Three Israeli boys were kidnapped, then murdered. The bodies were found on 30 June 2014. Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) adopted a “no stone unturned” attitude to pursue the perpetrators of the cold blooded murder with its Operation Brother’s Keeper. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was adamant that Hamas killed the teenagers. Tempers flared – vengeance! In a tit for tat consequence, a Palestinian teenager was abducted from East Jerusalem and murdered. As the cries for blood grew louder on both sides, rockets started raining down on Israeli soil from Gaza while IDF pounded targeted Gaza rocket launching sites. A week later on 8 July 2014, IDF launched Operation Protective Edge.
The death count keeps ticking with each passing day. Two weeks after the commencement of Operation Protective Edge, on 23 July 2014, IDF reported 29 Israeli deaths, including officers and soldiers. The United Nations reported at least 630 Palestinians had been killed and nearly 4,000 wounded; some 70% to 80% of them are civilians. Beyond these causalities, properties and infrastructure were damaged and countless hours of productivity time lost in this futile hostility. A little to the north, the loss of MH17 is still awaiting answers that may never be revealed. Nearer to Israel, ISIS is reported to have acquired sophisticated Stinger missiles, adding to their vast array of armaments captured during its recent advance into Iraq. Israel has just announced a virtual closure of its airport to international flights arising from rocket fire from Gaza. With missiles now in the hands of ISIS, the world’s air travel is facing a potential paralysis.
Meanwhile the UN Chief Ban Ki Moon and globe-trotting Kerry made their perfunctory rounds to the Middle East to show efforts for their hard-earned wages, hostilities continued to brood all over the globe. The United Nation is nothing but another western-managed organ that has no teeth other than to draft resolutions that no one respects. MH17 is a proxy between US sponsored western powers and Russia using the poor Ukrainians as toy soldiers. It should never have happened. Gaza, on the hand is a perpetual conflict of survival and statehood of two people groups. Israelis and Palestinians both have rights to co-exist. But how? Will there ever be peace? Is co-existence even possible at all?
It is hard to be optimistic. As hard as mortal man may try to strive for a common good, hoping to live in peace, this pessimism is not unfounded once the root cause is fully understood. The Bible recorded the first murder in the first generation of man’s existence. Cain killed Abel, his blood brother. Had the brutal act been met with vengeful retaliation, Cain should face the death penalty and the matter is closed. That might satisfy our human conception of justice. However, I would conjecture that even if that is so, that Cain-Abel cycle of events will simply repeat perpetually with new players doing the same. In short, the evil continues to manifest. Biblical accounts God confronting Cain over the affair. Cain thereafter was driven out while being admonished of his evil act and a clear pronunciation that sin will continue to be the master of a deceitful heart. That is the crux of fallen humanity. We cannot conquer sin on our own accord.
Israel and Palestine will continue to wrestle with needless loss of lives and to no avail. Until forgiveness is released unconditionally and humanity sees the splattered blood of the creator God, the smell of death prevails. Will the children of Israel let down arms and surrender to the sovereignty of Christ instead of Iron Domes and man-made hell fire? Sounds like a total impossibility, but that day will come when Israel sees no way out.
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.