No, but we are turning on your BS.
What do Millennials think about Israel? After several years of engaging the Israel – Palestine conversation in Christian communities, I’ve seen this question posed in a dozen ways with varying degrees of alarm and/or psychosis.
The unfortunate and ironic thing about many who pose this question, is that the author or speaker doesn’t necessarily care what millennials think. There is a clear, well documented generational gap when it comes to the conflict and the land, and yet, the question isn’t an invitation for young people to enter into conversation. It’s often a rhetorical segue into the author’s point: sound the alarms, circle the wagons, it’s time to get the next generation in line.
Those paying attention have seen an influx of initiatives to combat pro-Palestinian activism and/or BDS campaigns in universities across the country. While only a subset of this push focuses on Christian communities and universities, they have a fault in common: they ignore legitimate grievances and dictate the only true positions.
We in the Christian world might compare it to a bounded set theological framework. Believe this or you’re out -- end of discussion.
Nowhere is this framework clearer than in conversations regarding Boycotts Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. I’m not actually looking to discuss BDS in this post, and I know that MVP has a plurality of opinions when it comes to the subject. What I do what to talk about is the quality of conversation itself.
While an extreme example, Yahovel.com’s “Don’t Boycott God” video is truly a masterpiece. I think the screen writer began by Wikipedia-ing “millennial interests.”
If you don’t have time to watch the video, or can’t make it through the whole thing, here’s a recap:
We are introduced to Wyatt, a young man who, “cares deeply about the world and about people. He is very passionate and impulsive [sic].” Wyatt learns about the Israeli oppression of Palestinians online, rounds up everything he owns that reminds him of Israel, takes them out back, and begins shooting them with a shotgun.
Millennials, am I right?
Wyatt’s friend comes to the scene. Wyatt explains his grievances with Israel, mentions military occupation, and cites oppression in general. The moment of realization comes when his friend finds a Bible, puts it on the shooting block, and takes aim: the Bible, too, was made in Israel.
“If you really want to boycott Israel, then getting rid of your bible and rejecting God is a great place to start.”
He goes on to explain that the liberal media lies, Palestinians are not oppressed, lists all the good things Israel does, and says that he has seen it all first hand. After encouraging Wyatt to get his story straight, he gives a final warning: “It’s a dangerous things to go boycotting God and the Bible.” *firm shoulder pat*
On the whole, I don’t think Christian discourse is that bad and figure this video is probably an embarrassment to many in the exclusively pro-Israel camp, especially the young people. There are well informed and well formulated arguments for an exclusively pro-Israel position and we want to hear and discuss them.
What we don’t want is garbage propaganda.
If your response to BDS is to suggest we shoot a Bible, you’re gonna lose us. If you’re not willing to acknowledge Palestinians have legitimate grievances, you’re gonna lose us. If there is not a forum for informed discussion about the geopolitical realities on the ground, you’re gonna lose us. If we are not permitted to truly seek peace and justice for all people, you’re gonna lose us.
We at MVP are not turning our backs on Israel, but if this is the sort of BS you expect us to listen to, we may turn our backs on you.