By Gerald McDermott –
By now you will have heard of slaughtered Israeli babies, seen the graphic video of a kidnapped Jewish teenager being pulled by her hair with what appears to be blood between her legs, read of the 85-year-old grandmother taken to the Gaza strip without her medicines to die alone and in great pain.
By now you will know that Hamas terrorists have shot children, raped women, snatched infants from their families. By now you may have heard the account of one survivor of the massacre at the music festival: “The guy who was with me didn’t stop crying and begging for his life. … And then he didn’t scream anymore. They murdered him in front of my eyes.”
At this writing, Hamas has killed more than 1,400 Israelis, injured 3,000, and is holding around 200 hostage. This attack has been called Israel’s 9/11. It could equally be called its Dunkirk, the beginning of a war for survival whose outcome is uncertain.
For Christians watching these horrors from afar, it is imperative to condemn the evil perpetrated by Hamas—and to recognize that it must be resisted.
A Palestinian Christian’s view of this week’s tragedy in Israel—and how to address the roots of the problem.
By Tamir Khouri –
This should go without saying, but some American Christians refuse to denounce Hamas for its barbaric atrocities. A statement from the Episcopal Church in the United States, for example, mentions “a time of violence” but fails to say that Hamas was its instigator, suggests that “occupation” is the underlying cause, and charges that Israel’s response is “disproportionate.” The United Methodist Church similarly refers merely to an “escalation of violence” and urges “both sides not to resort to further violence.”
No further violence? Would we say the same if a terrorist group killed a proportionate number of Americans? (Scaled to our population, that’d be about 40,000 dead.) As The Wall Street Journal’s Elliot Kaufman contends, equivocation about the evil of Hamas is arguably a call for Israel to surrender instead of fighting back, because then Israel’s enemies will return to resume their massacres.
That’s not the only part of such equivocations which deserves scrutiny. Is “occupation” the cause of Hamas’s savagery? It cannot be, for Israel stopped occupying Gaza in 2005, and Hamas has run that city-state since 2007.
But more importantly, speaking of “occupation” suggests to many that Hamas wants to share the land with Jews. Yet Hamas declares openly that it wants to drive every last Jew into the sea—this is the meaning of the popular slogan—and kill all who try to remain.