Merging Palestinian Believers with Jewish Believers

Discuss the Church - Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Messianic - in Israel and in the Palestinian territories.

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Muzhik
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Merging Palestinian Believers with Jewish Believers

Post by Muzhik » Wed May 14, 2008 9:26 pm

Shalom! I understand that there is enmity between Jews and Palestinians in Israel. I also understand that that puts the Church (and by that I mean all Christians) in a very difficult place, since many Believers in the Holy Land are Palestinian/Arab, many more so than there are Messianic Jews. In my own parish, we have a prayer intention book where you write intentions and they are read aloud during Mass for the parish to pray for. Every week I write down to pray for "Peace in Jerusalem and the blessing of Israel." But if one particular priest is offering Mass, he always skips over the "blessing of Israel" part, because there are some Middle Eastern families who might be offended by that. (I live in a University town -- very diverse population.)

So the Believers are put into situations where the Church teaches them that "Salvation comes from the Jews", while at the same time, if they do not participate in attacks against Israeli soldiers, etc., they run the risk of being marked as traitors and being killed.

So my question is this: Is there any possible way to unite the Believers on both sides of this issue in order to find peaceful solutions? Personally, I see the biggest problem is with the leaders of Hamas and Fatah; the Muslim leaders who have killed any Palestinian who is able to work peacefully with the Israelis. Is it possible for the Christian Palestinians to be resettled in Israel and protected against retaliation by Islamic factions, and how would we convince the Israeli government to do this?

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Ariel
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solving Middle East problems?

Post by Ariel » Thu May 15, 2008 7:54 pm

Muzhik,

What you write is fairly accurate. Unfortunately, Catholics in general have very little understanding of the principle in Gen 12 that you have quoted in your other post: "I will bless those who bless you and those who curse you I will curse." Neither are they very aware that "salvation comes from the Jews." Let's put it frankly: who really understands what this sentence Jesus said really means. I mean REALLY understand?

Your priest's reaction is understandable, but political and thus unfortunate. The best way to bless the Palestinians is to be a blessing to Israel. The tragic Muslim hatred of Israel has brought the greatest of curses upon the Palestinian people. I wish there was more teaching in the Church, that to pray for Israel does not mean to be against the Palestinians, but to be FOR them too. Neither does prayer and love for Israel mean an unconditional support for all of Israel's actions.

You are also right that Palestinian Christians are really caught in a bind. They cannot say anything publicly against Islam, for this would put their lives in danger. Sometimes there is collaboration and help between Jewish and Arab believers. Such events are usually wonderful testimonies of the reconciliation power that is in Yeshua. Your suggestion to resettle Palestinian Christians in Israel is sensible but unfortunately utopic, for the Israeli government is not interested in settling any Arabs on Israeli territory - whether these be Christian or Muslims. True, they understand that Christians are not the same security threat as Muslims, but in the long run they are fighting a demographic battle to preserve a Jewish majority here, so apart from the rare isolated case this will probably not happen unfortunately
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world” C.S. Lewis

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Post by Athol » Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:15 pm

DNA studies also demonstrate that Christian Palestinians have the same DNA as the Jews. They say this is because many are descendants of the original Jewish Christians in the land. However it probably isn't wise to let the Muslims know that or it will give them even more reasons to persecute the Arab Christians in their midst [the few who are still left here].
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