Like many of you, I have been watching the horror unfold in the Middle East this past week and even though that whole region has been a tinder box for more years than I have been here, we have all been shocked at the magnitude of what was unleashed on Israel last week by Hamas. Now our shock and horror will continue as Israel responds with a force that may be understandable but devastating. I fear we haven’t seen the worst of this conflict yet by any stretch of the imagination.
I have also been watching the fanfare on television and wading through the tsunami of opinions and positions taken by pop stars, social media influencers, politicians, Church leaders, late-night talk show hosts and social media keyboard warriors – many of whom feel compelled to begin their Israel sympathy speech with a statement about how ‘complex’ the ongoing conflict is between Israel and Palestine.
This rhetoric has been around my whole life and I have always wondered why people keep suggesting the Palestinian-Jewish problem is complex. I would be the first to say that the Middle East problem is incredibly difficult to solve and prominent world leaders over many decades have tried to broker peace deals – to no avail – but it was not the complexity of the situation which prevented their success. The Middle East situation is not complex and it never was. Such a lie and the moral ambiguity it encourages is literally what led to the unspeakable horrors perpetrated on the Israeli people this past week.
Since the founding of the current State of Israel, the leaders of the Palestinian people have been widely known and well documented to be unabashedly anti-Semitic, genocidal, radical-Islamic, Nazi-partnering, history-distorting, brutally violent, misogynistic, money hoarding, utterly deceitful and corrupt terrorists. I am talking about the leaders – not all Palestinian people.
Worse still, these leaders deliberately kept their own people impoverished and in desperation for decades, by denying them every opportunity to heal, rebuild and thrive – all with the clear intention to radicalize them for their own corrupt cause. They indoctrinated them with lies and hate from the youngest age so that the people themselves would vote their ISIS-level repressors (Hamas) into formal government. To the point of total moral corruption, when the seemingly average Palestinian on the street joyfully celebrates when they hear that Jewish men, women and children have been raped, butchered and massacred.
The current Palestinian leadership is by far the most radical and the most dangerous in our history. The current leaders of Palestine have clearly stated their intent from the beginning. The Hamas charter states explicitly that their ultimate goal is to slaughter the Jews and wipe Israel off the map. When people tell you who they are, you should believe them.
You can read a translation of the original 1988 Hamas charter HERE. This charter was revised and updated in 2017. In the revised version Hamas try to appease the rest of the world by stating that they are not against Jews personally, just their Zionist agenda. This reads well, but the events of the past week and the actions of Hamas over recent years clearly paints a very different picture. To deliberately target civilians, women and children in such a despicable way negates any appeasement in their revised Charter.
So, what is all this ‘complexity’ of which our modern digital gurus speak? It could be argued that the only complexity about the Middle East has been why the world has been completely unable to see it for what it really is – until this week. Though astonishingly, even now, with babies being decapitated, women being raped and taken hostage and literally a thousand decimated bodies strewn on the ground across Israel – some people still can’t get down from their politically correct soapbox, acknowledge the truth and make an unequivocal moral distinction and judgement about the unbridled evil which has been unleashed in this troubled region.
There has never been anything complex about the situation in the Middle East except the world’s inability to acknowledge what is really happening. What is unfolding before our eyes right now is not complex, but it is incredibly tragic and very, very dangerous. Worse still, when we lack the moral clarity and courage to recognize pure evil, we will remain complicit in its propagation and all the destruction it wreaks.
Are there innocent victims on both sides of this war? Of course there are! We should not let the horror of what was unleashed on Israel this last week sanitize or diminish the suffering of the Palestinians now and in the days to come. The whole situation is devastating and thousands of people who have no say in what is happening or is about to happen, will become the victims of yet another dreadful war. So as Christians we should be praying for everyone in this region at this terrible time.
However, it is really important that we never forget the words of US Senator Hiram Johnson way back in 1918 when he said, “The first casualty when war comes is truth.” It is true that there is hatred on both sides of this war. There is no doubt that there are many Jews who despise their enemies and that feeling will have reached a crescendo this past week for obvious reasons. However, nowhere in the Jewish religion or ideology will you find a foundational commitment to slaughter all non-Jews and wipe an entire nation off the planet. The same cannot be said for Hamas and Islam.
That is the reality the world is seeing unfold on our TV screens right now. Hamas is completely committed to the destruction of Israel and the death of every Jewish person on the planet and they have proven that there are no ‘rules of war’ which apply when unbridled hatred is your motivation.
The reason people have wrongly labelled the Middle East tensions as ‘complex’ is because this has not been resolved for decades. The reason for that is not complex at all – it is confronting in its simplicity. The Middle East tension is not resolved simply because Israel still exists and Jews still breathe the same air as Palestinians and radical Islamists.
When you read and really understand the Hamas charter and the foundational truths of Islam, you come to the dreadful conclusion that the complete annihilation of Israel and the Jewish people is the only ‘solution’ for Hamas and the complete destruction of the terrorist group known as ‘Hamas’ is the only ‘solution’ for Israel. There can be no ‘peace deals’ negotiated.
Of course the rest of the world will not allow Hamas to succeed in their goal and if Israel do succeed in wiping out Hamas, then a new group will emerge soon enough with the same commitment because this radical Islamic ideology exists right across the world – Hamas is only one expression of this commitment to destroy ‘the infidel’ and I can assure you that Israel has been on the top of that target list for a very long time.
This is the part when I am supposed to end on a positive note and tell you how this too shall pass and everything will be better soon. I really wish I could do that, but I can’t. I wish God would just step in, wave His mighty hand and fix this – but His commitment to our freedom of choice does not waver when we mess up and get ourselves into a terrible mess. (Of course, that doesn’t stop me still asking Him every day to intervene and bring this to an end!)
What God can and will do is comfort and help those who are caught up in this despicable war and that is where our prayers need to be directed as our hearts go out to all those people whose lives have changed forever this week.