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22 September 2011

Powerless and Prayerful

The world is spinning maddeningly, dizzyingly off-kilter. Georgia is preparing to execute Troy Davis, a man widely believed to be innocent. Georgia has the legal right to do so because all of the legal formalities have been observed so far and the Supreme Court has never ruled that it is a violation of human or civil rights to execute an innocent person - as long as they have had due process that meets the legal definition. The gulf between legal and moral has never been wider or seemingly more impassable. The state has the legal right, power and authority to kill and seems hell bent on doing so. People are protesting and preying, writing letters, faxes and emails and making phone calls. It remains to be seen whether this will make a difference in Troy's life or in our own.

And frustrated by decades of occupation and failed and floundering peace talks, the Palestinians are ready to appeal to the United Nations to recognize them as a sovereign state. If the UN does so, Israel will immediately be (more) guilty of occupying a sovereign state as opposed to a (merely) disputed territory - as they now justify their presence in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza under international law. Israel has been exerting pressure on nations to oppose the bid for statehood, most of all the United States which has veto power. President Obama has said that he will veto the Palestinian appeal because the statehood issue needs to be worked out between Israel and Palestine in the peace process. This is the most disingenuous thing I have ever heard him say. The peace process is broken. Israel continues to flout it by building and protecting settlements inside of the Palestinian Territories. Israel has unilaterally rejected the internationally approved boundaries by building a wall on Palestinian land shaping new boundaries in their favor. What peace process? What other options do the Palestinians have? Politically, supporting Israel is more beneficial than sporting the Palestinians. But is is not the right thing to do. The US needs to use its influence with Israel - our money, the billions of dollars we send them every year while we are in a depression (if you're black, brown and poor) - and pressure Israel back to the table for meaningful negotiations and real compromise.

Both of these situations leave me feeling absolutely powerless. And so I pray. I hope. I believe.
I pray that even if my prayers are not answered I will still believe in the power of prayer.

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