Knesset Members Debate the Gaza Situation

Following a day in which over 100 rockets were fired from Gaza toward Israel, Israeli leadership is assessing options and formulating plans on how to best take care of the situation in the Gaza Strip.

While many high government officials and Knesset members (similar to Congressmen in the US) believe Israel may have to take decisive action against Iranian-backed Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, there are voices to the contrary.

Here are some quotes:

“We are now the nearest we’ve been to the brink of war since Operation Protective Edge. We don’t want it and the other side doesn’t either, but we have a red line. …Whether it crosses the brink of a war we don’t want and they don’t want — that’s up to them and only them.”
~Israeli Intelligence Minister, Israel Katz

“We may not have a choice, and we’ll be forced to hit Gaza and conquer it in order to end this terrorist regime once and for all. We hope we are not forced into such action.”
~Israeli Energy Minister, Yuval Steinitz

Prime Minister Netanyahu warned, “Any place from which terror groups fire at Israel is a legitimate target for air force strikes,” after vowing to operate “with great force” and “in a way to secure security and quiet” for the people of Israel.

[Violence is part of] “open conflict with terrorist organizations supported by Iran…we are determined to defend our borders, our daily lives, and the lives of our people. …[Israel] “will not accept the Iranian ring of terror tightening its grip in the north and in the south.”
~Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin

Others asked for condemnation of Hamas activity from the world community.  (Which has not happened.)

However, in true democratic form, dissenting voices from the Arab Joint List (a political party represented in the Israeli Knesset) were heard:

In condemnation of the Israeli government for violence: Ayman Odeh condemned the Israeli government for the violence, saying “the far-right government is pushing the region into war. This escalation did not come from nowhere. Gaza is suffering under siege, and instead of finding real solutions Netanyahu is choosing to fan the flames under this pressure cooker.”
~Ayman Odeh, MK of the Arab Joint List

Another Joint List member, Jamal Zahalka, stated that Israel was “initiating a military confrontation” in Gaza and called on the world to “restrain Israeli power madness.”

So, if you thought the US Congress was the only dysfunctional governmental body in the world, think again!

However, the freedom that only democracy brings is what allows those Joint List members to bash their fellow Knesset members and Netanyahu’s government.  Like the United States and other republics and democracies, Israelis are free to speak their mind.

Imagine if the tables were turned.  First of all, can you imagine in your wildest dreams a Jew holding a seat in the government of an Arab country?  Of course not!  Secondly, regular citizens of Arab countries (and others who function under dictatorial governments) do not have freedom of speech.  A person criticizing their government could be arrested.  Thirdly, only in nations like Israel and America do militaries fight for citizens’ freedom to ridicule and criticize the very ones fighting for those freedoms!

True, neither Israel nor America nor any other democratic government on earth is perfect.  But freedom is a gift for which we should be thankful, and it comes only in those types of government.

Pray for Israel’s leaders.  The world is silent and refuses to condemn the attacks from Gaza, yet we all know what happens when Israel takes action.  Pray for diligence, pray for wisdom, pray for favor in the world’s eyes as they begin to understand the reality of what is going on, and most importantly of all, pray that the Prince of Peace will be invited into hearts and homes in both Israel and the Gaza Strip.


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