War Is Hell

Writing about the following is difficult in that things are changing rapidly.

The conflict between Hamas and Israel in Gaza began over 2000 years ago in a Bedouin’s tent in the desert when Abraham had one son too many. Those sons Ishmael and Isaac, are the progenitors of the two groups now at war.

War has been best described by one who knew how to rage it, General George Patton, who said, “War is hell.” Can I get an amen?

Get ready for a deep peep into hell, d/b/a Gaza.

There is a statement that has been attributed to a number of Israelis, most recently Benjamin Netanyahu: “If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more  violence. If the Jews put  down their weapons  today, there would be no more Israel”. Based on the record that appears to be true.

With only one provocative reason Hamas, a terrorist group in the Gaza Strip, attacked Israel by breaching 15 holes in the defensive fence separating the two and sending more than 1,000 terrorist fighters into Israel to pillage, murder, and take hostage citizens from a number of countries. Oh, the one provocation. It is the mere existence of Israel. That is it, nothing else.

The Gaza Strip is a 140-square-mile stretch of land located along the Mediterranean coast between Egypt and Israel. It has endured decades of protest, military operations and violence. It is one of the most densely populated places on earth with over 2,000,000 people. Many are innocent Palestinians who are pawns of Hamas, a terrorist organization led by Ismail Haniyeh, the leader behind Hamas’s deadliest ever attack on Israel. He watched it unfold on television with delight from the safety of Qatar. Footage shows him and colleagues rolled on the floor praising God. Praising God, for what.

Israel has urged citizens in Gaza City to get out and go into the country. Israel got no such warning before untold scores of their people along with guests in Israel from many countries were attacked. Many people from Gaza have heeded the warning and gone to NATO schools and the open country.

I have been in touch with friends in Jerusalem who tell me the holy sites are safe, but the citizens are not. Understandably the people feel vulnerable and they are. The known history of Gaza spans 4,000 years. Gaza was ruled, destroyed and repopulated by various dynasties, empires, and peoples. In the early 16th century, it was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire. During World War I, it fell to the British forces and became part of the British Mandate of Palestine. Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Egypt has administered the newly formed Gaza Strip. Originally a Canaanite settlement, it came under the control of the ancient Egyptians for roughly 350 years. No one has ever been able to successfully govern the people. Israel conquered it during the Six Day War and gave it back after the war rather than investing resources trying to govern it. It was hoped it would be the Singapore of the Mediterranean.

All of my contacts in Israel ask for prayers. Please respond positively with their entreaty.