In this interview with Fox News’ Shannon Bream, author Joel C. Rosenberg implores Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu to instruct his people turn toward God during the Gaza war. A New York Times best-selling author, Rosenberg has written numerous fiction and non-fiction books, including Israel At War.
Bream: Among many other things, Joel, you run a charity in Israel. You served as a consultant to the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. So you have a unique perspective into what’s going on there, and I know that you’ve been very focused on the impact on both sides of this incursion and how people are being affected there in the area.
Rosenberg: Absolutely. I did have the privilege of working for Prime Minister Netanyahu back in 2000—don’t work for him now, therefore, of course, don’t speak for him now in any way. But, yes, I don’t envy the job he has ahead of him right now. As an evangelical Christian, my heart is going out—grieving both for the Palestinians who have been lost and the Israelis. But there is no question that the Israelis are fighting—not the Palestinians; they are fighting Hamas, they are fighting Islamic Jihad. The terrorists have fired more than 1,700 rockets at Israeli civilians. Israel accepted a cease fire from Egypt. Hamas would not. So I think the moral justification is on the Israeli side.
SB: Secretary Kerry is heading to that region, he says, within days, trying to work on a cease fire, and a longer-term peace deal. Is that possible, in your estimation, knowing all sides here. Is there a temporary lull? Is there any hope for longer term peace?
JR: Well, I was in Israel in November 2012, working with The Joshua Fund, providing food and medical supplies and all to Israelis and Palestinians during the last conflict. Israel massed forces on the border with Gaza and then didn’t go in because Hamas stood down. This is obviously not the situation this time. One thing I would encourage the prime Minister of Israel to do is actually call the nation to prayer and fasting. He is taking all the other right moves—mobilizing forces, calling the nation to patience, grieving with the families that have lost. But like King Solomon, like King Jehoshaphat, Josiah and Nehemiah, it’s time to call the nation to prayer and fasting so that Israel can win this war against terror and have peace and calm in the region, at least for a season. And I think all of the great kings and leaders of Israel have done it. It would be time for the prime minister to do it, as well.
SB: How do you respond to those who say it is religion that has caused these problems, the fact that these two sides will never, potentially, resolve, because there are such deep divisions along religious lines?
JR: Well, I think that Radical Islam has certainly caused this. Again, separate this from the Palestinian people at large—who may not love Israel, who may wish they could have all of the territory—but it’s Hamas and the terrorist leaders of Islamic Jihad and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades that are firing rockets and missiles. It’s really the Palestinian leadership—in terms of the terrorist leadership—that is crushing the hopes and dreams and fortunes of the people in Gaza. Look, they live on the Mediterranean coast. They have natural gas. They were given their freedom from Israel in 2005. There’s no reason not to be able to build a functioning, calm, prosperous society. But you can’t have terrorists leading you. And I think it’s going to take the Israelis turning to the Lord and asking for peace, as well as the military force.
For the original article, visit joelrosenberg.com.