We have been so caught up in the terrible war in Ukraine that seemingly small events in other parts of the world pass by like a blip on the radar screen. But they should not. This past week Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian journalist, who is also an American citizen, put on her helmet, bulletproof vest with the large words ‘PRESS” on front and back, left her place to cover an Israeli army raid in the Jenin refugee camp.
A bullet struck her just beneath her ear, a place uncovered by the helmet, which makes one think a sniper shot her. Since 1972, 103 Palestinian journalists have been killed, 7,000 wounded, and more detained. Israeli police and army beat the mourners on the procession to her funeral at the Church of the Ascension. This was outrageous.
Jenin does not look like one’s idea of a refugee camp. I was there in 2007. Concrete buildings are crowded together and from almost any place one can see the 25-foot high Israeli wall replete with gun towers. Like Shireen, many of its residents are Christian, although the number is dwindling. It feels like an open air prison, which it is..
Prayer for the Day
Complacent with our lives, we avoid painful truths,
Preferring the darkness to the light,
Caught in our own ineptitude, we flounder in despair,
Refusing to accept your call to do justice.
Forgive us and move us beyond our self-satisfaction
And bring us into true repentance opening us to your life
In the name of him who is your life in the world,
Even Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen
Thoughts for the Day
Anti-Semitism is used as a charge to halt any criticism of Israel. People who don’t want to enter into a debate about the Israeli occupation try to silence critics with these accusations. But there is only one lesson we can take from Auschwitz: we must have the courage to call the oppression of a people by its name and not immediately take the side of an unjust state. That's why I'll keep talking, until we have a fair peace.
- Rev. Mitri Raheb, Lutheran Pastor, Palestine
For you have forgotten the God of your salvation,
And you have not remembered the rock of your refuge;
Therefore, though you plant pleasant plants and set out slips of an alien god,
Though you make them grow on the day that you plant them,
And make them blossom in the morning that you sow; the harvest will flee away
Isaiah 17: 10-11