“Finish them,” love Nikki

“Finish them,” love Nikki June 17, 2024

Nikki Haley signs a bomb for the Israeli military as they prepare to strike Rafah
Courtesy A News

What was Nikki Haley thinking?

Last week, a video surfaced in which Nikki Haley (former US delegate to the UN and Republican Presidential candidate), while visiting Israel, was seen signing a bomb. I hope this sounds like lunacy to you. Unfortunately, it gets worse.

Now, it is one thing for someone to support Israel and its siege on Gaza. After all, you might be persuaded that Israel has a right to defend itself. Or that Israel has no choice but to eliminate Hamas because of its radical Jihadist convictions that call for the destruction of Israel. Or, perhaps you believe that Israel must be brutal in its assault on Gaza to deter further acts of terror against them, whether it be by Hamas or another actor such as Iran.

Whatever the situation may be, you believe that Israel is justified. But to sign a bomb with the full knowledge that 70% of those who have been killed to date in Gaza since October 7 are women and children is something else.

But it doesn’t stop there.

What Haley wrote was especially egregious. “Finish them.”

“Them?” Who is “them”?

One of the primary means of justifying violence against others is to dehumanize them. Render them as the “other” or simply “them.”

Parable of the Good Samaritan

Jesus’ famed Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37 tells of a man who was robbed, beaten, and left for dead. A priest and a Levite (a member of the Priestly tribe) pass by but do not care for the man (Luke 10:31-32). But a “Samaritan,”

“felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you’” (Luke 10:33-35).

Jesus then asks the lawyer (scribe),

“Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” (Luke 10:36).

The lawyer replied,

“The one who showed mercy toward him” (Luke 10:37).

The reason why I bring this parable up here is that it is important to note that in his response, the lawyer was unwilling to identify the man with anything other than “the one who.”

The animosity between Jews and Samaritans at the time of Jesus was well known. This is an excellent example of distancing oneself from the other. The scribe was unable or unwilling to identify the Samaritan as “the Samaritan.”

Who are the “them”?

This brings me back to Haley’s “Finish them.” Who are the “them” to which she is referring? Is it Hamas? Is it the people of Gaza? Is it all Palestinians?

Now, it is true that Haley has specified previously that she wants to see Israel finish “Hamas.” The danger, however, remains that by using “them,” she has left it open-ended. This is common in war. Rendering the other as the other makes it easier to justify killing.

After all, we know that 70% of the people in Gaza who will die from the bombs, like those Haley signed, will be women and children. One could hardly say, “Finish Hamas, even if it means a substantial number of women and children must die.”

Yet, in effect, this is precisely what she is saying. “Them” just sounds better.


We need political rulers who have the courage to oppose all injustices and advocate for peace.

“But this is naïve,” you might reply.

To which I would note that the US has been fighting endless wars for 30 years, and we are none the safer for it. Suffice it to say that the list grows by the hour of nations who want to bring destruction to the US.

The way of Jesus is the only path towards lasting peace. However, this does not mean that it always works. After all, Christians have been martyred over the centuries for advocating for peace.

What, then, shall we do?

Well, we cannot endorse public figures who call for the annihilation of others. And we must call “them” (Mrs Haley) out when they do so.


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About Rob Dalrymle
Rob Dalrymple is married to his wife Toni and is the father of four fabulous children, and two grandchildren. He has been teaching and pastoring for over 34 years at colleges, seminaries, and the local church. He has a PhD in biblical interpretation. He is the author of four books (including Follow the Lamb: A Guide to Reading, Understanding, and Applying the Book of Revelation & Understanding the New Testament and the End Times: Why it Matters) as well as numerous articles and other publications. He is currently completing a commentary on the book of Revelation titled, “Revelation: a Love Story” (Cascade Books, July 2024). Also, his new book, Land of Contention: Biblical Narratives and the Struggle for the Holy Land, should be out by the summer 2024. You can read more about the author here.

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