I agree with you that this is an issue the church needs to speak out on (though your link won’t help me much as I’m not in the UK and my government is a lot less prone to pressuring Israel).
I’d be curious to hear more of how you see these events, though you may not desire to address it this way.
Personally I affirm your statement that we need to call for Israel to “stop innocent civilians being killed in Gaza” in their disproportionate retaliation here, but I think that we must equally call for the safety of Israeli citizens, and not to limit the call for peace to those defined as “civilians”.
I’ve been wrestling a lot with this lately and blogging through my thoughts on the Bible and nonviolence, and although I have no expectation that either side will embrace this approach, I’m increasingly convinced that violence should not be used as a solution (including state violence) and that when you get down to it war is not going to solve anything anyway. Clearly the conflicts in the Holy Land attest to this, almost nonstop war and violence since the nation began, and many of the basic problems remain unchanged.
I have a tendency towards non-violence but a recent book challenged my thinking on this. In Hans Boerma ‘Violence, Hospitality and the Cross‘ he challanges a non-violence stance. His definition of violence is something like ‘causing harm, hurt or injury to another. It could be physical, emotional, etc.’ If this definiton of violence is correct then violence is somtimes a right (ethical) option in a fallen world. i.e. a trade embargo, prisons, etc are forms of violence.
I am in no way trying to say that Israel (or Hamas) are right, but I don’t think a non-violent stance is necessarily helpfull. That is, unless we define it differantly. How would you define it?
Well I meant violence as in killing or higher end physical/emotional/psychological damage, so torture no, prison, yes if it is done correctly and has a goal of reforming residents and treating them like people.
Same with trade embargoes, I’m ok with that so long as it does not result in starvation etc, but rather making things uncomfortable for a regime.
Like I point out in my blog post on it, there is a big difference between being passive in the face of evil and being nonviolent. Nonviolence tends to take more work and imagination though than simply picking up a RPG or dropping a bomb to settle issues.