Following the start of the Israel-Gaza war, Christians for Fair Witness in the Middle East have issued a statement designed to help people understand Israel’s reasons for attacking Gaza:
“Proportion in war might seem an oxymoron; warfare represents the failure of proportionate means. But when violence overwhelms the give and take of healthy relations, how can a way back to health be found?
One measure of a policy is its purpose. In the cases of Hamas and the State of Israel, what is the aim of Qassam attacks on the one hand, and of Israel’s attacks on Gaza on the other hand?
Qassam rockets are deployed by their namesake, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas. Fired over the border between Gaza and Israel at civilian centers, they put into action the stated aim of the Hamas Charter of 1988: “Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors.” By intent and impact, Qassam rockets terrorize Israeli civilian populations in an attempt to galvanize action across the Muslim world in order to eliminate the State of Israel.
Israel’s attacks in Gaza involve civilian casualties, although that is not their purpose. At every stage — deployment, preparation, and design — Qassam are in such proximity to residential populations that even well targeted strikes bring calamitous results. But the aim of Israel is not the elimination of Gaza, but the end of Qassam attacks. The willingness of the Israeli authorities to halt their attacks in the hope that Qassam sites will be dismantled is a positive development…”
Read the statement in full here.