Monday, August 07, 2006

Israel Vs. Hezbollah - An Update

I just finished reading David Dolan's most recent report from Jerusalem corroborating another story I saw earlier on the news wires. Lebanese prime minister Fuad Seniora has backed off a bit from his "massacre" claims, saying earlier that 40 people had been killed in an Israeli strike on the border town of Hula. It turns out only one person actually died. Seniora's original allegations had been made in a tearful speech to an emergency meeting of the Arab league. Will this correction be reported in Muslim/Arab media? It will be interesting to see.

Israeli forces also shot down a drone missile believed to be on its way to Tel Aviv. The missile was loaded with high explosives. If Tel Aviv gets hit, it will no doubt mean an expansion of the war. Will this lead to the fulfillment of the oracle of Damascus found in Isaiah 17? Who knows.

While I grieve at the loss of life all around, I am also glad that truth has a way of showing itself despire the best efforts of evil men to suppress it. Hezbollah's tactics of hiding among civilians, distorting or outright lying about casualty figures, and their true intent of wiping out Israel are as clear as can be. It is regrettable that the prime minister can't seem to take the right side in this and join with others to stamp out Hezbollah in his country. Instead, he's growing more and more bellicose against Israel. The military operation would stop immediately if the terrorist attacks would stop. That will not happen until Hezbollah is destroyed. The sooner the better.


Leah PettePiece said...

Sinat Chinam …Baseless Hatred

Yesterday was a cloudy gray day here in the US on the west coast we didn't see any sun until well after three in the afternoon. As is my custom I went in the afternoon to the market to get some fresh vegetables, and other things I needed to make ready for Shabbat. The lines were long, people were crankier than usual and just as I finished my shopping and got in line behind a half dozen or so other shoppers to wait to check out and old man got in line behind me. First he complained to the lady in the next line over about the price of things and how the price of gas now is driving up everything, then suddenly the lights in the huge grocery store went out…so the scenario was like this, no lights, no air conditioning, no checkout working, and no way to open the doors of the store to let those who simply wanted to leave to do so.
After several more minutes listening to this old man go on about everything being so awful I couldn't take it anymore…" Mazieh, ze an akol beseder!" I stated it with as much vehemence as I could muster. Seeing that I had his attention, I changed to English." First you complain about the prices, and the gas, then you complain about the cost of living and the expense to eat, no one forced you to come out shopping, it was your choice. You should be grateful to go to a store where there is too much of everything, you should be thankful that you can afford Strawberries at $3.00 a half pound. You are making the rest of us miserable just with your complaints!"
" Bah!" he shouted at me, " I suppose you are going to get your food with welfare stamps that I pay for with my taxes. Look at this crowd more than three quarters of you aren't even citizens of this country. I served in two world wars! God only knows where you all come from, but in my book you don't belong here!"
"I have friend living in a war zone, without enough to eat, and barley getting by hiding every time the air raid siren goes off praying that the target isn't them! You have no right to complain!"
"Dirty old bitch," he shouted at me, "You should go back where you came from you and all the other black brown and tan people, you and the Jews"
That did it, another lady my age ( in her sixties) with two grandchildren in tow turned on him too, " You think I am not a citizen" she shouted at him," My husband served in the Air Force, our kids were born on Army bases, just because I have on an apron and look Hispanic doesn't mean I am automatically illegal!"
From the next line over a very stunning African American woman spoke up," My great-granddaddy was a slave, he worked his way to freedom so that we can have a good life, and he struggled every day for seventy five long years to make certain we knew the value of freedom. Something you sir don't know!"
"Damit to hell" he shouted, you all are just leaches on our society." Why when I was a youngster none of you would have dared to shop in such a store. We wouldn't have let you!"
By this time the doors were working on the generator and he walked away leaving his cart in the line. Good thing because there is nothing worse then a bunch of ladies of color who are angry! He might have had to fight another war right there and then.
On the way home it set me to thinking, this is the month of Av, it’s a time when we reflect on things lost, and Sinat Chinam…baseless hatred. There is a lot of that going on in the world today, baseless hatred, it's taught to little children in many of the countries of the mid east, if someone doesn't act, talk, dress or worship exactly like you then you must hate them. In some places little children are taught that it is a great honor to blow yourself up with others around you if you take the lives of those who are " not like us". Most of the wars in our modern world are fought over baseless hatred. Think about it?
There is an old saying that if it "squawks like a duck, waddles like a duck and has feathers like a duck …then it must be a duck!" Now if you are a hunter in the Midwestern United States that means you can shoot it during hunting season, and if you are an Arab Extremist and it's a Jew that also means you can kill because you hate the Jews. What a very sad commentary on our world that we can't get to a point where we accept that we are all human, created from the same gene pool, brought up out of the same murky quagmire of the ancient primordial swamp! There are geneses of human kind, like there are of plants and animals, all of us walk up right on two legs, all of us have five fingers and develop dexterity with them, we all are able to reproduce and feed our young on mother's milk. Somehow we must begin to get a grip on the facts that the world is doomed if we humans can't clean up our act.
As long as there are grumpy, bigoted old men in supermarket lines who think that the rest of the world would be a better place if there were only whites, or Aryans, as long as the Jews see the Muslims as "different, or less than" as long as humankind keeps placing tags of acceptable and unacceptable on other human beings there can never be peace!
The mid-east tensions continue to rise as I write, who knows where this war will lead humanity, into the end perhaps, if there can't be peace in the mid east soon than there may be another third world war, quite possibly this will be the war that ends all wars…and where did it all start? Sinat Chinam…baseless hatred!
I intend this next portion of my writing to challenge you as an individual to try to come into a space where you can think about all the baseless hatreds that you know of in your own little circle of life and once you identify them try in the best way you know how to set them right. I have in Israel a dear friend who is in a town in the north where the bombing has been intense…she wrote an article about being on a rollercoaster into the end of times and how until everyone on that roller coaster could find their code for the button in their hand the rollercoaster would continue on its course of destruction. There are prophecies in many of the world greatest religions that speak to the times that we are now in, and it would seem that everyone of us indeed has a part to play in the slowing down of the roller coaster, that we all have the power to make change right where we are, right now and that if we all worked very hard on doing that we might be able to cause a slowing of the escalation to world war that we are in.
Peace isn't any unattainable goal, there was a time when there was peace on this little blue planet, when the seas were new and pristine when the animals and birds and other creatures were not endangered, a time when there was everything we needed to live, but we humans, who are supposed to be sentient beings ruined that.
We, like the little old man in the supermarket line couldn't see that we were blessed, we wanted more, we became acquisitive in our nature and we began to take that which we did not need…we stole from nature, the waters, the trees, the oil, the minerals and precious stones, we made big mistakes thinking that this little blue planet could last forever. Now we are on the brink of destruction such as man has never known before, one slip of the finger, one nod of the head and the big guns some out and here we go World War Three.
We Jews are a hopeful people, we cling to life even when there are those set on extinguishing that life, the Christians all love life too, so do the Muslims, and other religions of the world, now if ever this is the time for us all to come together in Peace and love, learning again to trust each other as human beings. Never doubt that what you do in your own little circle to make peace can't help the world, it can! If each of us finds just one person with whom we can make a bond and if we turn out attention to the things that are all the same in both of us, forgetting our difference, we can stir the waters and make the ripples flow out from us to touch others. Time is of the essence right now, we have no more time to fight among ourselves, no more time to be bitter and hateful, dishonest or unjust! If Peace is every to come to this planet it will come because enough of us in our own small way try to make it a reality where we live!
I was thinking yesterday of the old Eagles song "In a New York Minute everything can change!" That is the minute we are living in, the minute when we switch the channel and suddenly there is the bomb no one wanted to see ever again in life…the bomb to end all bombs. Then it will be too late!
Think about this, do you know a Muslim, or a Jew, or someone of another culture or another faith in your neighborhood? Have you tried to make friends with them, do you know their names? How about reaching out of your comfort zone just a little, what about the strange old lady who sits in the back pew of the church and always leaves before coffee, why not catch up with her and ask her to stay, get out of your comfort zone and reach for someone who seems unlovable, stretch as bit and go over to the neighbor and ask how they are doing.
If we don't all start trying this whole mess in the Middle East between Israel and Lebanon could become Armageddon, the place where they are fighting at the border in the north of Israel and the south of Lebanon is near Megiddo, the very place where the prophets said the war to end all wars would be wagged. I have walked there with my husband, we saw that ground and it made us tremble, to see how the war is being fought right there is a frightening thing! "In a New York Minute, everything can change!"
We sentient, conscious human beings need to make ourselves heard above the roar of this war, we need to stand up and be counted as trying to make change before it is too late.

SolaMeanie said...

Thanks, Leah, for your very thoughtful post. I do hope you are not misinterpreting what I've been saying on this subject in this and previous columns.

In a perfect world, what you are saying would indeed be attainable. But that's just it. It's not perfect, at least not yet. It won't be until Messiah comes (as I believe, the second time). Until then, we have evil to deal with. That is what I am talking about.

As an individual believer, it is indeed my responsibility to be salt and light to those with whom I come in contact. To love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. However, It is the job of governments to protect their citizens and "bear the sword" to evildoers. When a government ceases to be a terror to evildoers and begins being a terror to the righteous, it is no longer a legitimate government. Occasionally, citizens have to band together to protect themselves and their families when government is unable or unwilling to do so.

As a Christian, I do not advocate hatred and agree with you that hate (I would broaden that and call it sin) causes the world's woes. Believe it or not, I do not hate those perpetrating these things, although they do make me exceedingly angry. I hope and pray for their conversion, which will lead to their abandonment of an ideology of hate. But until then, they cannot be allowed simply to kill at whim. They must be stopped, and I think the Torah and Tanach would acknowledge that. Not all use of force is governed by unreasoning hate, and there is no moral equivalence between Hezbollah and Israel.

Those who are totally peace minded are well intentioned, but I think a bit naive. I do not necessarily place you in that camp, but we have many here who are. The G-d of the Bible is not a pacifist as it is viewed in modern parlance. Sometimes, one must fight a war to achieve a larger peace. However, final peace will not come until, as I believe, Yeshua Ha-Mashiach returns.

Thanks again for sharing. You are welcome here anytime.