The world awoke on October 7th to images of death and destruction in a country far too familiar with national suffering and a millenniums-old fight for their existence.
Our Thanksgiving weekend started off with an email from friends in Israel. “Pray for us. Rockets are falling.” For much of the rest of the weekend we tracked the horror unfolding in Israel. Wayne Hilsden is another friend living in Jerusalem. On October 7th he posted the following on Facebook:
“A pastor friend was supposed to wake up at 6:30 am for scheduled morning prayer, but the Lord woke him up at 6:00. At 6:20 missile attacks began. Around 6:40 for the first time in their lives they heard “Allah Akbar” yelling and shots of automatic weapons outside. Their kids were in panic, and they went to our shelter room.
After 15-20 minutes they received horrible photos with the terrorists driving and walking down their streets shooting at people, cars, and at the windows of residential buildings.
Israeli soldiers came and started to go building by building searching for terrorists hiding inside. The info came that they might be hiding in the supermarket in front of them and this is when his wife Dina took a panic attack, the first time in her life. In the midst of the terror, they had a Zoom service at 11:00, and started praying. All of a sudden, all the shootings calmed down and silence remained for an hour or so.
Early Sunday morning, Wayne posted, “Jamie, our son, just sent me a note that a rocket fell less than 100m from their apartment in Tel Aviv. It happened 10–15 minutes ago.”
900+ Israelis murdered.
130 kidnapped by Hamas.
300,000 Israelies reservists called to active duty.
5 Realities Over the First 48 Hours
1. Hamas did not wage war. What Hamas did was a massacre against civilians, children, women, the elderly, and families.
2. The conflict is not Muslim against Jew or Arab nations against Israel. Hamas and Hezbollah are religious extremists funded by Iran and Russia for the stated purpose of annihilating Israel.
3. In WWII it was the SS murdering Jews. Today it is Hamas.
4. The fact is, Israel sustains Palestinians in Gaza with electricity, water, food, and security. The Palestinian people face danger because of Hamas.
5. Israel was working with Palestinians and the US on a political settlement that would recognize the two nations. Hamas wiped out years of progress.
Former Israeli Justice Minister and Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni clarified, “People see this as part of the Israeli Palestinian conflict and it’s not. I want to say that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is based on a national conflict between two national movements, and it is hopefully solvable. But Hamas represents a religious conflict that is not solvable.
I know that there are those saying that using violence, even in a dreadful manner is the only way to achieve freedom but this is not the situation in Gaza. Israel left Gaza, pulled out our forces. We dismantled all the settlements to get legitimacy and to open Gaza. Hamas needs to accept the requirement of the entire world including the US, Russia, the UN, and the EU. Hamas can get legitimacy only if they renounce violence and terrorism, accept the Oslo Agreement, and accept the right of Israel to exist. And they are not willing to do so. Hamas is an obstacle to peace.” CNN interview, October 8, 2023
We watched some of the King of King’s Sunday service online from Jerusalem. A spokesperson informed the congregation about one of their campus pastors being called to military duty, a deacon called to duty and before the service was a few minutes old, another six young people called to go to the front.
As one of our friends in Israel says, “We are fine here, hard times but we will win this.”
What can you do?
Pray for peace and pray for the children.
It is always the children who suffer the most in war. Palestinian children. Israeli children. Ukrainian children.
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