
- We stand in danger of opposing God’s will, or
- All of the above (plus a few more)
My question would be .. at least to allegation #1 ..
How then do we start engaging and challenging some of the anti-semitic stereotypes if we choose to continue hiding in our ghettoes and pretending that people are not dying needlessly in the region?
For allegation #2, let’s have a conversation on the theology underlying that allegation one of these days. I believe I can speak about it with some experience .. considering I was once in that camp too. For the time being, maybe this discourse might be helpful.
My attention was recently brought to these 2 documents from Churches for Middle East Peace. I was surprised that I have unconsciously adopted these as my guiding principles in regards to this crisis even without knowing about them:
How To Get Your Message Heard
- Present your hope for a positive future for both Israelis and Palestinians.
- Avoid references to historical occurrences in the Middle East as much as possible.
- Present data from reliable, mainstream sources.
- Express the importance of your religious faith, but don’t be excessive in your use of religion or self-righteous
- Recognize that there is pain for both Palestinians (separation barrier, settlements, housing demolitions, land confiscation, checkpoints) and Israelis (suicide bombings, shellings, countries and groups seeking their destruction)
- Avoid analogies, especially with South Africa’s history of apartheid and Bantustans