As Palestinians Flee the War, Should the U.S. Accept Gaza Migrants?
Division has only increased across the globe amid the war in the Middle East, and America is certainly no exception. Among multiple controversies, the question of whether the U.S. should accept migrants fleeing from Gaza is a burning topic. Based on the latest surveys, Americans are rather torn on the issue. According to a Rasmussen Reports poll, 52% of Americans do not want Gaza refugees in America, 28% said America should accept migrants from Gaza, and 20% were unsure.
In contrast, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Gaza migrants should have “an opportunity” to come to the U.S., and ignoring the growing disapproval of Biden’s southern border policies, he described migration as a “natural and inevitable process.” To shed light on this controversial discussion — and how Christians should think about it — David Closson, director of FRC’s Center for Biblical Worldview, offered some insight to The Washington Stand.
“One of the consequences of the tragedy that’s unfolding in Gaza right now is that Palestinian civilians are in a terrible position,” he explained. “Hamas, which is an internationally recognized terrorist group, hides behind civilians.” He discussed how the terrorist group regularly places rocket launchers in neighborhoods and use similar tactics to get “international sympathy.” He added, “We need to realize that the Palestinian people living in Gaza are victims. Hamas doesn’t care about them.”
Closson also shared why these circumstances are not simply black and white. On the migrant question, he agreed that “the American impulse is to recognize the humanity of these civilians.” He explained how many Americans likely view these Palestinian civilians as “pawns in this terrible war,” and “their hearts reach out to these people.” However, he continued, “In the fog of war, the problem is that it’s difficult to determine who’s aligned with Hamas and who’s not.”
Part of the crisis on the southern border can be traced to the Biden administration’s refusal to vet who is coming into America, Closson noted. Many could — and do — pose a threat to national security. Based on information from Homeland Security, our open border is already a situation that Hamas and other terrorists are taking advantage of.
Closson emphasized how Americans need to be doing what we can to aid these civilians by supporting organizations like Samaritan’s Purse who are able to send them food, water, and other supplies. And above all, men and women of faith need to continue praying over this situation, Closson urged. “Christians understand that all people are made in God’s image, and that includes both Israelis and Palestinians.” He continued, “Christians should be praying that everyone involved in this war operates according to the principles of Just War Theory, which functions on the understanding that civilians are off limits because all people are made in God’s image and have inherent value and dignity.”
Closson continued, “As Christians who [understand] man’s fallenness, we recognize the atrocities perpetrated by Hamas are sheer evil. Therefore, we also recognize that the government of Israel has the moral obligation to do whatever they need to protect their people from a terrorist organization that wants to do nothing more than to kill Jews.”
“And so,” he concluded, “we need to be praying again for wisdom and discernment for those not only leading Israel but those advising Israel including the United States and other allied powers.”
Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.