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When Will We Ask For Peace?
When Will We Choose Peace And Not War?
Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.
I do not believe any person can look at the images of those savagely killed by Hamas during their October 7th attack and not feel genuine rage against Hamas. During that murderous rampage, Hamas not only killed by the hundreds, but they desecrated and defiled the dead as well.
This was a monstrous evil. The utter barbarity of what was done defies all words, and all reason. Yet it was done, and Israel must contend with what was done.
What should Israel do?
What should the world do?
It is certain that humanity tends to realize whatever we seek. If we seek cures for disease, in time we find cures for disease. If we seek wealth, in time we find wealth. If we seek knowledge, in time we find knowledge.
If we seek hatred, conflict, and war, in time we find hatred, conflict, and war.
Truly, that for which we ask, we are given. That which we seek, we eventually find.
If we ask for peace, might we not therefore be assured that we will find peace? If we seek an end to conflict, an end to war, might we not therefore have faith that we can have and to conflict, an end to war? Being assured, and having faith, do we dare seek peace and an end to conflict?
Surely this seems so.
Yet how do we seek peace in the presence of people such as members and supporters of Hamas, who jettison all thought of peace and actively seek and celebrate war? In the presence such evils how can we dare seek peace, when the only peace Hamas offers is the peace of the grave?
Death is not peace, certainly not a peace any people are likely to want.
Hamas seeks death and war. Perhaps it is inevitable Israel gives them death and war.
Yet what do the Israelis want? Do they want war or peace? Despite the deadly choices of Hamas, do they—can they—will they—choose peace? Or have they also chosen war?
What do the Palestinian Arabs want? Do they want war or peace? Despite the deadly choices of Hamas, do they—can they—will they—choose peace? Or have they also chosen war?
Will the Israelis and the Palestinian Arabs say aloud that they want peace? Will they ask for peace? Will they strive for peace?
Much has been said, and much will continue to be said, about the sins of the Israelis against the Palestinian Arabs. An argument persists, even (or perhaps especially) among those who style themselves “experts” on the Palestinian “issue”, that Hamas’ violence is not cause but effect, and its cause is Israeli violence.
Yet the bombardment of Hamas facilities in Gaza currently underway, the planned incursions of IDF ground forces in Gaza to root out and destroy Hamas command systems and infrastructures, would not be even contemplated were it not for Hamas’ violence of October 7. There is no escaping the reality that, in at least this latest cycle, Israeli violence is the effect, and Hamas violence is the cause. To argue otherwise is to deny reality.
Israel has committed violence against Gaza and the Palestinian Arabs. The Palestinian Arabs, under the auspices and leadership of Hamas, have committed violence against Israel. Both sides blame the other, and outside observers choose one side or the other.
Choosing sides, we choose violence. Choosing sides, we choose war over peace.
Right now, Israel is choosing war with Hamas. Hamas has already chosen war with Israel. If the Palestinian Arabs choose to stand with Hamas, they also choose war with Israel—and so Israel will almost reflexively choose war with the Palestinian Arabs.
If we ask for war—and in Israel and Gaza we are unquestionably asking for war—it is certain we will have war.
If we ask for peace, is it not therefore also certain that we can have peace?
I do not choose war. I do not choose violence. I choose peace, and I choose to ask for peace. I pray that people everywhere will ask for peace. I pray that the Israelis and the Palestinian Arabs will ask for peace. I pray that they will find peace—a true and lasting peace that is not the peace of the grave. I pray that Hamas will accept peace, and if they do not, I pray they no longer lead and influence the Palestinian Arabs, who might then be free to choose peace.
We can have peace. We can have peace in the Middle East. We can have peace everywhere. Yet to have peace, we must begin by asking for peace. Before we can have peace, we must seek peace.
I pray we ask for peace, and soon.
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