Middle East Fatalism

Is justice worth it? Micah Bournes asks in his spoken word poem.

The fight for justice is complex, overwhelming, and unending. As Bournes reflects, “You bring peace to one region, and war breaks out in another.”

There are those among us who believe deeply in the fight for justice – freedom for girls enslaved, food for children who are malnourished, education and opportunity for the under-resourced, restoration for children who were forced to be soldiers. All these seem overwhelming and unending, yet we fight. We fight because we don’t just see problems or issues or causes; we see people – children of God, sisters, brothers, friends. And we are learning that our liberation is bound up with theirs.

Yet amidst the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, among many Christians, the answer to Bournes’ question, Is justice worth it? is a resounding No.Blood Relations

For some, no it is not worth it, and there is a strange excitement when violence flares up in the Middle East, because it apparently means Jesus is coming back soon. For others, there is a detached sympathy, a “that’s really sad” and then a “but that’s how it always has been, and always will be until the end.”

But these fatalistic assumptions about the conflict come from a place of privilege, because we have the privilege to not deal with the consequences of those assumptions and the conflict that continues to affect the lives of Israelis and Palestinians.

Hopefully in the next year, as we make our way toward Israel and Palestine, we will address some of those assumptions. But you know us, we’d rather confront those assumptions with stories. Because we need to be reminded that there are real people who are left to deal with real conflict and pain and fear and injustice, while our fatalism allows us to ignore it.

There are some, though, who are not so fatalistic – Israelis and Palestinians who believe peace is possible, who believe peace is necessary. This is the story of some of those people – people who have grieved the loss of family to the conflict; who have felt the longing for revenge; who have crossed lines to reconcile; and who have done a deeply symbolic, beautiful act to tell us about their hope – and need – for peace. Watch here:

Blood Relations – The Israeli Palestinian Blood Donation Project

 

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