15 November 2009

The Goldstone Report and the Bible

Going through the Bible the other day, I came across a passage that reminded me of the unbridled attacks launched by the Israeli government and its supporters against the Goldstone Report. The report, authored by a commission headed by the eminent South African Jewish jurist Richard Goldstone, accuses both Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes during the Gaza War of 2008-2009.

President Shimon Peres has stooped to calling Goldstone a "small man". I would counter that such language makes my countryman Peres (we were both born in modern-day Belarus) sound like a small man.

The Bible passage I was referring to is Amos 5: 7-15. In citing it here, I am trying to remind the political leadership of Israel of the Biblical values of justice and truth which they have, in this instance, allowed to fall by the wayside. My favourite part of this passage is "Hate what is evil. Love what is good. Do what is fair in the courts. Perhaps the Lord God who rules over all will show you his favour." These are values that all of us should seek to live by.

As Nicholas Kristof points out, there are "two Israels", or even "many Israels". Let us hope that the one that triumphs in the long run is not Netanyahu's Israel or Lieberman's Israel, but rather the Israel that wants to live side by side with its neighbours in a just peace.


Now playing: "Peace Train" by Cat Stevens


Alicia said...

Like you, I pray for this war to end.

When I was in Israel, I met a wonderful Palestinian family, (beautiful family) and I met a wonderful Jewish family too. Imagine if we took the children from these families when they were very young and raised them together like brothers they would not know war. (my point is most children act in accordance to what they are taught.)

Imagine how different things would be if we all taught our children to focus on the good in each other, to forgive offenses and to remember that we are all brothers and sisters, children of the same God, the same Father.

The greatest and most significant battles are not fought between countries, along borders or held in political arenas but are fought within the walls of our own heart. The greatest victory is a victory over selfishness, over pride, ignorance, arrogance and greed.

Rashed said...

Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Alicia.

I think that Israel should accept the Arab Peace Initiative (supported, among others, by Barack Obama), which calls for an Israeli withdrawal to its 1967 borders in exchange for peace with every single Arab country.

But I completely agree with you that "the greatest and most significant battles are... fought within the walls of our own heart". The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) stressed the importance of the Greater Jihad (the battle against the evil inclinations in one's own soul) over the Lesser Jihad (a physical war of self-defence).

Liam said...

Hi Rashed --

On another question: I'm getting direct messages on Twitter from (apparently) your twitter account that look like spam (something about high school photos, a quiz, earning extra money...) Have you heard about this? You might want to look into to make sure your account hasn't be hacked.

Rashed said...

Thanks, Liam!

Alicia said...

Hi there Rashed,
Just an update. My friend from Jordan bought me the Quran. It arrived in the mail a couple of weeks ago and I've been reading it and I enjoy it very much. I believe Mohammed was inspired by God. My husband is going to take a religion class at school called "Islam and the Gospel." There is alot that we have in common. It's also amazing to me how many experiences the Prophet Mohammed had that are so much like the Prophet Joseph Smith who restored the Gospel in the 1800's to open the way for this last and final dispensation of the earth.

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Rashed said...

Thanks for your comment, Alicia! I wish more people would engage in building interfaith understanding, the way you are doing. Sorry it took me this long to respond: I'm back on my blog for the first time since last year.

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