Professor Anderson takes up what must be the most vexing problem facing us wherein faith collides with political reality. I agree with Anderson and would not presume to instruct or challenge him, though I would make the accent somewhat differently.
Gary Anderson does well to remind us of Paul’s word that God’s promise of the land to Abraham and his descendants has never been revoked. That promise, however, includes the promise to bless the world and to bless it precisely in showing a new way to possess land.
Gary Anderson rightly reminds us that Chris tians must be conscious of anti-Semitic traditions in Christian theology. I affirm the importance of this context and at the same time would highlight the need for a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as essential for the security of Israeli Jews and Palestinian Christians and Muslims.
In early December the security situation had improved enough in Bethlehem for busloads of tourists to come back to visit the birthplace of Jesus and other holy sights in Israel and the West Bank. That was about the only the good news from the Middle East. In the Gaza Strip, the standoff continued between the Israeli government and the Palestinians.
Remember Dennis Kucinich (D., Ohio), the Democratic presidential candidate who brought a refreshing note of reality to the early primary debates? You don’t remember him? In the memorable words of John Wayne: “Think back, Pilgrim.” It was Kucinich who reminded primary and caucus audiences that Palestinians live under an oppressive Israeli military occupation.
An editorial in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz (April 15) sharply criticized Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert for Israel’s “boycott” of Jimmy Carter during the former president’s recent trip to the Middle East. Olmert refused to meet with Carter; Israeli security personnel were not available to assist Carter’s Secret Service detail.
By mid-March, Democratic presidential candidates will have participated in 20 debates, while the Republican candidates will have debated 21 times. None of these debates offered any substantive discussion of Israel and Palestine.