Saturday, January 17, 2009

So it's Israel's fault?

How is it that whatever happens, it's Israel that's to blame?

I did not intend to write so often about Israel, but with so much Hamas propaganda coming out of Gaza and so much anti-Israel feeling in the media, justice demands some attempt to put the record straight.

Israel is a sovereign state, with a right to defend its territory and a duty to defend its citizens. Hamas is a terrorist organisation sworn to the extermination of Israel. Over the past eight years, more than 8,000 missiles fired from Gaza have landed in Israel. What other nation, asked former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, would have waited eight years before retaliating? What other nation, he said, would have waited eight months?

Israel is said to have started the conflict. Israel didn't. Israel is said to have refused to allow humanitarian aid to enter Gaza to help the suffering. Israel hasn't. Not only has Israel allowed humanitarian aid to enter Gaza, Israel has brought injured civilians from Gaza to be treated in Israeli hospitals.

Hamas has targetted civilians with the rockets it has fired into Israel, but that fact is carefully ignored. Israel's Foreign Ministry has issued videos showing Israel aborting missile strikes because Hamas targets were suddenly approaching civilians. Yet Israel is accused of deliberately targetting women and children. Hamas's figures of killed and wounded are trumpeted, while Israel's version of the figures is ignored. (The figures issued by the UN, I inderstand, were given to the UN by Hamas.)

Venezuela has broken off diplomatic ties with Israel because of its offensive in Gaza. Bolivia has done the same, accusing Israel of genocide. The Canadian Union of Public Employees, who apparently had nothing to say when battles against terrorists in Russia, China and Sri Lanka had a far greater civilian toll, wants Israeli academics banned from Canadian campuses unless they explicitly condemn the assault on Gaza.

When the situation is discussed in the British Parliament, Israel is accused of war crimes. Francesca Segal tells in the Observer how antisemitic incidents have suddenly quadrupled in the UK and the graffito "Kill Jews" is appearing in North London. Starbucks cafe bars are being smashed up in London because Starbucks' CEO is Jewish, and Tesco stores are being targetted because Tesco's founder was a Jew.

Some people won't have anything to do with Bible prophecy. This is a pity, for two reasons. First, God didn't put it in the Bible because He wanted people to ignore it. Second, every Bible prophecy that has been fulfilled to date has been fulfilled in exact detail. This is reasonable ground for supposing that any Bible prophecy not yet fulfilled will be fulfilled in the same way.

There is a prophecy in the Bible, beginning at the first verse of Zechariah 14, which has still to be fulfilled. It speaks of a day when all nations will be gathered in battle against Jerusalem - with surprising results.

That day may not be as far away as some people suppose.