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Pray for the Peace of Israel & the whole World!

By: Cynthia Dunbar

 As all hearts and eyes are on Israel, it is imminently clear that praying for the peace of Jerusalem, by extension, is praying for peace and stability in the Middle East as well as around the globe.  We understand this is a spiritual battle. However, it can be helpful to identify historical roots the enemy has used to release a greater level of confusion, conflict, and chaos on the earth.

This month on Constitutional Corner, I discussed the difference between the Law of Nations and International Law. It became clear how subtle the enemy was in his ploy to get us off track from the truth. The Law of Nations utilized the context of the biblical establishment of sovereign nations and the pre-existing laws of nature and nature’s god to prescribe their interactions. This meant the objective standard of the “will of the maker as revealed through the holy scripture” was preeminent. Conversely, the phrase “international,” first coined by Jeremy Bentham in 1789, implemented a new jurisprudence of a utilitarian principle applying a subjective analysis of happiness for the greatest number of people. If that distinction is a bit confusing, then I encourage you to listen to the October Constitutional Corner, where we break this all down.

The ultimate revelation is that even the slightest deviation away from absolute truth opens the door to man-made alternatives that carry the potential for volatility. No matter how well-intentioned humanity may be, mankind’s best efforts can never compare. To paraphrase: God’s ways always work; ours…not so much.

The old framework of the Law of Nations held that in relation to neighboring countries, in times of peace, do as much good as possible, and in times of war, do as little harm as possible. In applying the Law of Nations to the situation with Hamas today, Israel, as the injured party, should be able to look to the Country housing the “belligerents.” This means that the belligerents (aka Hamas) who violated Israel with their attacks on October 7th should have been reprimanded by the country within which they resided. Unfortunately, due to a lack of proper civil sovereignty in the Gaza Strip - such disorder occasioned by pressure from the international community, there is, in fact, no country to hold Hamas accountable. The created Palestinian State within that region has been controlled by Hamas since 2006; so, its government is complicit, if not synonymous with Hamas. As there can be no internal domestic means of sanctioning the wrongdoers, the responsibility to address the malfeasance of Hamas under the Law of Nations would then shift to Israel as the injured party.

Conversely, the current rules of armed conflict of International Humanitarian Laws are unclear. Their established principles of military necessity, distinction (civilians v military personnel), and proportionality (% of deaths) are what control. If a country is viewed to have exceeded necessary military force, as shown by a disproportionate number of civilian deaths, then they are said to have violated the rules of armed conflict and are guilty of war crimes. Israel asserts that it has exerted every effort possible to protect Arab civilians. Yet, for numerous reasons, including Hamas’ refusal to allow them to evacuate and the closed southern Egyptian border, civilian deaths remain sadly very high, and Israel is at times castigated by segments of the international community. This exposes the underlying problem; while these principles may on their face seem laudable, because they are not tied to any objective standards, they become open to interpretation, resulting in divergent assessments.

One must wonder, had Israel been allowed to defend its continued possession and control of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, would these ongoing military incursions have continued? Had the international community supported Israel’s ability to maintain possession of the territory it had won at the close of the 6-day war, would we even be witnessing the devastation today of both innocent Israelis and Arabs? The spirit of hatred is always birthed by the accuser of the brethren, no question. But it would seem, that the spirits of contention, strife, and instability in the Gaza Strip have been exacerbated by misguided international jurisprudence that looks to appeasement, rather than recognizing the sovereignty of nations.

Innocent Arab citizens, despite political hardships, arguably would have been safer living within a Gaza Strip governed by Israel, rather than a gerrymandered Palestinian territory governed by a militant Hamas. Too often, well-intentioned philanthropy using misguided human principles causes more harm than good. But one thing we have been able to witness very clearly is that when the evil and hatred in the hearts of men are allowed to be translated to a collective evil in governmental control, it always leads to suffering, oppression, and devastation. Which takes us back to the very beginning. Let us pray for the peace of Jerusalem and let us pray that swords may be hammered into plowshares as the hearts of men are filled with the all-consuming love of Jesus for their fellow man!


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