NEAB says Israel has a right to defend itself

NEAB says Israel has a right to defend itself

And while the Belize Council of Churches has condemned Israel’s actions, the National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB) is refusing to do so, and has taken a sympathetic approach towards the Zionist nation. Today, the NEAB stated that it conveys extreme disappointment and the strongest disagreement with the decision of the government’s one-sided decision. The NEAB says that “the nation of Israel is recognized by the United Nations as a sovereign State, and has the full right to exist, and to defend their existence, as any nation does.” According to the association’s Vice President, Pastor Lance Lewis, the evangelic churches believe that Israel is only defending its people.

Lance Lewis, Vice President, NEAB: “Israel, like other countries, but maybe more so in one sense, they go out of their way to protect their citizens and to rescue them. So with this serious attack, death and very gruesome way of doing it and taking people hostage this riled the Israelis and caused them to retaliate in a very serious way. No, their attack was not against Palestine per se. It was against Hamas which is a terrorist organization. Of course, Hamas operates behind the shadow and behind the Palestinians and in the same space and so it’s a delicate operation that Israel had to make. And, you know, when doing these type of operations there is collateral damage.” 

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Are you saying that these persons are just casualties? 

Lance Lewis, Vice President, NEAB: “I’m saying to you that when you attack a nation in this way, you will incur the return in a very serious way on the part of Israel.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Sir, but you said that that  Hamas terrorists that attacked Israel, not all Palestinian people. 

Lance Lewis, Vice President, NEAB: “Yes, right, but I’m saying that Hamas is intricately intertwined with the Palestinian people over the West Bank and in that area. They’re intertwined. Actually, the evidence is now showing that they would be mingling amongst the Palestinians, even in places schools or maybe mosques or maybe churches and maybe hospitals as in the case that we have discovered that has been reported.”

Lewis stated that the church’s stance is not based on the years of conflict between both nations but it’s based on the recent incidents. He also stated that the NEAB believes GOB is being hypocritical in its measures against Israel given that it has not weighed in on other conflicts in this region.

Lance Lewis, Vice President, NEAB: “This statement was as a result of the present scenario. It is the result. We are discussing the present scenario. And we are saying that if you are attacked, you will attack. Israel was attacked, and it is responding, and it has to get its people out. It’s not only Israelis that have been held hostages. There are Americans there. So America has the right also to perhaps go in and take out their people. They have the right to do it. Israel in the situation in Uganda some years ago went and rescued their people.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: My question to you, my question to you. How can an association put out a statement not condemning the attacks on the Palestinian people but basically saying that I’m condemning the government for taking a stance against Israel? Many would see it as the church simply siding with Zionists and simply putting religion first, religion before morals because at the end of the day innocent babies, innocent people are dying on both sides. 

Lance Lewis, Vice President, NEAB:  “I am saying to you that Israel did not deliberately attack the Palestinians. They were not going after the Palestinians. They told the Palestinians to move out of a certain area. Of course the Hamas people would have… “

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: They told them to do that while blocking off the border, so how would the people have exited? 

Lance Lewis, Vice President, NEAB:  “I think that they realized that the integrally involved in all this movement were Hamas people and they were going after Hamas at any cost it seems. It seemed that they were going after Hamas terrorists at any cost and so this created a problem.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: At the cost of innocent people though? 

Lance Lewis, Vice President, NEAB:  “Well, I don’t think they intentionally… as far as I see, they did not intentionally want to kill Palestinians.”

In similar fashion, the government responded to the NEAB and says their statements falsely accused the government of condemning Israel while treating Hamas with impunity. The government reminded the association of the Prime Minister’s comments on October 13, where he stated that Belize does not support what Hamas did on October 7. GOB also referred to similar statements of Foreign Minister Eamon Courtenay, who touched on the complicated context against which Belize has taken its position. Additionally, the government notes that neither the BCC nor the NEAB condemned the killing of over 11,000 civilians by Israeli Defence Forces, the internal displacement of more than one million Gazans, the illegal siege imposed by Israel on Gaza that has denied innocent persons of food, water, electricity, medicine. Neither organization condemned Israel’s relentless and indiscriminate bombing for nearly 50 days, including destroying hospitals, refugee camps, and other infrastructure.

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