A Christian Israeli Report on the Gaza Conflict

The material below was submitted by WRF member David Zadok

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." (Gen 3:15)

Ever since the fall there is a constant struggle not only on the human part. Immediately we come to Genesis four and we are confronted with the murder of the innocent. The sin and the struggle continue as long as we live in this fallen world. One of the ugly faces of the sin is war. Whether war is a justified war (and I do believe there is such thing) or not, it always brings death, damages and disasters. However, wars not only show the reality of the depravity of man, but also give us hope! For me that hope is two-fold. First the hope that one day there will be no more war, as there will be no more sin and therefore no more death and tears. And on the second hand the hope that we have in Christ who has conquered death, and who will one day bind Satan as well. In His death and resurrection we have seen the fulfillment of the Proto-evangelium (Gen. 3:15), and yet more is to come at the consummation.

For most of us, as Jewish Christians, the war brought home a real dilemma. On one hand we know that every war causes death and destruction and sows the seeds of hatred in those who suffer casualties and loss. Yet on the other hand, we were aware of the tension and stress in the southern cities of Israel that suffered more than 8000 rocket attacks over the past eight years with more and more towns and cities coming within range of the missiles as those improved. On each side, whether Jew or Arab, there is a natural tendency to be loyal to our own side and to hope our side “wins”. As Christians, whether Israeli, Palestinian or American, is it right to feel like this? Are we to forsake nationalism for the sake of our new man? Or, how ought we to feel when a missile lands 3 houses away – as it happened to us as a family? Answers to these questions, and a solution to the moral dilemma are not always obvious. However, no matter what our nationalistic identity and tendencies might be, we should not forget the suffering of the other side, and their hurt and tears. We are all created in the image of God.

Reconciliation is needed on both sides. But for both sides the greatest need is for reconciliation to God, through Jesus Christ. We Israelis need to return to the God of our fathers and to embrace him, and his Son as the lamb of Passover. The same is true for the Palestinians. Peace, true peace can become a reality only if the majority of the people on both sides come to a personal knowledge of the Prince of Peace.

In the aftermath of the war, as both sides are busy fixing and rebuilding, let us pray together that through the bitterness the Lord will bring sweetness, and from the rubble will build his church on both sides of the border. In light of the situation, we in HaGefen Publishing are trying to raise funds for the publication of a book on parenting in the Arabic language. This is the first project that we will be doing in Arabic, but we feel that not only the message of the book by Tedd Tripp (Shepherding a Child's Heart) is needed, but the message of peace and reaching out in these hard times is important as well. We published this book in Hebrew and Russian last October, and now hope to publish it in Arabic. If you wish to receive more information, please write to David@ha-gefen.org.il  

David Zadok,
Field Director
Christian Witness to Israel, HaGefen Publishing