This morning, at 7 AM Israel time, a truce between Israel and Hamas took effect. Israel entered into negotiations in hopes of securing the release of approximately 240 Israelis being held captive in Gaza since October 7th.
Here’s what’s been made public about the terms of this tentative four-day pause in the fight to eradicate Hamas. Israel has agreed to release up to 300 prisoners—150 in the first stage of the ceasefire—held in Israeli prisons for crimes less than murder. Most of the prisoners are from East Jerusalem, and many of them are under the age of 18, or women. Hamas has said the IDF agreed to suspend aerial activity over Northern Gaza during certain times of the day, and halt flights over southern Gaza altogether for the next four days. In addition, Israel will allow larger amounts of fuel to cross from Egypt into Gaza. In return, Hamas has agreed to release 50 of the hostages—around 30 children and 20 mothers and other women.
Ahead of an Israeli Knesset Cabinet vote to approve the deal, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that the war would continue after the ceasefire. “We are at war, and we will continue the war,” he said. “We will continue until we achieve all our goals.” Israel has stated that its goals in this war are to eliminate Hamas and bring back all the hostages.
Former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, who sits in Israel’s War Cabinet, said the hostage deal is “difficult” and “painful” but he believes “it is also right.” Israel’s full 38-member government Cabinet voted 35-3 to approve the four-day ceasefire. The three cabinet members opposed to the deal are from the right-wing Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party. Party leaders were vocal in their opposition to any deal that does not include the return of all the hostages. “We don’t have the right to agree to separating them and have only some of them return,” party leader Itamar Ben Gvir said. “And we definitely cannot accept an outline that sees the release of female and underage terrorists when we don’t get everyone back.”
Concerns revolve around the fact that these negotiations are taking place with a terrorist organization that has no value for human life. Hamas will doubtlessly use this time of quiet to rearm and reorganize, which greatly increases the potential of a prolonged war and greater loss of life.
Officials in another right-wing party, the Religious Zionist Party, previously opposed the deal, but came to support it after discussions with defense officials. “It is no secret that before the cabinet discussion, we thought otherwise…” wrote party head Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich in a statement, noting that conversations with IDF officials convinced them that Israel would continue its mission to destroy Hamas in Gaza.
Smotrich cited unspecified “clear mechanisms” within the deal to prevent “future… surrender to [Hamas leader Yahya] Sinwar’s manipulation.” He also thanked the IDF for the pressure they put on the terrorist group that created the conditions for the hostage deal, pledging continued government support for the military’s efforts.
It’s no surprise that Hamas leaders would be desperate for some respite after the relentless targeted campaign Israel has waged on their commanders, outposts, weapons arsenals, and other infrastructure. However, Hamas also has a horrible record of violating ceasefires, often using them as opportunities to stage surprise attacks on Israel.
Already, minutes after the ceasefire went into effect, sirens sounded in southern Israel, indicating Hamas was possibly in violation of the ceasefire. Soon after though, trucks with aid began to enter Gaza through the Rafah crossing with Egypt. Now, Israelis are holding their breaths in anticipation, as Hamas has agreed to release the first 12 or 13 hostages, starting at 4PM Israel time on Friday.
The following is an excerpt from a Facebook conversation I had recently. It has been edited slightly for clarity and heavily for grammar (but you’ll probably still find some typos).
In fact, about 15 years ago if you had asked my opinion on the Israel/Palestine matter I would have likely sided with the Palestinians. Why? Because they have excellent propaganda. However, since that time I have traveled to Israel over ten times and have educated myself on this very small piece of land that the world is obsessed with. I’ve looked with my own eyes at the situation and drawn my own conclusions. I’ve witnessed events here, and then watched the news story the following day. Just like they did with COVID, the media is lying to you. I find it interesting that you accuse me of believing the media at face value, yet you are obviously the one following CBC, CNN and the lot with regards to Israel. Let’s just take a step back and look at a few facts. Who does the media support, Israel or the Palestinians? It’s certainly not Israel.
The media is always quick to point out when Israel attacks Gaza, yet they fail to mention the Hamas rockets fired into Israel just days before that forced the Jewish nation to defend themselves. They frame Israel as the aggressor, when they are only acting in self defense. Am I saying that Israel is blameless and perfect? No, not at all. They have made plenty of mistakes and they will continue to make more, simply because they are humans. However their intent is protecting their homeland and their citizens in the most humane way possible – in fact it’s to a fault. If Hamas had attacked any other country the way they attacked Israel, Hamas would have been wiped off the map years ago, just like ISIS was, and just like the Nazi’s were.
Here’s another interesting fact that you won’t see on the news. Israel has a security fence. They have bomb shelters. They have billion dollar defense projects like the Iron Dome and David’s Sling. What do the Palestinians have? Nothing. They have no defensive strategy. The reasons why are simple, Jews are not attacking them. I am aware that there are exceptions to this statement, but they are just that, exceptions outside the norm. Again, these are things I’ve seen personally and experienced.
Actually, let’s take a moment to look at these Jewish offenses since Biden has specifically condemned them recently, even going so far as to claim that they have increased in Judea and Samaria (West Bank). From Oct 7, 2023 – Nov 7,2023 there were 173 incidences of illegal activity attributed to Jews in Judea and Samaria. Compared to that same time period 1 year ago, there were 360 offenses. That’s roughly half. Keep in mind that these stats include agricultural vandalism, which while certainly not something to condone, really shouldn’t be something that the president of the United States need to be concerned about. So of the 173 offenses, 97 were agricultural vandalism and of the 360 offenses, 184 were agricultural vandalism leaving us with 76 and 176 respectively.
So if we remove agricultural vandalism from the tally (since it’s not considered a violent crime), it puts us at 76 incidents. Population statistics are notoriously difficult to calculate in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) but in 2017 it was estimated to be around 2.9 million people. Of that, about half a million are Jews. So we are looking at 76 violent incidents from a population of 500,000. That’s 15 incidents per every 100,000 Jews. I’ll leave it to you to look up the stats for some other countries but let’s just say the USA shouldn’t be pointing any fingers.
Now of course, Israel is currently attacking Gaza, but again, this is a defensive operation in response to the Oct 7 attacks. However, before most air strikes the IAF (Israeli Air Force) will actually drop leaflets warning the civilians to flee the area because they are going to bomb it. That’s a terrible offensive strategy, but again, Israel is trying to avoid civilian casualties – to a fault. In fact, Israel told the people of Gaza to move to the southern part of the strip out of harm’s way before they entered Gaza. Hamas actually blocked the people from listening to Israel and forced many of them to stay in the northern part.
Going back to the bomb shelters, where are they in Gaza? They aren’t. Why not? Because Hamas steals the humanitarian aid and instead builds terror tunnels. Hamas cares nothing for the people of Gaza. The only value they have to Hamas is as human shields and as propaganda footage on the news when Israel is forced to kill them. They are pawns in a horrible game that Hamas is playing. Their lives were significantly better before Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and hopefully they will be able to build a better future for themselves when Hamas is gone.
On the topic of civilian casualties, let’s consider a few things. First, I am opposed to all civilian deaths. However oftentimes in war they are unavoidable, especially when a terrorist entity is breaking international law and embedding themselves in a civilian population – like Hamas is. That said, the civilians that are being killed in Gaza are being killed primarily as a result of targeted bombing. Not that they are the target, but Hamas has built its rocket launching sites, its command centers, and its weapon stores inside schools, inside hospitals, inside mosques and apartment complexes. These are the targets that Israel is bombing, not the civilians. When we look at the Israeli civilian casualties, there is a stark contrast. It is babies burnt alive in ovens, pregnant mother’s stomachs cut open, elderly persons beaten and decapitated. This is not the same. These are not accidental civilian deaths, they were intentionally targeted as civilians and they CAN NOT be put in the same category as the civilian deaths in Gaza.
Anyways, all that to say, come to Israel and experience the situation first hand. It may take a while, but if you are truly open to the facts you will soon understand why I stand with Israel.
The photos of four cowboys traveling through JFK airport to Israel have gone absolutely viral, trending on social media with millions of views spread across the internet. If you’re affiliated with anything related to Israel, you’ve probably seen their photos multiple times everyday on multiple social and traditional media platforms.
So… Why Are These Cowboys in Israel?
To help, of course! What else are cowboys known for? While rumors are floating around that they’re here to go and help on the southern border and in Gaza, they’re actually here to help in Judea and Samaria, the Biblical Heartland, with Operation Ittai.
John, Zeke, Yoss, and Luke, from Montana and Arkansas, came to Israel DURING war time for one purpose: to strengthen and support the Jewish people during this awful war. While many people have spent the last few weeks looking for flights to leave Israel, these four cowboys from the United States were finding their flights to travel to Israel.
When they were first spotted in JFK airport, and then again in Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, their cowboy hats and belt buckles took the mostly Jewish travelers by surprise. Several random photos were taken, posted to social media, and a viral sensation erupted.
Since arriving, the four young cowboys have been inundated with interview requests, photographers and invitations to Shabbat gatherings, and tours all over Israel. Whilst taking these invitations as an opportunity to encourage and strengthen the people of Israel, they are also focusing on their original mission for coming to Israel: Operation Ittai.
What is Operation Ittai?
Operation Ittai’s mission is to equip and defend the 200 communities in Judea and Samaria, airlifting critical and essential supplies and equipment that they have been forced to do without since most of Israel’s military has been called to the war fronts. These supplies are basic and essential needs and none of the products are purchased unnecessarily or in excess. The primary supplies we’re helping these farms and communities obtain are flashlights, helmets, bulletproof vests, drones, and other necessary needs for these under-equipped communities.
You might be wondering why there is a need for supplies in Judea and Samaria. The war is mainly on the northern and southern borders, right? Not entirely. Hostile Arabs surround every Jewish community in Judea and Samaria and many have direct affiliations with Hamas. Since October 7th, 2023, Israeli security forces have already arrested more than 700 Hamas operatives in the so-called ‘West Bank”. Even more concerning, the Jewish and Arab communities in Judea and Samaria don’t have as defined and respected borders as the fence surrounding the Gaza Strip and between Israel and Lebanon. This means the war truly affects every single person in Israel, not just in an emotional sense, but also in a security sense.
We named this project Operation Ittai because of the story in 2nd Samuel 15. In this passage, we read about the period of time when David and Israel were attacked by Absalom. Ittai was from Gath, which is close to modern day Gaza, and he chose to stand with King David and all of Israel no matter what the life or death consequences may have been. Ittai was a normal man from the nations, as many of us are, but when Israel faced a time of crisis and need, he chose to not turn a blind eye and flee, but to align himself with Israel and fight for them. Today we have an opportunity to be an Ittai in our generation.
How Can We Be Like the “Viral” Cowboys from America?
While not every person can come into Israel clad in their boots, buckles, and ten gallon hats, every person can share the workload with the cowboys by participating in Operation Ittai by spreading the word of the reality of the situation here in Judea and Samaria, sharing about this project, and by donating to this cause. By the time you’ve accomplished all that, you may have just earned your own pair of boots and a cowboy hat. Now to just get that accent down….
“Two-State Solution” is a phrase that’s buzzing in your book club, church circle, workplace, and in nearly every news’ headline right now. If you consider it at the surface level, it sounds like a fair option that will help end the war in Israel and save lives, right? Unfortunately, the reality is far different.
What Would the Borders of Israel and a Palestinian State Be?
According to a documented discussion between President Biden and Mahmoud Abbas (Chairman of the Palestinian Authority) in July of 2022, the understood dimensions of a Palestinian state would be the entire region of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. This would essentially carve out the entire center of Israel’s landscape.
What is the Two-State Solution?
Britannica phrases it like this: “The Two-state Solution is a proposed framework for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by establishing two states for two peoples: Israel for the Jewish people and Palestine for the Palestinian people. In 1993 the Israeli government and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on a plan to implement a two-state solution as part of the Oslo Accords, leading to the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA).”
The agreed parameters of the Two-State solution were this: “On September 13th, 1993, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Negotiator Mahmoud Abbas signed a Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, commonly referred to as the “Oslo Accords,” at the White House. Israel accepted the PLO as the representative of the Palestinians, and the PLO renounced terrorism and recognized Israel’s right to exist in peace. Both sides agreed that a Palestinian Authority (PA) would be established and assume governing responsibilities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip over a five-year period.”
Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) have been divided into three different parts: Area A, Area B, and Area C.
Area A is strictly for Arabs: the only citizens living in this region are Arabs and the governing/policing powers come from the Palestinian Authority. In fact, there are large red signs outside of every Area A in Judea and Samaria warning every Jew that it is illegal for them to enter these areas, and if they do, their lives are at risk.
Area B is for both Jews and Arabs, but not in the way you’re probably thinking. Only Arabs can live in Area B and it’s governed by the PA, but it’s policed by the Israeli military. Jews can drive through these areas, but every time they do, they are risking their lives. Countless innocent lives have been lost in Area B towns such as Huwarrah, a current terrorist hotspot in Samaria.
Area C is for Jews – at least it’s supposed to be. Land is being stolen from the Jews by the Arabs in Judea and Samaria every single day, despite the fact that, according to Regavim, there is ample space for Arab construction projects in Areas A and B.
Here’s the issue with the Oslo Accords: the governing body in Areas A and B is the Palestinian Authority, currently controlled by Fatah, who is best described in this excerpt by JVL:
“In 1993, Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin exchanged letters in which the PLO and Israel reciprocally recognized each other. Arafat also renounced violence, but the PLO never abandoned terror, which ultimately led to the collapse of the Oslo negotiations that followed mutual recognition and has impeded peace talks ever since.”
Fatah actually translates to “conquer” and when you look at their flag you will see a pair of crossed guns over the state of Israel, making it clear what their intentions really are.
To recap, the governing body over Areas A and B has the intention of conquering Israel, which they are very clearly attempting to achieve, from stealing land in Area C to stealing innocent lives across the entire expanse of Judea and Samaria. This shows that the Oslo Accords are only being upheld by one of the two parties, therefore making them non-effective.
A Two-State Solution doesn’t just involve Judea and Samaria, however, it also includes the Gaza Strip. The Gaza Strip is a fantastic example of an Arab-governed area within the 1967 borders of Israel that are currently showing less than promising results. As evidenced by the current war at hand, the elected governing body in Gaza, Hamas, doesn’t exactly have an overall goal of peace when it comes to its neighbor, Israel.
A Two-State Solution Would Not Help the Arabs Either
We see through this current prototype of a Two-State Solution that it wouldn’t necessarily be an ideal option for the Arabs who would reside within these newly established borders either. The culture of the citizens of Areas A and B in Judea and Samaria and in the Gaza Strip are far from prosperous. The women and children face immense oppression and abuse, people who convert from Islam to any other religion are brutally tortured and murdered, and countless other heinous murders and persecutions take place against civilians for various other reasons.
Not only that, but many of the leaders in these areas control the majority of the monetary and humanitarian aid that come into these areas. This fact isn’t hidden, but rather well known. The LinkedIn account of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel posted the net worth of Hamas’s current and prior leaders, and the numbers are horrifyingly high when considering the poverty experienced by the people who should be taken care of by these men in power. The leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh’s net worth is $4 billion dollars, Moussa Abu Marzook’s net worth is $3 billion, and Khaled Meshaal’s net worth is a staggering $5 billion dollars. You read that right, five billion dollars. According to the Jerusalem Institute of Justice, Mahmoud Abbas’s net worth was already over $100 million dollars in 2017. So what are they doing with these literal millions and billions of dollars? Some go toward their operations and plans, some to living high and luxurious lifestyles, and some to paying their terrorist “chess pieces” for viciously murdering innocent Jewish people.
Wait, Terrorists Are Getting Paid for Hurting and Murdering People?
Terrorists and/or their families receive a large sum of money monthly for each and every life they steal. Per the Taylor Force Act, the United States is not allowed to donate money to organizations that are known to pay terrorists, but under the Biden administration, this unlawful and immoral act has continued. The money that the United States sends to the PA (Palestinian Authority) with the intention of helping those in severe poverty actually goes to line the pockets of terrorists. This grievous deed isn’t done haphazardly either. There is a monetary system dependent on if the terrorist has a family, how long they are incarcerated, where they live, and other factors. For a 0-3 year sentence in 2018, the payment was 1,400 shekels a month and for a 30+ year sentence the total payment per month is 12,000 shekels per month, for the extent of their life. Not only does this place a monetary value over innocent Jewish lives, but it also creates extreme incentives for many of the Arabs in these cities to murder Jews. Receiving a salary for murdering Jews is one of the highest paychecks they can receive in many of these areas. You can find the full chart on the Pay to Slay policy here. Today, the Palestinian Authority pays out a staggering $360 million dollars annually under their pay-to-slay program.
These Aren’t the Only Issues of a Two-State Solution…
There’s another major issue woven into the complicated fabric of a Two-State Solution that’s not typically mentioned when this plan is discussed; the defense of Israel. We’ve already mentioned that both Fatah and Hamas are hostile entities to Israel’s statehood and the lives which dwell within it, but if these entities were to gain control over the entirety of the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria, and East Jerusalem, the repercussions would be catastrophic. If these new borders were to actually be established, Israel would have a width of the country, from the Mediterranean Sea to the current Judea and Samaria border, that is only nine miles. I’m from Texas, and there are ranchers in the Lone Star State with driveways longer than nine miles! With a territory that small, it would be nearly impossible to defend a country from entities that are so adamant on the destruction of said country.
To Bring It All Together
A Two-State Solution sounds like an ideal option on the surface, but the issues within run quite deep. We see in the current prototype that there are extreme acts of violence against Jewish people in Arab governed areas, extreme oppression against many of the Arabs within these areas, obedience to the law is only kept by one party involved (not by the Arabs), and the new borders would have serious implications on the overall security of Israel.
What Is the Solution to the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict?
Opinions may vary, but taking the land Israel rightfully gained during the 1967 war is not a solution for any logical thinker. As of right now, Israel has set its course to eradicate the entirety of the terrorist body, Hamas, but what does a non-Hamas run Gaza look like? Hamas has been the ruling power in Gaza since the 2007 elections and the citizens in that region have been filled with malicious Hamas ideology beginning as early as elementary curriculum. What and who would fill the inevitable power void that will be left once Israel has destroyed Hamas? Rumors have flown that Israel may decide to take back the territory of Gaza, but it seems to be a relatively slim possibility.
As the war continues to unfold, we will begin to see what the outcome will be and must remain steadfast in our prayers of protection for the innocent lives that are still being taken and for the hostages still being held in Gaza. Right now is the day and the hour to advocate for the Jewish people and against a Two-State Solution.
I’ve struggled to put my thoughts into words since this war began. Since day one, I’ve consumed more than my share of media, images and stories that have slowly been emerging, and it seems, have only gotten worse in scope. For once, the truth was worse than fiction. For once, the real story was far more horrific than what was initially reported in the media. For once, both left and right united in their condemnation of the atrocities that were seen on October 7th, 2023, a day that has already gone down in history as the “Black Sabbath”.
Although we are 3 ½ weeks into this war, with no signs Hamas or Hezbollah deescalating soon, the empathy that liberal media networks provided to Israel in the beginning stages has already subsided. The mainstream media has turned its full attention to Israel’s supposed responsibility for the innocent civilians in Gaza, calling their strikes on Hamas genocide, and the fact that civilians have been killed as a result war crimes that have been committed by Israel.
It’s as if the media genuinely believes that those with two eyes and ears cannot see through the facade. For those who may have gotten overwhelmed by the sheer volume and complexity of the news coverage however, here are a few facts for you:
No innocent Jews would be dead right now if it were not for Hamas’ attack on October 7th, 2023.
No innocent Palestinian-Arabs in Gaza would be dead right now if it were not for Hamas’ attack on October 7th, 2023
Hospitals in Gaza would not be in danger right now if it were not for the fact that Hamas’ headquarters are located inside the hospital complex.
Hospitals, humanitarian groups, and Gaza’s economy in general would not be suffering right now if it were not for the fact that Hamas is stealing electricity, water, supplies and fuel from the people of Gaza.
Less Palestinian-Arabs would be dead right now if Hamas had not stopped their own people from fleeing when Israel warned them to. Instead, they were caught shooting their own people in the streets, blocking their escape and ordering them back into their homes so that they could serve as human shields.
Gaza could and would have been a flourishing region, if it were not for the fact that Hamas’ top leaders pocketed billions of dollars for themselves, today living in Qatar so as to be safe from Israel’s security agencies.
Israel would not be in a war for their survival right now if it were not for the fact that millions of Palestinian-Arabs, and their supporters all over the world, would not have repeatedly called for genocide against the Jewish people.
From the river to the sea is not a nice, pro-Palestinian chant. It’s not a slogan for the Palestinians’ freedom. Instead, it is a call for the eradication of the Jewish people from their ancient homeland, from the Jordan River, to the Mediterranean Sea, including everything and everyone in between.
Sometimes as Christians we have been asked: if I lived in Europe in 1938, and realized that Jews were being targeted and killed, would I have opened my home, risked my life and my family’s life, and given them shelter? True believers in the Bible obviously answer that question with a resounding “yes”.
I have a question for you. When do you think that Christians in Europe fully realized the extent of Hitler’s final solution, with his determination to wipe the Jewish race from the earth? One month into the war? Six months? One year? Two?
Make no mistake. Do not fool yourself into believing that there is no need to risk your livelihood, safety, financial security, and reputation on behalf of God’s chosen people right now.
I don’t have any predictions as to how long this war will last. I do know, however, that an ugly, anti-Zionist head is raising itself all over the world. No matter the outcome of this perilous time, the time has come for Bible believers to stand. Stand with Israel. Stand with Zion. Stand with the Jewish people. Stand with God’s Kingdom.
Yes, in a few words the narrative gets hammered out across all media platforms and most people have heard these words so much that they do not even think about or question them. The journalists that include them in most reports never qualify or explain what they mean.
Let’s look at them.
Most of the journalists reporting what is happening in Gaza will make the following statement, or something very similar, “Hamas states that the attacks are in response to the brutal oppression and OCCUPATION.” I expect most people who do not have an active interest in Israel and are educated about the situation will hear this and assume there is an element of truth to this. Let’s clarify something. Israel withdrew entirely from the Gaza Strip in 2005. The people there held elections and unanimously voted for Hamas to govern them. There is no occupation in Gaza. What the Palestinians are referring to is the Israeli OCCUPATION of the land of Israel, including everything outside of Gaza that comprises what today is called Israel. So their barbaric and evil acts will only end when the OCCUPATION is over. What would that mean? Hamas’ charter, available to view on their website, calls for the death of Jews, “from the river to the sea”, which in reality means from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
Many a media report uses the term genocide in relation to Israel’s retaliatory strikes on Gaza. Let’s be clear; Hamas’ stated intention is the genocide of the Jewish people. Israel on the other hand, the most moral and ethical military in the world, uses precision strikes against installations used by Hamas for terrorist activities. Israel goes to what some would consider ridiculous lengths to notify civilians prior to a strike. They do this through SMS messages in Arabic to those in the area, leaflet dropping, and even roof knocking whereby they drop a device onto the top of the building that sends a noise through the building prior to striking. Have you ever wondered how the cameras manage to have the building that is being struck perfectly centered in the camera?
Hamas uses women and children as human shields, which is a war crime, many a time not allowing them to leave these buildings. The buildings themselves are often schools and hospitals. Their tactic is to use footage of the dead and injured to play on the emotions of the world and get them to side step truth and reality and garner sympathy for the “poor Palestinians.
INNOCENT WOMEN AND CHILDREN
As mentioned above, Hamas was voted for by the people. When Hamas kidnaps Holocaust survivors, rapes women, and brutalizes pregnant women and their unborn babies (the details are too graphic to write), these people cheer in the streets. Obviously I am not talking about every single one of them but this is the sentiment in this society in general. The children are sent to summer camps where they glorify the murder of Jews and incite hatred.
Why can’t the BBC even call these people terrorists, but choose instead to use the word ‘militant’, even when Hamas is a designated terrorist organization?
THE GAZA PRISON
Israel is continuously accused of imprisoning the Palestinians in Gaza. People generally do not question the fact that Gaza also has a border with Egypt. Will Egypt let these people in? Ask yourself, “Why not?”
A lot of propaganda is circulating the globe concerning Israel. Let’s look at what some of the common myths are, as well as the potential negative effects they could have.
“Israel is a Terrorist State”
Rumors are flying that the Israeli government is committing acts of terror and, therefore, has become a terrorist state. This is an exemplary example of the anti-semitic ideology that has led to mass fatalities of the Jewish people. In order to debunk these misconstrued thoughts that appear to be held by a shocking number of people across the globe, we need to explore two things: what exactly qualifies as terrorism and, more specifically, who, in this war, is committing terrorist acts against whom?
Merriam-Webster defines terrorism as:
“The systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion” with one of the definitions of coercion being this: “to achieve by force or threat.”
The FBI’s definition of international terrorism is:
“Violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups who are inspired by, or associated with, designated foreign terrorist organizations or nations (state-sponsored).”
The U.S. Code considers a group a terrorist organization based off of these general guidelines:
“(1) In general the Secretary is authorized to designate an organization as a foreign terrorist organization in accordance with this subsection if the Secretary finds that:
– the organization is a foreign organization;
– the organization engages in terrorist activity (as defined in section
1182(a)(3)(B) of this title or terrorism (as defined in section 2656f(d)(2) of title
22), or retains the capability and intent to engage in terrorist activity or terrorism); and
– the terrorist activity or terrorism of the organization threatens the security of United States nationals or the national security of the United States.”
Is Hamas considered a terrorist group? The opinion of the U.S. Director of National Intelligence is as follows: “The US State Department designated HAMAS as a foreign terrorist organization in October, 1997.” This means that only ten years after Hamas’s formation, they were already considered a terrorist organization and have maintained their malevolent intentions under this title for the last 26 years. According to the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Terrorist Organization’s web page, the U.S. has not wavered concerning their initial claim. While some former terrorist groups have been de-listed, Hamas is on the list of designated foreign terrorists to this day.
Is Israel considered a terrorist group? The simple answer is no. In fact, the United States and Israel are partners in counterterrorism activity.
So what do all these governmental terms, phrases, and codes mean? In short, Hamas is a known terrorist organization whose goal is to eradicate Israel. Israel on the other hand, is a known ally in combating terrorism. This means that Hamas is the one committing terrorist acts against Israel while Israel has every right to defend itself. This seems to be a fairly simple conclusion despite how highly controversial it is.
You may ask though, does it really matter that people understand this? So what if there are varying opinions; it’s normal for different people to believe different things. Yes, it matters! The propaganda that is currently circulating the globe is the same type of propaganda that brought on the deaths of 6 millions Jews in the Holocaust. This villainization of the Jewish people is no new thing – we are not the first generation to senselessly and unquestioningly believe the propaganda that’s being put out into the world. However, we must ensure that we thoroughly understand the validity of and the intention of what is being broadcast to the world.
While we would all like to believe that information is always put out with pure intentions, history shows otherwise. Information, or more specifically, misinformation is often used with vicious intentions. A quote that provides an exceptional example of this misuse is this:
“The function of propaganda is, for example, not to weigh and ponder the rights of different people, but exclusively to emphasize the one right which it has set out to argue for. Its task is not to make an objective study of the truth, insofar as it favors the enemy, and then set it before the masses with academic fairness; its task is to serve our own right, always and unflinchingly.”
This is a quote that comes directly from Adolf HItler’s autobiography titled “Mein Kampf.” While it may be argued that we are not seeing this type of propaganda today, the sad reality is quite the opposite.
Many sayings are being used without second thought concerning the crisis in Israel. The phrase, “From the river to the sea, Palestine must be free,” invokes multiple misconstrued ideas concerning Israel and the people who reside within it. “Palestine must be free,” expresses that Palestinians are currently experiencing the opposite; that they are oppressed and held captive by the Jews. This is entirely untrue. In many of the areas that claim to be oppressed, the Jewish people and Israeli government actually hold no governing power over Palestinian-Arabs. In the Gaza Strip, for example, the electedgovernment is Hamas. This means that Hamas is oppressing its citizens, not the Jewish people. “From the river to the sea,” has serious implications as this quote from the popular saying is claiming that “Palestine” stretches through the entire territory between the Jordan River, Israel’s eastern border, all the way to the Mediterranean Sea, Israel’s western border. This small phrase that is currently being shouted by thousands of people implies that the entire state of Israel should be abolished, and if it were by the hands of Hamas, this would directly result in the deaths of millions of Jews.
Currently, an approximate 7,181,000 Jews live in Israel. As we begin to see horrifying repetitions of anti-Jew propaganda resurface pegging the Jews as terrorists and oppressors, we must decide if we truly meant it when we all said, “Never again.” The current war has become the worst tragedy the Jewish people have experienced since the Holocaust with over 1,400 people murdered in one day. This is the time where the nations of the world must act on the words previously spoken and ensure the lives of the remaining 7,179,600 Jews in Israel are protected. Today is the day that we fight for the sake of “Never again.”
I’m not a public person. I would far rather stay in the background and speak to people one on one, but time is getting short, and many need to hear this. At this point, I have an obligation to cry out. Please excuse me if I step on toes by not adhering to your personal pet dogmas about Hebrew names, etc. I’m going to use terms we have in common, that we all grew up reading. You know Whom I am talking about. Please set differences aside and hear me out.
Since I’m pretty much a stranger to social media, I will start with a brief introduction for a little background. I was born during Israel’s 25th anniversary celebration, in May 1973. I was exactly 5 months old, the day the Yom Kippur War broke out. I was born into a Christian family passionate about serving God, and came to know Him at a young age. I came to an understanding of Shabbat, the biblical festivals, and Torah at age 15, through my own independent study as a homeschooler, and began attending a Messianic congregation with my family at Shavuot in 1989. I studied Hebrew at university, and went to volunteer in Israel with a Christian service organization at age 22. I met my husband upon my return, and he proposed the day after Yom Kippur. We married in May 1998, just as Israel was celebrating 50 years. We have been blessed with 9 children along the way, whom we have homeschooled, and have been blessed to take three trips to Israel with them – one as independent tourists, two as volunteers with another Christian service group. This year, I turned 50 as Israel turned 75. Their celebrations have been my celebrations, and it’s hard to miss my assignment to grieve when they grieve, as well. My heart is crying now, with the families who live in the land.
On one of our trips to Israel, the Lord opened my eyes to the story of the prodigal son, and how it relates prophetically to these times. We have the same Father/Creator, but the gentile believers are the prodigal in the story, coming back into their Father’s household and accepting the “house rules,” after living in rebellion and squandering our inheritance, hanging on our Father’s grace and mercy for generations, while willfully refusing to walk in the Way He laid out for us. The Jewish people are the older brother, who have remained in the Father’s house the whole time. He made a covenant with them long ago, and told them, “all that I have is yours.”
Not that all with Jewish blood are perfect, by any means (they’re as human as we are), but they deserve our respect for carrying the title of “chosen,” in silent witness to the world, of God’s faithfulness. We can respect the observant to an even greater degree, for having been “in the Father’s house,” studying His word for hundreds of years longer than we ever have. They have strong traditions of in-depth education in His Word, and know it better than most of us do.
I see objections raised, to following “the Jews,” regularly. “They study the rabbis and Talmud, NOT the Torah! They are adding to it!” These accusations are cast without knowledge or research and grieve my heart. Orthodox observant children in Israel memorize the Torah in its original language before the age of 10. I have personally heard them singing the words of Torah together, during a school visit in Shiloh. How many of us can claim to have memorized the entire Torah, in any language? After memorizing something as a child, letting it form who you become, you will naturally want to move on to discussing what it means and how to apply it. That’s all the Talmud is – the record of Torah discussions and application of past generations.
We need to approach the Jewish people with humility and gratitude for centuries spent maintaining the Word of God for all of us. We need to not presume that our pitiful Strong’s numbers or year of Bible school Hebrew and Greek somehow give us an edge over a people with not only linguistic but cultural understanding from centuries of soaking in the Torah and applying it to their daily lives.
It ruins the story of the prodigal son, to have him come back and tell his big brother to step aside, because he understands their Father’s instructions better. So often, we are ungracefully getting in his face and telling him “you’re doing it wrong!” regarding the Feasts, Sabbath, pronunciation of the Name, calendar disagreements, etc.
In fact, it has gotten so bad that instead of returning as a servant like the prodigal son did, we don’t even recognize our brother’s role at all! I have heard people argue that our older brother has been disinherited because of abandoning the Word for the teachings of men, or just plain, “Those aren’t the real Israelites. They’re imposters!” As if they don’t deserve our love and support, even with what they are going through! This blind (and usually generational) anti-semitism needs to get out, so that the stick of Ephraim can unite with the stick of Judah. (Ezekiel 37)
The Torah movement is an unmistakeable move of God, waking up His gentile followers to the fact that His whole Word still applies, and we should be doing our best to live by it. It has been a glorious awakening for many. However, it has led to an identity crisis, because we are now caught between the Christian and Jewish worlds. Many joyfully went to learn from Jews at first, then got upset when rejected over the Messiah issue and decided they must be the “synagogue of Satan,” and we have replaced them in God’s plan. Others are so burned by being lied to by their prior religious system that any institution of religion is automatically suspect and to be avoided, in preference to every man doing what’s right in his own eyes (not looked on kindly by Scripture, in the contexts of Judges 17 and 21). God intended the Torah to be kept by community, and yet the Hebrew Roots movement continues the grand tradition of protestantism, through its habitual splits and splinters over inconsequential issues only tangentially related to the two greatest commandments, to love God and love your neighbor. (Matthew 22)
Some claim that we must be the physical descendants of the 10 lost tribes who were scattered abroad by the Assyrians. Umm… this may very well have some basis, but it’s not something to be proud of. Take a look at Kings and Chronicles. The tribes that broke off from Judah NEVER had a righteous king. They were idolaters from the get-go. Their “front man” was Ahab, for heaven’s sake! If being one of the lost tribes is your claim to fame, you probably have some generational junk to repent for. “Ephraim,”often used as shorthand for the 10 tribes of Israel, was infamous in Scripture for drunkenness and pride (Isaiah 28).
Others say “that nation can’t be of God, because they aren’t holy and righteous.” But the prophets clearly say that God will gather them together, and THEN cleanse them from their uncleanness (Ezekiel 36, Malachi 3).
The issue of who are genetically the “real Jews” is – sorry – ridiculous. The 10 tribes were scattered long before Yeshua visited, and He said nothing about those in Judea not being legitimate—just that they were forgetting the essentials of justice, mercy and faith, in their quest to be zealous and stringent with their tithes of spices. We need to take a critical look at ourselves. Could it be that we are doing the same at this major juncture of history? Arguing amongst ourselves over their legitimacy as a nation, refusing them our help and excusing our responsibility in a bout of Cain-like sibling rivalry? That, in itself, is cruelty.
People argue that the current nation of “Zionists” was set up by ungodly Rothschilds, so they couldn’t be the true prophesied return. Is God’s arm shortened, that He could not use an ungodly tool to accomplish His purposes? He has done it before. (See the story of Balaam, for one.) If He had to wait and only use people who were self-made righteous, He would never accomplish anything. “There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10, Micah 7:2) Only Messiah is blameless. Isn’t it even more miraculous, and to His credit and glory, that He can use the foolish of this world to confound the wise ? (1 Corinthians 1:27)
As for the argument that some make, that all the trappings of Judaism today are Babylonian, have you read Jeremiah 24 lately? The GOOD figs are the ones carried away to Babylon and brought back to be re-established in the Land. Historically speaking, those who came back from the Babylonian captivity never again worshiped idols, as a people. Those who returned were Nehemiah, Ezra and others – who actually established many of the daily prayers that are still offered in synagogues three times a day. How many of us can claim that level of faithfulness? Those prayers are almost entirely scriptural truths that were determined by Ezra’s great assembly to be foundational to the faith. Yeshua said, ‘For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20) Let those of us without sin cast the first stone! (John 8:7)
All of this leads up to my point: what is our role in the current conflict? If you find yourself in any way justifying the heinous evil of these cruel butchers, saying the Jews “deserve this,” or it “doesn’t matter” because they are illegitimate in their ancestral land that God Himself promised to return to them, you are guilty of violating the Torah’s command to not stand idly by when you see evil being perpetrated! (Leviticus 19:16) We are acting like Job’s “comforters” (no help at all, and only making things worse!).
Should we support Israel? Yeshua said we could know them by their fruits. Let’s take a good look at the fruit of both sides. Israelis have been left to largely fend for themselves, as throughout history, yet they come together as a family, along with Jews around the world, despite disagreements, in times of crisis. I saw a story about a non-kosher restaurant in Tel Aviv that is kashering their kitchen so they can serve their Orthodox brothers and sisters. When 6,000 families from the south needed safer places to stay this week, they put the word out, and had places for ALL of them in 45 minutes!! Israelis are some of the warmest, truest, deepest people I have ever known. They place cultural value on life, family, truth, and joy in the midst of heartache. When they are forced to carry out bombing runs, they always first drop leaflets warning civilians to get to safety. In times of tragedy, they strengthen each other and mourn together. One of their “non-biblical traditions” is to visit the homes of the bereaved and sit in silence with them, to offer support.
And we get on our high horses of Ephraimite pride and tell them to stop adding traditions to Scripture. Excuse me? I thought people were supposed to know we were Christians by our love!
Meanwhile, their enemies sneak in and slaughter civilians – to the point of beheading babies! – while we shrug and say, “It’s sad, BUT . . . “ I have even seen “believers” online, questioning whether Israel is “faking it”! Answer: NO! I personally know many there who are suffering, hiding in bomb shelters from rockets, but also going themselves or sending their children into the fray. One man I have met sent his 16 year old to dig graves all day yesterday! There wasn’t enough manpower to bury all the Jewish bodies. And Hamas is as usual, using human shields, endangering their own people by setting up in schools and hospitals.
(Side note: Does the slaughter of innocents ring a bell with anyone? It should, since it happened in both Moses’ and Yeshua’s babyhoods. How about the fact that there were 40 of them? This time IS biblically significant!)
The prophets are clear about what the role of gentile believers should be, in these last days:
“Thus says the Lord of Hosts: In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, and say, ‘Take us with you, for we have heard God is with you.’” (Zechariah 8:23)
“The gentiles shall come to you from the ends of the earth and say, ‘Surely our fathers have inherited lies, worthlessness and unprofitable things.’” (Jeremiah 16:19)
“Comfort, yes, comfort My people! says your God. Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” (Isaiah 40:1-2)
“Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those fearful-hearted, ‘Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you.’” (Isaiah 35:3-4)
There is a lot of misunderstanding, and our identity crisis is exacerbated by a lack of studying the prophets. People focus on Torah or the gospels and Paul (even Enoch) and forget the middle. We are not left out. These assignments are for us! All this accusation and disunity is actively fighting against our two sticks becoming one in His hand. (Ezekiel 37) Let’s do our best to prepare the way by reaching out in love for our brother, especially at this time of national heartache. We are grafted in. When the root suffers, so should we.
We should be humbly grateful if they accept our help in their desperation, as it is hard for them to trust anyone coming in Yeshua’s name. The past is riddled with heinous acts of “Christians” against Jews – crusades, pogroms, multiple national expulsions, and the Holocaust, to name just a few. (Don’t even get me started, deniers – you are believing propaganda!) Let’s redeem the name of our Savior in their eyes. He told us that the sheep will be separated from the goats, based on how we treat “these, my brethren.” (Matthew 25)
These ARE the descendants of the same Jews who were on the earth in His day. Is not their history of calamities and persecution evidence enough of the curses enumerated in Deuteronomy 27-28? Yes, they said, “His blood be upon us, and upon our children” (Matthew 27:25), and that has been used by the church as an excuse to persecute, but did you ever stop to think that His blood as Passover lamb should bring a blessing and protection, and not a curse?
Yeshua’s final prayer in John 17 is a cry for unity among His followers. In the story of Joseph, Judah (patriarch of Yeshua’s tribe) is the brother who stands up, takes responsibility, and offers himself as a substitute for his brothers. Can we just appreciate that? Let’s bring back Ephraim to oneness with Judah in humility, and honor our older brother by acknowledging his long-standing faith and the price He has paid to stay in the Father’s house. Thank God, it’s not our job to judge their level of “savedness.” We have enough to worry about, working out our own salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12)
For such a time as this, people! “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish.” (Esther 4:14) We can sit by, breaking Torah by not helping in any material way, joining their enemies by our silence, or we can step up, humbly helping them through one more trial, while we have the chance. “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)
In a historic move, President Biden became the first American President to visit Israel during an ongoing war. This is a huge statement of solidarity and support. However it also begs the question: why did Biden think it necessary to come to the region in person? Was it simply meant as a sign of solidarity or is there something more than meets the eye?
Since the horrific and barbaric atrocities perpetrated by Hamas on October 7th, 2023, the Biden administration has been very supportive of Israel, providing vital military aid by restocking the Iron Dome systems and airlifting millions of dollars of other military equipment. In the media the Biden administration has maintained Israel’s right and responsibility to destroy Hamas, which in Biden’s words has “committed atrocities that recall the worst ravages of ISIS, unleashing pure unadulterated evil upon the world. There is no rationalizing it, no excusing it. Period.”
That all is applaudable, and as an American, I feel a level of pride to see America standing strong with the people of Israel when they need it most. I don’t even want to think about what could be happening right now if Biden had completely turned his back on Israel, providing little if any aid. Imagine that Israel had run out of Iron Dome missiles while Hamas rockets were raining down on the huge population centers of Israel. You don’t have to think hard to see how bleak that scenario would have been. Honestly however, that is what many people expected, considering that the US administration has been actively funding the Palestinian Authority, the same government who pays terrorist’s salaries and the same government who will be handing out money to the monsters from Gaza who murdered more than 1,400 people on October 7th.
President Biden seems to want to be on both sides of this conflict at the same time. He condemned Hamas and the atrocities they committed out of one side of his mouth and then pledged to give Gaza (which is controlled by Hamas) $100 million in humanitarian aid. Everyone knows it will never reach the ‘intended’ civilians but will instead be commandeered by Hamas.
To get things straight, Biden and his administration have provided crucial military aid to Israel at a critical time, but the question remains: will the US president abuse his influence to force Israel into a so-called ‘peace deal’ as well as force them into other decisions that have the potential to weaken Israel in a time when they need to firmly reestablish their power and stability? Biden already re-stated his commitment to the ‘two-state solution’ saying “we must keep pursuing a path so that Israel and the Palestinian people can both live safely, in security, in dignity, and in peace.”
As the situation on the ground continues to unfold, what we need to keep in mind is that the Biden administration has done a lot of good for Israel in this war, but they also have the potential and leverage power to force Israel into a compromise, without total victory and annihilation of the evil monsters who make up Hamas and their collaborators.
Israel has recently halted security exports to Colombia after President Gustavo Petro made multiple public statements relating the Israeli government to Adolf Hitler and the Nazis while also claiming that Gaza has become a concentration camp through the hands of Israel. Israel exported a whopping $139 million worth of goods to Columbia in 2022, everything from electrical equipment to air and spacecrafts last year, but with this deepening rift between the two countries, many are wondering what exactly happened and what exactly did President Petro say?
It didn’t take long for the recently elected left-wing president to show his hostility toward Israel and its defensive measures. On October 7th at 1:17pm, President Petro retweeted on X (formerly known as Twitter) Mahmoud Abbas’s statement claiming that Palestine has “the right to defend ourselves against settler terrorism.” Later, President Petro began his own tweets relating the “Russian occupation of Ukraine” to the “Israeli occupation of Palestine,” and less than two hours later he called for a two-state solution. Unfortunately, this was only the beginning of his continual bashing of Israel. His X feed is filled with accusations against Israel, its government, and its soldiers, claiming that “neo-Nazis want the destruction of the Palestinian people, freedom, and culture,” Gaza is being “converted into a concentration camp,” that if the “hate speech” continues, it will “only bring a holocaust,” and that, “Hamas is the invention of Mossad to divide the Palestinian people and have the excuse of punishing them.” He later posted that “Hitler will be defeated for the good of humanity, its democracy, peace, and freedom of the world.”
Remarks such as these make it entirely understandable as to why Israel would respond to these accusations by halting security exports. Many departments and organizations within Colombia have spoken out against President Petro’s remarks – the Confederation de Comunidades Judias de Colombia reposted a tweet by U.S. Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, condemning President Petro’s comments with their own additional comment, expressing how dismayed they were to see President Petro’s comparison of the Israeli government with Hitler’s genocidal regime. However, that hasn’t seemed to discourage President Petro from further escalating his blatant disregard for Colombia’s relationship with Israel. In response to Israel’s decision to halt security exports, he tweeted: “If we have to suspend foreign relations with Israel, we suspend them. We do not support genocides.” On October 16th, Colombian Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva tweeted that the Israeli ambassador showed “senseless arrogance” toward President Petro and continued by sharing, “Shame. Minimum make excuses and leave.” This response followed Israeli Ambassador Gali Dagan’s expression of criticism toward the President’s remarks.
There has been no escalation from either side as of present, however, both countries seem to be holding their respective positions. To ensure the safety of Jews, not only in Colombia, but throughout Israel and the world, each individual must combat the corrupt ideology that Israel has become its own type of Nazi regime simply for defending itself and its citizens against barbaric terrorism.
This is not just any war. This is a full attack of the enemy against God and His kingdom. Please engage in this war on your knees! If you think of yourself as a warrior for the Kingdom of God, now is the time to go to war! If you have little ones you are raising to be Kingdom warriors, now is the time to equip them with the full armor of God. We can explain to them that when they stand with Israel, they are physically protecting the borders of the Kingdom of God. This is not the time to spiritualize everything and sit back and depend on God to do a miracle. We need to be fully engaged, going to battle in prayer. Rally your friends and communities in support of Israel!
As the war with Hamas continues to heighten, Israel is still being labeled as the enemy on the world stage. Israel has suffered immensely with a loss of life that has now reached 1,300+ men, women, and children – the highest number of casualties that have occurred in one day since the Holocaust. Hamas has also directly caused 3,500+ injuries and 200+ kidnappings.
Despite these unprovoked and inhumane acts, many people around the world are still rallying for the Palestinians in Gaza and claiming that Israel is responsible for this war – including the deaths and injuries that have amassed throughout it. Protesters began marching and waving Palestinian flags in many cities across the globe in places such as Edinburgh, London, Geneva, Dublin, New York, Washington D.C., and multiple others. Many of these protests took place during or following the Jihadist “Day of Rage” and included chants saying, “Free Palestine,” “Stop killing Gazans,” “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” and, “The world stands with Palestine.” This isn’t where the protests stopped though – they also began to erupt on American college campuses filled with students who have little to no understanding of the reality on the ground.
Tufts University Chapter for Justice in Palestine claims, “Liberation fighters from Gaza paragliding into occupied territory have especially shown the creativity necessary to take back the stolen land.” Other antisemitic university groups in universities such as Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, and Yale have also released statements concerning the present war and their stance on it. While all have slightly different phrasing, many of these groups have the underlying messaging that Israel and its citizens are getting what they deserve for “oppressing” the “occupied” Palestinian people and Israel bears responsibility for any and all casualties involved in this war since the “occupied peoples have the right to resist the occupation of their land.”
Thankfully, many universities have either remained neutral on their overall stance concerning the war or have spoken out against the anti-Israel statements that have been put out by these groups. Harvard President Claudine Gay condemned Hamas’ recent actions by calling them “terrorist atrocities” and stating that “such inhumanity is abhorrent.” Gay also ensured that “no student group – not even 30 student groups – speaks for Harvard University or its leadership.”
So while we are seeing extreme disdain for Israel, this has also opened the door to see overwhelming support for Israel and its citizens. As the battle continues to rage here in the Land, fight for Israel in your communities by sharing the reality of what is currently happening – Hamas waged war on Israel because they are a radical terrorist group and not because they are an oppressed people trying to take back their stolen land.