We Stand With Israel

girl with Israeli flag
(iStock / Getty Images Plus / Inna Reznik)

The news of the horrific Hamas terror attacks in Israel during the holiday of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah left us shaken. As we learned details of the coordinated attack — including the snatching of dozens of civilian and military prisoners and transporting them to captivity in Gaza — we gasped in utter disbelief.

The brutality of the wholesale murder of innocents was difficult to comprehend. The gruesome images online and on social media were heartbreaking. And the horror of terrorists and Gaza’s citizens mocking kidnapped Israeli women, children and elderly who were triumphantly paraded through the streets is seared in our collective memory. The attack was catastrophic. The brutality was mind-numbing.

Questions regarding intelligence and security failures that knew nothing about the carefully planned and executed attack and concern over what appeared to be the flat-footed response of the IDF are deeply worrisome. But those are issues for another day. In response to the attacks, Israel must be given reasonable latitude to do what is necessary to defend its borders, protect its citizenry, secure the return of the hostages and provide sufficient deterrence to Hamas and any other terror actor that contemplates a similar attack on Israel.

We commend the Biden administration and the overwhelming majority of members of Congress who condemned the Hamas attack and pledged to support Israel and her need to respond to the terror outrage. And we appreciate the administration’s warning to those who might consider piling on to the Hamas effort to stay away. Similarly, we find comfort in the steps taken by the U.S. government and military to assure Israel and provide clear indications of U.S. resolve on the issue.

While we support Israel’s need to respond forcefully and understand the urge for revenge, we trust that Israel’s response will be driven by safety and security objectives rather than vengeance. The results and consequences of Israel’s response will not be pretty. There will be destruction and further loss of life. But such is the clear language of deterrence that must be pursued.

Unfortunately, the pattern of public and international reaction to this situation is predictable. There is initial sympathy for the victim until the victim is perceived as the aggressor. And once the images of devastation from a response are published, the underlying barbarism of the initial attacks will be quickly forgotten. What will follow is an inevitable chorus urging moderation and restraint and political pressure to stop fighting. We won’t forget the horror of the attacks. And so long as Israel’s response is directed to the goal of protecting the country’s safety and security and the return of kidnapped prisoners, we support the effort.

We grieve all loss of life. And we wish that Israel could accomplish its wholly legitimate goals without further loss of life. But we know that’s not possible against an enemy sworn to Israel’s destruction and to the annihilation of the Jewish people. Hamas and those who promote Jew hatred and death must be crushed.

Now is the time for unity in Israel and Jewish communities across the globe. Let’s put our political differences aside and stand as one with Israel.

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  1. To Israel and Jewish people everywhere.
    Our hearts are broken. “Our eyes pour down with tears.”(Psalm 119:36) The evil, demonic attacks on Israel’s citizens on October 7, 2023, are beyond human. None of us have words that could bring any consolation to the broken hearts and souls of Israel’s Jews. As one of many non-Jews who advocate for Israel, we held a “Never Again” event in November 2019, at the Holocaust Memorial in downtown Baltimore. But “Never Again” happened AGAIN; in the one place, we all knew it never could or would. It is no exaggeration, “our eyes pour down with tears” and we can’t stop crying. “A voice is heard in Israel of lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted because they are no more.” (Jer.31:15)
    We can only petition the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to fulfill the words of Isaiah and “comfort those who mourn in Zion.” As impossible as it sounds at this moment, God also says, in that same verse, that He will “bestow on Israel a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” (Isaiah 61:3)
    These words may sound hollow—and feel empty at this moment! Where was God? Several years ago, a young Israeli (now an officer in the IDF) while viewing the death camps in Poland, asked that same question. Where were you, God? A vivid mental picture appeared. He saw Abba God, his heavenly Father, sitting on His throne with His face in His hands–weeping. It is possible that God’s heart is broken and He can’t stop weeping, either. God is on the side of LIFE for all people, Jews, Arabs, and Gentiles. He is not on the side of evil, demonic atrocities! Chapter 51 of Jeremiah describes terrifying judgment on Israel’s enemies. In verse 20, God says to Israel, “You are my war club, my weapon for battle, with you I shatter nations, with you I destroy evil kingdoms.” Golda Meir (4th Prime Minister of Israel) said to their enemies: “In time we may be able to forgive you for killing our sons. It will take much longer to forgive you for forcing us to kill yours.” That is the heart of God and the heart of Israel’s Defense Forces who are forced into battle time and time again, in wars they never started or wanted.
    Gentiles and nine-tenths of Christianity need to understand God’s relationship with the people of Israel, and the land of Israel. They are the first line of defense against the forces of evil who are determined to rule the world. WAKE UP! WAKE UP AMERICA! We are the next target.
    Through all the lamenting, we pray to the God of Israel to comfort, strengthen, and protect all the innocent on both sides of this evil divide: bring the hostages home, and give the brave men and women in the Israel Defense Forces every means possible to destroy these evil kingdoms, and bring a speedy end to this war of contrition.
    Until Messiah comes,
    Mae Bochau
    Ruth International, Inc
    1 (NIV Bible)
    2 See the 2016 documentary “WHOSE LAND IS IT” CBN.COM/WHOSE LAND or 1.800.700.7000


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