America has a long-standing tradition of being adamantly pro-Israel. Since 1948, at least, Israel has been a close ally of the United States of America. Despite recent comments by American leadership paying lip service to a Palestinian state, we still stand on the side of Israel.
But, in light of the ongoing war that has the world tied up, the war on terror, should this still be the case? A recent ruling by prominent Jewish rabbis makes a case that we should maybe rethink our stances. According to the ruling,
When a population living near a Jewish town sends bombs at the Jewish town with the purpose of killing and destroying Jewish lives there, it is permitted, according to Jewish Law, to fire shells and bombs at the firing sites, even if they are populated by civilians.
Provided there is a warning. But, even if there is no time for a warning, they can attack anyway.
What this amounts to is a government sanctioning of terrorism. These Jewish rabbis are saying, very clearly, that it is okay to bomb civilians in retaliation for an attack on Israel. Isn’t this the same idea that our enemies in Al Qaeda are advocating?
The Muslim’s blood cannot be spilled whatever his work or place, while spilling the blood of the infidel, whatever his work or place, is authorized if he is not trustworthy. – Abu Musab Al Zarqawi (Emphasis added)
It would seem to me that we are advancing a double standard on the world stage. Because the Israelis are our ally, we turn a blind eye to Israeli terrorism. But, because Al Qaeda is our enemy, even the smallest attack warrants all the force we can muster.
If we as a nation-state are truly fighting a war on terror, shouldn’t we be standing in opposition to all forms of terrorism, whether perpetrated by our enemies or our friends?
More personally, though, should we stand against all terrorism as a matter of Christian principle? Just because Israel is believed to be God’s chosen race, that does not mean that every action that they take is commanded, or even approved of, by the Most High. There are plenty of cases in our own Scriptures where God did not approve of the actions His people were taking, and He told them so through the prophets. Numerous times, God told His people that He was not listening to them or speaking to them because their hands were covered with the blood of the innocent. And as a result of their unwillingness to repent of their sin, He turned His back on them and allowed their enemies to overtake them.
And as we move into the New Testament, we see a radical redefinition of what it even means to be “Israel.” No longer is it about being a nation-state, but rather about being a holy people no matter what nation one happens to reside in.
By baptizing the actions of the Israeli nation-state, we are baptizing terrorism while we simultaneously claim to be seeking to eradicate terrorism all over the world. As a nation, to re-assert our integrity on the world stage, we must boldly stand in opposition to terrorism in all its forms. And as Christians, this call is doubly important.