Religion shapes culture

LEADER TIMES WEEKEND RELIGION ARTICLE FOR

July 19, 2014 by William H. Scarle, Jr. 813-835-0129

Ibrahim Khraishi is the “Palestinian” ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council.  Last week he made the following statement.  “The missiles that are now being launched against Israel, each and every missile, constitutes a crime against humanity, whether it hits or misses, because it is directed at civilian targets.”  Khraishi is no friend of Israel.   He makes the point that Israel has very cleverly adhered to international rules of engagement, so that even if the death toll among “Palestinians” is higher, legally Israel is in the right.  Whether Israel adheres to international law because it is moral or clever might be a point for discussion.

He continues to explain, “Many of our people in Gaza appeared on TV and said that the Israelis warned them to evacuate their homes before the bombardment.  In such a case, if someone is killed, the law considers it a mistake rather than an intentional killing because (the Israelis) followed legal procedure.”

In the last ten days at the time of the writing of this article, Hamas has lobed over 1000 rockets into Israeli territory.  These are anti-personnel rockets.  They are intended to kill people.  They are aimed at populated areas, but with no guidance systems, so that they fall arbitrarily.

The question I want to raise in this brief article is why the Hamas party in Gaza is doing this?  There is no question that Gaza has declared war on Israel.  But there is also no question about their inability to win such a war.  There is no possibility of expanding their territory.  They most certainly will get no additional advantages as a result of such action.  There is really only one conclusion.  The whole purpose of this action is to kill Jews.

Not only is Hamas committed to killing Jews, but they are willing to put the lives of their own people at risk to gain this end.  All the rockets sent into Israel from Gaza are launched from sites surrounded by innocent civilian population.  These people are instructed not to move out of the area, so that if Israel retaliates and civilians die, the movement will be able to cry that Israel is a war criminal, killing civilians.

On the other hand Israeli missiles are guided so that they have pinpoint accuracy.  They know exactly from where the Gazan missiles were fired, and they can strike that location with a return missile with precision.  Because of this Israel’s policy is to inform the civilian population to vacate the strike area either by phone or by dropping leaflets.  They then fire a dud to let the people know they know exactly where the live missile will land.  Only then do they fire the armed missile.

Why does Israel do all this?  It is certainly unnecessary for the winning of the war.  There is no rational argument against self-defense.  The conclusion is prima fascia.  They do it to save Arab lives.

Religion shapes culture.  We build cultures and political structures on the foundations of our beliefs, whether true or false, good or evil.  In this era of relativism and the melt down of value systems we still need to face the reality that faith makes a difference.  It is my earnest hope that the world can see a difference between the actions of Hamas in Gaza and the Jews in Israel.  Am I naïve to think we might still be able to distinguish between moral light and darkness?

(Bill Scarle can be contacted at ravscarle@verizon.net).  END-whs

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