Today marks the 95th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration (2 November 1917), when Arthur Balfour, the U.K. Foreign Secretary, issued a declaration that Britain intended on establishing a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
It was a massive betrayal to the people of Palestine who had been promised independence by Britain if they fought alongside the Allies in the First World War, in order to conquer the Ottoman's. Britain was successful in defeating the Ottoman's, yet Palestine's promise of independence vanished with the issuing of the Balfour Declaration.
Ironically, 95 years later to the day, 2 November 2012, Australia is reconsidering whether to side with Israel and the U.S. in opposing a Palestinian state, or to vote for a two-state solution. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/political-news/australia-could-rethink-palestine-stand-on-un-20121101-28mxe.html
95 years after the Balfour Declaration, the world is still arguing over recognition of Palestine, even though the inhabitants had lived there for thousands of years.
The argument over the establishment of Israel has always been convoluted with biblical prophecy and promises of God. Christians have argued that God promised the land of Israel to the Jews thousands of years ago. Because of this, Christians justify or turn a blind-eye to the gross crimes committed by Israel since its establishment. There have been hundreds of United Nations resolutions issued against it, yet Israel continues to flout international law.
The irony of Christians blindly defending the human rights violations of Israel based on the Bible and the favour of God, is that in the same breath, they will condemn Islam and the Koran for creating suicide bombers. These Christians will say that Islam teaches Muslims to hate Jews and Christians, and to kill them in the name of Allah (God).
Suicide bombing should be condemned. It is unacceptable. It is inhumane. It is a crime.
Massacring or forcibly removing civilians is also unacceptable, is inhumane and is a crime against humanity. Bombing schools, hospitals or houses is unacceptable. Using depleted uranium and phosphorous bombs is unacceptable. Yet few Christians criticise Israel for these atrocities. A Palestinian might fire a rocket into Israel, and Israel will retaliate, not by arresting that person, but by using military aircraft to bomb the entire neighbourhood, often killing dozens of people who had nothing to do with firing the rocket. At best, this over-reaction is martial law without trial. At worst, it is a crime against humanity, which is a violation of international law.
Israel has a legal right to exist within the UN's 1947 borders and a right to live in peace, as do the people of Palestine. Palestinians should not be subject to the brutality that Israel has unleashed on them since 1947.
Palestine and its people must be recognised by the United Nations. To oppose recognition, is to oppose human rights and to condone ethnic cleansing.
Ironically, it was a Palestinian named Jesus, a Jew who 'so loved the world', who told us to 'love your neighbour as yourself'.
If ever there was a time and a place to 'love your neighbour', it is Israel and Palestine today. Instead of blindly supporting the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, we should be demanding an end to the brutality and supporting the recognition and peaceful liberation of Palestine.