Fact, Opinion and Annoyance

My position on Israel’s actions in Gaza
January 9, 2009, 2:09 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , ,

I recently wrote a liberal friend, who accused another friend of making “armchair judgements” about the Israel/Gaza conflict (specifically over the issues of the IDF shooting at the UN school and at a refugee camp).  My liberal friend had lived in a refugee camp for a period of time (on another continent) and therefore seemed to think they had the moral authority to make all judgments concerning actions around a refugee camp.  As I was crafting my response, I realized there was too much good stuff in it to simply send to someone who would probably ignore it anyway – so I now send it out to the ether:

This message is not intended as a defense of ___. He is perfectly capable of defending himself, probably with much more eloquence than I can muster. Although I will say that his comment was not intended to start a flame war (that would have been my comment to your status, which he diplomatically encouraged me not to post).

Instead, it is a defense of my self, since I hold very similar opinions on the current conflict in Israel. Let’s face it – none of us are there. All of our information is at least second hand. Much of it is biased in one direction or the other. Therefore, all of our opinions are really “armchair judgments.” I’m not sure why yours are more valid due to your living arrangements in another country dealing with a different situation. And by validity, I mean the right to have an opinion, not the rightness or wrongness of that opinion.

I have closely followed the situation in Israel for over 10 years now.  It is important to me, for as a Christian dispensationalist, I feel it is my duty to stay informed of the status of God’s chosen people and to support Israel (its right to exist, not necessarily all of its actions).

The point is that my opinion is not a knee-jerk reaction to the latest news. It is the summation of years of watching the sovereign nation of Israel give in to demands time and time again in the hope of peace – a peace which never comes. It is founded in the belief that the Arab, Christian, and Jewish men, women, and children who live on the Israeli side of the Gaza border have suffered long enough (thousands of rockets over the past 3 years – after Israel left Gaza and forced its own Jewish settlers out). I have wondered for a long time why the Israeli government did not act to protect its own citizens. I can guarantee you that my neighbor would only have to toss one stick of dynamite over the fence at my children before I was ready to go to war. You can call me a warmonger if you like, I really don’t care.

And responding to your specific comments, the IDF says they were being fired on and they returned fire. The UN staff at the school says there were no rockets fired from there. Bring on an independent investigation (though where you’ll find someone who’s really independent to investigate it I’m not sure). In six months or a year, someone will file a report. I’m not sure why people would think that the IDF would target a school for no reason other than to kill civilians. They wouldn’t even be there if Hamas had not been doing exactly that for the past 3 years. Perhaps the world has been following Hamas’ battle plan for too long and assume that everyone acts that way.

I’m willing to give trained soldiers the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise. You choose to believe UN staff members. I’m pretty sure this difference comes down to our political worldviews. To be sure, there is one Truth to what really happened at the school, the question is can we dig through media biases and our own to get to it? Time will tell.

Also, it appears that the IDF was not bombing refugee camps (see http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/3214791/the-hysteria-that-dare-not-speak-its-name.html). Not that they’ll get any credit for it – or that world opinion will chastise Hamas for putting out false propaganda. I just hope Israel can withstand international pressure long enough to totally and utterly defeat the terrorists in Gaza and give its own citizens some safety and security. That is the one legitimate obligation of government, after all.

2 Comments so far
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A very sensible response Erica, one that I pray was received.

Comment by Digital Publius

I enjoyed reading this well-expressed article. I agree 100%. I found you through your response to my article on Digital Publius. Check out our blog at pilgrimskeyboard.wordpress.com. My husband mostly manages it.

Comment by Cindy

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