To help us understand what that means, the IDF has summarised their experience and intelligence on how Hamas has deliberately interwoven its weapons, explosive traps, smuggling and storage of weapons etc into the ordinary community in Gaza (including Schools etc of the UN refugee agency active in Gaza):
We need to understand this, and multiply it by the "Pallywood" street theatre techniques highlighted yesterday and the willing complicity of major international news agencies and broadcasters such as BBC in that propagandistic misrepresentation of what is actually happening. Remember, the idea is to portray Israel as attacking civilians, in order to "justify" Hamas' own tactics of launching 12,000 rockets at communities full or ordinary people going about the ordinary affairs of life in Israel over the past twelve years.
A summary on what such harrassing fire means, even when few have been outright killed may help us understand why such behaviour is intolerable:
A latest example of this cynicism, is the bland claim that in launching a Fajr-5 rocket at Jerusalem and environs, they were targetting the Israeli parliament.
This is a willful lie.
Hamas knows, beyond doubt, that such rockets are inherently inaccurate and that it is bombarding civilians, in hopes of inflicting casualties and in the determination to subject the general population of Israel -- not its soldiery, the civilian population, including timing rocket attacks for the time of day when children are released from school -- to harassing artillery fire. The underlying attitude is patent from the gharqad tree hadith that Hamas cites in its Covenant, Clause 7. Let us cite from Newt Gingrich's recent remarks:
”The Day of Judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind the stones and trees. The stones and trees will say, ‘O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”As Mr Gingrich states -- in context, speaking of the parent organisation, the Muslim Brotherhood (now in power in Egypt etc thanks to the so-called "Arab Spring"):
The level of self-deception necessary to misunderstand the Muslim Brotherhood verges on a psychosis.
The organization’s motto is “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Quran is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”
Our elites discount all these words — and refuse to take them seriously.Mr Gingrich, chillingly, continues:
Yet doesn’t the lesson of Munich in 1972, New York City on Sept. 11, Hasan at Fort Hood, the Times Square car bomber, the bombings in Iraq this week — the list is endless — show that these words matter?
Consider clause seven of one branch of the Muslim Brotherhood — Hamas.
Perhaps no one in our elites wants to read the Hamas Charter’s clause seven because it is too horrifying. Consider: ”The Day of Judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind the stones and trees. The stones and trees will say, ‘O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”
Apologists for Hamas insist this clause has no meaning. But the Hamas leaders claim they cannot remove it from their charter.
The Muslim Brotherhood, in a 1991 document called the “Explanatory Memorandum,” explained to its own supporters that its goal was “a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying Western Civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”(If you doubt Mr Gingrich's accuracy, peruse the copy of that Document that was a part of the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial, here, and the older 1982 global Muslim Brotherhood outline of its 100 year strategy to subjugate the world under Islam, here. [This last was captured by Swiss Financial police from a Muslim financier shortly after 9/11.])
This memo cited 29 different allied groups, including the Islamic Society of North America, the Muslim Students Association and the Islamic Association of Palestine. Leaders in some of these allied groups founded the Council on American-Islamic Relations . . . . The Muslim Brotherhood is a serious worldwide organization dedicated to a future most Americans would find appalling. Seeking to understand its reach and its impact on the U.S. government is a legitimate, indeed essential, part of our national security process.
I repeat, here is the global vision sponsored by the Muslim Brotherhood:
|A global IslamIST vision to first recreate the Caliphate, subjugating areas such as Nigeria, Israel, India, parts of China and Russia, etc, then the whole world (I first saw this shortly after 9/11.)|
This is a very familiar pattern in politics, a grim one: fascist political messianism, the worst form of that virulent political disease.
Frankly, political messianism is a blasphemous species of idolatry.
We must never put man in the place of God.
Indeed, to give to God what is his and to Caesar what is his, is in the context that Caesar is God's servant accountable under God to do good by doing justice in the community, especially to restrain evildoers. Caesar has no proper right to demand of us a loyalty or obedience due only to the inherently wise and good loving God who commands us to love neighbour as self. It is in that context that Caesar may make a reasonable -- not confiscatory -- requirement of taxation, to support justice and good governance in the community.
Indeed, let us hear Moses speaking in the name of God to good order in the community, in the specific context that Jesus and Paul cited when they highlighted the famous Golden Rule for good order and morality in the community:
Leviticus 19: 11 “‘You must not steal, you must not tell lies, and you must not deal falsely with your fellow citizen. 12 You must not swear falsely in my name, so that you do not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.
13 You must not oppress your neighbor or commit robbery against him. You must not withhold the wages of the hired laborer overnight until morning. 14 You must not curse a deaf person or put a stumbling block in front of a blind person. You must fear your God; I am the LORD.What we are seeing with Hamas is the very opposite of that, not only in the Middle East, but in the newsrooms that are at the minimum through gross negligence, spreading slander in the name of news. This, in the face of a situation where fanatics have been subjecting ordinary people going about the ordinary business of life, for over a decade, to rocket and mortar fire, all in pursuit of a mad genocidal vision.
15 “‘You must not deal unjustly in judgment: you must neither show partiality to the poor nor honor the rich. You must judge your fellow citizen fairly.
16 You must not go about as a slanderer among your people. You must not stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is at stake. I am the LORD.
17 You must not hate your brother in your heart. You must surely reprove your fellow citizen so that you do not incur sin on account of him.
18 You must not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the children of your people, but you must love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD. [ESV. Predictably, we do not hear such from those who are ever so quick to try to smear the God of Scripture as an alleged moral monster and to smear those who would follow him according to the gospel that teaches us "to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self- controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good" as though we are fanatical and destructive, blind "fundamentalist" -- itself a stolen, slanderously twisted word -- followers of a destructive bronze age tribal war god.]
One, that refuses to acknowledge the obvious: the Jews are at least as much rooted in the land as the later conquering Arabs and those who settled in Israel after the Arab conquests of the 630's are. One, that irresponsibly fails to see how, in January 1919, there was an opportunity for a joint, mutually supportive settlement and development of the Middle East in the aftermath of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire during World War I. Along the lines of the Chaim Weizmann- Feisal Hussein agreement that would have allowed the cousin peoples, the Jews and the Arabs, to have lived in peace and helped one another.
Instead (as the just linked outlines), fanatics prevailed, and have left us a now nearly ninety year legacy of terrorism, murder, slander and war.
So, instead we see emerging a form of aggressive fascism.
Fascism needs some explanation.
FASCISM: At heart, it is the notion that in a day of "unprecedented" crisis that targets a large -- locally dominant or pivotally influential -- perceived victim group or class or religious or racial/national body, a super-man figure emerges to rescue the victims; one who is beyond ordinary human powers and limits (including those of morality and just law). A political messiah who stands as champion for the identity group to save it, defending it from the various scapegoated out-groups who are held to be to blame for the victimisation of the in-group. That super-man political messiah then seizes power and is widely recognised as a man of "destiny." In an atmosphere of hysteria, slander and propagandistic deception that is usually multiplied by chaos and violence or at least riotous assemblies in the streets baying for blood, the power blocs, political, legal, military, corporate, religious, etc then align with him, giving him effectively unlimited power in the face of a crisis. We have now reached the threshold of tyranny. And because of the perceived unprecedented crisis, that super-man "people's champion" figure is cheered on and supported in taking extraordinary measures; measures that sacrifice liberty and justice for the sake of the promised utopian order. And so reigns of terror and aggressive wars naturally emerge. (Cf. here on the last couple of times around, with particular reference to arms races and where they often lead.)
[NB: Cf here for a good description in light of comparative studies. Enc Brit online, here on is good. Fascism is generally tagged as a "right wing" phenomenon, but this is actually misleading, as for instance the single most destructive fascist party ever was the National Socialist German Worker's Party, the Nazis.
Fascists generally are clever enough to strike deals with existing power blocs, and so establish a sort of state controlled cartel based economy. But the central pivot is the state and the politically messianic man who embodies the state.
Statism -- dominance of the society by the state in the name of the people -- is inherently of the left. For mind-blowing reading, cf. Daniel Pipes here. A clip is instructive:
Benito Mussolini was a leading Socialist figure who, during World War I, turned away from internationalism in favor of Italian nationalism and called the blend Fascism. Likewise, Adolf Hitler headed the National Socialist German Workers Party.
These facts jar because they contradict the political spectrum that has shaped our worldview since the late 1930s, the political spectrum which places Communism at the far Left, followed by Socialism, Liberalism in the Center, Conservatism, and then Fascism on the far Right. But this spectrum . . . reflects Joseph Stalin's use of the word "Fascist" as an epithet to discredit anyone he wished – Trotsky, Churchill, Russian peasants – and distorts reality. Already in 1946, George Orwell noted that Fascism had degenerated to signify "something not desirable."
Given what is happening again in our day, we need to re-think and more accurately understand Fascism and its poisonous spiritual root in political messianism. as well as in Nietzschean super-man nihilist amorality, and the onward roots of that in ideological evolutionary materialism as Plato highlighted in The Laws, Bk X, 360 BC.
All of which, of course, points ominously to the Christian eschatological expectation and warning against an ultimate false politico-religious messiah figure expected to dominate the world, known as The Anti-Christ or the Man of Sin or The Beast of 666 -- a veiled allusion to the demonically mad Roman Emperor who scapegoated and murdered many Christians to divert blame for the AD 64 fire in Rome, Nero Caesar.]
States full of people who are deluded by such schemes, the grim lessons of history teach us, often become destructively aggressive powers, triggering war.
War in which war crimes are easily justified because of the extremism that has been adopted.
In this case, multiplied by an irrational apocalypticism that imagines itself to have been rooted in prophecies from God that give it a destiny and right to impose itself on and rule the world with a rod of steel. Also, increasingly likely, backed by a nuclear-armed Iran that has spent over thirty years backing global terrorism.
That, frankly, is what we are plainly already seeing in Gaza (and have been seeing in Lebanon and Iran for years), and it is what we are now likely to see spreading across the ever volatile Middle East.
(And for those who in impulses driven by sadly deluded and endarkened hearts and minds, snidely think it clever to twist this about into an attack on the much despised Bible-believing Christians, kindly cf here for a short 101 level survey of the grounding of the gospel, and here on for a similar survey on the actual eschatology of the Christian faith based on its scriptures authenticated by the sign of the resurrection of the prophesied spiritual deliverer who has saved and transformed millions for 2,000 years.)
All this is already going on around us behind the spin-driven talking point storm spewed forth by the news headline writers and the talking heads, with of course incalculable global consequences that start with oil spiralling out of control.
As we in our region respond, let us first search our own hearts, repenting of our own prone-ness to such idolatrous political messianism and to the spin-driven misleading talking points that draw us away from the evident truth and set out to cloud our hearts and minds, thus to confuse and polarise us the better to make us like putty in their hands.
Then, let us seek to reform our own communities from that through the truth in love and purity. (Cf the just linked text, Eph 4:9 - 24.)
But also, let us understand wider global trends and how they are going to impact us as in this case the surges of the IslamIST tidal wave from the East pound on our shores.
Then, let us arise and awaken to our potential to stand up for the gospel and for truth, justice, decent neighbourliness and peace in the world. END