After having seen Paradise Now and feeling very ignorant in my understanding of the Palestine/Israel conflict, I am trying to do as much reading and research as I can on what seems like a very devicive issue - especially in Christian circles... I'm currently reading a book by a Palestinian Melkite Christian Priest, Abuna Elias Chacour, entitled We belong to the land about his experiences in Israel. Just wanted to share the following quote which I found so simple yet so striking:
"The answer to hatred and violence is a genuine, personal initiative completely independent from the reaction to violence. Respecting human rights and protecting human life should never be a reaction to violence, but should arise out of one's love for human beings, for life.
This is the message of the man from Galilee. Jesus Christ teaches us today, as he did two thousand years ago in this very place, that we are not to love people out of charity or for Jesus' sake, as if others were a tool, an instrument, or a tunnel to pass through to reach the goal. Rather, the other - the Jew, the Palestinian, the American, the Muslim, the Christian - is to be loved becauase that person is loveable as who he or she is. We are to love as God loves. God's love is unconditional and sacrificial. God is love."