From the Editor

“Peace, peace!”

Michael L. Sherer

Michael L. Sherer

But (so far) there is none.

Terrorism is always wrong. Suicide bombings are always wrong. Illegal land grabs are always wrong. Holding your neighbor down by keeping your boot on his neck and simultaneously kicking him in the ribs is always wrong.

There is plenty of blame to go around in the Israel / Palestine standoff. I wanted to get all the unacceptable behaviors on the table up front. If you conclude, from reading the rest of this piece, that I am “pro-Israel” or “pro-Palestinian,” please go back to the first paragraph and read it again.

I am pro-peace, pro-justice, pro-human dignity, and pro-safe borders for all. I am also extremely uncomfortable about what is transpiring now in Israel and Palestine.

Israel has a right to exist within safe borders. Israel does not have a right to continue illegal settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, and to station 350,000 Israelis there. I have yet to hear a convincing argument for why the settlements exist and why Israel refuses to close them.

Palestine has a right to exist within safe borders, to be free of unwanted non-Arab land-grabbing settlers, and to have Palestinian refugees safely returned. Palestine does not have a right to drive the Israelis into the Mediterranean, nor to scare holy hell out of them with fanatical attacks on people inside Israel.

What has this to do with Lutherans in Minnesota?
First, if the conflict continues to escalate as it has in Palestine during March and April, we could end up with a widening conflagration nobody can stop.

Second, human lives are being needlessly wasted in Palestine and Israel.

Third, Christians, including Palestinian Lutherans, who teach and practice non-violence, are getting caught in the crossfire.

Fourth, the U.S. currently supports Israel with $3 billion annually. Minnesota Lutherans pay taxes which help provide this. A sane and humane policy toward Israel and Palestine can and should be shaped by what we tell our elected leaders.
Pray for these two populations.