The Roots of War

Having visited Israel 44 times and four Arab countries. I have friends there about whom I am concerned. Last Saturday I talked with two of them. One is a delightful lady who lives in Jerusalem. Jokingly she said there is a lot of talk about the Iron Dome Israel has. However, persons living in Jerusalem have a better dome of protection, the Dome of the Rock. No terrorist would dare to fire a rocket near it.

The other friend is a Christian Palestinian from Beit Jala, a tiny village near Bethlehem. I have a number of friends in Israel of both extractions and love them all.

Both I talked with expressed concern for all innocent people on both sides and requested prayer.

Within the borders of Israel lives a complex citizenry. Consider just two classifications: Jews and Arabs. A Racial Jew can be a religious Jew or a racial Jew who is a Christian. An Arab can be a Palestinian who is a religious Muslim or Christian. That is an oversimplification of life in Israel.

What Israel is doing is an effort to prevent it happening to themselves. It is stated in the Hamas Covenant: “Israel exists and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it.”

Article eight of the Covenant serves as a slogan for Hamas, “Jihad is its path.” Further resolve is contained in the Covenant: “Initiatives, proposals, international conferences, are all a waste of time, and vain effort.”

“Obliterate” is the operative word. Consider this historical root of the war.

During the 1967 Arab–Israeli Six Day War Israel conquered territory occupied by the Arabs. Our former General Patton got it right when he said, “War is Hell.” In this war, as with all, neither side is perfectly innocent, only one side is right. Part of what Israel did was indeed bad. We first visited Israel shortly after the war and had people tell us of some of the things Israel did in the war. They followed by saying often before the outbreak they heard Arabs talking on the street about what they were going to do to the Jews when they defeated them. In light of that they conceded things would have been much worse if the Arabs had won.

Displaced Palestinians fled territory conquered by the Jews and went into Jordan, taking much of their war machinery with them. An intolerable conflict between them and the Jordanians broke out with Jordan driving them out into South Lebanon where they developed into Hezbollah. Today’s Hezbollah fighters are embittered children and grandchildren of persons displaced by the Six Day War. They have never conceded that to the victor goes the spoils.

With Hezbollah now poised in Lebanon on the border with Israel there is a need for prayer. Little known is the fact many Hezbollah fighters fought against American forces in Afghanistan. They are battle hardened. When America pulled out of Afghanistan they went home taking unimaginable amounts of American war equipment with them into Lebanon. This has greatly strengthened Hezbollah.

Here in our community, America, all of the racial complexities noted above exist. Americans in general have long been pro-Israel. Those anti-Semites opposing such a view need to understand and accept the fact. In America we need to love one another and pray especially for the innocent Palestinians. “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me” Psalm 50: 15. Glorify Him.