With Christmas around the Corner, Israel, Hamas War Continues
It’s been over two months since the Hamas terrorist organization invaded Israel and killed over 1,000 people. Along with the attack, Hamas took approximately 240 hostages back into Gaza — some of whom have been released, with many still under the control of the terrorists in unknown conditions. Since October 7, the war has only resulted in more death and tragedy on both sides.
Around the world, the debate over whether Israel is justified in eradicating Hamas from Gaza has intensified. Anti-Semitism has hit its highest rate in nearly three decades, and the tension between the pro-Israel and pro-Palestine groups is palpable. While data demonstrates the majority of Americans support Israel, a recent poll showed roughly half of 18 to 24-year-olds surveyed want the state of Israel to be dissolved and “given to Hamas and the Palestinians.”
Although hatred of the Jews is nothing new, these feelings appear to have worsened as the war brings out the worst in many.
Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, discussed some of these recent developments on his podcast, “The Briefing.” Despite Christmas being around the corner, “There’s no holiday from history,” he said, and “we do need to recognize right now that as we go into this week, there’s some massive issues that we have to confront.”
This war has produced almost nothing but horrendous headlines, Mohler emphasized, and the recent tragedy of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) mistakenly killing three Israeli hostages who were escaping Hamas only adds to the chaos. It’s not surprising that a situation like this would heighten the animosity from the Hamas sympathizers. But, as Mohler stated, it’s important “to point out that in the fog of war, and that’s exactly what war is, and in the messiness of combat, it’s very difficult to know who’s who, who’s [a] friend, who’s [an] enemy, and who’s telling the truth, who’s lying, who’s an attacker, who is an ally.”
He continued, this tragic accident “[is] an embarrassment to the IDF” and “no doubt there will be an accounting for this, and there should be, because … that’s the way a government should work.” But he stressed that we are dealing with a “very, very difficult situation” including “soldiers who have been pressed to the extremes of their limitations.” For Mohler, this does not excuse what happened, but, as he put it, “war by very definition is one of the messiest endeavors human beings can ever be involved in.”
So, as Christmas approaches, and especially as anti-Semitism remains rampant and young Americans support terrorists, Mohler argues it’s worth taking a step back to analyze what has occurred thus far to maintain a healthy perspective of an unhealthy situation.
Ultimately, this war is not merely a life and death situation for Israel or Gaza. “But it’s life or death elsewhere also,” Mohler said. Recent reports of approximately 450 Hamas terrorists living in Germany has raised further concerns as violent protests break out in Europe. The Wall Street Journal reported that some of these Hamas members in Germany were planning an attack against Jewish institutions. Even in the U.S., amid the southern border crisis where millions of illegal immigrants have flooded in since Joe Biden’s election, terror threats are raging.
Although there are many who have publicly supported Hamas and the genocide of Jewish people, Mohler reminds us that this battle is not against one people and another people. It is a war against terrorism, and if the terrorists win, the safety of any Israeli ally is at stake. Not to mention the danger Hamas poses to those within Gaza since “they’re willing to use human beings [Gazans] as leverage,” Mohler noted. “It’s not just a war against Israel. Israel is at the center of the target. But Israel’s not alone.”
Especially with Christmas coming up, a time of peace and unity, he concluded that, for Christians, this all “underlines the fact that we are in a real world with very real threats. And that means that our celebration of Christmas is always yes, joyous, but also in this fallen world, sober, as we understand the reality around us.”
Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.