A week ago many Charismatic and evangelical Christians started to express their anger towards the increased rocket attacks from Hamas. They eagerly reported how many rockets were fired every day. They described the pain, fear and horror Israelis felt when they had to flee into bomb shelters (see the clip above). They mourned that four Israeli soldiers had been injured by the rockets.
However, no one I saw mentioned that while these rocket attacks to that point had killed no one, four civilian Palestinians were killed and thirty were injured in the counter attacks of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). There’s no doubt that we as Christians need to sound the alarm when the Israeli people is facing suffering and fear because of the violent terrorist attacks of Hamas. But that duty forces us to sound the alarm even more if the Palestinians is faceing more suffering and fear because of violent IDF attacks.
The conflict has continued to escalate. Soon, three Israeli civilians got killed as well, and children and small babies were injured. This horrible event caused many Christians to eagerly pray for the protection of the Israeli people, as the Facebook picture above from Christians United for Israel shows. This is of course the right thing to do, they desperately need our prayers in this stressed situation.
But I am very troubled that neither Christians United for Israel nor any of my pro-Israel Charismatic friends also stated that we should pray for the safety of the Palestinians. Currently more than 20 have died in Gaza, including an 11-month baby and a woman pregnant with twins. Before this crisis even began, 71 Palestinians had been killed by IDF in 2012, while no Israeli had been killed by Hamas rockets.
The pro-Israel response is usually that Israel has a right to defend themselves and that Hamas is “hiding behind civilians and using them as human shields”. Still, this doesn’t explain the absence of sympathy and prayers for Palestinians from many pro-Israel Christians. It doesn’t explain how a “defense” that results in worse suffering for the Palestinians than the Israelis originally were experiencing could be viewed as righteous. And it doesn’t explain how a bullet from an IDF gun could be viewed as not being their fault.
What would Jesus do? Would He be silent when people with the “wrong” natioanlity were dying? Would He bomb Gaza and say “whoops” when an 11-month baby was killed? NO!! He would proclaim peace for the nations, heal the sick, help the poor and bring salvation to the terrorists! Gaza doesn’t need war, Gaza needs revival! Support Pentecostals and Charismatics for Peace and Justice that are working hard to promote peace in the holy land. And pray eagerly for the end of suffering of all people in this horrible conflict.