Recent disclosures of the Israeli practice of sonic bombing of the 1.3 million fenced in and captive people in the Gaza Strip may take the award for the meanest trick yet. Israel’s pilots fly made in the USA F-16 Fighters low and fast, deliberately breaking the sound barrier over sleeping people. Gaza is an island of children, four or five per family. Why terror? Because most people in Gaza have seen or felt death by explosive bombing.
America’s churches could end sonic bombing and other deliberate practices of starving and torturing the Palestinians overnight. Religious junkets to Israel are probably Israel’s biggest and most profitable tourist industry. Ending religious tourism in Israel is logical. God would seem to forbid supporting those who torture children, some of whom are Christians. Evangelicals should stop talking about their obligations to Israel long enough to listen to Jesus.
What would Jesus say about terrorizing the little children? The diabolical meanness of the bullyboy, sonic bombers defy comprehension. The children of Gaza are used to being bombed with real bombs that blow off limbs and crush families under the debris. Most children in Gaza know shooting and bombing victims, so the sonic bombings play on the fear that is already present. In my brief and never to be forgotten few days in Gaza city, I saw and heard the sounds of real nighttime assassinations, the bombing launched from right overhead, from USA gifts of Apache helicopters.
It is a universal practice of the bully to accuse the little kid of just what the bully is guilty of. Dr. Eyad Sarraj, Palestinian psychiatrist in Gaza City, chain smoked as he spoke to me in March 2002 about the Gazans. He spoke of the traumatizing of the children. Dr. Sarraj has for years run a modest mental health clinic in Gaza City. To him the children were the unseen victims, many scarred for life.
Last week Dr. Sarraj, speaking of sonic bombing, told author Laila El-Haddad,
"Although it is not lethal, it can lead to death indirectly, of unborn children, it can lead to highly traumatizing effects on children particularly, and adults too."
Israel usually bombs at night when the children are asleep, elevating the terror with the darkness that surrounds them. In September of 2005 Israel removed the 21 settlements housing a scant 6000 Israelis in Gaza, which made Sonic-bombing possible. Israel would never terrify its own citizen’s children with sonic bombs. But once the squatters were gone, 1.3 million residents of Gaza were no longer protected by the presence of the Israelis scattered about Gaza.
Can an evangelical pastor imagine himself, stripped and beaten by soldiers in front of the wife and children? How can a pastor lead a flock of lavish spending “Christians" on a five star posh tour of Israel when sonic bombing torture is going on?
Answer: No one has suggested they stop! No one has challenged them, picketed them, confronted them, and scalded their collective conscience. But We Hold These Truths does.