Like many of you, my heart has been heavy over the recent violence that has erupted in Israel-Palestine. The terrorist organization Hamas killed over a thousand (mostly) civilians including women and children and kidnapped over two hundred others. Israel’s military has responded by killing several thousands of Palestinian civilians, including many women and children. The one thing I know for sure is that killing civilians and children is evil.
Paying attention to the unfolding news reports hasn’t been easy, since both sides don’t have a great track record of unbiased reporting. And as has been shown time and time again, fake news reports have swirled the internet, which has made it difficult to figure how what’s actually going on.
As part of my desire to stay informed, I’ve been having a lot of conversations with various people (mostly offline), including a lengthy 2-hour podcast conversation with Daniel Bannoura, a Palestinian Christian who grew up outside of Bethlehem in the West Bank. The episode just released on Monday. Daniel is well educated (currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Theology from Notre Dame) and has a lot of lived-experience with the conflict. I learned a lot from this conversation and would encourage you to check it out!
As with any conversation about such a volatile topic, some might disagree with Daniel’s perspective. As always, I would encourage everyone to do their own thinking and study of this important issue, which has led to the slaughter of so many innocent people.
I do plan on having other conversations and hearing from other perspectives as well. After all, this is the heart-beat of Theology in the Raw—having curious conversations with a diverse range of thoughtful people.
I’ve already heard from several people who now want me to have a conversation with an Israeli Christian—something I am eager to do. However, I do want to make it very clear that I don’t feel the need to off-set Daniel’s perspectives, simply because he’s Palestinian. For those who are really wanting (or demanding) to hear from an Israeli, I assume you would have requested that I talk to a Palestinian Christian, had I first had a conversation with an Israeli Christian. But if we feel the need to balance out a Palestinian voice with an Israeli voice—and not vice versa—I would encourage you to ask why.
In the meantime, I encourage you to engage this lengthy conversation. It was an absolute honor that Daniel devoted so much of his precious time to give to Theology in the Raw.