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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

THE RUBBERBAND SNAPS

Just last Monday I posted an article (BACK TO THE FUTURE) in which I pointed out that nearly 1,000 rockets have been fired into Israel since January 2012. What nation can endure this forever? Most of the rocket attacks have been fairly unsophisticated and inaccurate short-range projectiles, but they are deadly. The growing concern in Israel is that more sophisticated rockets are being supplied to Hamas.

Now the Israeli Defense Forces have struck back. Just a few hours ago Israeli warplanes targeted and killed the top military leader of Hamas. The Jerusalem post states: “The IAF (Israeli Air Force) struck and killed Hamas armed wing Izzadin Kassam Brigades commander Ahmed Jabari in central Gaza on Wednesday. The strike marked the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense to target Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror organizations in Gaza, IDF spokesman Yoav Mordechai announced.”

The assassination of Jabari by the Israelis is comparable to the killing of Osama Bin Laden by U.S. forces last year. Unfortunately, there will be others prepared to take his place.

After killing Jabari the IAF went on to strike over 20 underground rocket launchers belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, primarily targeting their long-range rocket capabilities. This is an ominous but predictable development. Israel does not want a protracted war in Gaza. Hopefully, both sides of this most recent conflict will be sufficiently motivated to call an end to these developments. War is no friend. Children will die. Fathers and mothers will sacrifice their sons and daughters. May God have mercy upon us.

Just a few weeks ago I sat under a sukkah (a temporary hut constructed for use during the week-long, joyous, Jewish festival of Sukkot). I was having dinner alone and may have been the only non-Jewish person in the crowded space. I so enjoyed watching the tables slowly fill with families of different Jewish sects. Hats of all descriptions identified the theological or customary differences, but in that moment, on that glad holiday, seated under a sukkah, conflict seemed to be no more than a distant memory. Yet, all the while, young, uniformed men and women with automatic weapons patrolled; war is never very far away for the Israelis.

My heart is sad for the tensions that must now fill the space where I sat so peacefully on that warm October evening, soaking in the happiness of family celebrations. Now, only a month later, family table discussions must be anxious for what may soon come.

Please join with me in prayer for Jewish and Palestinian families and, as always, pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

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