There is a book presentation and talk from The Freedom Sailors happening this Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Penticton United Church Lower Hall.
In helping to organize the event I have been reflecting upon long acquaintance with the problems of Jews and Arabs in The Middle East
For this baby boomer, the problem of Palestine and Israel, the Arabs and the Jews, has never been off my world affairs radar for long.
Religious folklore has incited dreadful massacre and mayhem in the Ancient holy land, in Nazi-occupied Europe and today in Gaza. The oppressed, in their turn, become the oppressors.
In Sunday school I knew about Canaan, the land God promised to Moses. I learned of God’s edict (Samuel 15: 1-2) that Israel slay all of the Amalekites who lived in that promised land so that His chosen, might take it for themselves.
Around then I took in testimony of The Holocaust through Wiliam R. Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of The Third Reich. The Jews had somehow become the Amalekites.
The news headlines from the Middle East appeared to be the set-up for Armageddon, the final conflict between good and evil that would herald The Messiah. In the case of we Christians, the return; for the Jews, the first time.
As an impressionable mid-teen I was swept away with Otto Preminger’s movie, Exodus, which included Ernest Gold’s poignant and passionate hymn, “This land is mine, God gave this land to me”.
When I was 20, the 1967 Egypt-Israel war effected displacement of Palestinians by the Israeli military and consequent uprisings against Israel, what the Palestinians called the “shaking off” or Intifada.
Today in Gaza, a sordid and painful struggle continues.
The Freedom Sailors who present this Saturday are an international aid group, part of The Freedom Flotilla Coalition, volunteers who sailed through and around the Israeli blockade of the Palestinians in Gaza to deliver medical and other non-military materials forbidden by Israel.
I look forward to hearing their insights from “on the ground”. The public is welcome to attend.