“Whom You Forgive Anything, I Forgive Also”
(c) Jordan White Enterprises
September 23, 2000
In a letter he wrote to early Christians in the city of Corinth, the Apostle Paul tried to teach those new believers some of the principles in God’s new order, or covenant, with mankind. He spoke of the need for the Corinthians to love one another with Christ’s love; he spoke of the need to be obedient. And he speaks, eloquently and passionately, of the need for forgiveness.
Read Paul’s exact words, recorded in II Cor. 2: 10-11. Read these words carefully, for they reflect a spiritual principle that is one of the major themes of the entire Bible, Old and New Testaments alike, accepted by Jews, Protestants, Catholics, and anyone else who relies on God’s holy Scriptures as a guide to life:
“But whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ, in order that no advantage be taken of us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes.”
The idea is this: when a person does any evil deed to another, and the wound inflicted is allowed to fester and amends are never made, evil compounds upon evil and horrible things continue to result from the original deed. That is why Paul warns the Corinthians that Satan would take advantage of the situation. It’s a spiritual principle: either you learn to forgive or the original evil will be perpetrated over and over again.
There was an evil deed done at one time, a horrible massacre of 250 innocent residents of the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin: men, women, and children slaughtered by the Irgun Gang, an Israeli commando unit. The atrocity occurred in April, 1948, almost exactly a month before the declaration of the new state of Israel. Though the site of the village was bulldozed by the Israelis and a new settlement, Givat Shaul, built in its place, its memory is still very much alive in the hearts and minds of the Palestinian people, who are hoping for permission to build a memorial to the dead on that site. Israel, however, has not been forthcoming in providing a site and has gone so far as to claim to have had legitimate reasons for the massacre, and has even countered that perhaps they should have a memorial on that site for their own heroism there. What legitimate reason could there be to kill pregnant women, elderly people, small children and babies? What legitimate reason to kill unarmed civilian men, shot execution-style in cold blood? Where is the “ heroism” in this?
Marc Ellis, a Jewish American thinker and writer who works to educate us all on the lessons of history, has written: “For can Jews be healed of the trauma of Holocaust by displacing another people?” [ the Palestinians.] “Could it be that atrocities committed against the Palestinian people in Deir Yassin, and the inability to admit and confess this atrocity, have further wounded the Jewish people and made it more difficult for Jews, even with the power of Israel, to be healed?”*
Although Ellis has essentially said it all, may I presume to add one more thing? Could it be possible, that, if Israel could come forward, apologize to the Palestinian people for Deir Yassin, assist in building a memorial on the hill where the village used to stand, that, in asking for their forgiveness for this atrocity, they might find that they can forgive Germany for its atrocity toward them, and thus begin to heal from their own wounds? And, with this healing, end their cycle of seeking power and expansion through dominating the Middle East political scene?
Paul said a lack of forgiveness was an invitation to further evils, evils so unimaginable that they can only be explained as orginating from Satan himself.
Israel, apologize to the Palestinian people for the wrongs done to them, and admit that you have carried out atrocities against them because you have chosen not to accept Germany’s many apologies and forgive them for the Holocaust. Only then can your souls begin to heal. And, with that healing, begin to find peaceful solutions, not aggressive, power-hungry solutions to the conflict in the Middle East.
Find forgiveness. Find PEACE.
* Ellis, Marc H. and McGowan, Daniel, ed. Remembering Deir Yassin: The Future of Israel and Palestine. Olive Branch Press, New York, 1998. p. 13.
Copyright (c) 2000, Jordan White