There’s a word floating out there a lot. Seems like we should actually define it.
: One actively concerned in promoting the welfare of his kind; regard for the interests of mankind; benevolence. Related to humanity, with human characteristics and attributes; sensibilities common to mankind. Quality of being humane, the kind feelings, dispositions and sympathies of man, a disposition to relieve distress and treat all creatures with kindness.
The extreme brutality of Hamas attacks against Israeli civilians in peaceful communities was agreeably the most horrific since the Holocaust, with militants proudly livestreaming atrocities against infants, women, and the elderly while wreaking havoc in village life on Shabbat. The international community condemned the attacks for about a week, then the media and ministers of propaganda shifted the narratives on Israel in protect-mode as guilty of war crimes. If I heard “humanitarian crisis” once, I heard it flow from every font, as Gaza was described as a growing hell, with hospitals and civilians being "targeted." Those inside were quoted saying “the sound was really terrible” when the rocket fire began against them. Throughout these troubling cries, the Why was left behind and Truth taken hostage.
It quickly became rare to hear Israelis quoted about the thousands of rockets endured not only on October 7 but for days and weeks to come as they were pressed on multiple fronts. How terrible that sounded wasn't mentioned much again, and all the while funerals for the deceased were constantly interrupted with rockets and shelling, funeral goers and victims’ families taking cover around monuments during burials.
How many news feeds in the past 30 days or even a week carry the reminder of how many hostages are still in captivity, or of how many were murdered while hidden in tunnels beneath the very hospitals in question? Who knows the names, ages, and communities of these hostages and is there any international care for how they have been treated in captivity, or of the utter anguish their families and neighbors feel? Where is humanitarianism for them?
Where is humanitarian thought as farmland lays waste because most countries whose laborers help the harvest won’t allow their citizens back into Israel to help? Precious Kenya – their students and programmers connected to AICAT* - they are there. Where is the food justice for Israel needing to feed its thousands of displaced persons, living in shelters or in strangers' residences far from their demolished homes? Where is the outcry for the status of over 150,000 evacuees or refugees as the case may be, inside Israel? What of the closures of schools, of children with night terrors for the slaughters they witnessed; what of the families still awaiting forensic identification of mutilated bodies, taking so long because there are so many? Where’s the humanitarian voice for them? Can the world cry for it for Ukraine, but not Israel? Do we selectively challenge some bullies and not others?
Where are the news summary statements reminding us of how many women were brutally attacked, blood soaked and raped, often next to the dead bodies of their friends or loved ones? How many photographs have you been shown about the caged hostage children, or murdered infants and pregnant women, as terrorists carried out a pointed mission to eradicate Jews from the land of Israel? No, you don’t see those because it’s inhumane to air that while the same media streams Gaza images to you. Their imagery is selective, part of a plan, akin to the controlled propaganda of Nazi Germany on the same mission. If you didn’t believe in resurrection before, you should now, seeing the same spirit resurrected in a new body against the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Those who condone, encourage, and support terrorism against Jews may not be condemned by the entire world, but in Torah’s words there are condemning voices… the blood of the innocent dead. Abel’s blood cried out to Heaven, as did the righteous blood of others, a cry that Heavenly forces do not turn deaf ears to. This one specific group of Abrahamic descendants has unfortunately been maligned, raged against, dehumanized, vilified, lied about, chased, threatened, and worse by murderous parties seeking their utter destruction while the world watched and offered no restraint. Please, Tell me, what’s humanitarian about that?
I think about Damar Hamlin of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, his death on the field over a year ago, with responders successfully attending to him. He became a national prayer focus. Such a long recovery for a young man, but he emerged with fresh mission. With the full support of his team and his rivals from that game day and throughout the entire league, his family was backed, blessed, prayed for, supported in every way with amazing solidarity and love. Can we do that beyond football, or at least take a lesson from it?
How long does it take to heal from a car wreck, from a broken bone, from the death of a loved one? How long for a rape victim or a war refugee to feel normal, if ever? How long for Israel’s recovery, sleeping under threat of rocket fire in a difficult neighborhood? Yet deep grieving can bring great action. It’s partly why the nation of Israel even exists today as a solitary homeland for Jews. How we regard their interests, and with what kindnesses we respond to ameliorate their distress defines us and opens doors to a positive future.
“I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” – Genesis 12:3, Adonai to Abraham
It's time to confront the abusers of speech and freedom and object to the usurpers of liberty who deny the Jewish State. It's time to decide what kind of humanitarian we really are, in word only, or with words and deeds that truly reflect the sensibilities of an uncommon Kingdom's solidarity.
*AICAT is the Arava International Center for Agricultural Training, located in Sapir, Central Arava in Israel. It is an educational partnership between Israel and a number of countries whose students gain agricultural and business training along with practical experiences in the farms. We've been in AICAT classrooms, on the farms, and have enjoyed fellowship with faculty and founding director Hanni Arnon. Tens of thousands of students have graduated the programs from countries such as Kenya, Cambodia, India, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, Gambia, Tanzania, Vanuatu, Cape Verde, and East Timor.