Because of the complications of getting accurate information about what’s going on in Lebanon, I have yet to form a concrete opinion about what’s taking place there. That said, the expression of sentiment in what follows I have difficulty finding fault in. On one of the Christian lists where I am an infrequent participant the following email was received as a response to this article from Christianity Today.

As a proud holder of the so-called “Replacement Theology” I hold that Israel has no “religious” right to the Holy Land, but I can nevertheless say that [the Christianity Today article] is a culpably and ridiculously one-sided “oversimplification” of the Israeli-Arab conflict. There is one thing it says that is true, though – the Israeli response is “disproportional” in this respect: The Israeli forces target military targets (who hide amongst their own civilian countrymen, in hospitals and schools, and even set up their rocket launchers next to UN observers) while the Hezbollah forces have ALWAYS targeted Israeli civilians, and continue to do so with their suicide bombers and (now) rocket attacks. That our Arab Baptist friend could fail to admit that this is the case, and attempt to draw “moral equivalency” type of arguments about the way the Arab-Israeli conflict has unfolded, in my opinion, undermines his credibility entirely. The double-standard that so much of our media presents in it’s analysis of this conflict, of course, as always, plays into, and encourages such one-sided portrayals of the conflict. If this man were honest about the history of this conflict, he would have to admit that the Arab position, as a whole, has always been, and continues to be, that all the Jewish nation should be annihilated, preferably down to the last person, and this position is consistently and explicitly stated by Hezbollah, and all the other terrorist organizations operating in the Arab world. To ignore this fact, and to ignore the consistent targeting of innocent Israeli civilians which is the preferred Arab method of fighting this conflict, is culpable, and no Christian (even an Arab Christian) regardless of their views about the validity of a modern State of Israel should attempt to perpetrate such a morally blind viewpoint, especially on religious grounds. This man speaks of “thousands of Western nationals being evacuated” without admitting that almost all of these people are SUPPORTERS of Hezbollah, and their support for Hezbollah is why they are in Lebanon in the first place. This man says “tit for tat has been the only way for any Arab country or armed group to get anything from Israel” – as if continuous suicide bombings exclusively targeting Israeli civilians were a simple “tit” to be responded to “in kind”? One wonders if Israeli forces were to truly respond “in kind” – by targeting Arab civilians as a matter of policy with suicide bombs and rockets – if this would please our Arab Baptist friend better. To say nothing of the 13,000 missiles which Hezbollah claims to have pointed at Israeli cities (targeting, as always in this conflict, civilian, NOT military targets) and has already started to use in this conflict.

By the way, notice how he lumps “armed group” in with “Arab country” as a way of legitimizing terrorism. It is understandable that this type of morally blind rhetoric should permeate the secular media in our day, but as Christians, we must demand a higher standard of truth telling.

In short, while not claiming that a modern State of Israel has any more “right” to exist than any other nation, it does exist, and it’s enemies, Hezbollah among them, have devoted themselves to it’s extermination, not just politically but personally and racially, as all their own rhetoric has always been quite clear about. If we are going to have a truthful conversation about the Middle East, we must not play the games that this man plays with the truth, and we must certainly not play such games in Christ’s name.

Pax Christi,
Jeff Holston

(reprinted by permission)