This is Pastor Tim’s article which appeared in the Evening Leader on Monday, Oct 16, 2023
For the past month or more, I have repeatedly told myself that this week; I will not be writing an angry article for the paper. And yet, events continue to unfold that provoke my anger and compel me to address them in writing. Today, I must write about the ongoing crisis in Israel.
First and foremost, I want to provide full disclosure. I visited the region where this conflict is taking place back in 1997. While that may seem like a long time ago, it is essential to remember that the roots of this conflict trace back to biblical times. For a historical perspective, you can reference the books of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Old Testament. Considering this historical context, 1997 feels like just yesterday.
During most of my time there, I found myself in the Gaza Strip. It was a place where large areas were marked out, defining where you could walk safely. Staying within those markers was crucial because the Palestinians informed us that the ground inside had been checked for landmines, while the area outside had not. It was a surreal reality to navigate, but that was simply how life was in that region.
I was 22 years old during my visit, a bit older than many of the local children we encountered. This makes me wonder about the fate of those kids now. What could possibly justify a lifetime of conflict, knowing that your children will grow up, live, and possibly die in the midst of the same war?
What makes the recent terror attacks in the region so despicable is that one side of the conflict believes it is entirely justified in its actions. Regardless of one’s cause or beliefs, there is no excuse for committing acts of violence, rape, and harm against children. I’ve seen images and videos that have nearly made me sick. Anyone who stoops to such depravity is no longer fighting for a cause but is engaged in pure evil. This is what we witness in this conflict – manifested evil.
My thoughts and prayers go out to all the innocent people who have already suffered or will suffer due to these events. I hope that every innocent person can find a way out of harm’s way. Hamas, a terrorist group composed of individuals who have lost their humanity, deserves to face the consequences of their actions. Prime Minister Netanyahu must ensure that they do. If you choose violence against civilians, especially women and children, the only legacy you leave for humanity is swift condemnation in this life and likely a harsh afterlife.
This is no longer about Israel defending itself; this is about the civilized world demonstrating to those who resort to violence that they are not the sole bearers of such a language. Hamas must understand that pushing the world toward violence is the last thing they want, as we can speak this language very clearly. This conflict is not against a people or a geographical area; it is against individuals who have lost sight of the value of human life, to the extent that they target children and families in their homes. This cannot be tolerated.
We live in a world today that often shies away from consequences for actions, striving to shield ourselves from the repercussions of our decisions. However, there are actions that demand consequences, or they will persist and worsen. Hamas has demonstrated a blatant disregard for human life, and any sympathy for their cause evaporates when they resort to acts as heinous as rape and murder.
There is only one-way to halt the actions of individuals who have nothing to lose: the world must speak a language they comprehend, one that conveys our commitment to a world free from such malevolence. Until we do so in a way that they understand, more innocent women and children will endure suffering. If faced with the choice between the death of a barbarian and the suffering of a child, I choose the quick death of the barbarian.
What is going on in the world today that is forcing me to keep writing articles condemning the murder of babies?