Monday, December 3, 2007

Broken U.N. Resolutions

Here's a list of U.N. Resolutions issued against, or ignored by, Israel. At the end are some of the human rights, issued by the Geneva Convention, that Israel has also violated.
All of this infomation was compiled by Jews Against the Occupation, and is available on their website.

Palestinian Refugees have the right to return to their homes in Israel.

General Assembly Resolution 194, Dec. 11, 1948

"Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible."

Israel's occupation of Palestine is Illegal.

Security Council Resolution 242, Nov. 22, 1967

Calls for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from territories occupied in the war that year and "the acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force."

Israel's settlements in Palestine are Illegal.

Security Council Resolution 446, March 22, 1979

"Determines that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East."

Palestinian have the right to Self-Determination.

General Assembly Resolution 3236, November 22, 1974

Affirms "the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in self-determination without external interference" and "to national independence and sovereignty."

Reaffirmation of a Palestinian State

Security Council Resolution 1397, March 12, 2002

Affirms "a vision of a region where two states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side within secure and recognized borders."

More UN Resolutions on Israel, 1955-1992

Resolution 106: condemns Israel for Gaza raid.

Resolution 111: condemns Israel for raid on Syria that killed fifty-six people.

Resolution 127: recommends Israel suspend its no-man's zone' in Jerusalem.

Resolution 162: urges Israel to comply with UN decisions.

Resolution 171: determines flagrant violations by Israel in its attack on Syria.

Resolution 228: censures Israel for its attack on Samu in the West Bank, then under Jordanian control.

Resolution 237: urges Israel to allow return of new 1967 Palestinian refugees.

Resolution 248: condemns Israel for its massive attack on Karameh in Jordan.

Resolution 250: calls on Israel to refrain from holding military parade in Jerusalem.

Resolution 251: deeply deplores Israeli military parade in Jerusalem in defiance of Resolution 250.

Resolution 252: declares invalid Israel's acts to unify Jerusalem as Jewish capital.

Resolution 256: condemns Israeli raids on Jordan as flagrant violation.

Resolution 259: deplores Israel's refusal to accept UN mission to probe occupation.

Resolution 262: condemns Israel for attack on Beirut airport.

Resolution 265: condemns Israel for air attacks for Salt in Jordan.

Resolution 267: censures Israel for administrative acts to change the status of Jerusalem.

Resolution 270: condemns Israel for air attacks on villages in southern Lebanon.

Resolution 271: condemns Israel's failure to obey UN resolutions on Jerusalem.

Resolution 279: demands withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon.

Resolution 280: condemns Israeli's attacks against Lebanon.

Resolution 285: demands immediate Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.

Resolution 298: deplores Israel's changing of the status of Jerusalem.

Resolution 313: demands that Israel stop attacks against Lebanon.

Resolution 316: condemns Israel for repeated attacks on Lebanon.

Resolution 317: deplores Israel's refusal to release.

Resolution 332: condemns Israel's repeated attacks against Lebanon.

Resolution 337: condemns Israel for violating Lebanon's sovereignty.

Resolution 347: condemns Israeli attacks on Lebanon.

Resolution 425: calls on Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon.

Resolution 427: calls on Israel to complete its withdrawal from Lebanon.

Resolution 444: deplores Israel's lack of cooperation with UN peacekeeping forces.

Resolution 446: determines that Israeli settlements are a serious obstruction to peace and calls on Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention

Resolution 450: calls on Israel to stop attacking Lebanon.

Resolution 452: calls on Israel to cease building settlements in occupied territories.

Resolution 465: deplores Israel's settlements and asks all member states not to assist its settlements program.

Resolution 467: strongly deplores Israel's military intervention in Lebanon.

Resolution 468: calls on Israel to rescind illegal expulsions of two Palestinian mayors and a judge and to facilitate their return.

Resolution 469: strongly deplores Israel's failure to observe the council's order not to deport Palestinians.

Resolution 471: expresses deep concern at Israel's failure to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Resolution 476: reiterates that Israel's claim to Jerusalem are null and void.

Resolution 478: censures (Israel) in the strongest terms for its claim to Jerusalem in its Basic Law.

Resolution 484: declares it imperative that Israel re-admit two deported Palestinian mayors.

Resolution 487: strongly condemns Israel for its attack on Iraq's nuclear facility.

Resolution 497: decides that Israel's annexation of Syria's Golan Heights

is null and void and demands that Israel rescinds its decision forthwith.

Resolution 498: calls on Israel to withdraw from Lebanon.

Resolution 501: calls on Israel to stop attacks against Lebanon and withdraw its troops.

Resolution 509: demands that Israel withdraw its forces forthwith and unconditionally from Lebanon.

Resolution 515: demands that Israel lift its siege of Beirut and allow food supplies to be brought in.

Resolution 517: censures Israel for failing to obey UN resolutions and demands that Israel withdraw its forces from Lebanon.

Resolution 518: demands that Israel cooperate fully with UN forces in Lebanon.

Resolution 520: condemns Israel's attack into West Beirut.

Resolution 573: condemns Israel vigorously for bombing Tunisia in attack on PLO headquarters.

Resolution 587: takes note of previous calls on Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon and urges all parties to withdraw.

Resolution 592: strongly deplores the killing of Palestinian students at Bir Zeit University by Israeli troops.

Resolution 605: strongly deplores Israel's policies and practices denying the human rights of Palestinians.

Resolution 607: calls on Israel not to deport Palestinians and strongly requests it to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Resolution 608: deeply regrets that Israel has defied the United Nations and deported Palestinian civilians.

Resolution 636: deeply regrets Israeli deportation of Palestinian civilians.

Resolution 641: deplores Israel's continuing deportation of Palestinians.

Resolution 672: condemns Israel for violence against Palestinians at the Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount.

Resolution 673: deplores Israel's refusal to cooperate with the United Nations.

Resolution 681: deplores Israel's resumption of the deportation of Palestinians.

Resolution 694: deplores Israel's deportation of Palestinians and calls on it to ensure their safe and immediate return.

Resolution 726: strongly condemns Israel's deportation of Palestinians.

Resolution 799: strongly condemns Israel's deportation of 413 Palestinians and calls for their immediate return.

The Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) is a cornerstone of international humanitarian law that ensures minimum protections for civilians in armed conflict and occupation. It forbids, among other things: the construction of settlements on occupied land1, unilateral annexation2, willful killing of civilians3, collective punishment4, torture5, and the destruction of property without a compelling military reason6. It also requires judicial accountability for those who commit war crimes (defined as “grave breaches” listed in Article 147 of the Convention). The Convention fully takes into account military necessity and cannot be violated for “security” reasons.

1Article 49, 2Article 47, 3Articles 146-147, 4Article 33, 5Articles 31-32 and146-147, 6Articles 53 and 146-147

George Fox University Survey

For the past couple of weeks, I've been conducting a survey of George Fox University students for their perceptions on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. I surveyed 50 students in all (about 3.3% of the traditional undergraduate student body), of which 41 were female, and 31 were juniors.

Here are some of the results.

At fault:
  • 12% thought the Palestinians were to blame for the conflict
  • 6% thought the Israelis were to blame
  • The rest (82%) found both parties at fault
Violation of Human Rights:
  • 40% were not aware that Israel is in violation of U.N. resolutions and established regulations for human rights
  • But 82% thought Israel should be held responsible for maintaining human rights and U.N. resolutions
American Aid:
  • 54% were aware that Israel receives more American financial aid than other countries (about 33%-40% of the total aid budget annually)
  • 33% of those students were not happy with that amount, and thought it was too high
Deaths (statistics are based on info from B'Tselem, starting in the year 2000):
  • 36% (wrongly) believed that more Israelis than Palestinians had died in the conflict
  • 60% thought 1000 or more Palestinians had died
  • 40% thought less than 1000
  • (Approx. 4,350 Palestinians have died since 2000)
  • 52% thought 500 or more were under 18
  • 48% thought less than 500
  • (Approx. 900 were under the age of 18)
  • 50% thought 1000 or more Israelis had died
  • 50% thought less than 1000 had died
  • (Approx. 1,030 Israelis have died since 2000)
  • 66% thought 100 or more were under 18
  • 34% thought less than 100
  • (Approx. 120 were under the age of 18)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A Letter from Gaza

It's hard to not feel like we're in a large concentration camp as I see Gaza's empty streets, and the hopeless feeling in the air . . . I think most people feel abandoned as we are literally locked up in this small, concentrated space and don't know what the world plans for us, or what to expect next.

. . . and as long as we are kept alive, no one will ask about us.

But just because we are breathing, that doesn't mean we're alive.

This is an excerpt from a letter written by a woman living in Gaza. Here's a link to the full text: Yasmine's Letter. It has some very vivid descriptions of the situation there, and what it's like to be Palestinian at this moment, on that patch of land.

Is The Church Bound to Support the Modern Nation of Israel?

This is an excerpt from a paper I wrote in 12th grade. Once again, it's a little strong, but I think it brings up some valid issues. The main portion I removed was an explanation on why I think the Church has replaced Israel as the chosen people. While I still believe that to be true, the point is irrelevant to the paper as a whole:

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems to be spiraling out of control. Suicide bombers attack and kill innocent civilians and Israel retaliates by leveling harsh collective punishment on the Palestinian population. Palestinian refugees, scattered throughout the Arab world, grow old in countries not their own, and eventually lose sight of all hope for a better tomorrow. Every day more land is confiscated in the West Bank and Gaza strip and article after article of U.N. resolutions are ignored, while the Palestinians respond with more hate and more suicide bombings. The cycle is deadly, with far reaching effects, shaping American policies, impacting West-East relations, destroying peace, and ravaging human lives. As followers of Jesus, called to be peacemakers, it is time for the church to take a stand, to align ourselves with Christ, and to strive to bring justice and mercy back to the Middle East. Looking around, however, I am shocked to find that instead of doing all we can to bring about peace and tear down the walls of hostility, we have actually joined in this war, whole-heartedly choosing sides, and adding to the carnage. Somehow the people of Jesus seem to have stumbled over verses like Zechariah 2:8 (1) and Genesis 12:3 (2), and used them to justify, or even mandate, the giving of unrestrained support (including American military aid) to Israel, and with it has come a correlating condemnation of the Palestinian people. Is this the heart of God, I wonder, and if so, where is the mercy and the justice? Or is it possible that we have become so caught up in the future fulfillment of Biblical prophecy and the will of God for the end-times, that we have lost sight of the will of God for the present?

. . .

[E]ven if Israel is still under the covenantal promises, we should be very careful in assuming that this fact automatically guarantees that the Lord’s favor is with them. Indeed, if Israel has committed atrocities by a worldly standard (3), how much more if judged by the standards of God? God’s calling for His people has always been very high, and in Deuteronomy, along with blessings for obedience, are heavy curses for disobedience (4). We do not need to look any farther than the Ten Commandments to find laws against stealing, coveting, and murder (5). It is also clear that God calls His people to uphold justice for the oppressed, the fatherless, the widow, and the alien (Leviticus 24:22 states very clearly that laws must be the same when regarding an alien as when regarding an Israelite, and Deuteronomy 27:19 has a specific curse for any who withhold justice from an alien) (6). In I Kings, God destroys Ahab’s whole household because he takes possession of a vineyard not his own (7)—how much more will God avenge the unlawful seizure of forty-two percent of the Palestinian land in the West Bank (8)? If we are to view Israel solely in the light of the covenant God made with Abraham and Moses, then we must judge it by this same covenant, and by such passages as Micah 2:12—“Woe to those who plan iniquity . . . because it is in their power to do it. They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them. They defraud a man of his home, a fellowman of his inheritance.” The modern day nation of Israel is a secular state different from the Biblical nation rooted in the laws of God, and the covenant was given based on an obedience that is very absent from the present day country.

When it comes down to the point, whether Israel is still the nation of prophecy or not is irrelevant. What is relevant is that God calls all humans, as beings created in His image, to love justice and to pursue mercy (9). As His children, who claim to know Him and walk with Him, we, as Christians, are called to an even higher standard because we have seen the truth and we walk in the light (10). Therefore whatever we believe about the place of Israel in the history of the end times we, as the salt of the world, should be calling them to a higher standard of living (11). Indeed, those who believe Israel to be the people of God should be even more vocal in this active calling to repentance. Throughout the Bible it is those who love Israel the most passionately who call it to repentance the most vocally. If we believe the Jews are still standing in the shadow of the covenantal blessings and curses then we should be doing our utmost to stand in the gap on their behalf and call them back to the standards and glory of God.

In the end I think that the greatest danger of unduly focusing on Israel as the chosen, and blindly supporting them is that we lose sight of Christ’s love for all peoples. As children of God we are called to walk in love and to spread the name of Jesus to the ends of the earth. In Christ there is neither slave nor free, Jew nor Muslim, Israeli nor Palestinian, for Jesus died for all alike (12). This is the kingdom of heaven, the heart of the gospel, the good news, and the center of God’s work throughout the ages. Anything that takes us away from this, takes our eyes off Christ, and is wrong, unbiblical, and even sinful. This is where our focus should be as we strive to usher in the kingdom of God, not on end-time prophecies or revelations (13). When we search the scriptures it should be to find God’s heart for all peoples, not just the Israelites, lest we, like the Pharisees, be condemned for pouring our souls into the details of the law and missing the heart of God (14).

So when we, as Christians, view Israel, it should be with the eyes of Christ, and the same way that we view Palestine and the world. We should offer it our support, yes, but not the frail, cheap support that comes by blindly accepting its political agenda and swallowing its propaganda. Instead we need to stand aloof from our nation’s policies and offer Israel something real—the love of God and the chance to repent. We must not allow our political, cultural or even theological background to blind us to the need for justice, and we must stop using unequal scales to judge the conflict in the Middle East, for God is a god who hates favoritism (15). Above all we should seek to shine the love of Christ and to bring God’s peace to those whose lives are being torn apart by hate and violence—only then can there be true peace in Jerusalem.

(1) Zech. 2:8, “. . . For whoever touches you touches the apple of my eye.”
(2) Gen. 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.”
(3) A few examples of the atrocities Israel has committed in regards to the Palestinian people are the common around-the-clock, shoot to kill curfews; the thousands of acres of Palestinian land (in the West Bank and Gaza strip) that have been confiscated or destroyed; the continual violence and abuse suffered by Palestinians at Israeli checkpoints throughout the occupied territories; the numerous schools that have been shut down, denying education to thousands; and the staggering number of deaths and injuries the Palestinian people have suffered at the hands of the Israeli military (every day since the year 2000, two Palestinians have been killed and more than thirty injured—a third of whom have been women and children). It is in condemnation for acts such as these that Amnesty International, in Nov. 2000, declared that the Israeli army’s policies in the occupied territories are “a pattern of gross human rights violations that may well amount to war crimes,” and B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, in a study titled “Injustice in the Holy city,” called Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians in East Jerusalem “a history of dispossession, systematic and deliberated discrimination, and a consistent assault on the dignity and basic rights of the Palestinian residents of the city . . .” These facts are referred to in “An Open Letter Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” an unpublished letter by several evangelical Christian workers serving in the Arab world, and can be verified by a search of B’Tselem documents ( and other sources (including, for example, The Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions, Rabbis for Human Rights, Jews for Peace in Palestine and Israel, Jews Against Zionism, Jews for Justice in the Middle East, and Jews for Justice for Palestinians [, which includes links to other sites]).
(4) Deut. 28
(5) Deut. 5:6-21
(6) Exodus 22:21-22, Psalm 72:4
(7) I Kings 21:17-24
(8) May 2002 report by B’Tselem, referred to by Mark Harlan (a Dallas Seminary graduate) in “Between Iraq and a Hard Place: Palestinian Human Rights and Chosen People Theology – Can They be Harmonized?” (unpublished paper) and in “An Open Letter Regarding The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” (unpublished letter written by a number of evangelical Christians serving in the Arab World).
(9) Micah 6:8
(10) Luke 12:47-48
(11) Eph. 5:11
(12) Col. 3:11
(13) Acts 1:7-8
(14) Matthew 23:23-24
(15) Deut. 25:13-16