The loss of life we have seen over the past week in the Middle East is tragic. And yes, shed a tear for Israel and the Israelis. But save your largest measure of sorrow for normal, law abiding Palestinians in the Gaza Strip – while Israel has seen less than 10 people lose their lives (and admittedly 1 murder is too many), roughly 100 deaths have occurred in the Gaza Strip, many of whom were innocent civilians in harm’s way.
Israel for decades has aroused worthy empathy and sympathy from its allies in the United States, being surrounded by mostly hostile Arab neighbors. But Israel as the weak, helpless “little brother” of the United States is a story which needs to be put on the shelf. It neither reads well nor is accurate today.
Israel is the most powerful military force in the Middle East, and beyond that is the only country in the region with nuclear weapons (for now at least). And Israel is the wealthiest, most prosperous country in the region as well. In 1985, Israel’s per capita gross domestic product was $7,000 per person. Today, it’s nearly $45,000 (!).
Yes, Hamas and Hezbollah have launched over 2,000 missiles from the Gaza Strip and Lebanon into Israel. Yes, that is unacceptable, deplorable terrorism. But less than 10 people in Israel have died and that’s something to celebrate. The Iron Dome is a remarkably effective missile defense shield for the Israelis. And certainly, mourn Israeli loss of life. But also mourn the innocents of the Gaza Strip, who fall prey to the hapless, ineffective machinations of Hamas and Hezbollah. And pray for them.
And pray for the nuclear agreement with Iran to never show its face again, despite President Biden’s and John Kerry’s efforts to bring it back. Iran controls Hamas and Hezbollah, those are its proxies, and for decades now Iran has spread its hatred and misery across the Middle East. Iran is the worst nation state actor in the world; Israel is the best hope for a peaceful, prosperous Middle East, if the countries that have recognized Israel hold to their commitment and if others follow. Americans should pray that it be so, and that Iran will lose influence and malevolence as the years drift by.