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Israel and Hamas

July 30, 2014

Israel and Hamas: A mess to the utmost of levels with no end in sight. Each side is claiming self-defense. Each side is sharing with the media the horrific impacts of the attacks. Each side has, publicly at least, only feigned attempts as making peace. The Western media has been lambasting Israel telling of all the horrors they are inflicting. They parade pictures of destroyed buildings and dead children. Whereas the Western church seems to be supporting Israel blindly standing firmly on the claims they should be defending themselves.

Here is the problem with all of this. Each of these positions lacks truth. Complete truths. The reality of the situation is each side has a right to defend themselves. Each side has a right to claim they are suffering at the hands of the other. The media fails to be fair and truthful when they withhold truths in an effort to manipulate the public. The churches that stand blindly by Israel without demanding a movement towards peace are also failing.

Why do I bring all of this up today? I bring this up because there is no cut and dry answer to this horrible situation. Instead of taking sides, instead of letting the media manipulate us, we need to be objective and find ways to work towards peace. If we can put away our blind support for either side and instead pray for a peaceful resolution we will have done something truly revolutionary.

  1. Thank you for your challenge for readers to think objectively about the Israeli-Hammas conflict. I agree that it is horrible and that there is plenty of hate on both sides to go around. At the root of the conflict, as you know, is the depravity of man and ultimately the battle between God’s kingdom and the domain of darkness.

    In the past, when the public forum acknowledged “good” and “evil” it was easier to acknowledge that, while each side is imperfect, we could “judge the tree by its fruit” (e.g. Matt 12:33 and context). If this were possible now, it seems to me that it would be easier to distinguish the “good guys” from the “bad.” For example, I have not read of a plan on the part of Israel to exterminate the Palestinians, Hammas, or other Islamic groups. I have read that the goal of Hammas and ultimately the Islamic Jihad is to exterminate Israel. Furthermore, my understanding is that out of good will, Israel had allowed the Palestinians to settle in Gaza, formerly occupied Jewish territory. This agreement allowed resources (e.g. many greenhouses, buildings, and other structures erected during Jewish occupation to become the property of the Palestinians. The Israeli govt. also supplied concrete for schools in Gaza City. But, instead of settling in a peaceful way, those bent of Israel’s destruction have destroyed structures such as greenhouses useful for peace, and have used the concrete to build tunnels under the border. Land surrendered out of a peace agreement has become a staging ground for war and destruction. All of this to say nothing of the use by Hammas of innocent people as human shields in an attempt to get the upper hand militarily and in the court of public opinion against Israel.

    So, I understand the need of Christians to take the lead in seeking truth and objectivity in this age-old conflict that unfolds under the eye of our Sovereign God. But I am also troubled by America’s lack of moral leadership and moral clarity as an important member of the “free world” and consequently, I can’t help but believe that the many conflicts in the Middle East are the result of America’s immoral and corrupt leadership, and the corruptness that is responsible for placing our leaders in office. Perhaps instead of blindly taking sides (even though I believe it is evident to me which side stands for evil and destruction), we should be praying more that God would convict us of our moral depravity as a nation and the need to humble ourselves, pray, and seek His face diligently before it is too late.

    • I appreciate your continued interest in my blog and ever more so do I appreciate your time to reply.

      I think in some ways we agree, whereas in others we diverge. I will concede Hamas is bent on the destruction of Israel, I disagree on the ethics of Israeli tactics. Their tactics oppress all of the land where the Hamas has chosen to settle. Hamas is a small group, terrorists some may say. But they do not represent the nation they reside in. Would not Israel be able to mitigate and reduce secondary death and destruction is they chose commando strikes instead of massive air strikes? I believe Israeli methodology is heavy handed and unethical in this situation.

      A second point of divergence is while the God have the Israelites the land in our scriptures, over the centuries this land has belonged to others. When the Jewish people were given the land back, it is reasonable that the “evicted” peoples would be angry and hurt. This anger and pain will be long lived as these peoples have long memories – after all, they still view Americas actions in the Middle East as a continuance of the Crusades.

      War has not worked in the Middle East. I believe there must be someone ready to boldly risk to build peace. It will be tough and painstaking. But what if it works? That will be a day to see.

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