Did you see the news today, that Netanyahu (prime minister of Israel) approved the building of 455 new houses in existing Jewish settlements in the Palestinian (occupied) Territory of the West Bank? Here's an article from the BBC News. As I understand it, Netanyahu is approving this building now and then he wants to talk about a freeze on further settlement expansion as Israel and Palestine continue to work out a peace agreement.
In my opinion, if you don't want people to send terrorists into your country, it doesn't help to build and protect illegal housing units in their country and try to control their country militarily. How does this contribute to peace in any way? I just don't understand how this can make sense to anyone.
OK, that's not true--I understand the Zionist argument, I just don't agree with it. I think if the land in question is to be the "Promised Land," God's "Chosen People" have to treat those there with love and respect, as God required of them in their own sacred text.
For example, Deuteronomy 10: 12-13, 17-20: "So now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you? Only to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD your God and his decrees that I am commanding you today, for your own well-being....For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall fear the LORD your God; him alone you shall worship; to him you shall hold fast, and by his name you shall swear." (NRSV)
For another example, Jeremiah 7: 5-7: "For if you truly amend your ways and your doings, if you truly act justly one with another, IF you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own hurt, THEN I will dwell with you in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your ancestors forever and ever."
Acting justly toward the widow, orphan, foreigner and alien in the land is part of the deal. Period.
And another thing--it would be one thing (maybe) if Israel was too crowded and so they needed space to grow. But a good portion of the houses ALREADY BUILT in the settlements are completely EMPTY!!! Here's a report on that by Israel's own media:
Remember, Israeli settlements were illegal under international law when built, and any new construction is now illegal under international law. And yet, it is Palestinians whose homes and other buildings are destroyed when they build on their own property. No one has an excuse to be a terrorist, not even a Jew. And not even us "Christians" who support and send our tax dollars to the state of Israel to build these settlements.