Today, Israel forces assassinated Hamas military chief Ahmed al-Jaabari in Gaza City, the first assassination attempt by Israel of top-level Hamas personnel in almost four years. An act that has thrown the Middle East into a frenzy today, with eight confirmed casualties in Gaza from Hamas and Israeli bombings, Egypt formally withdrawing their ambassador and the United States officially (however unsurprisingly) casting their lot with Israel in what could possibly escalate into all-out war sooner than later. Today’s statement from The US State Department confirms this:
“We support Israel’s right to defend itself, and we encourage Israel to continue to take every effort to avoid civilian casualties,” US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement.
“We strongly condemn the barrage of rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel, and we regret the death and injury of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians caused by the ensuing violence,” he added.
“There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel,” Toner said in his statement, calling on them “to stop these cowardly acts immediately.”
However, this is not a black and white situation and requires some critical thought (and potentially some theological reflection as well). It is easy for Christians to understand and sympathize with Israel, especially since the relatively recent advent of Christian Zionism. The United States has always supported the acts of Israel without question, even despite the very prominent issue of Israeli oppression of Palestinians , even to the point of unswerving UN support of racial oppression, Nuclear rearmament and countless UN Vetoes to the benefit of Israel (and detriment of a lot of other individuals). Essentially, the United States has allowed Israel to raise some hell without any fear of UN involvement. This has naturally resulted in resistance, which is just as awful.
My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory…
Mercy triumphs over judgment.
(James 2:1,13 ESV)