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Just Another Excuse to Hate
Israel - Middle East
Friday, July 25, 2014
Alf Cengia

The current conflagration between Hamas and Israel has provided the world with more ammunition to demonize the latter. The reasons behind the events which led up to this conflict have amounted to nothing. Emotions consistently overrule sound reasoning in the case of Israel's critics.

The longer this war lasts the less the facts will matter. They didn't to begin with. The not-so-new meme is that Big Israel is bullying Tiny Hamas and killing innocent Palestinians.

These reactions are driven by prejudice and irrational hate for the Jewish nation. They are insidious and pervasive sentiments which have run through the decaying threads of this tired Old World's history, reaching back to the days of Jacob.

In the early stages of the conflict there were some notable media exceptions to the norm of just blaming Israel. There were even cries of foul play when Hamas was exposed for deliberately putting its citizens in danger. Videos had even surfaced exposing their admission of deliberately inviting Palestinian carnage.

But it's hard for reason to swim against the strong tide of anti-Israel prejudice. And it's a long river to navigate in. Reason has therefore (predictably) succumbed to the cold feet syndrome. Palestinians are dying and it's Israel's fault.

The White House stated that it would like Israel:

"...to take even greater steps to ensure the protection of civilians." Not surprisingly, it didn't elaborate as to how that could be achieved given the circumstances.

The accommodating media jumped on a news report of a Palestinian child tragically "killed by an Israeli airstrike." A picture was duly posted of the Egyptian President kissing the dead boy's forehead. Yet as it turns out the boy was killed by a misfired Hamas rocket. In fact most of those killed had been militants and some by friendly fire.

Thankfully, some media haven't obliged the haters. The Weekly Standard noted of the New York Times:

 ".... the Times is silently but happily complying with a Hamas demand that the only pictures from Gaza are of civilians and never of fighters. The most influential news organization in the world is thus manufacturing an utterly false portrait of the battle—precisely the portrait that Hamas finds most helpful: embattled, victimized Gaza civilians under attack by a cruel Israeli military."

Hamas has issued its own guidelines for activism. According to MEMRI:

'Hamas particularly seeks to cement the perceptions that its actions are a response to Israeli aggression and that all Gaza casualties are "innocent civilians," and to ensure that there is no evidence of rockets being fired from Gaza population centers.'

But, sadly, some Christians have sharpened their long knives and sticky label machines. There's a popular graphic of Batman's Joker with a provocative caption doing the Facebook rounds. It appeared on a "Reformed Group" and observes that dispensationalists wouldn't bat an eye when criticizing Palestinians. Yet, "criticize Israel's killing innocent Palestinians and dispensationalists lose their minds."

These either/or accusations are nothing less than theological bias and nascent anti-Semitism.

One Facebook comment asserted that, "Israel has no right to launch a ground invasion."  In fact the ground invasion was necessary because of Hamas's burgeoning network of tunnels. Not only are weapons stockpiled in them, but Hamas planned to use them to sneak into Israel to acquire hostages. Note that these weapons aren't utilized to defend Gaza; they are tools for offensive warfare.

It is contemptible to charge Israel of deliberately killing Palestinians given incontrovertible data to the contrary. Their silence in the face of Hamas' use of children as human shields is disgraceful. These people are either not doing due diligence or are outright rejecting the incontrovertible data. It is likewise morally indefensible for fellow Christians to accuse dispensationalists of not caring about Palestinians.

Israel has always existed in a no-win situation. The toothless tiger that is the United Nations demands that it tolerates unrelenting missile attacks from Gaza; yet it condemns retaliation. Any defense is inevitably classified as disproportionate. Moreover, whenever Israel finally defends itself, there's an immediate flare-up of the pre-existing hatred for Jews. This is what we're witnessing now.

There have been violent anti-Jewish and anti-Israel protests around the world. The Simon Wiesenthal Center documented one in France and one in Germany. But, as Olivier Melnick notes, there have been many others.

In contrast to that, I attended a local (circa 2,500 strong) Israel rally. It was peaceful and the speakers were sympathetic towards Palestinian civilians caught in the conflict. Despite this, the rally attracted hate comments from people who didn't even attend - some of them from Christians!

I detected a resolve in the tone of the Rally Speakers and the response from the audience. Something has changed these ordinary Jewish people. They want to defend Israel any way they can. The subject of aliyah was prominent.

In fact anti-Semitism in France is driving many Jews to aliyah. Liam Hoare cites Gérard Cohen:

“My father is Israel and my mother is France. I’m not happy when I hear people who do not appreciate all the good things the French Republic and all of the French people have given us...the situation has changed. It’s time for me to go where I belong; it’s time to go home. My land, my home, is Israel.” (Emphases mine)

Olivier Melnick is correct that this global protest has nothing to do with the Gaza War and everything to do with anti-Semitism. This war is just another excuse to exercise hatred of the Jews and Zionism. He correctly identifies God as the First Zionist (Zechariah 12, Jeremiah 31:35-37) and that he is on God's side.

That is a very wise choice.

God has dealt with Israel's sins in the past and has used nations to bring it to repentance. Yet, even after using Assyria as the rod of His anger against Israel, God still held it accountable for doing so (Isaiah 10:5-6). See also Habakkuk 1 & 2; Zechariah 12:1-3, 9.

It might be wise to heed these warnings.

I have no idea how far this conflict will go. I sense that something has changed. If this war continues, it may (if only temporarily) amalgamate the warring Islamist factions against Israel (ISIL etc). Furthermore, it will likely draw Hezbollah, Iran, Syria and Russia into the equation.

All this could happen very quickly - even while a certain notable gentleman is busy fundraising for his party.

About Alf Cengia

Last week: On Spurning God's Word

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