After my post last week, I received a lot of response from folks who condemned Israel for defending herself against Hamas. One of the statements I heard was that they should “exhaust all options” in their negotiations. I heard that Israel was participating in terrorism. I heard the statement “disproportionate force”. These statements, much like my own, are made from the safety provided by the United States and the comfort of a home that is far from the violence that is boiling over in the Middle East.
3 years ago, Hamas won Palestinian legislative election. (It’s no wonder Jesus called us to preach the gospel and not democracy). 18 months later they violently took over Gaza in a military coup. For the past 3 years they have “recognized” that Mahmoud Abbas is the Palestinian Authority President, even though he is from the rival Fatah party. Their recognition went no further than a public statement and Abbas had no authority, thus the reason Israel has been forced to negotiate with Egyptian intermediaries on behalf of Hamas and not Abbas.
Have I lost you yet? Please stay with me.
Abbas has been courted by the Bush administration and recently got to go on a field trip to the United States, as a guest of the Bush Administration. He has been viewed as the only hope of a negotiated peace treaty, even though it was admittedly a long shot. His term is up January 09, but his Fatah Party believes they have grounds to extend his tenure for another year.
Hamas has stated unequivocally that they will not recognize him after January 9, 09. It would formalize the separation that already exists between the two Palestinian entities into a full blown divorce. Abbas threatened to institute a new election, but it’s at best an empty threat. Hamas controls Gaza. They are not relinquishing. There are plenty of moderate Arab countries that want Hamas gone, and to have Fatah in control. There are just as many extremist nations that want Hamas in control.
And so I would pose the question of whom does Israel negotiate with? Abbas has no power over Hamas. This week Hamas has summarily executed 35 in Gaza who are Fatah activists. There were 75 more that were shot in the legs, and an unknown number who got away with simply getting their hands broken. Keep in mind these were Palestinians. They were their own people. A spokesman for Hamas called it a “preemptive” campaign aimed at thwarting Fatah’s attempts to “spread anarchy and chaos.” (read: assume control if Hamas is removed from leadership)
Israel for their part has not stated regime change as a goal. According to Israeli Spokesman Mark Regev in a CNN interview: “We want to create a situation where the civilian population in southern Israel is no longer on the receiving end of those deadly Hamas rockets. We haven’t articulated regime change as the goal of this operation. Our goal is to protect our people,”
The rockets he speaks of are the thousands of bombs that have been fired blindly into southern Israel in the past few years. It is only because of a lack of technology that they haven’t been able to hit more targets and kill more civilians. If they had the technology they most certainly would have implemented it.
So with whom does Israel negotiate with to stop these terrorist attacks?
How about Nizzar Rayyan who was one of the top Hamas leaders who also taught in Palestinian universities? I’ve posted an excerpt from an article onThe Atlantic by Jefrrey Goldberg. http://jeffreygoldberg.theatlantic.com/
In particular, Rayyan was interested in the hadith, the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, with a special interest in hadith that painted Jews in a negative light. … This is what he said when I asked him if he could envision a 50-year hudna (or cease-fire) with Israel: ‘The only reason to have a hudna is to prepare yourself for the final battle. We don’t need 50 years to prepare ourselves for the final battle with Israel.’ There is no chance, he said, that true Islam would ever allow a Jewish state to survive in the Muslim Middle East. ‘Israel is an impossibility. It is an offense against God.'”
And make no mistake: Rayyan was a man who didn’t just preach hatred against Israel, he practiced it, and nothing was dearer to him than a dead Israeli: In 2001, he sent one of his sons to carry out a suicide attack in Gush Katif’s Elei Sinai settlement
Israel wouldn’t be able to negotiate with Rayyan anyway because he was killed this week by a guided missile from an Israeli plane. After having an advance warning that his compound, which housed a stock pile of Hamas weapons, would be bombed he refused to evacuate himself nor his 4 wives and 10 children. All were killed.
In a negotiation the two sides come together. Israel’s stated goal is to live in peace, Hamas’ stated goal is to destroy Israel. Where I’m from, that’s called a deal breaker.
There has been an outcry of “disproportionate force” in reference to Israel. The UN, France, countless Arab nations have all used this term along with words like massacre and accusations of terrorism towards Israel. To quote Goldberg “Those who accuse Israel of using “disproportionate force” against Hamas would do well to acknowledge this instead of lending indirect support to people like Rayyan by pretending that somehow – if Israel only tried hard enough and was willing to make enough concessions – such people could be cajoled into “moderation” and peaceful coexistence.”
I’ve made my Biblical case for praying for Jerusalem and her people. I continue to stand by Romans 11 and Paul’s statement that God is not through with the Jewish people. I believe that Gods statement to Abraham that He will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you was not some arbitrary or capricious statement that He has since changed His mind about.
It’s probably not a coincidence that we enter Exodus 7 this week in our travel through the Word. It had been my plan for some time to show you the comparisons between the plagues that were in Egypt and the plagues that are described in Revelation. As our world continues on it’s journey towards what Jesus taught us about in Matthew 24 and 25, it seems to be a perfect time to talk about this.
Also, I’ll have final numbers for 08 as far as money that has come in. I don’t have the final number from our book keeper Pam Ozment, but I’m fairly confident that over $60,000 has gone through the Conduit since our inception 15 months ago. We are sitting with $8400 in the building fund for the Restoration Ministries house in Jacmel Haiti. That house can be a reality this year.
Also, I’ll be sending you information in the coming days and weeks for the Benefit we’re doing January 31 at Rocketown.
See you tomorrow night at 7:30pm. Journey Church in Building 8 at The Factory.
Meanwhile, let the Word be a light to our path: Psalm 122 6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure. 7 May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.”