The present crisis in Gaza is being reported as if Israel is bombing unarmed Palestinians as they pray in their mosques totally unaware of war. The fact that the terrorist organization Hamas is encouraging Palestinians to offer themselves as human shields to protect the buildings that house the missiles they fire into Israel usually doesn’t survive the final edit. Even though I can only offer a drop in the massive bucket of media mayhem, I need to weigh in. I have restrained myself from writing since Israel started Operation Protective Edge and instead have been praying for peace. However, after watching major media outlets act as though they are the official Hamas news agency, I must respond to what I consider to be nothing short of journalistic jihad.
Jihad (English pronunciation: Arabic: جهاد ǧihād ), an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning “struggle.”
While Hamas attempts to annihilate Israel in the arena of war, an army of journalists has joined their cause in the arena of public opinion. They are launching a barrage of messages 24 hours a day, 7 days a week aimed at promoting a perception of the land, language, people, and even the God of Israel that they hope justifies jihad (struggle).
I am thankful to Breaking Israel News for giving me a platform to write from a biblical perspective. Some of us see what is happening in the world through biblical lenses, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable that might be for many people. So when I came across this passage in the book of Amos the prophet who lived in Tekoa—you know, the place called a “settlement” in the West Bank, before it was ever called the West Bank—I was inspired to write.
“So I will send fire upon the wall of Gaza, and it will consume her citadels” (Amos 1:7, NASB).
Can you imagine the outcry that will be heard from the international peacekeeping organizations and the major media outlets when Amos’ prophecy comes to pass in Gaza? I can see the headlines now:
“Gaza in Flames,” “Loss of Life Mounting in Gaza,” “Mosques Destroyed by Fire,” “United Nations Calling for War Crimes Against God,” blah, blah, blah! Go ahead, get creative and imagine with me what will be said on that day by those who will join in the journalistic jihad against God’s righteous judgment.
More than likely it will parallel today’s journalism in which little time and energy are spent on the background of the conflict. The news agencies won’t dig into the depths of the disobedience of those who started the war. There will certainly be little interest in the words found within the pages of Scripture that lay out the reasons for the wrath from above and the context of the chaos that will be on the ground in Gaza.
“Thus says the Lord, ‘For three transgressions of Gaza and for four I will not revoke its punishment, because they deported an entire population to deliver it up to Edom’” (Amos 1:6, NASB).
Now if I wanted to get creative I could make a parallel proclamation of the reasons for the war being waged right now in Gaza. “For three transgressions of Hamas (Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali) and for four (Mohammed Karaka) Israel has said enough is enough!” Not to mention that even as I write Israeli citizens are living under a barrage of hundreds of rockets that continue to be launched with the hopes of driving an entire population from their God-given land. But that sort of creative biblical interpretation would probably get me labeled as a “right-wing extremist” who is using the exegesis of Scripture for a personal agenda. So I will refrain.
Maybe more journalists should take a peek into the Scriptures to see that the word Hamas is translated into English as violence before they enter into jihad (struggle) with an organization that is committed to destroying Israel and much more.
“If a man does not repent, He will sharpen His sword; He has bent His bow and made it ready. He has also prepared for Himself deadly weapons; He makes His arrows fiery shafts. Behold, he travails with wickedness, and he conceives mischief and brings forth falsehood. He has dug a pit and hollowed it out, and has fallen into the hole which he made. His mischief will return upon his own head, and his violence [Hamas] will descend upon his own pate” (Psalms 7:12-16, NASB).
As Israel struggles to defend itself against terrorists groups like Hamas (violence), aided by an army of reporters waging journalistic jihad (struggle), it is my hope and prayer that she will continue to have the courage to provide protection for her people no matter how it is reported.