By Olivier Melnick
The Arab-Israeli conflict is a geopolitical, economic, political and at times a spiritual battle. Because of all its different aspects, it makes it very complicated to control, let alone resolve. Yet there is another aspect of the conflict that cannot be ignored. It appears to be at the core of the issue and understanding it gives us the best chance at beating the beast. Israel has been forced to defend itself against Hamas and the continual shower of rockets from Gaza since the area was relinquished to the Palestinians in 2005. Even when Israel shows restraint, the proverbial finger is pointed at the Jewish state. It seems, the media is more interested in portraying the Palestinians as helpless victims than in reporting the truth.
Thankfully, there are still some within the Evangelical community who understand that Israel continues to hold a unique place in God’s plan until the return of Yeshua the Messiah and the establishment of His Kingdom on earth. Those who love Israel and the Jewish people are well aware of God’s promise to Abraham, namely that He will “bless those who bless [Israel] and curse him who curses [Israel]” (Gen 12:3). While trusting God to never forsake Israel, her supporters are also cognizant of the fact that one of Israel’s worse enemies, Hamas, simply does not play by the rules.Some have mistakenly and quite embarrassingly labeled Hamas as a humanitarian organization. A serious review of their Charter as well as their current modus operandi will suffice to prove that Hamas is corrupt and addicted to death. Clearly, we must realize that the Middle East suffers from a lack of moral equivalence. Until the West understands that dichotomy between “them” and “us”, we have no chance of making real progress. The following is a brief comparison between the modes of operation of Hamas and Israel.
Use and Abuse of Civilians vs. Sanctity of Life
According to Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zhuri, Palestinian human shields are a very good method for defending their territory. Hamas purposefully shoots numerous missiles and rockets from areas in the midst of large civilian communities, using schools, mosques and hospitals. To Hamas and the rest of the Islamist factions in the Middle East, human life is a very disposable commodity. The IDF recently discovered a Hamas warfare booklet, which clearly encourages the use human shields. Likewise, we have seen Hamas forcing their own people in Gaza to stay put when Israel has forewarned that an area would be hit.
The IDF goes out of its way to protect civilians, both Israeli and Palestinians. They often send out leaflets or text messages to cell phones to alert the civilian population ahead of time, before they hit an area. They even send non-explosive missiles onto an area to show the population where they will hit next. The IDF will actually cease firing if civilians are seen on rooftops or if they notice human shields. Not to mention the many Palestinian lives saved in Israeli hospitals in the midst of the obligations to their own citizens. In recent months Mahmoud Abbas had his wife treated in an Israeli hospital while rockets were raining down on Israeli soil.
Glorification of Terrorists vs. Punishment of Murderers
Hamas has glorified the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers and elevated other terrorists recently released from Israeli prisons to the status of “heroes“. In some cases they even name streets after them. Imagine walking the streets of Berlin today and finding yourself at the cross-street of Hitler Boulevard and Goebbels Avenue! Of course, Hamas has also vowed to kidnap more Israelis. The newly discovered tunnels during Operation Protective Edge formed a network far more intricate that the IDF had imagined. These tunnels were going to be used to infiltrate Israel to perform more kidnappings and place explosives.
This is the same Hamas that has recently “reconciled” with Fatah and by association receives funding from many western nations including the USA. They both understand the value of “one” life in Israel as they were recently able to trade over 1,000 terrorists for kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
The Israeli government does not play games when it comes to bringing the perpetrators of crimes to justice, as was witnessed in the case of the kidnapping and killing of a young Arab boy, Mohammad Abu Khdeir. The Jewish perpetrators were apprehended and brought to justice. Prime Minster Netanyahu stated in Ynet: “I wish to send my condolences to the family of the teen and promise them that we will find those behind this horrific crime and bring them to justice. There is no place for such murders in our society.” Israel also vowed to do everything they could to bring the murderers of the three Israeli teens to justice. Additionally, the mother of Naftali, one of the 3 Jewish boys kidnapped and murdered, sent her condolences to the mother of the Arab boy. Was it reciprocated? Of course not!
Dishonest vs. Unbiased Reporting of Events
Palestinian Media Watch and MEMRI, frequently report how Hamas continues to feed the world false reports, lies, and retouched photos in order to gain sympathy from the world; they do it well! They recently used the tremendous power of social networks to post bloody photos allegedly taken in the last few weeks in Gaza. The postings quickly garnered hundreds of thousands of reposts and re-tweets. As it turned out, most of them were old photos taken in Iraq and Syria, and had nothing to do with the current conflict between Arabs and Jews in Gaza.
Of course if that doesn’t work, you can try to accuse Israel of opening dams to flood the Palestinian territories. Blaming the weather would be more accurate since the dams in question don’t even exist. But hey, who checks for facts anymore? Additionally, Hamas will not allow foreign reporters and journalists to give a balanced and unbiased account of what is taking place in the Gaza strip. They report only what they wish to report, which includes inflated, inaccurate numbers of casualties along with trying to shift the blame on Israel for some of their own murderous acts on their own people.
On the other hand, Israel reports the facts and just the facts. Of course they use caution for security reasons, but they are very straightforward. If a false report creeps in occasionally, it will be denied and corrected rather quickly. Israel is far from being the crybaby of the Middle East. They have been at war since 1948 and as such, they are very used to taking care of business. The rest of the world has a greater appetite for distorted news stories than for the truth, so they are drawn to the “Palestinian victims” and are quick to discredit and demonize Israel. Fact-finding is no longer part of the equation. Instead, they are attracted by some sort of self-gratification achieved by demonizing the perpetual “scapegoat.” As much as we hope to blame this approach on stupidity or even ignorance, it makes much more sense to attribute it to antisemitism.
Alongside the Gaza War tragedy, we have witnessed a global resurgence of antisemitism, the epicenter of which is located in Western Europe, particularly in France. As long as the civilized world continues to side with bloodthirsty terrorists, whose ideology is founded upon the worship of death, the West will not prevail. It’s that simple! The lack of moral equivalence between radical Islam and the rest of the world is the number one reason why this war is so difficult to fight, let alone win. The enemies will never adjust their ideology. On the contrary, it will only get worse as we can see with the recent push from IS (formerly ISIS) in Iraq and Syria.
As our enemies are ideologically and theologically incapable of toning it down, the rest of us could be forced to flex to their way. Of course that is without counting on the intervention of Yeshua the Messiah, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6-7). We have come to a critical time in the history of mankind in general and the Jewish people in particular. In Europe some speak of 21st century pogroms or even a second Kristallnacht. So, today more than ever, prayer is of the essence, both for Israel’s safety and her enemies’ repentance (Psalm 83).