Watching the escalation of fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza last week, I was reminded of the words of God as recorded in Deuteronomy 30:19: “I call heaven and earth as my witnesses against you right now: I have set life and death, blessing and curse before you. Now choose life — so that you and your descendants will live.”
What the world has witnessed in Gaza during the past week is the stark contrast between Israel, a nation and a people that choose life, and Hamas, a bloodthirsty terrorist organization that celebrates and embraces death.
During the past week, Israel has taken action to defend itself against the onslaught of rocket and missile attacks that have terrorized its citizens for years. For the men, women and children who live in southern Israel, 15 is the most important number in their lives. That is how long they have to seek shelter once the air raid sirens go off. Fifteen seconds is how long it takes for the rockets fired in Gaza to soar toward sovereign Israeli territory and detonate close to civilian targets.
Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza have fired thousands of these rockets into Israel, indiscriminately targeting men, women and children. The rockets have fallen on schools, apartment homes, kindergartens.
For the unacquainted, Hamas is not merely the political faction that dominates the Gaza Strip after Israel’s total evacuation of the territory. It is also the radical Islamist party that advocates jihad and whose founding charter states its commitment to destroying the land of Israel. For Hamas, no tactic is beyond the pale and nothing is too brutal or murderous. Suicide bombings, indiscriminate rocketing of innocents, drive-by shootings it’s all fair game and a means to achieving their stated end goal of eliminating Israel.
This latest conflict between Hamas and Israel again has shown the world how low Hamas will stoop and just how little it values human life. Not just the lives of Jews, but of all mankind. Several days ago, Hamas fired long-range rockets it acquired from Iran toward Jerusalem, which is not only the location of Christian, Jewish and Muslim holy sites, but also home to Jews, Arabs, Christians and Muslims alike.
Like its apocalyptic supporters in Tehran, Hamas embraces a culture of death and enjoins its young people to pursue jihad. While most political parties around the world work to create brighter futures for their constituents, Hamas is more concerned with maintaining violence against Israelis, firing from near mosques and within crowded civilian areas. Hamas knows that doing so reduces the likelihood that Israel will return fire out of fear of accidentally injuring or killing civilians. It hides cowardly behind the people it purports to serve, hoping that an errant Israeli strike will result in collateral damage that will lead to the international community condemning Israel.
I have been to Israel many times and have seen first-hand a people who wants nothing more than to live in peace. Israel is an amazing country spearheading medical breakthroughs and high-tech miracles. It’s a country that seeks to make the world a better place, and the Jewish people choose life and celebrate it as the greatest gift in the world.
For Israelis, their lives are on the line and they often are forced to fight to protect their futures and their families. That is exactly what we are seeing in Gaza today.
Israelis, who choose life, are left by their enemies with no choice but to defend themselves. Meanwhile, Hamas, which chooses death, continues to deliver yet another round of misery and violence not just to the Israelis, but to their own people as well.
What we Americans must grapple with is the fact that this is a prelude to what will happen to us and ultimately the world at the hands of these merciless fanatics if we fail to take action to interrupt their twisted deadly goals.
• Armstrong Williams is on Sirius Power 128 from 7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m. Mondays through Fridays. Become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/arightside, and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/arightside. Read his content on RightSideWire.com.