“Where are the Priests, the Rabbis, the Imams, the quiet Buddha monks, all who claim to love humankind? Why does silence reign? Whose voice are we afraid of? Where are the voices of our leaders…?” These are words I wrote in October of 2004 in an article titled “The Destructive Power of Faith: Killing for Christ.” At last, the true ministers of God have spoken and all the world should rejoice for they have spoken to “our leaders” in Congress, and they have demanded an investigation into the illegal and inhumane actions of the Israeli government against the Palestinians, actions that are done with impunity regardless of International Law, the laws of the United States, and certainly the teachings of the very Christ they worship. Let us all rejoice!
"As Christian leaders in the United States, it is our moral responsibility to question the continuation of unconditional US financial assistance to the government of Israel. Realizing a just and lasting peace will require this accountability, as continued US military assistance to Israel -- offered without conditions or accountability -- will only serve to sustain the status quo and Israel’s military occupation of the Palestinian territories," the letter, signed by leaders of the Lutheran, Methodist, UCC churches, and the National Council of Churches, said.
Such breaking of the silence that has shrouded the devastation the Zionist governments of Israel have wrecked on the Palestinian people for the past 63 years lifts the pall of complicity from Christian denominations, forcing those absent from the letter to address the action sought by their brethren: remain silent in complicity of crimes alleged, crimes contrary to the teachings of Jesus, thus raising the specter that they do not believe in the teachings of Christ, or attempt to argue against the points raised and the action requested by sighting an image of Christ as a warrior God with a bloody sword held in his teeth as he brings chaos and death to human kind.
Needless to say, the Haspara forces have gone into overdrive. Mr. Foxman of the ADL called the request "a serious breach of trust by mainline Protestant Church leaders” participating in the annual interfaith meeting, which will be held on Oct. 22.“In light of the failure of any of the church leaders to reach out to us, we have decided not to attend this interfaith meeting,” Strange how speaking out against illegality, both in the means the Zionists have used to force our Congress to be complicit in their crimes and in their use of America’s military support against its own laws, becomes a “breach of trust.” More strange would be continued silence by Christ’s emissaries on this earth should they not speak out.
Foxman added what might be perceived as an even stranger damnation of the Christian leaders, “In light of the failure of any of the church leaders to reach out to us,” as though they were obligated to communicate their fears to the ADL before bringing them to their representatives in the US government. That’s how the Zionists have maintained complicity with our representatives; never speak negatively about Israel or face the consequences. It will be interesting to see how our Ministers of War on the Evangelical Right, Christian Zionists they are called, react to their brethren who use Christ’s teachings to address the amoral behavior of the United States. What Old Testament orders from G-d Almighty can they bring to thwart the words of Christ, “Love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and mind and soul, and thy neighbor as thyself.”
But Foxman had not finished his castigation of the true ministers of God: “The blatant lack of sensitivity by the Protestant dialogue partners we had been planning to meet with has seriously damaged the foundation for mutual respect, which is essential for meaningful interfaith dialogue.” One wonders how “interfaith dialogue” can occur when one of the participants wields the horrific power that Israel inflicts on its hapless neighbors, the Palestinian people, confiscating their lands, bulldozing their homes, shredding their deeds, dispossessing them of their aquifers, imprisoning them behind cement walls and chain link fences topped with rolled barbed wire garnished with electricity, the ultimate in friendly neighbors who have faith in a G-d that relishes genocide.
Finally, and perhaps most tellingly, these Ministers of God noted, indeed condemned justly, "a troubling and consistent pattern of disregard by the government of Israel for U.S. policies that support a just and lasting peace," citing Israel's failure to halt settlement activity despite repeated U.S. government requests. This is indeed an unsettling reality recognized by our Christian leaders. They might have added that Israel has announced through its Likud Party Platform that it has no intentions of allowing the existence of a Palestinian State west of the Jordan. That statement alone confirms what the Ministers of God find “troubling.” Israel’s occupation now controls all but 12% of the original Mandate Palestine. And Netanyahu has asserted that there will not be negotiations for peace that begin with the 1967 borders. We all cry for peace but there can be no peace with minds cemented in war.
Let’s not be so kind as the Ministers of God who now speak the truth. Let’s draw up the bill of particulars that is hidden from the world, the subtext, the unsaid prayer no one in this American government wants revealed and certainly no one in Israel wants displayed publicly. What is the true nature of this state of Israel that commands the allegiance of the American people and is now seeking to enlist the governments of the world against its perceived “existential” enemy, Iran? (a passage taken from The Plight of the Palestinians: a Long History of Destruction)
* It is a state without mercy, a state without morals, a state premised on racism, a state built on deception and lies;
* a state defiant of international law, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Geneva Conventions that apply to occupying powers;
* a state, unlike North Korea or Iran, the other identified Axis of Evil states, that has invaded neighboring states and occupies them;
* a state, unlike all nations in the Mid-East, that possesses weapons of mass destruction, including hundreds of nuclear weapons, and refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty;
* a state that uses cluster bombs, white phosphorus, and other internationally banned weapons of warfare, not only against the innocent people of Lebanon, but also against the defenseless people of Palestine;
* a state that proclaims itself above the law as it executes individuals without arrest, without charges brought, without counsel, without habeas corpus, and without trial by jury;
* a state that imprisons over 10,000 Palestinians without charge and without due process;
* a state that tortures those it imprisons;
* a state that constructs a wall, in defiance of the International Court of Justice and the United Nations, that encircles the Palestinians with full intention of decimating their economy and hence their livelihood as well as their chance to create a state of their own, while inflicting a psychological humiliation that is inhumane and in defiance of every principle of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
* a state that has systematically confiscated, appropriated, annexed, and assimilated virtually all land belonging to the Palestinians in a sixty-year period of time, leaving them approximately 12/14 percent of their original land, making it the greatest visible land theft known to human kind in our day;
* a state whose laws protect a group that belongs to a religion and denies equality of citizenship to all others including the indigenous people of the land;
* a state that has defied more than 160 UNGA and 39 UNSC resolutions, demanding it act as a civilized state abiding by international law and protocol;
* a state that will not tolerate interference by the UN in its calculated genocide of the Palestinian people;
* a state that, through its Zionist supporters in America, particularly AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), influences U.S. policy in the Mid-East that has resulted in the unlawful invasion of Iraq and irrational economic and political procedures against Syria and Iran;
* a state that has convinced our Congress that it provide billions of dollars to ensure that the state of Israel continues this genocide of the Palestinian people;
* a state that proclaims itself a democracy but is not and, with malicious intent, confiscates the money belonging to a democratically elected government in Palestine and arrests their representatives without charge or trial;
* a state that proclaims peace but creates conditions that prevent peace;
* a state that, like the United States under Bush, has reached the nadir of the civilized state, a return to lawless barbarism inflicted on the weak by the strong, the imposition of the will of the few on the many;
* and, finally, in all brazen hypocrisy, a state that cries to the world that it is the victim of unspeakable cruelty and in constant peril of obliteration by forces within and without. And we wonder why the United States is castigated throughout the world when it supports this rogue state, this state without mercy.
Great is truth, sayeth the Prophet, and it shall prevail, if not for those now living perhaps for the dead who have suffered the consequence of this deceit; it is to them, “to the dead,” says Voltaire, “we owe only truth.”
Justice demands that Israel and the United Nations address the enormous inequities that exist in Palestine. There is no justice if the division of the land remains 86 percent to 12/14 percent when both populations are of approximately equal size, especially if the right of return is acted upon according to international law. There is no justice if Israel remains the controlling power over a faux state that cannot manage its own affairs and control its own destiny. There is no justice if Israel does not compensate those from whom they have stolen land and return to Palestine the natural resources it has commandeered. There is no justice if a reconfiguration of the land is not achieved so that both peoples can move freely from one sector of their country to another. There is no justice if the separation wall continues to imprison the Palestinians with its constant reminder that Israelis defied international law to impose their own and made visible the unacceptable attitude that one people has a right to psychologically and physically isolate others from communication with their neighbors or the world, a collective punishment that denies the very humanity of the people. There is no justice if the status quo remains the day-to-day reality of the Palestinians, because that way is a slow, torturous route to sickness, psychological torture, deprivation, starvation, and death; it is the Israeli government’s heinous action of a slow genocide acted out on the world stage as the European Union, the Asian nations, and America look on indifferently.
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|Liaquat Ali Khan|