Mercy Trumps Justice

I have been thinking more about the words Helen Thomas spoke in 2010, that the Jews should get the hell out of Palestine. She may have been thinking all the Jews in Israel and Palestine should leave, from strictly a justice perspective, and said what she said. I can see that point of view. It seems unjust for close to 10 million Palestinians to today be forcibly living outside Palestine, as intl law says they have a clear right to return but Israel forcibly denies them their rights to return, and as Jews with no connection to the land can freely immigrate there.

I can see where a comment like that would come from, and at the same time think they were words best left unsaid, whether she meant for all Jews in Israel and Palestine to leave or just those in Palestine (the Occupied Territories) because “Mercy trumps Justice.” (And Helen apologized fo her words, no matter what she meant by them, I point out.)

As Helen Thomas is making the statements she made, Sabeel (an organization of Palestinian Christians) is saying we do not insist all the settlers leave, if we were to do that we would be doing to them what was done to us, and we do not wish that on anyone else. They support peaceful co-existence.

So, I am realizing that I seem to be inconsistent, from my last post to this post. In my last post, I stated I admired Helen Thomas for speaking truth about the settlers and the Occupation. Now, I am saying she should not have said what she said. There are some truths best left unsaid, Jesus taught us all about God’s mercy. Justice would have demanded we all pay for our sins, justice would require the settlers to all leave. But we are forgiven our sins, because of Jesus dying for us on a cross 2000 years ago. And so, Christians in Palestine today are called to forgive those who have wronged them. And Christians everywhere are called upon to show those who have wronged them forgiveness and mercy.

Mercy trumps justice.

And back to Helen Thomas, we are all human, we speak before we think through our words, how they will be percieved by others, their effects on others. Helen Thomas said words in 2010 she should not have said, but that does not take away from her life of speaking unpopular Truths against an Injustice, the Israeli Occupation of Palestine, that has been going on now for 45 years now, that subjects millions of Palestinians to egregious daily human rights abuses.

Sherri Munnerlyn

April 6, 2012

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