Touring Kfar Aza Ruins, Evangelicals Call Hamas Savagery ‘Revolting’—a ‘Scene From Saving Private Ryan’

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All Israel News

We are barely two miles from the Gaza border.

We can see smoke rising from Israeli air strikes on Hamas positions.

We can hear – and feel – the steady boom, boom, boom of IDF artillery, fired from close beside us, at Hamas strongholds in Gaza.

And as we walk through the ruins of Kfar Aza – one of the 22 Israeli border communities invaded and savaged by some 3,000 Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7th – our group is quiet.

It’s not just that our delegation of seven influential Evangelical Christian leaders are listening to IDF Major Liad Diamond, and one of his deputies named Maya, as they brief us on the monstrosities that happened here.

Or simply that we are listening to comments made by Knesset Member Danny Danon, Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations, adding details to the IDF briefing.

It’s that six of our group have never been here before.

Never seen anything like this.

They can barely process the magnitude of the war crimes that are witnessing.

Of the 860 residents of this once beautiful, peaceful, picturesque village, we are told that 73 were tortured, raped, dismembered, and then murdered – including babies – some of whom were beheaded.

Eighteen residents were kidnapped and taken to Gaza.

It’s too much evil to take in.

But this is not my first time.

I was here more than a month ago – on Nov. 6th – covering the visit of former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

The carnage was much worse then.

Some of it has been cleaned up.

The blood-soaked floors have been scrubbed and disinfected.

But I know what my wife and colleagues are experiencing.

They are seeing this horror show for the first time.

They are trying to process how anyone could be so wicked to fellow human beings.

Trying to fathom the sheer terror that the victims experienced in their final moments on earth.

Trying to fathom the unfathomable grief that the survivors are experiencing today.

Trying to imagine how to adequately convey what they are seeing and hearing to others when they get home.

I’ve been to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The devastation is comparable.

But as I said to one Israeli reporter joining us, coming to Kfar Aza is like walking through a set from Steven Spielberg’s war film, Saving Private Ryan, as the soldiers played by Tom Hanks and others moved through the fictional ruins of France.

Except this is all too real.

Walls pockmarked with hundreds of bullet holes.

Homes reduced to rubble.

Some scorched with black soot, because Hamas set them on fire to burn Jews alive.

Furniture toppled over, broken, splintered, if not reduced to ashes.

The devil was here.

And the traces of his movements remain.

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“I’ve been traveling to Israel for over 50 years – with my first trip being in July of 1973 – and I’ve led thousands of Americans on trips here since 1981,” Gov. Mike Huckabee tells ALL ISRAEL NEWS.

“I’ve been to Israel several times a year, most years, and have come here during the Intifada and the 2014 Gaza war to show my solidarity and support.”

“But this visit to Israel is my most important,” he adds.

And that’s why I invited him and the others.

To see it for themselves.

To be eyewitnesses to evil on a scale most of us once considered unthinkable.

Huckabee rightly calls what Hamas did here “revolting.”

“And I’m infuriated by how so much of the world and the media are turning against Israel.”

“I came here to say loud and clear that Evangelicals stand with Israel,” he says without apology.

“We believe in the Bible and we are grateful that God made it crystal clear that He loves Israel and the Jewish people and has chosen to bless them.”

Former Kansas Governor Sam Brownback is also aghast at what he sees.

“I’m stunned,” he tells a Times of Israel reporter traveling with us.

“I’ve been in Israel many times,” he says. “But I’m stunned at the demonstration of hatred, the depth of hatred, that you see here.

Skip Heitzig, senior pastor of Calvary Albuquerque – a congregation of some 15,000 Evangelicals in New Mexico – talks to a correspondent for Israel’s i24 news.

“Believers – Christians – have historically stood with Israel,” he says.

“Anybody with a heart who sees these images sees that Israel has been victimized.”

Heitzig vows to go back to the States and share what he has witnessed and stand even more strongly with Israel and the Jewish people.

Ken Blackwell, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Commission, is also deeply moved.

“We can’t sit on the sidelines” in the face of what we’ve seen,” he tells i24.

“We can’t turn a blind eye. We can’t go silent on this.”

“It gives you more credibility when you go back and say, ‘I was there. I talked with people. I saw firsthand what took place.'”

Knesset Member Danny Danon, who organized our visit to Kfar Aza, expresses his gratitude that our group would come all this way to stand with Israelis in their suffering.

“I am grateful to all the Christian leaders – and particularly for Gov. Huckabee and Joel Rosenberg – for making time during this Christmas season to stand with Israel and the Jewish people against antisemitism and the forces of radical Islamism,” Danon says.

“Visiting the communities on the Israel-Gaza border is an overwhelming experience, where the profound destruction is still a nightmarish reality,” he notes.

“The scent of death and the unmistakable presence of pure evil continue to leave an impact. Israel is resolute in its commitment to eradicate the barbaric threat posed by Hamas terrorists, and the pursuit of this goal will not waver until they are entirely eliminated.”

This article originally appeared on ALL ISRAEL NEWS, and is reposted with permission.

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Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and the President and CEO of Near East Media. A New York Times best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and Evangelical leader, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.

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