Will the war in Gaza soon be over?

Will the war in Gaza soon be over? June 4, 2024

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will speak to a joint session of Congress on June 13 about the war in Gaza. The four congressional leaders issued their invitation on Friday, and he accepted over the weekend. However, President Joe Biden will not be in Washington on that date, as he is scheduled to attend the G-7 Summit in Italy.

Between now and then, will the war in Gaza be over?

Mr. Biden stated on Friday that Hamas is “no longer capable” of carrying out another large-scale attack on Israel, detailing a three-phase deal that would lead to the release of the remaining hostages and end the nearly eight-month-long conflict. Mr. Netanyahu signaled cautious support for the initiative yesterday, stating that he is open to a temporary cease-fire to release hostages but wants a free hand to resume fighting Hamas.

The terrorist group counters that the two sides must agree to end the fighting now and wants written guarantees that Israel won’t restart after an initial pause. However, Mr. Netanyahu insists that Israel must achieve all its war aims, which includes destroying the group’s military and governing capabilities.


“The group would soon reemerge in some form”

From the time Hamas staged its horrendous October 7 invasion, Israeli leaders have consistently insisted that Hamas must be eradicated. As I have explained in the months since, Hamas cannot defeat the IDF militarily, but they can stage such persistent terrorist attacks on the Jewish population that the people abandon the country. In this way, Hamas can fulfill its charter’s mission to eradicate the nation.

This is why, as one senior military leader stated after 10/7, “If we do not defeat Hamas, we cannot survive here.”

The root problem, however, as an Israeli friend explained in a podcast we recorded together, is that Hamas is an idea before it is a political party or a terrorist group. To defeat Hamas, Israel must defeat the idea of Hamas, the claim that Israel has stolen the land from its rightful Palestinian owners and is the enemy of all Palestinians.

Israel must also find a peaceful way to share its tiny geography with Palestinians. As terrorism expert Audrey Kurth Cronin writes in the current edition of Foreign Affairs, “Military force can degrade Hamas’s hold on Gaza, but without a political solution to the underlying territorial dispute, the group would soon reemerge in some form and resume targeting Israeli military forces and civilians.”

The least religious generation in history

While Israel is engaged in a political and military battle with Hamas that is ideological at its core, the Jewish state does not need to fear losing its own people to the ideology of its opponent.

The Jewish people do a remarkable job of enculturating their worldview. From the time they are old enough to read, children in observant Jewish families begin learning the Torah. Their father is their first rabbi and their family their first synagogue. After leading more than thirty study tours to Israel, I can testify that her Jewish citizens understand their national purpose and are united in preserving their nation and race.

By contrast, young Americans are the least religiously affiliated generation in US history. And many are being taught a revisionist view of American history that makes our country a colonizing oppressor whose founders sought to preserve and advance their personal and financial interests rather than the people they purported to serve.

In the opinion of longtime Harvard scholar Harvey Mansfield, the “progressives” who propagate this view have a “loathing for [their] country. It goes beyond embarrassment to real dislike of America.”

It is therefore naïve for evangelicals to assume our children will adopt our biblical worldview simply because we do. They live in a secularized culture that “does not accept the things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:14) because “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

And, as mission strategist and thought leader Alan Hirsch has stated:

“I found out the hard way that if we don’t disciple people, the culture sure will.”

Fulfilling “God’s ultimate purpose”

There is a battle going on for the future of our culture unlike any we have seen in our nation’s history. The Pride Month marketing and media campaigns aimed at young children and the rest of American society are just one example of the fact that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

Author and professor Gene Edward Veith is right:

True Christianity . . . rejects cultural captivity. It posits a transcendental moral law that is above and beyond human laws and customs, giving a framework by which cultures can be judged. In so doing, trans-cultural Christianity has managed to shape and transform human cultures.

The key is to be so filled by the transforming Spirit of God that we become the change we need to see. We can reject “cultural captivity” only if we “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5) by the power of the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).

Oswald Chambers asked, “Am I allowing my natural life to be slowly transfigured by the indwelling life of the Son of God?” Then he explained: “God’s ultimate purpose is that his Son might be manifested in my mortal flesh.”

Thomas Ken prayed:

Direct, control, suggest this day
All I design or do or say
That all my pow’rs with all their might
In Thy sole glory may unite.

Would you make his prayer yours today?

Tuesday news to know:

Quote for the day:

“The bigger the change we hope for, the longer we must be willing to invest, work for, and wait for it.” —Andy Crouch

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