Preparing for war in the Holy Land

 While the Israeli public is busy buying "duck tape" and purchasing water and food supplies enough for at least three days, it is totally impossible for Palestinians both Christian and Muslim to prepare for anything or even have gas masks ready to save their lives as the Israeli civilians. We have lived in a war of terror into the third year now with daily killings, political assassinations, medical personnel shot dead on duty, homes being demolished, people being detained without charges, home invasions, checkpoints, road blocks, closures, total siege and a total devastation and destruction of the economy, education and social life in general. When Palestinian families have suffered without jobs and trying to meet their daily needs where in the world would anyone get enough money to stock up for a war? Some curfews or if you prefer the word "house arrest" go over 21 days in our area and certainly families run out of basic needs like bread, milk and needed medicine when the army confines them to their homes. In Nablus, Palestinians were confined to their homes for over 100 days in the summer. It is sometimes difficult to conceive of such cruelties and harsh conditions. With over two thousand people dead since September 2000 and over forty thousand injured, we know and have experienced the brutality of war. Innocent civilians are bound to suffer and be killed if America decides to bomb Iraq. Let us pray for God's mercy and enlightenment. No reason to write stories anymore because the world has forgotten that Israel continues to deny Palestinians their human rights for over 55 years and not only refuse to give them independence but the Israeli army makes their daily life so miserable, so awful and full of struggle and agony that possibly they could flee over the bridge into Jordan. Thereby Israel could rejoice at this ethnic cleansing and claim a 100% Jewish homeland. Where is our voice as Christians in this land? Our roots were established by Christ Himself with the Mother church in Jerusalem. This is the sacred land that Christ chose to be born in and to create His Holy Church. Why should the American money and weapons destroy the most significant heritage and legacy of Christianity? It is the "living stones," the local Christians that have kept the torch of faith burning for over two thousand years. Palestine has Christians and Muslims living in the Holy Land and peaceful solutions need to be found to coexist with Jews. However, the unjust policies of the United States in the Middle East are affecting the dwindling Christian Community in Palestine. It is time that Christians in the West questions their leadership. Blind support to Israel must stop sooner or later. It is totally out of control. As Christians we do not only belong to this world alone but are called to seek God's kingdom. I would suggest preparing for war by fasting and praying. Preparing for war might mean going to confession so that we can beg for God's forgiveness and remission of sins. As Christians we are sent on earth to give glory to God with every breath that we take and to see God in others. Truly we must live each day as if it is the last day in our life. While your government is asking you to purchase certain items and be on a high alert also consider seeking God's kingdom and flock the church to take communion. Christ died on the cross so that we may have eternal life. God gave us a brain so we can think thus possibly stock up on some bread if we can afford it but God also gave us a soul so that we may give glory to Him. "I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth shall never thirst." (John 6:35) We are preparing for war in the Holy Land by the only method that we know: to be witnesses for Christ. We must confess love for our neighbour and to turn the other check to our enemies by seeking peaceful solutions to our conflicts. As Christ Ascended into Heaven while the disciples watched, He said: "you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria and throughout all the earth." (Acts 1:8) Editor's Note: Maria Khoury, author of Christina Goes to Church seeks 12 parishes to sponsor twelve needy families in the only all Christian village that is left in the Holy Land to build their first homes to help Christians stay in the land of Christ's birth. Also seeking parishes to join the $1.00 campaign where parishes donate only $1.00 per member of their church to the housing project for St George Greek Orthodox Church of Taybeh. source: Olive Branch

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