Sunday, December 28, 2008

Israel in Gaza

The nearly year-long "truce" is over between Israel and the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip. That truce was maintained in spite of over 2,000 rocket and mortar attacks upon Israel by Hamas throughout its tennuous existence. Now that the truce is over, Israel is fed up with the attacks.

After the Israeli Prime minister, Ehud Olmert, issued a warning on Thursday to the Palestinian people to reject Hamas rule and to stop Hamas attacks upon Israel, the rocket attacks continued. Then, in a small-scale air attack on Saturday, Israel dropped over 100 tons of bombs on Hamas military and security targets, and on tunnel networks which have brought in contraband from Egypt. Israel has also sent surface to surface rockets and missiles into Gaza. Israel has also called up 6,500 troops as well as armored units, moving them to the Gaza border for possible ground attacks. Their mission is clear, end Hamas' ability to attack Israel.

While I wish that violence was not necessary, I also understand and even commend Israel's response. In fact, they have shown more restraint than I would. My solution would be to force the Palestinians to decide which side they want, a peaceful coexistence with Israel and the support of the Israeli state, or death. Those who are willing to side with Israel are fingerprinted, dossiered, and relocated. Then I would send the army and air force in and utterly destroy the rest. This method, while bloody, is the more short and long-term cost-effective solution. Those Palestinians joining the Israeli state would then be given a probation period before becoming full citizens. Once citizens, they would be treated like the rest of the Israeli society. Israel must show its neighbors that it will no longer tolerate any aggression toward its existence and must respond in such a way that it would be in the best interest of all its antagonistic neighbors to leave it alone.

The one way to prevent further death and destruction in Palestine is for the Palestinian people to turn on Hamas and to destroy it themselves. Barring that, full-scale war will claim the lives of hundreds if not thousands more. Israel should protect its people and no peace option that requires land or the tying of its hands, defensively, should be accepted. If we would not expect the U.S. to agree to similar truce-terms, neither should we expect acceptance from our ally. If the U.S. is serious about its support for Israel, now is the time to show it.

Now for the other side of the coin. Christians should pray for Palestine. There are many Palestinian Christians residing in Gaza who are rejected and bullied by their own people and will be caught in the cross-fire. Please pray first for their safety, aid, and continued existence. Pray that they will experience God's peace during the fighting. Please also pray that the Palestinian people would rid themselves of the hate-mongering Hamas and find a way to co-exist peacefully with Israel. Pray that Israel will not treat its Palestinian Arab population as second-class citizens. Lastly, please pray that real peace may be had in the Middle East, and that the Muslim countries around Israel will find satisfaction without shedding the blood of the Israelis (or Americans). The peace found in Jesus the Christ is the only peace that can endure.

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