The alarm sounded at 11:00am this morning, announcing the first official war drill that I've ever experienced. In the office, we had a brief meeting before the drill to discuss what we would do in the real case of an emergency: hide in the bathroom and seal the window and door. Besides that, we just made sure to save our files and then we sat through the alarm. I organized colored pencils—ROYGBIV—while we waited for the sirens to finish. Devin said he just hung out in our apartment during the drill. Overall, it was a fairly low-key event for those of us in the private sector. I imagine it was probably more interesting for school children, who would actually have to go into the bomb shelters, much like we would exit school for a fire drill.
More important than what we did during the War Drill is why we have to do it. Very few people know or understand the reality of the threat that Israel faces from surrounding nations. During the last war, Cast Lead, most of what viewers heard from the media was criticism of Israel's "disproportional force." Little was said about the giant amounts of Antisemitism within Palestine's current government, Hamas, and how that Antisemitism was, and is, causing them to act out violently towards Israel.
Hamas is recognized internationally as a terror organization and they hate Israel. When I say "hate," I really mean it. Its not just an exaggeration. This hate is clearly spelled out in the Hamas Charter, a document that lays out the basic principles of Hamas concerning the existence of Israel.
A few such statements from the charter are as follows:
"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it" (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory). (Introduction)
"The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews." (related by al-Bukhari and Muslim). (Article 7)
"Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement. Abusing any part of Palestine is abuse directed against part of religion. Nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] is part of its religion. Its members have been fed on that. For the sake of hoisting the banner of Allah over their homeland they fight. 'allah* will be prominent, but most people do not know.'" (Article 13 under Peaceful Solutions, Initiatives and International Conferences)
The Charter continues on for 36 articles, all of which state claims similar to the ones above. Notice the first two state a clear hatred of the Jews with a desire to obliterate Israel. The third quote makes it clear that any peace agreements made between Israel and the Palestinians will not be honored under a Hamas government.
Then there's Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He openly denies the Holocaust ever happened, and calls for Israel to be "wiped off the map." But that's a whole other blog post.
Even though there is strong political evidence to support Israel, ultimately, our loyalties should lay with this nations because it honors the Lord to do so (see Gen 12:3, Eze 36:22-28, Joel 3:1-2). If you are confused about what the truth is about Israel, I'd encourage you to seek the Lord in prayer about His heart for this nation, and to search the bible to see what He says through the word. Hosea 3 and Romans 9-11 are good starting points! Make sure the ask the Lord to renew your mind from the influences of replacement theology!
*In the charter, the name of the Muslim god is capitalized but I elected to leave it lowercase.
Israel, the Church, and the Last Days Keith Intrater and Dan Juster
Why Care About Israel? Sandra Teplinsky
Islam and Terrorism: What the Quran Really Teaches About Christianity, Violence and the Goals of the Islamic Jihad Mark A. Gabriel