December 30, 2008
Steve Collins
Now that the Israeli government finally unleashed their military to go after Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the logical question to ask is “why did it take them so long to take this obviously necessary action?” All nations enjoy the right of self-defense. If any other nation (including the ones condemning the Israeli military response) had been targeted by 1000s of rockets and mortars over a period of years, they would have made a lethal military response long ago. The Israelis have acted with amazing self-restraint in the face of the prolonged terrorist missile attacks vs. Israeli communities from Hamas.
Why have the Israelis acted with such restraint? Either the current government has lacked the necessary will to take essential action or the Israelis have been heavily pressured by the US State Department and other western nations to not act in their own interests due to the “peace process” efforts pushed by nations outside the Middle East. I suspect the latter option is the correct answer.
At any rate, the Israelis have abundant justification for their military actions, and they have every right to continue this war vs. Hamas till Hamas surrenders or at least gives up its terrorist missile strikes vs. Israeli cities. Thankfully, the Bush administration has firmly recognized and affirmed both the Israeli right to take this action and has placed blame for this conflict on Hamas.
The current situation again confirms the utter futility of a “land for peace” policy by any Israeli government. When the Israelis withdrew from southern Lebanon, it was soon infiltrated and taken over by Hezbollah, which has already fought one war with the Israelis in 2006 and is now heavily armed with missiles aimed at Israel due to Iranian/Syrian actions. When the Israelis withdrew from Gaza, it was quickly militarized by Hamas and used as a base to launch missile attacks into Israeli territory. Some nations want the Israelis to give the Golan Heights back to Syria in a “land for peace” deal. I’ve stood at the base of the Golan Heights and looked up at their extremely strategic position over northern Israeli territory. In August, 2000, I spent the night in the kibbutz of HaGosherim in the far northern edge of Israeli territory. I was part of a small traveling party which included Yair Davidy, an Israeli friend of mine as well as a fellow author on the subject of the ten tribes of Israel. We arrived at night and when I saw the Golan Heights in the morning, I instantly realized that the Israelis would have to be militarily crazy to give back this vital high ground to the Syrians (who used it to barrage northern Israeli cities when they controlled it). You would grasp it instantly as well if you could look up from where I stood and see the same commanding position the Golan Heights have over northern Israel. I had read about the Golan Heights in books and articles, but seeing it with my own eyes made me realize how senseless it would be for the Israelis to yield control of the Golan to anyone else.
While all the civilian casualties in the current Israeli-Hamas war are regrettable, I marvel at the diplomatic statements condemning Israeli actions as “excessive responses.” Let’s remind ourselves that the Israelis are attacking Hamas-specific targets. If the Israelis wanted to inflict civilian casualties in Gaza City, they could alter their tactics to produce thousands of Palestinian deaths each hour if they chose to do so. That Palestinians casualties are this low is a testament to Israeli actions to minimize civilian casualties.  Indeed, I read one report that the Israelis telephoned many Palestinian families in the line of fire to warn them to leave. The Israelis have even allowed humanitarian deliveries of supplies to the Palestinian civilians in the midst of this conflict. Such merciful actions by the Israelis should be lauded by the world!
Let’s consider the war-fighting tactics by the great powers in World War II to consider Israeli actions in proper context. Did Germany worry about British civilian casualties in the “blitz” on London and other British cities? Did the British and Americans worry about civilian German casualties when they bombed German cities in the latter portion of the war and firebombed Dresden? Did Japan worry about civilian casualties during its bombing of Chinese cities? Did the USA worry about civilian casualties when it “nuked” Hiroshima and Nagasaki and firebombed Tokyo? Did Germany care about civilian casualties when it invaded Russia and Poland? Did Russia give a hoot about German civilian casualties when its forces killed and raped their way to Berlin at the end of the war? The answer to all these questions is a resounding “no.” Indeed, the great powers intentionally maximized civilian casualties and suffering to break the will of their enemies.  If the Israelis adopted the war-fighting tactics used by the USA, Britain, Germany, Japan, and Russia in World War II, they would carpet-bomb Gaza City for a few days and see if any civilians lived through the carnage. This little history lesson reveals just how mercifully the Israeli government is waging war against Hamas! It is strenuously trying to minimize civilian Palestinian casualties.
Also, although the Fatah administration of the Palestinian West Bank is still teaching lies and hatred of the Jews to its children, it is still considerably less malignant than Hamas.  Fatah realize the Israelis are going to stay so it at least deals with the Israelis directly. Indeed, the link below reports that the Fatah leaders have secretly been urging the Israelis to attack Hamas, which is Fatah’s mortal rival within the Palestinian community.
I cannot see that this conflict so far has any specific biblical prophetic connections, but it does vividly highlight two biblical prophecies about the Jews/Israelis in the latter days. The first connection is that Ashkelon is an Israeli city which has come under attack from Hamas missiles. This city is mentioned in a latter-day biblical prophecy.  Zephaniah 2:7 specifically prophesies that the Jews (“the remnant of the house of Judah”) will inhabit/have sovereignty over the city of Ashkelon in the latter days, and this prophecy was fulfilled when the modern boundaries of the Israeli nation were established. Not only does this confirm that a Divine Creator is guiding modern world events to fulfill biblical prophecies, it confirms that the Israelis have a “Divine right” to this land in the latter days.
The second biblical connection is in Genesis 49:9 which is part of Jacob’s prophecy about the descendants of the tribes of Israel in the latter days. It prophesies that the Jews (“Judah”) will be like a “lion’s whelp” (or a “lion cub”) in the latter days. A lion’s whelp is a small, young lion. The Jewish nation is a small, young nation, fulfilling this prophecy’s imagery very well. The Israelis acted like “lions” in the wars of 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973 as well as the raids on Entebbe and Iraq’s nuclear reactor. These actions fulfilled the Genesis 49 prophecy that even though the Israelis would be a young and small nation, they would have the fighting spirit of a “lion” in the latter days. In submitting to regular missile attacks by Hamas for a long time, the Israelis were acting more like sheep than lions. This only emboldened their enemies. Now the Israelis are again acting more like lions.