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Bethlehem pastors arrive in DC, urge lawmakers to embrace cease-fire, peace plan. But who benefits?

Bethlehem pastors arrive in DC, urge lawmakers to embrace cease-fire, peace plan. But who benefits? They say all they want for Christmas is a constant and comprehensive cease-fire and an end to this war

By David W. Virtue DD
November 30, 2023

On Tuesday, three Christian leaders tried to deliver to President Joe Biden a letter signed by churches in Bethlehem urging a permanent cease fire in Gaza. Viewed by Christians as Jesus' birthplace (Luke 2:4; Matt. 2:1), Bethlehem is in the Israeli-occupied West Bank of the Jordan River. Israel has controlled the West Bank since the 1967 6-day war.

The letter was signed by representatives from Bethlehem's major Christian communities, listing churches affiliated with Greek Orthodox, Syriac, Armenian, Catholic and Lutheran traditions. (You can read the story here: https://religionnews.com/2023/11/27/bethlehem-christians-push-lawmakers-to-embrace-ceasefire-peace-plan/)

A "comprehensive ceasefire" that leaves even the remnants of Hamas in place is a non-starter for Israel. Sooner rather than later the rockets would start up again and no one, not even the UN will care if local Israeli towns, even Haifa is hit with a rocket. The world will yawn. This is a local squabble that Israel and Hamas can work out, they would say. Pay no mind.

The travelling salesmen of peace, say they want a constant and comprehensive ceasefire. "Enough death. Enough destruction. This is a moral obligation. There must be other ways. This is our call and prayer this Christmas."

But what if a ceasefire allows Hamas to re-arm and continue their genocidal slaughter of Jews. Would the world rise and say; "Hamas, stop what you are doing, cease your rocket attacks and strive for peace." Would a UN resolution by the Israeli representative suggesting the same even get a hearing. I doubt it. They would be reminded of the 57 years of Israeli occupation of Gaza, (a palpable lie). Israel walked out in 2005 to let Gaza be politically self-run. They chose, or allowed Hamas to take over without a single democratic election.

"God has placed political leaders in a position of power so that they can bring justice, support those who suffer, and be instruments of God's peace," the letter reads.

But justice for whom? For Gazans caught in the political scissors of the IDF and Hamas? For the hostages held captive by Hamas? For Israelis who have lived under 19 years of rocket attacks since 2004. If it was not for the Iron Dome defense System, Israel would look like Gaza today.

"I truly believe that God is in solidarity with those who are victims of injustice and oppression, and thus the church should have the same position," said the Rev. Munther Isaac, who also serves as academic dean at Bethlehem Bible College. "God is under the rubble."

Clearly this is an attack on Israel. It is very one-sided. And what of Israelis who have been victims of Hamas rockets for nearly two decades and have seen their homes destroyed by rocket attacks!

If these religious clerics want peace, that is, a permanent ceasefire, they are going to have to call on Hamas to release ALL the hostages without pre-conditions. Right now, they are getting a 3 for 1 deal, and still, they are firing rockets into Israel.

"We want (lawmakers) to hear a different perspective," he said. "We want to think that there must be other ways. Killing children like this can never bring peace."

And what about all the people -- pro-Palestinians - I see on talk shows who seem to not condemn the October 7th terror attacks. They avoid the question or talk about how it all originally started with Israel or talk about how many Gazans have died at the hands of Israel. It's almost as if that they actually don't condemn the terror attacks at all!

Isaac lamented the brutal Oct. 7 attack by Hamas in southern Israel, which left around 1,200 dead and hundreds kidnapped. But he also expressed outrage at the subsequent assault of Gaza by Israel, which has resulted in more than 13,000 deaths in the region and displaced most of the area's roughly 2 million residents, sparking an ongoing humanitarian crisis.

War sucks. Death sucks. Innocent people die. Churchill bombed the hell out of Dresden and Berlin and shortened the war. Thousands died in collateral damage. A ten to 1 ration is high; too high perhaps. But when your enemy hides in underground in tunnels, sometimes under hospitals -- places of healing -- what Is the IDF to do; smoke peace pipes and sing Kumbaya!

These pauses only serve Hamas. It is a brilliant strategy probably worked out in advance.

Osama: "I tell you we take prisoners. We exchange for our people, drag out for as long as we can and regroup."

Yahya: "Brilliant."

Osama: "By the way how is your brain after you got free surgery from Israeli surgeons so you could go on living? If you had been a Jew, we would have shot you."

If the name of the game is not reciprocity, then what is it? These religious leaders who represent millions of Christians globally need to be more even handed in their denunciations of evil and their calls for ceasefire. If not, then Israel which has the military high ground, should not give in to their demands. Pause yes, ceasefire no. Not till every last Hamas has been destroyed and every hostage released.


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