Perhaps you have heard accounts of a teenage Palestinian girl recently arrested for assaulting IDF soldiers. The now 16-year-old has been at it since she was 12, and was taken into custody in mid-December for her part in the confrontation and assault on soldiers near her home in Nebi Saleh, a small village in the West Bank.
Let’s take a look at one perspective of the most recent altercation:
Ahed Tamimi is the daughter of activist parents who are determined to raise the next generation to stand up for themselves and fight for Palestinian causes. Often, that training incites violence, and it is ingrained in early childhood. There are many examples I could cite, but here is a short, mild example:
Now…we must remember that there are two sides to this particular story. While IDF soldiers are to be highly commended for the restraint shown when pushed, slapped and kicked by Tamimi, and while the actions of Tamimi may indeed be punishable assault offenses, it is up to the Israeli legal system to determine whether or not the conflict leading up to the confrontation between Tamimi and the soldiers was handled properly. (Other plots are interwoven in this story, and there may be much more to it than we know. Additional detail here.)
But, my point today is this: teaching Palestinian children to hate Jews (to the point of wanting to kill them) is critically disadvantageous to the next Palestinian generation. When Palestinian youth begin assaulting others as young teenagers, there is not much hope for that society. In this case, a 16-year-old may be imprisoned. But perhaps more disturbing, Palestinian children are being incited by leaders and parents to carry out violence. No one wins in that situation.
Friends, I’m making 2018 a year of intense prayer, not only for Israel, but also for Israel’s neighbors. The only hope for peace for either side is the Prince of Peace, for only He can change the hearts and minds of those bent on destruction.
Thus, I’m praying for the Prince of Peace to reveal Himself to Jews, Palestinians, Arabs, Persians, Kurds and every other people group in the Middle East; and for those hearts and minds to be open to His revelation. Imagine the impact if Christians were fully committed to pray for Israel and her neighbors. Will you pray with me?