War crimes

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Art by Elhanan ben-Avraham

This is what YHVH says: As for all my wicked neighbors who seize the inheritance I gave my people Israel, I will uproot them from their lands and I will uproot the people of Judah from among them…” – *Jeremiah 12:14-17

From our home in the mountains of Judah we hear the rumble of the long-range missile strike from Gaza. Then there is nothing left of the Islamic hatred but a twisted tangle of metal and the smoldering ruins of an Israeli home on the Mediterranean coastal plain where a family of seven were asleep. By some kind of miracle the family was able to scramble to their shelter and were not killed, though they sustained injures, and their dogs were killed.

But I must correct myself, as the Islamic hatred remains fully intact from Gaza to Lebanon to Syria all the way across the Fertile Crescent to Iran, who regularly declares their intent of wiping the one Jewish state from the world map.

But the surreal part of all this is that there is no media coverage until Israel responds to the missile attacks in defense of its civilian population,  and then the world, including that august body called the UN, savagely condemns Israel for “war crimes”. The Israeli air force proceeded a nighttime strike on Hamas centers of weapons manufacturing and empty offices of the Hamas leadership, and that not before “knocking” first, dropping small charges to warn any within to exit. There were no reported casualties.

Never mind that Israel fourteen years earlier completely withdrew from Gaza in a “land for peace” experiment. The land was given, but instead of peace in return the land was used for launching regular missile strikes into Israeli civilian population centers. Then Israel set up closure and control of the Gaza sea port to prevent shipments of Iranian high-end missiles and weaponry to be delivered.

Now for one year the Gaza population has been rioting weekly and throwing their children against the border fence of Israel, sending fire on kites into Israeli farms and forests, destroying thousands of acres of the Holy Land they so much “love.” It is what they have declared their “right of return”.  But the young people being wounded and killed by the army defending our borders do not remember when that border was open to them to come into Israel to work and shop- until they began their campaign of suicide of bombing Israeli buses, restaurants and places of entertainment. After which Israel decided to close the border.

But facts of history are lost in the fog of propaganda and rhetoric. And few have bothered to read the very charter of the ruling Hamas organization, which declares its irredentist position of never recognizing the State of Israel, and their intent of reclaiming all of “Palestine” as their own. And fewer yet have read their motivating text, the Quran, that sanctifies the Jihad- holy war- against the infidels as their duty in this lovely world in which we all live.

*“…But after I uproot them, I will again have compassion and will bring each of them back to their own inheritance and their own country. And if they learn well the ways of my people and swear by my name, saying, ‘As surely as YHVH lives’ -even as they once taught my people to swear by Baal- then they will be established among my people. But if that nation does not listen, I will completely uproot and destroy it,” declares YHVH”.

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Elhanan ben-Avraham, born in 1945, is a professional artist, poet, writer and father of two, grandfather of four, living in Israel since 1979. He has served in the IDF, taught the Bible internationally, published five illustrated books of poetry, painted two large Biblical murals in public buildings in Jerusalem, and most recently produced THE JERUSALEM ILLUSTRATED BIBLE, among many other works. He and his wife live in a quiet village in the Mountains of Judah.