Two weeks ago an IDF soldier — St.-Sgt. Pavel Slotsker — was kidnapped by the Arab Popular Resistance Committees (PRC - comprised of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades terrorists). The PRC has made several demands for the solder's release but Israel, to their credit, has refused to negotiate. Since then, Israel has launched an offensive attack in order to rescue the soldier. The IDF (Israel Defense Force) has entered Gaza (where they should never have left in the first place) and proceeded to do what is necessary to rescue the soldier, including bombing the electrical power plant — leaving half of Gaza without electrical power, and arresting several Hamas government leaders.
Now, U.S. President George W. Bush is pressuring Israel to ease up in its rescue operation. The Bush administration has laid down three rules for the current IDF operation in the Gaza Strip, according to senior sources in Jerusalem: No harming Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas; no harming civilians, and avoid damaging infrastructure. Never mind that the Arab terrorists have launched more than 600 Qassam rockets against Israel from the Gaza Strip since last September; never mind that the same Arab terrorist organizations that kidnapped the soldier also, at the same time, brutally murdered an 18-year-old man and then tried to make a deal for his "release". I won't even go into the details of the support George W. Bush has given to PA Chairman Abbas, who is the leader of the Fatah terrorist organization, of which the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades is a part of (and which is a designated terrorist organization under U.S. federal laws).
How many times has the U.S. military used restraint when a U.S. soldier has been kidnapped in Iraq? To be exact ... never. Whole villages have been turned upside down and houses torn apart looking for the kidnapped soldiers. And now Bush wants Israel to show restraint ... in their own country, a sovereign nation which has been attacked by terrorists since its inception in 1948 — 53 years before September 11, 2001? I'm not sure if this is just arrogance or just a lack of any feelings for the Jewish people in Israel. Perhaps he doesn't like the fact that it detracts from his alleged "war on terror". I'm not really sure. However, it does fit with his "do as I say, not as I do" attitude.
Interestingly, in the first part of the Torah portion for this week (Chukat: Numbers 19:1-22:1), we can see what Israel did in this same situation when they came out of Egypt over 3,400 years ago:
"When the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that Israel was coming by the way of Atharim, then he fought against Israel and took some of them captive. So Israel made a vow to the Lord and said, 'If You will indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities.' The Lord heard the voice of Israel and delivered up the Canaanites; then they utterly destroyed them and their cities. Thus the name of the place was called Hormah." Numbers 21:1-3
So, we see that Israel has precedence for handling the current situation. They didn't consult with Egypt on what they should do; they didn't concern themselves with humanism (that was a few centuries off). They merely sought the Lord and destroyed the enemy; plain and simple. Why not carry out the same plan now that they are living in the land that God has given them?
"Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth. Why should the nations say, 'Where, now, is their God?' But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.... O Israel, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield. O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield." Psalm 115:1-3;9-10
[ Lee Underwood ]
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