As I write, Israeli troops are massed on the border of Gaza, and they are about to go in to topple Hamas. They are doing this in response to a steady stream of rocket/mortar attacks from Gaza. Hamas is trying to provoke just such an invasion, in an attempt at a rope-a-dope strategy. Israel has an election coming up in February, and the hardliners are currently out of power, and the non-hardliners cannot afford to look like softies, if you know what I mean.
Now if the Israelis go in, there will be civilian casualties, and there will be multiple international cameras there for each one of them. In short, even though Hamas is outgunned militarily, their strategy is not military, even though their provocation is military.
I am writing as one who is of the conviction that there will be no peace to speak of in the Middle East until Jesus Christ is acknowledged as king there by all hands. The Muslims need Jesus and the Jews need Jesus. That’s my Middle East peace plan.
That said, this scenario provides great material for all the armchair globo-politicians out there. Let us suppose, alternatively, that the man making the decision to shoot rockets into Israel is a Christian and a member of your church, and that the man making the decision whether to go to war in Israel is a Christian and a member of your church. Not at the same time, obviously, but alternatively, in the thought experiment. What do you do? Do you bring him up on charges for what he is doing? Do you excommunicate the man who decides to fire rockets at civilian areas? And do you excommunicate the man who decides that a military response to that is necessary?
And no fair appealing to any “root causes” funny business. Once we get into that, it all goes back to Adam anyhow. What constitutes a just military action now? And, if the teaching of the Church on just war over the centuries has any meaning at all, the answer is quite clear. You would discipline the leader of Hamas, and you would not discipline the leader of Israel.