Solomon Tekah, an unarmed 19-year-old Ethiopian Israeli was shot on June 30, by an off-duty Israeli police officer, this has sparked demonstrations, protests and riots throughout Israel.
It seems that racism is institutionalized in any predominately white society, we’ve seen it in the USA, UK, Australia, and Brazil among other nations. Israel in many ways because of its central place among many of the worlds key religions, has a special place to play in the perception of how black people are to be treated.
It seems that wherever these is a base of a major world religion, there you find some kind of discrimination against others, whether it be racism or facism in Italy and the Roman Catholic church with its proclamations against African nations going back 100’s of years which have yet to be repealed and renounced, the current day dishonorable spectacle of right wing politics in Israel, even Buddhist persecution of the Rohingya. But surely, there is a God who created all people – why would this God discriminate on the basis of colour?
For me the problem, is when we turn God into an idol and we imagine him like ourselves, that creates a space in which we exclude other people. Yet the God I worship said:
You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:4–6 ESV
But an idol doesn;t have to be physical, it can also be something we set up in our hearts, spiritual idolatry – some people idolize themselves! I believe it is this spirit of error and foolishness from which racism breeds, and we need to all appreciate that we are all God’s creation, there is beauty in all of us, and we need to honour God in a way that does no harm to all mankind whom he has created.