The Fern Sidman Commentaries:
July 17th, 2006: "THE SANCTITY OF LIFE"
As the war in Israel enters its sixth day, we have witnessed unprecedented Katyusha rocket attacks from Syrian
and Iranian backed Hezbollah militia on the cities of Acco, Nahariya, Tzfat and most recently in Haifa.
CNN reports that, "In the attack on Haifa, one of the Hezbollah rockets hit a railway depot in the city’s
industrial zone, killing at least eight and wounding 17 others — six of them seriously," — Israeli medical
The report goes on to say that, "Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Sunday that his fighters still have
plenty of weapons and the will to keep fighting. Our fighters are ready, and they love the confrontation and
have the determination to defeat," he said in a televised address in Arabic to the Lebanese people. "And as we
surprised [Israel] in the sea, and as we surprised them in Haifa, we will surprise them with what’s beyond Haifa,"
He accused Israel of attacking civilian targets, while insisting that Hezbollah was patient and has aimed its
rocket attacks only at the Israeli military.
"The enemy does not know our capabilities," he said. "The Zionist enemy is ignorant of what we have on all levels.
We are still in the beginning, and the Zionists will see."
On the southern front in Gaza, CNN reporters that, "Israeli forces redeployed to Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza
early Sunday to halt Qassam rocket launches, the IDF said. The Israeli military moved in after launching three
airstrikes overnight Saturday to quell 'terror infrastructures' in northern Gaza."
At this juncture in time, the reaction of the world to this latest Middle East conflict has been cascading in
at a blinding pace. According to the American Foreign Press, "Russia, France, Britain and Italy criticized
Israel for its 'disproportionate' use of force."
It is to no one’s surprise that the European Union chimed in with their own condemnation of Israel’s offensive
in Lebanon. According to an Associated Press report issued on 7/13/06, it states, "The European Union on Thursday
criticized Israel for using 'disproportionate' force in its attacks on Lebanon following the cross-border raid
by Hezbollah guerillas who captured two Israeli soldiers."
The EU also called Israel’s naval blockade cutting off supply routes to Lebanon unjustified.
Separately, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said he was planning a peace mission to the Middle East.
"The European Union is greatly concerned about the disproportionate use of force by Israel in Lebanon in response
to attacks by Hezbollah on Israel," according to a statement issued by Finland, which holds the EU’s rotating
presidency. "The presidency deplores the loss of civilian lives and the destruction of civilian infrastructure.
The imposition of an air and sea blockade on Lebanon cannot be justified."
In the EU’s strongest comment on the escalating violence, the statement said "actions, which are contrary to
international humanitarian law, can only aggravate the vicious circle of violence and retribution, and cannot
serve anyone’s legitimate security interests."
And while the world and leaders of the G8 summit urge Israeli restraint and the rest of the world is busy
castigating and lambasting Israel for defending itself against Hezbollah, one of the world’s leading terrorist
organizations, we can only sit and ponder what the world’s perspective is on the sanctity of life.
Let us remember that this conflict with Hezbollah forces in Southern Lebanon began on Wednesday, July 12th,
with a brazen and surprise attack on an Israeli military outpost on the Israeli-Lebanese border. Katyusha
rockets killed three Israeli soldiers and two were kidnapped by Hezbollah terrorists. Five more Israeli
soldiers were subsequently killed as a result of a Hezbollah planted land mine. Israel immediately demanded
the return of the two soldiers and since that time there has been no response from Hezbollah except for the
outrageous demand of "direct negotiations" with Israel over the release of thousands of Palestinian terrorists
imprisoned in Israel.
We also must remember that Cpl. Gilad Shalit, is still being held captive by Hamas forces somewhere in Gaza.
It should be clear to the world that while in the past Israel has agreed to prisoner exchanges with the forces
of terrorism in the Middle East, this time around Israel will not acquiesce to the blackmail of the Arab enemy.
Direct negotiations with the enemy and the possibility of a prisoner exchange must be ruled out as solutions.
And so the world is up in arms, and has expressed shock and dismay that Israel would wage such an intense battle
"just" for the release of three soldiers. The world labels the response from Israel as "disproportionate" and
"unjust". This kind of response should bring the nation of Israel great comfort and hope.
While the vociferous Arab enemy and the world devalues and cheapens life, we must hold our collective heads up
high and continue to declare to the world in no uncertain terms, that the life of one Jew demands that we employ
a bold and relentless effort to secure his release. It must be made clear to the world that the nation of Israel
and the Jewish people places an incredibly high value on life, respects and reveres it, even if it is "only" one
life. We must enunciate our view that it is incumbent on the nation of Israel to move mountains to save a Jewish
life and that we will not be deterred by the plethora of criticism and condemnations spewed forth by a world that
feels that Jewish blood is cheap and meaningless.
In the end, we much prefer the world’s condemnations, rather than their condolences when a Jewish life has been
snuffed out. The Torah tells us that the life on one life is tantamount to an entire world. Today we are in a
battle to save three worlds. Today we are in a battle to preserve Jewish life and to declare to a world predicated
on callous disregard for human life, that we, the nation of Israel are indeed a different and special nation. It
is a nation that places enormous emphasis on the sanctity of life.
This position has been evidenced both in Gaza and Lebanon, with careful measures not to target civilian populations,
even though it is abundantly clear that these "civilians" are supporters and advocates of the very terrorists that
we are fighting. In Gaza, these innocent "civilians" lob grenades and bombs at Israeli troops with one hand while
holding their own child in the other.
The Arab enemy is well aware that the nation of Israel respects life and exploits that dear and cherished value
to their own end. They interpret and perceive this respect for "innocent civilians" as a sign of weakness and
surrender and capitalize on the humanity and civility of the nation of Israel. As a result, Israel has sustained
an inordinate number of casualties and deaths because of the scrupulous measures that we implement to spare the
lives of our ferocious and unremitting enemies.
When we read of "innocent civilians" being killed by Israeli rockets, we must know that the Israeli government
precedes every attack with the spreading of thousands of leaflets warning "civilians" to leave the area. We
also know that the term "innocent civilians" as it applies in this latest conflict is a misnomer and an erroneous
term. These people who call themselves "civilians" are rather enemy combatants, for they spare no words in praising
Hezbollah and Hamas. Yet, Israel treats these members of the Arab enemy with respect and warns them of imminent
So if we are deluged by the incessant and insane condemnations of the world and if we hear the hackneyed and trite
expression, "disproportionate reaction" pertaining to the Israeli offensive, ad nauseum, our hearts must swell
with pride and we must revel in the majesty and glory of this special and chosen nation of Israel. We must raise
our voices to the Heavens and say the words, Mi K’Amcha Yisroel. Who is like your people Israel?? We must raise
our cups every week at the conclusion of the holy Sabbath and say the words, Hamavdil bein Yisroel L’Amin when we
pronounce with pride the DIFFERENCE between Israel and the nations of the world. What other nation, would wage
this type of battle to secure the freedom and welfare of "just" three people. For no other nation or no other
leader can fully comprehend or understand the glorious respect that the nation of Israel has for the lives of
Let us continue to beseech the Almighty G-d of Israel with our prayers an supplications for the release of three
solders of the nation of Israel and let us ask Hashem to march into battle with the nation of Israel. Concerning
our enemies, let us recite the worlds of the sweet singer of Israel, King David who said, (Psalms, chapter 83),
"Let them (our enemies) be shamed and terrified forever, then they will be disgraced and they will be doomed.
Then they will know that You whose name is Hashem (Almighty G-d of Israel) are alone, Most High, over all the earth."
If your church is looking for a unique way to bring the
Word of God to it's children and young people, take a look at Doug Westbrook's Bible Story Murals. Each mural is based
on the hand painted originals Mr. Westbrook painted at Central Baptist Church in Houston, Texas and represents a different
well known Bible story.
They are available on durable vinyl wallpaper for easy installation.
Click on the link to find out more.
In regards to Google Ads, we are not able to filter the content
of the ads. In most cases the ads will be appropriate for a Christian based site,
but in some cases, ads not of a Christian nature may be displayed.
We aoplogize if you find an ad to be offensive or inappropriate.
If this web site has been useful to you and you feel led by the Spirit,
please consider making a donation in order to help us to continue to build our web ministry.
Thank you and God Bless You!