The unofficial state of war spreads as Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza continue to strike Israeli cities, hitting Jewish civilians (and occasionally Arab citizens of Israel). These jihadi rocket attacks are shot from launchers deliberately positioned by Hamas among Gaza’s civilian population – a war crime by legal and ethical definitions.
Unity and love between Jews and Arabs is a prime value and a deep necessity. But God is not about the business of creating ‘one new ostrich.’ When concerted efforts to destroy the Jewish people arise, Messianic Jews and believing Arabs need to look unflinchingly upon murderous Islamist violence and destructive strategies, call them for what they are, reject them and take a bold and public stand against them. Anything less than that will not carry the day.
Fast-moving events are transfixing Israel this week. The bodies of three Jewish teenagers murdered by their Hamas kidnappers were discovered. Jihadi rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip have been smashing into Israeli kibbutzim and towns even as we go to press. Saudi Arabia announced that it has moved 30,000 soldiers to its border with Iraq, concerned about the jihadi onslaught rolling like thunder across Mesopotamian fields.
The U.S. invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan had different original goals originally – the establishment of a threefold cord – Western democracy, a solid economy and a pro-Western military power. This week all three of those pillars have shattered with jihadi group ISIS taking control of Mosul and with the Iraqi government turning to Iran for help.
The United States of America is about to experience an unusual event – the Jewish Festival of Hanukkah and American Thanksgiving fall on the same day this year. Though this may not be the most significant world event this month, it does give pause for thought – a time to reflect on the historical and spiritual roots of both holidays, and to apply these lessons in our fast-paced modern world.