As bombs drop and innocent children die in the crossfire between Israel and Gaza, American celebrities accidentally illustrate the problem with the way many are responding to this genocidal war.
First, actress Jamie Lee Curtis posted an image on October 10, 2023 of children running in terror with the message “Terror From The Skies” in support of Israel, (with an Israeli flag icon in the post), only to realize that those children were Palestinian and not Israeli.
The post was liked by over 13 thousand people – including Lindsay Lohan and other celebrities – before Curtis deleted the image once she realized her mistake.
Then, singer Justin Bieber also posted a meme on his social media that said “Praying for Israel” alongside an image of a destroyed Gazan neighborhood.
That post earned over 50 million views, likes and shares before being deleted by Bieber once he realized it was an image of the damage done by Israel and not damage suffered by them.
But why is it that images of suffering are only acceptable if they’re of “our side” of the conflict? Aren’t Palestinian children human, too? Don’t their lives count just as much as the lives of Israelites?
While armchair celebrities – and non-celebrities – rush to share their hot takes on who is right and who is wrong in this conflict, the point is still the same: Innocent people – men, women and children – are all being blown apart by an endless barrage of rockets, bombs and bullets.
Rather than spend our time and energy demonizing one side or supporting the other, we should work to bring both sides to the bargaining table for the sake of peace. Rather than pointing fingers or blaming this side or that for the atrocities, or justifying genocide of one side because of the savagery of the other, our aim should be to stand between those warring factions to stop the bloodshed and end the suffering. Especially if it seems obvious to us that both sides in this war want nothing more than to obliterate one another. The end game here will be brutal and unspeakable. We can’t stand by and do nothing while both sides are so intent on complete genocide.
We should weep when the children suffer, no matter where they live, or what they believe, or what their politics may be.
We should “Pray for Israel” and “Weep for Palestine” at the same time. Our hearts should break whenever we see mothers weeping for their dead children, regardless of their nationality.
Christians, Jews and Muslims all live side-by-side in Israel and Palestine. Christians, Muslims and Jews are mourning their dead children tonight.
So, what should Christians, Muslims and Jews do in response? Work for an end to this bloodshed so that no more Jews, Christians or Muslims have to die tomorrow.
We are all the children of God. And our Father is not happy when his children fight and kill one another. The Father weeps. We should weep. And then we should do everything we can to end the violence.
Posting memes in sympathy for the suffering of one group won’t do it. Pointing to the evils of this side while ignoring the evils on the other side won’t help.
If you can’t weep at the sight of a dead child, the love of God is not within you.
Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the Children of God.
Pray for the Peace of Israel. Pray for the Peace of Palestine.
Let that peace begin with us.
Keith Giles is the best-selling author of the Jesus Un series. He has appeared on CNN, USA Today, BuzzFeed, and John Fugelsang’s “Tell Me Everything.” He hosts the Second Cup with Keith podcast, and co-hosts the Apostates Anonymous podcast, and the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast.
His latest book, SOLA DEUS: What If God Is All Of Us? is available now on Amazon in Paperback and Kindle HERE>
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