In the Old Testament, Jehovah commands his people, the Israelites, to kill every single Amalekite:
“Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.”
This is a textbook case of genocide. The Almighty commands his people to slaughter an entire nation, down to the very last infant.
I will leave it to theologians and Bible scholars to argue whether God was justified in ordering the slaughter of an entire race, because they were evil, worshipped false gods, and ambushed the Israelites on their way to the promised land.
Christians and Jews consider the Old Testament not only Holy Scriptures, but also a record of historical events. Any rational person who reads the Old Testament as history will consider the slaughter of the Amalekites at the hands of the Israelites one of them most horrifying and brutal acts of genocide in the annals of history.
“You must ‘remember what Amalek has done to you,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admonished on October 28, announcing the second phase, a ground invasion, of Israel’s war in Gaza.
Most Americans don’t know the Amalekites from the Klingons or the Borg, but the reference to the Amalekites resonates with American evangelicals who fetishize God’s chosen people, and demonize the Palestinians. They don’t draw any distinction between ordinary Palestinians who eschew terrorism and the Hamas terrorist organization, and they would be quite happy if the Palestinians were wiped off the face of the earth.
The Prime Minister of Israel and most evangelicals don’t think the Palestinians deserve their own homeland, and they have no empathy for their suffering.
Gone are the days when you can justify the genocide of a race of people because they don’t worship your deity. The Palestinians aren’t the Amalekites. They don’t deserve to be eradicated and bombed back to the Stone Age.
On October 7, 2023 the Hamas terrorists went Old Testament on Israeli civilians, murdering, raping, torturing and kidnapping them. Netanyahu wants to return the favor and take an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.
In a world where cynical politicians use religion to manipulate people, and terrorists commit atrocities in the name of Allah, will reason, humanity and common sense prevail?