Friday, May 21, 2010

campolo throws Israel supporters under the bus

There was a time when I had some respect for Tony Campolo. In reading the book he co-wrote with McLaren, Adventures in Missing the Point, he is far from a yes-man to McLaren, but rather points out some areas where he has serious disagreements with him. I think I even wrote about one or two of those here.

But he just instantly lost that respect, when in a recent Sojourners article, he blamse Israel and her supports for all that is wrong in the Middle East.

Christian Zionism: Theology that Legitimates Oppression

The most serious threats to the well-being of the Palestinians in general, and to the Christian Palestinians in particular, come not from the Jews, but from Christian Zionists here in the United States.

It's the same old sad liberal song--when people are in difficulty, don't dare blame them, but rather others.

Is life in Palestine hard? I've no doubt. But then, when you've had corrupt leadership like Yasser Arafat and groups like Hamas, then what can be expected? Sorry, but that's usually how it goes.

And when you've plainly stated that you want to kill off your neighbors because of the race they were born into, then you kind of lose most claims for sympathy.

What troubles them most is that their fellow Evangelicals in America have very little understanding of the way the entire Islamic world views what is happening in the Holy Land, and how American Evangelicals who unquestioningly support Israel’s policies are hindering evangelism among Muslims.

Umm...last I checked, Israel was a solid ally to the US (though the current administration in the US has them worried), while Palestinians celebrated when the US was attacked on Sept 11, 2001.

And, then, there's the appeal to evangelism. I doubt that, if the US and US Christians were to turn on Israel, it would result in mass conversions among Arabic people from Islame to Christianity. It sounds, rather, like a rationalization, much like the people at Christ's crucifixion claiming they would believe if they 'saved himself'.

We do not change the Bible nor it's message to make it more appealing to others. God is not the one who must change, we are. That is one point of repentence.

They know that there is little understanding among American Christians that so many of the conflicts that exist between Muslims and Christians around the world are partially due to what is happening in the Holy Land. For instance, the media in the Muslim world has linked the oppression of Palestinians to the justification of attacks on Americans, in particular, and the western world, in general.

I've no doubt that Muslim media has done so. Sorry, but that doesn't change my mind. If not that, then something else would be used by them.

Given the historical existential situation, we, as American Christians, should lend support to the efforts to have safe and secure borders for the State of Israel and protection against terrorists; but we should be equally committed to having a well-established Palestinian state that also has safe and secure borders. We should be calling for the demolition of the separation wall that is as offensive as the Berlin Wall was. And we should be demanding that the border between these two states be the “green line” negotiated following the 1967 war.

When Israel's Palestinian neighbor is essential, and existentially, a terrorist state, then Israel's needs more than just nice words to have 'safe and secure borders'. And Palestinians need to do more than give more empty promises to have Israel or us believe them.

I want to direct you an alternate source for an opinion differing in many ways from Campolo's, the book "The Case for Israel" by Alan Derschowitz. While rather liberal himself in his views, and while not one who simply oks all that Israel has done, he is solidly in support of Israel, and gives good reasons for showing why Israel is hardly to blame for the Middle East difficulties, and how the world continues to unfairly blame Israel.

Just as Campolo unfairly blames Israel and her supporters.

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