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After the Second Mile 07/20/2006

Bombing in Nazareth

Arab-Israelis gather around the site
of a Hezbollah rocket attack that
killed two Arab boys in Nazareth.

As the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah continues, many Christians find themselves conflicted, too. Clearly, the Iranian-backed terrorists committed an international crime by crossing the Lebanon-Israel border to kill and capture Israeli soldiers, but does that justify such an aggressive response from Israel?

After last year's "Cedar Revolution," in which the Lebanese finally eradicated Syrian forces from their country and declared "Freedom, Sovereignty, Independence," the new government attempted to establish a legitimate democracy in the region and peacefully coexist with their neighbor to the south. Yet the presence of Hezbollah still constituted a threat to both Israel and the good people of Lebanon.

Meanwhile, Israel pulled out of several settlements in the first steps toward a Palestinian homeland (see my column "Land for People"). The world hoped that these events signaled a new day in the Middle East, even as the United States dealt with hard-line regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. The election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran has caused nothing but trouble in the tumultuous region and now, along with Syria's continued commitment to the destruction of Israel, the situation has exploded once again.

However, the current military operations may be more of an opportunity than a crisis, as pointed out by the Washington Post's Pulitzer Prize columnist Charles Krauthammer.

"Every important party in the region and in the world, except the radical Islamists in Tehran and their clients in Damascus, wants Hezbollah disarmed and removed from south Lebanon so that it is no longer able to destabilize the peace of both Lebanon and the broader Middle East," he wrote.

The Israelis are best positioned to clean up Lebanon by destroying Hezbollah and return it to the peaceful Lebanese government. But is it the right thing to do?

Many Christians in the West want to ask, "What would Jesus do?" Although that's a question never uttered by followers of Judaism or Islam, it's still something many Americans consider when deciding whether or not to support Israel's military actions in Lebanon.

Those who insist that Jesus' chosen path of peace in the face of persecution discounts every case for war ignore the God of the Old Testament, who routinely instructed his followers to stand up against those who sought to kill them. The Bible commands us to refrain from murder, but not self-defense. The difference is not nuanced. It is the difference between night and day; indeed, the difference between right and wrong.

Hezbollah is dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Foolishly, they have given the Israelis the moral justification to wipe them out, though it does require aggression. But the actions of Hezbollah have put Israel in a position of self-defense. Wisdom would allow the Israelis to finish the job. Another "cease fire" would only provide another opportunity for the terrorists' rearmament, which could hold catastrophic results with Iran's continued nuclear development.

Israel has taken steps toward peace with her hostile neighbors, going more than the "second mile." They expressed great compassion and forgiveness when they gave up land for people notoriously known as their enemies. If ever a nation did what Jesus said in his command to "love your enemies," Israel did it.

But with killers invading their homes, the best response at this moment is that of King Xerxes in the time of Esther: to grant the Jews "the right to assemble and protect themselves; to destroy, kill and annihilate any armed force of any nationality or province that might attack them and their women and children." I believe that, like America, Israel regrets the loss of any innocent lives -- in stark contrast to the spirit of their enemies.

Most of the world longs for an end to war and stability in the region. Once Hezbollah is crushed for good, we can return to the peace process.

Author: James Robison               Randy Robison

Word Count: 634

About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, an international humanitarian aid ministry; host of the television program, Life Today; and author of The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope.

Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at

Photo available upon request. Reprint rights granted with attribution for complete, unedited article. Revisions allowed only with approval.