The things going on in Gaza are really bothering me. An Opinion
By Carl Nakajima Carl is a Catholic Worker and has been part of Earth Care not Warfare and the Tuesday Downtown Peace Vigil
The things going on in Gaza are really bothering me. Jewish people should understand better than many of us about people losing their land or being without the necessities of life because they have gone through similar circumstances.
Native American and black people were persecuted for hundreds of years, but Jewish people have been persecuted for thousands of years and everywhere they went. (pogroms, inquisitions, Holocaust, etc.) People can usually understand better about other people’s pain if they experience the same pain – like a rape survivor can empathize with a rape victim. So, to me, Jewish people could be the most compassionate people in this world because they went through all kinds of human suffering. Maybe after the Holocaust they were very close to attaining some kind of insight that only can be acquired through tremendous suffering. It is too bad that thousands of years of Jewish literary work was destroyed by the Holocaust and war. It would have helped humanity.
After the huge victory of the 6 Days War Jewish people’s attitude changed a lot, in a good way and also in a very bad way. I think more bad than good, unfortunately. I’m not saying that they should have lost the 6 Days War. It is good that they defended themselves but it is like sheep suddenly turned into wolves. Spiritually they lost a lot more than they gained. I believe, for God, one may be persecuted but it is not right to persecute someone else. We will all die, sometimes in war and by someone else’s hand, but it is not right by God to take someone else’s life.
When Abraham left his native land and went to the land that God promised to give him, he never violently invaded the land, even though people stole his well. He had men that could defeat four kings’ allied armies, but still he lived his entire life in peaceful coexistence with native peoples as did his son and grandsons Isaac and Jacob. Now a few kids of Jacob did not follow non-violence. However, Abraham was so peaceful like God, that they gave him any land he wanted for his wife’s burial. So this idea of violent invasion of illegal settlements is surely not coming from the God of Abraham.
Jewish people were assimilated well with every culture of the world and became part of the culture; yet kept their own identity. They lived together in mutual prosperity with Palestinians and their culture. In race and culture, many Palestinians are more akin to Jewish people than European, Asian or African people. Jewish people are very intelligent and many believe in the creator of the universe and all humankind which were made in God’s image. So it is very sad to see that they are depending on military and physical might to keep Palestinian people occupied and with few or no rights.
It took the Jewish people a long, long time to get their land back. I understand that they get very defensive and do whatever it takes to protect the land; but no matter how big and strong their military, if they mistreat and oppress other people another Babylon will come and another Diaspora. I really don’t want to see that happen again. I wish the Jewish people and Israel would start to observe what is right and do what is just for Palestinian people before God run out of patience.