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Monday, October16th, 2023

Baton Rouge, Louisiana


In my column a few weeks ago, I shared my excitement of traveling to the Holy Land for the first time. I had set out a specific agenda to explore my own spirituality as I’ve grown older, and I listed all the places I wanted to go. What an amazing trip. It turned out to be all I had anticipated.  Even more. That was until the end.

Being a Christian, I was able to acquire several Palestinian guides who were exceptionally knowledgeable, and who took me to predetermined locations throughout Israel. The Jordan river was an early stop, where Joshua crossed over to lead God’s chosen people into the Promised Land, and the river where John the Baptist baptized Jesus Christ. Other stops were Galilee, Jericho, a drive through the West Bank, and a climb around the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.

Then on to the Holy City of Jerusalem.  Despite being a little more than a one third of a mile wide and long and completely walled in, the three major religions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism all consider this holy city to be a sacred place.  Within these walls, there are over 300 synagogues, churches, mosques, and other religious monuments.  I walked for days, and despite the fact that my legs felt tightened in knots, I kept going because there was so much to see.

As my trip was about to end, friends from Baton Rouge were on a cruise ship that ended in Israel. We had talked about visiting additional sites together, so I considered extending my trip for several days. United airlines would allow me to change my reservation at no cost, and I certainly had a number of additional holy locations I would enjoy visiting.

But my extended walking had been exhausting, and I also had this premonition. I don’t know just why, but something kept telling me that I should go back home.  I left Jerusalem midweek, and within hours the missiles began raining down.  Some just a short distance from where I had been staying. I don’t know if I had been given a sign or a forewarning.  I’m not at all alleging that the good Lord had any sway over my decision to leave.  But thank goodness I did.

What is taking place along the Gaza strip is simply horrendous.  What happened was not the military fighting of two countries. No, this was outright terrorism both genocidal and sadistic. There are just no words to describe the barbaric and atrocious actions of the Hamas assassins.  There will never be any future peace between Israel and Hamas. There is just no way to deal with a merciless nemesis that is sworn to Israel’s political and physical destruction.

There will be plenty of time for second guessing in the months to come.  Why was the Hamas attack such a surprise? Israel, with full support and help from United States, has always prided itself on having a tight security operation, with spies, drones overhead of Gaza where Hamas rules, and all types of forewarning information.  The Hamas terrorists undertook a long-planned attack that came as a complete shock to both Israel and the United States. It was, simply put, a disastrous security failure.

Bringing this war to an end will not be easy.  Gaza is a small land area just half the size of New York City.  It’s 2.2 million people make up the third most densely populated region in the world.  It’s made up mostly of high-rise residential buildings.  So the Israeli military, if they do attack Gaza, will have to go building by building, floor by floor, apartment by apartment. And you can sure count on Hamas to booby trap a number of residences as the Israelis carry on their search.

What a mess I almost became a part of.  The U.S. has been paying a high price for the support of Ukraine, and now the cost of subsidizing our ally Israel is going to be enormous. America dealt with a fairly calm world just a few years ago.  Now we seem to be immersed in chaos. So let me say this. I’m just glad to be back home in Louisiana.

 Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide. You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownla.com. You can also listen to his regular podcast at www.datelinelouisiana.com.  And a new podcast by Jim just by Clicking Here.  https://open.spotify.com/show/7pqMHls9Jmc4EPdOs0A9m5






1 Response
  1. Dwight E Beridon

    I’m certainly glad of what was reported, but we have been heard all this before and constantly, since the initial Hamas attack.

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