Israel, Gaza and the Balfour Declaration

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Israel, Gaza and the Balfour Declaration

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The dust has settled, for now, on the land of Israel and Gaza after this summers exchange of rockets. Thousands of Arabs died and the tiny enclave of Gaza perched on the edge of the Mediterranean is sorting through the devastation rained down in retaliation from rocket attacks and clandestine tunnels dug to launch surprise incursions into Israel. For the Arab population of Gaza it was a stunning tragedy.

While the world’s press snipes at what it calls Israeli aggression no one asks the logical question, “what would America or Britain do if neighboring nations fired missiles at London or Los Angeles”. The answer is obvious. The debate on the future of a Palestinian state continues.

Last week a vapid and meaningless vote was taken in Britain’s House of Parliament to recognize a single Palestinian state. It was a lopsided vote, 274-12 and more than half of Parliament did not participate. The mood of some was expressed by an MP who Tweeted he would fire rockets on Israel if he lived in Gaza. Presumably this MP would also expose himself to retaliation without hiding next to a school or hospital? The obstinate ignorance of elected leaders continues to surprise me.

When I read of this action I thought about the Balfour Declaration of 1917 where the government of Great Britain formally committed to establishing a “national home” for the Jewish people in Palestine. It was a visionary and far-reaching decision that led to the declaration of the State of Israel in May 1948. British leadership took this bold step nearly one hundred years ago. Where today, in Great Britain or anywhere, is the strong leadership cable of breaking through the cultural know of enmity and hatred that prevent a permanent solution to the needs of both Israelis and Palestinians?

Wisdom continues to stand at the entrance to the seats of power and cry out for leaders with understanding to emerge with practical solutions for the problems impacting the common people in the streets of the cities (Proverbs 8:1-5) “By me (wisdom) kings reign, and rulers decree justice. By me judges. By me princes rule, and nobles, all the judges of the earth.” (Proverbs 8:15-16)

The dust from this recent battle has settled and waits for the next conflict. Let’s pray wisdom can be found by someone with the vision and courage to lead these countries to peace.