This day was extremely interesting. We got to visit a Palestinian church. We had the opportunity to mingle with Arab Christians. They were wonderful people. They accepted us in their church and treated us nicely. I did not take any pictures inside of the church out of respect for people. This church was similiar to the tradition Protestant church in America. First there was music and after the music a message. The entire service lasted around 2 hours. It was much longer than I was expecting. The person next to me feel asleep and I had to nudge him when they were bringing communion around to wake him up. I don’t blame him, I nodded off a few times but never fell to sleep. When your in a church service where they are speaking a different language it is easy to doze off.
Once we left the church we got back on the bus and headed to a Palestinian refugee camp. The refugee camp we went to was located in Bethlehem. These refugee camps are made for the Arabs or Palestinians that are kicked out of their homes to make way for Israeli settlements. This place could be compared to slums. Not much water, electricity does not always work, overpopulation, and Israeli oppression are just a few issues that these Palestinians face day to day.
This is a picture from the top of a building inside the refugee camp. As you can see the conditions are not the best. While the state of Israel is growing, becoming populated and flourishing in building programs, many Palestinians live in conditions that deteriorate day to day. This isn’t completely the Israeli’s fault, even though they booted the Palestinians from their homeland and stuck them inside of this place which is nearly a dump, the Palestinians also contribute to the setting they live in. The people that live here truly believe the day is soon coming when they will be able to return to their homeland. Since they believe this so strongly they make little effort to improve the current situation they live in because they see it as a temporary displacement to their true home. Unfortunately, the chances of them returning home seem slim to none.
This key is an example of their thoughts towards their homeland. This key does not only exist as graffiti. There is a massive key that the Palestinians constructed that sits right above the gate that works as the entrance to the Refugee camp. What this key represents is the future return to each Palestinians homeland and their right to that land.
This is graffiti on the wall of separation. What this picture portrays is events that have happened during Palestinian “Intifadas” (meaning rebellions, which were for the most part peaceful demonstrations) or during the wars of 1948 and 1967. Israel being supported by the worlds largest superpower, America, has weapons such as Helicopters, tanks, M16s, bulletproof vests, etc. When it comes down to a battle between these two people there is no doubt that Israel will dominate. Many view Israel as the underdog, the contrary is true. Israeli’s have a very powerful military and suppressing the natives of the Land they have taken is an easy task. What this picture actually shows is Palestinians retaliating to Israeli armed forces. They throw rocks and use other primitive weapons and the Israeli soldiers fire back with live rounds killing Palestinians. When you place rocks against bullets the victor is obvious. Palestinians = rocks, Israeli’s = guns. If you look at the graffiti art where it says, “we can’t live,” right underneath that it says “so we are waiting for death.” A depressing outlook on life is written on this wall for all to see everyday.
What I am describing here are facts that are never seen in the News Media in the states. It is a sad fact that these people are being denied freedom which we Americans treasure so much and claim to fight for.
Does Biblical Prophecy warrant terrible treatment of an entire group of people? Is our interpretation of end time prophecies wrong? These are questions I will be challenging myself to answer these next few weeks as I finish up my studies in this country.
I believe something very important to understand about prophecies can be seen through Jesus Christ. When Jesus came and fulfilled the prophecies about the messiah or himself, he did it in a way that no person of that time expected. All the Jews including the Pharisees expected the messiah to destroy the Roman rule and re-establish the people to their land in a theocracy. However, Jesus did none of that and at the same time he fulfilled all the prophecies about himself in the Old Testament. Is history repeating itself? Are we in fact incorrect on what we believe the future holds? Are these incorrect views we hold contributing to the oppression of the Arabic people?
I want everyone to understand that I am not taking sides on this issue. I am not implying that terrorism is justified. It is not.
I apologize for my thumb in this picture. Israeli’s built these walls around Palestinian regions to keep the Palestinians in their designated place. However, the actual areas sectioned off for Palestine are not respected by the walls. These walls do not conform to the true designated line from which the Israeli/Palestinian land is sectioned off. The wall steals land from the Palestinians and gives land to the Israeli’s and as a result the Palestinians lose much. There have been a few cases, if not many, where Palestinians are cut off from their Olive trees and from other agriculture that their families need. An example would be this house I am standing on. The owner has an Olive grove right on the other side of the wall. The Israeli’s had no respect for his grove and unjustly separated him from the grove with this wall. There is no door in the wall to access the grove. For this Palestinian to get access to his grove, he must get a permit to leave the city, go all the way around, and make a long journey just to get to an olive tree grove that is literally 10 meters from his home. This is not to mention the horrendous process of getting a permit to leave the city. You may ask why he doesn’t try to climb over the wall? The wall is rigged with electricity. If one makes it to the top they will be killed by the shock and if they do make it over an Israeli guard who is keeping watch in the watch tower will see to it that the intruder is dealt with. This is but one example of this issue.
Peace needs to be restored to this land. Palestinians and Jews should be able to live side by side in harmony. A common view that Palestinians or Arabs and Israeli’s have never gotten along from the time of Abraham’s two sons is not true. I will address that in a future blog. It is important to understand that Arabic Christian, Jews, and Arabic Muslims have lived in peace for centuries in the past. Unfortunately this dream of peace for the present seems far fetched when I look at the reality around me. The good news is that many far fetched dreams have been achieved. A prime example would be Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream which has now nearly been fulfilled.
(I understand that this Blog may aggravate people. I write what I see and will not withhold what I know on account of other peoples opinions. I do recognize that this is primarily the Palestinian view of the Israeli/Arab issues and I will soon be viewing the issue from the other side of the fence.)