The Times of Israel reports that Senior Hamas official Khaled Mashaal has dismissed the possibility of a two-state solution and said that Hamas’ devastating October 7, 2023 attack on Israel proved that liberating Palestine “from the river to the sea” was a realistic idea.  The “river to the sea” expression means from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea – which includes all of Israel.

In a recent interview with Kuwaiti podcaster Ammar Taki, Mashaal categorically rejected the option of a political settlement with Israel and a two-state solution to the conflict on the grounds that it would imply recognizing the legitimacy of the State of Israel, which would be an “unacceptable red line” for Hamas.

Mashaal, who lives in Qatar and has an estimated net worth of $5 billion, sloughed off responsibility for the loss of civilian lives, saying that “the resistance cannot prevent human losses,” asserting that Palestinians will need to sacrifice lives in order to liberate themselves.

The Times of Israel report may be read HERE.

My brothers and sisters, Mashaal is a senior leader of Hamas, yet he lives a life of luxury in Qatar, with a net worth of about $5 billion, and has, reportedly, only visited Gaza once (during 2012).  He is indifferent to human suffering and lost lives, even millions of lives – after all, he’s not starving, living in an active war zone, or living a life of poverty.  This point of view seems to be consistent with most or all of Hamas’ current leadership.

The irrational, dictatorial and evil nature of Hamas leadership and philosophy is on full display with Mashaal.  He doesn’t care.  The entire Hamas, Hezbollah and Iranian-led goal of destroying Israel at any cost is clear and openly acknowledged.  Despite thousands of Palestinians (militants and incidental civilians) already killed in Gaza during the war with Israel, active attacks against the Israel Defense Forces (“IDF”) continue to this day.  It’s impossible for this writer to understand how a sudden cease fire is going to change the views of Hamas, Hezbollah and Iranian-funded and guided terrorism.

Around the globe and even within Israel, division over the remaining Israelis taken hostage by Hamas is becoming sharper, resulting in political turmoil and civilian demonstrations.

This writer is a bit concerned that despite the existential threat facing Israel and the mounting expenses of war – including increasing numbers of killed IDF soldiers – that Hamas read one thing about modern society correctly.  The taking of hostages presents the almost impossible dichotomy of needing to destroy the enemy as quickly and forcefully as possible, yet not wanting to provoke the deaths of the hostages.

This results in critical questions that must be answered (quietly perhaps) as to the nature of war.  How many and which lives are “worth” the efforts necessary to save in contrast to the greater goal of ending the war decisively, quickly and without inadvertently causing the deaths of hundreds or thousands of others.  If there ever was a need for prayer, a solid moral foundation and godly wisdom, this is the time.

To the parents or family of a hostage, there may be no limit to the number of other deaths necessary to save their child, yet, this is emotionally driven, and logic might dictate that the greater good must be considered.  Where is the humanity in all of this?  How many deaths become too many in the attempt to save a single person?  This seems to be exactly why the expression “war is hell” exists, because it is.

It seems that Western nations have become increasingly “risk averse” since WWII – to the point where any potential risk, in civilian life or even war, has become regulated and litigated to the point of making everything divided, if not ineffectual.

For example, in the ongoing Israel-Hamas and Ukraine-Russia wars, every side accuses the other side of war crimes, and many of the nations of the world self-servingly take a side and invoke politics.  The truth often has very little to do with anything.

The evil one understands that we have emotions, which are God-given and often beautiful, but which can, in certain circumstances, cause faulty decision making.  More to the point, do we really believe and walk out our faith in Christ?  Do we really trust that despite the circumstances, the Answer will always be Jesus?  Are we willing to pay with the ultimate sacrifice for our faith in Jesus Christ?  The evil one is betting that many will split over these issues, resulting in the wisdom of man overtaking the wisdom of God in our governments, and sometimes in our own lives.

If you are willing, let’s pray.  Father, help us to trust in YOU and YOU alone for our strength, wisdom and ability to discern the truth in all matters.  Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from You and testifies of Jesus.  Thank You that the Truth is a Person and His name is Jesus!  We ask that You strengthen and comfort the thousands displaced and who have (or will) lose friends, family and loved ones in Israel and elsewhere around the globe.  We need You more than ever before.  Deliver us from evil, Lord.  We worship You alone.  We ask these things in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Some scripture to consider:

Proverbs 15:28 (NLT)
“The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking; the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.”

John 14:6 (NKJV)
“Jesus said to [Thomas], ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”

John 14:15-17 (NKJV)
Jesus Promises Another Helper
“If you love Me [Jesus], keep My commandments.  And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper [Comforter], that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

1 Timothy 2:4-6 (NKJV)
God Desires All To Be Saved
“[God our Savior] desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all…”.

Proverbs 13:20 (NKJV)
“He who walks with wise men will be wise, [b]ut the companion of fools will be destroyed.”

1 Corinthians 3:19 (NLT)
“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God.  As the Scriptures say, ‘He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness.’”

2 Corinthians 1:3 (NKJV)
Comfort in Suffering
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort…”.

Praise Jesus forevermore!

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