Victims or Murderers?

The Fellowship  |  November 3, 2017

Victims or Murderers?

One of our Fellowship staff members, Jonathan Goldthwaite, attended a recent event in Chicago, and filed this report:

I’ve always found wisdom in the words of Proverbs 18:17: “The first to plead his case seems right, until another comes and examines him” (ESV). This is why I found myself attending a lecture by Ambassador Husam Zomlot, a senior advisor to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. I’ve heard the Israeli side; I wanted to hear what the Palestinian side had to say.

I sat in the lecture hall, listening to the ambassador as he spoke about what he believes are the steps needed for lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians. His remarks highlighted the importance of democracy, and he spoke positively of President Trump and his efforts to work with both Israelis and Palestinians to strike “the ultimate deal”.

Ambassador Zomlot then laid out his “four pillar” peace plan. I nodded attentively at the first three: the United States as a third-party negotiator, expanding economic opportunities for Palestinians, and a commitment to nonviolence—all wonderful! But his plan began to crumble as he mentioned the fourth pillar: unifying with Hamas.

Ambassador Zomlot asserted that uniting with Hamas – a known terrorist organization that seeks to annihilate Israel and regularly kills innocent Israeli civilians – will bring the two parties closer to peace. He did admit that “We have differences with Hamas,” but added “they are an integral part of us.”

I began to realize that one of the “pillars” of this plan has a serious flaw.

When the time came for audience questions, one gentleman politely but firmly asked about the Palestinian government’s policy of paying salaries to the families of Palestinian citizens who have been killed or arrested for murdering Israelis.

The tension in the room was palpable as we waited for an answer.

But the ambassador deflected the question by saying that Palestinian terrorists were actually victims. He then proceeded to attack Israel, and went on to justify why his kind, humanitarian government needed to aid and protect the families of terrorists: “You call them murderers, and we call them victims.”

I unconsciously let out an audible groan, so loud that it caught the attention of the gentleman next to me.

The prophet Isaiah warns, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.” I left the lecture shocked and saddened that smart, educated people from all over the world promote and believe this rhetoric. Anyone who calls himself a “victim” to justify killing innocent people is not a peacemaker.

May God open our eyes to the truth, wherever it can be found. It certainly wasn’t here.

-Jonathan Goldthwaite

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