Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

The Hamas-Israel conflict and “disproportionate use of force”

There is no moral equivalence between Hamas and Israel

There is no moral equivalence between Hamas and Israel

Dina tweeted this editorial in the radically leftist UK Guardian, of all places.

Excerpt:

Hamas’s charter includes the aspiration that “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews)”. While many concentrate on its death-cult worship, its bloodthirsty killing of adversaries, or its contempt for women, Christians and homosexuals, it is this aspiration for genocide that is at the root of Hamas activities. This is the primary reason why Hamas, the governing regime in Gaza, will never recognise or accept a peace accord with Israel in any form.

Since Israel left Gaza in 2005, thousands of rockets have rained down on Israeli cities and towns in deliberate contravention not just of international law, but all humanity and morality.

[...]Every rocket from Gaza is a double war crime. First, the rockets are aimed at civilians; second, they are fired from built-up civilian areas, often close to schools, mosques and hospitals. And about 10% of Hamas rockets fired from Gaza don’t reach Israel, exploding in Gaza. Mohammed Sadallah – a four-year-old killed on Saturday, his body displayed in a press conference with Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’s leader – was, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, most likely killed by an errant Hamas rocket.

Hamas leaders frequently declare that their people actively seek death. Fathi Hamad, a senior member of Hamas, stated in 2008 that “for the Palestinian people, death became an industry, at which women and children excel. Accordingly we created a human shield of women, children and elderly. We seek death as you [Israelis] desire life.”

[...]Israel has successfully targeted in excess of 1,300 weapons caches, rocket launchers and other elements of Hamas’s terrorist infrastructure. Yet despite this, the number of Palestinian casualties remains around one for every 13 strikes, the majority killed being active members of Hamas and combatants.

There is no moral equivalence here – one side is good and the other side is evil. It’s a black and white issue.

When I was in graduate school, I was partnered up with an exchange student from Egypt. She said that Israelis were terrorists because they killed civilians while using force. I told her that terrorism is the intentional targeting of civilians for attacks rather than military targets. Therefore, Hamas and Hezbollah are terrorists, and Israel is not. Israel uses arms in self-defense, and they try to minimize civilian casualties by giving warnings of strikes. Islamic groups intentionally target civilians – schools and hospitals. The Islamic groups are terrorists and the IDF is acting in self-defense against unprovoked rocket attacks.

If Islamic terrorists laid down their arms, then tomorrow there would be peace. But if Israeli Defense Forces laid down their arms, then tomorrow, Israel would be destroyed, and every Jew in it. That is why the IDF has to do what the IDF has to do. And this time, I hope that they don’t use half-measures to stop the flow of rockets into Israel. They must use the appropriate force necessary to stop the rocket attacks.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

UK stores stocking almost no Christmas cards that mention Jesus

From the UK Daily Mail.

Excerpt:

Supermarkets were accused of ‘airbrushing Christ out of Christmas’ yesterday after it emerged that less than one per cent of cards they stock have religious themes.

Many stores display hundreds of different Christmas cards yet offer just a handful featuring traditional Christian scenes.

Some had no cards at all with religious references in their extensive ranges.

The Daily Mail visited major outlets of the big four supermarkets – Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons – in seven towns and cities.

Out of 5,363 cards sold individually or in multipacks, just 45 featured Christian scenes such as the Nativity – 0.8 per cent.

The worst offender was Morrisons, which had six out of a range of 973 cards, or 0.6 per cent.

Second worst was Tesco, despite chief executive Sir Terry Leahy, a practising Catholic, writing to a customer in October to tell her: ‘We have increased the number of Christmas cards that will be available with a religious theme this year.’

[...]The Mail was contacted by a Tesco customer earlier this week who said her local store in Ely, Cambridgeshire, had just a ‘handful’ of cards with religious themes last year – and still had only three out of 67 last month, despite a personal assurance from Sir Terry.

After she had repeatedly contacted customer services, she received a letter from the company chief.

‘Sir Terry promised more cards this year,’ she said.

‘But the selection of cards with anything relating to the true meaning of Christmas was tiny, so he has not kept his word.’

Tesco said it had doubled the range of religiously themed cards this year but refused to give numbers, saying they ‘vary from store to store’.

An Asda spokesman said: ‘We sell five different Christmas cards that have religious sentiment and traditional designs.’

Morrisons said: ‘We stock types of cards that appeal to our customers.’

A Sainsbury’s spokesman said: ‘The ranges that appear in our stores reflect what our customers want to buy.’

In case anyone is trying to remember, this is the meaning of Christmas:

This makes me sad. I feel sad for Christians who are being marginalized. We are the only ones who can be mistreated and marginalized with impunity. Christianity is the religion of loving your enemies and turning the other cheek, after all. I think I know why people are doing this – because they are more interested in being liked by non-Christians than being liked by Jesus for telling the truth about him. They think that Christianity is about being nice to others first, instead of being nice to Jesus first. Well, I for one do not care what people think about my faith. I can do just fine without any earthly friends. I hope it doesn’t come to that, thought!

I am OK with not being happy and popular. I don’t mind if honor the real message of Christmas doesn’t make me happy and popular.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Free speech hero Mark Steyn on the Michael Coren show

Mark Steyn interview in four parts, posted by SDAMatt. (H/T The Mysterious D)

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

You can find out more about Mark Steyn here.

Related posts

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Mixed results for the Dearborn Four

Here’s the story on Answering Muslims. (H/T Confident Christianity)

Excerpt:

Flags were at half-mast in Dearborn today when four out of five charges against the Dearborn Four were dropped. Defendants Qureshi, Wood, Rezkalla and Mayel were all found not guilty of their “Breach of Peace” charges, but defendant Mayel was found guilty of the charge “Willfully Disobeying the Lawful Order of a Police Officer.” She was sentenced to one day of jail, which had already been served in June. The credit was applied, and all four were free to go. The judge sent them on their way saying “You are welcome in Dearborn.” Clearly.

Even though the person who complained against Negeen, Roger Williams, was effectively shown to be a compulsive liar, and even though the police officer who arrested her admitted that she had done nothing illegal before he detained her for questioning, she was still found guilty. Is there no justice in Dearborn?

The trial process has been tasking in many ways. We’ve spent a week away from work, school, and our families. We’ve had a grueling week of preparing for court day after day, without break or diversion. And emotionally we are spent. But we’ve got so much to be thankful for.

But check this out:

To our friends who flew to Dearborn to testify on our behalf, especially those who waited for a week in the hotel only to be told by the court that their testimony would not be allowed: we cannot thank you enough for your show of support and willingness to sacrifice for us. We only hope we can express our sincere gratitude as wonderfully as you have expressed your love.

To those who supported us financially: we could not have done it without you! When we came to Dearborn a week ago, we had hoped to be done with the trial by Wednesday. By Thursday morning, the prosecution was still not done presenting its case, and so the defense still hadn’t started! Our expenditures skyrocketed because we had to unexpectedly extend our rental car, hotel rooms, and rearrange our flights. Your support has sustained us financially, and the love of Christ shines through your self-sacrificial attitudes. We cannot thank you enough!

Also, a million thanks go out to the Thomas More Law Center, without whom we would have been unable to defend ourselves from the persecution of the City of Dearborn. Robert Muise was not only our attorney and counsel, but he was fully invested in this issue with us, sharing our emotional burden and investing more time into the issue than even us. The way he approached the case, he might as well have been handcuffed and in jail with us 3 months ago. Truly our brother in Christ, we would have had to take pleas of guilty had it not been for him and his diligence.

And more details about Negeen are now out here.

This is why I tell young people to think ahead and build a savings account for situations like this. Everything costs money, and often your ability to take these bold stands are conditional on the size of your savings account. It reminds me of the Human Rights Commissions in Canada, and their war against free speech. They can put you on trial for several years and drain you of tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees if you fight them in court, like they did with pastor Stephen Boissoin. In a very real and practical way, your ability to be faithful under fire may rest on the degrees you have earned in school, and the money you earn and save while working.

An army marches on its stomach – and an army has to guard its supply lines. Similarly, Christians can only take bold stands on a full wallet. Nabeel, for example, is trained as a medical doctor. That is a field that would allow him to pay for loads of lawyers so he can get into as much legal trouble as he wants for speaking out about what he believes. If he chooses to continue his medical career, he would be well-supplied with funding, and able to mix it up with the other side. He would be able to back up his tough talk in the court room.

I am reminded of how the poor financial decisions made by the anti-intellectual fundamentalist Dan Barker cost him his faith. Do not test God by getting into more trouble than you can handle, and hoping that he will magically bail you out. Christianity is dangerous. People get hurt. Some even get killed. We are getting creamed in the courts, in the news and on campus every day. Do not waste your life having fun in your youth like the non-Christians do – prepare for your trials now. You cannot spend all your time dancing and singing and drinking and then still expect to be able to stand against powerful enemies who will have no mercy on you in the court room. Make wise choices. Learn everything you can. Work hard. Save your money.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

William Lane Craig reports on his debate with a Muslim in South Africa

William Lane Craig

Bill Craig’s a specialist in debating Muslims, and he does it at the universities in many Muslim countries, too, for their professors and grad students. Well, he just did one in South Africa, and now I’ve got the podcast of his after-action report. The debate was held in front of about 1000 people. The topic was “Identifying Jesus: Was he man, or both man and God?”.

The MP3 file is here.

Details:

  • who was Craig’s opponent?
  • why did they decide on that topic?
  • what sayings of Jesus, that are widely regarded as authentic, imply his divinity?
  • how the resurrection confirms Jesus’ radical claims to be God stepping into history
  • Craig’s response to the argument that the gospels are myth not history
  • explain the incarnation – the idea that God the Son has two natures – using “Avatar”

I’ll be updating this post with details as I listen to it a second time, but the main thing is how he describes the audience of South African Muslims. People in the West keep thinking that the way to make Muslims like us is by caving in to their demands. But that is baloney. I used to dialog with Muslims in my undergrad years, and what they respect is convictions, courage and strength. They despise people who try to appease them by arguing for some sort of both-and pluralism. If we want to have any hope of dealing with Muslims, we need to stand up for the exclusive claims of Christianity.

Frank Turek

I also listened to Frank Turek’s latest episode of the Cross Examined radio show, and he had an ex-Muslim convert to Christianity on for the first 10 minutes and he was explaining what the Quran really says, as well as the Muslim doctrine of abrogation, which requires that the earlier peaceful verses be overridden by the later warlike verses.

That MP3 file is here.

The rest of the podcast is on same-sex marriage. He goes over a bunch of false facts from the Judge Walker decision.

Your Friday night listening is now all set.

Filed under: Podcasts, , , , ,

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