Two kids a day is two too many: Understanding Isr-Pal #2

Two kids a day is two too many: Understanding Isr-Pal #2 July 1, 2024

If we consider the children, will that motivate us to demand a just peace?
Courtesy The New Arab

I have pleaded throughout the past 9+ mos that we endeavor to view the war on Gaza from the perspective of innocent women and children—be they Israelis or Palestinians. The death of one child, one young person, one grandmother, one father, or one sister is too many.

In my last post, I began to ask: “Why don’t we look at this war from the perspective of the oppressed?” Over the course of several posts, I intend to point out that those in power are routinely unaffected by war—at least negatively. Not only that, but they often gain more power from violence. Furthermore, it is those in power who control the narrative. That is, what the average person knows is what they want us to know.

Two Kids a Day

I recently watched a documentary on child detentions in the West Bank called Two Kids a Day. What was intriguing about the documentary is that it interviews several children who experienced arrest, interrogation, and imprisonment. It also included interviews with several Israeli officials who were responsible for the arrests, interrogations, and imprisonments.

There were two radically opposing perspectives in this documentary.

One perspective regards the children as “terrorists.’ They throw rocks and attempt to injure soldiers who are merely doing their jobs, trying to maintain order.

The other perspective views the children as resisting a brutal occupation.

NB: throwing rocks at a foreign army in one’s land is not illegal by international law. It is considered a legal effort act of resistance. It is unlawful in the occupied territories, however, because Israel has enacted a law against it.

NBB: Some argue that Israel is justified in the war on Gaza on the basis that a nation has a right to defend itself. The problem with this argument is that international law provides the right to self-defense only when a nation is attacked by another sovereign entity. The people of Gaza are not a sovereign entity. Now, I am not saying that Israel cannot defend itself against attacks on civilians. I am merely pointing out that international law provides no basis for Israel’s full-on assault on Gaza.

Are the people of Gaza terrorists?

No. Hamas is a terrorist organization that committed acts of terror on Oct 7 by killing and kidnapping civilians.

But the kids who throw rocks are resisting a brutal military occupation.

Consider the children of Gaza

Over 50% of the population of Gaza is under the age of 18. This means that their entire life, they have only known the terror of living in a place they cannot leave and which has a land, sea, and air blockade. This blockade was so brutal that the UN declared that by 2020 Gaza would be unlivable.

Those born in Gaza since 2006 (18 and under) have experienced Israel’s assaults in 2008-09, 2012, and 2014.

NB: John Mearsheimer notes that one of Israel’s objectives has been to respond to any incursions by the Palestinians with brutal force in order to deter the Palestinians. Israel has referred to these responses as “mowing the lawn.”

2008-09 Operation Cast Lead: Israel retaliates to Hamas rockets with an assault that lasted 3 weeks, leaving 1400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead.

2012 Operation Pillar of Defense: Israel retaliates to Hamas rockets with an 8-day assault on Gaza, resulting in 150 Palestinian and 6 Israeli deaths.

2014 Operation Protective Edge: Israel retaliates to Hamas rockets with a 50-day attack on the Gaza Strip. The death toll includes 2,251 Palestinians and 73 Israelis.

NB: the casualty numbers are always significantly higher on the Palestinian side. This is why in my post on Oct 8, 2023, was so concerned about Israel’s response to the attack of Oct 7 and Biden’s statement that “We have Israel’s back . . . Full stop.” In that post, I noted that Israel routinely responds with a ten-fold response (what Mearsheimer refers to as Israel’s effort at “deterrence”). Sadly, Israel has dramatically exceeded a ten-fold response. We are approaching and may have already exceeded a thirty-fold response.

NBB: the death toll among Israelis from the attack of Oct 7 is 1,143. Israel, however, has acknowledged that 373 of these were members of their security forces. The death toll in Gaza is approaching 37,000, and that does not include the 10,000+ who are missing and presumed dead under the rubble. We, of course, do not know how many of these are members of Hamas.

What about the Israeli perspective?

We must also endeavor to look at matters from the perspective of Israel. They live under an existential fear of annihilation. They have faced constant attacks. Hamas rockets are a regular part of life. There is no question that Israel is in a difficult place.

NB: This is one of the questions I had for my two guests on a recent livestream. I intended to ask them, two Jewish voices, if Israel’s violent response has led to an increase in antisemitism. We didn’t get that far in the conversation, but we are discussing having them back on the livestream to continue the discussion. Subscribe to the Determinetruth YouTube channel for auto-notifications of upcoming livestreams.

Maybe violence is not the way forward

I have been saying for some time now that the only possible solution is to find a diplomatic solution that brings a just-peace for everyone.

You might say that such is not possible. Perhaps you are right. But we may never know unless we try. Furthermore, violence most certainly is not working. All the violence has done is kill, injure, and traumatize the innocent.


The worst part of this whole mess is that it is the innocent women and children who suffer the most from the violence while those in power do everything they can to maintain their power.

Perhaps a diplomatic solution has not been achieved because those in power do not want it. They want more power, not less, and diplomacy hinders that pursuit.

It is the power of empire that Jesus and the Scriptures radically oppose. In fact, the book of Revelation calls this “the Beast.’ And Revelation’s “False Prophet” is the propaganda arm of the Beast that tells us why diplomacy won’t work.

This raises the question: Has the Beast duped us?

To be continued . . .

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About Rob Dalrymple
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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