Day 159

Chaim starts by giving his IDF rank and the unit he’s in, declaring that they have a special mission to complete and that’s called “finishing this war”. By that, he elaborates, he means rescuing the remaining hostages, dismantling Hamas’ network of dungeons and terror tunnels, eliminating their ability to terrorize Israelis in the future and otherwise ending the threat to Israel’s security.

But, he says, there’s a large-scale international effort, including elements of the US government, to try and prevent the IDF from entering Rafah, the last stronghold of Hamas, and eliminating the remaining intact fighting formations that Hamas has there.

Chaim says this situation has a parallel in the Bible, from I Samuel chapter 15. In that chapter, God instructs King Saul to utterly destroy the Amalekites, but they are hesitant to kill King Agog and otherwise finish off the threat the Amalekites pose to Israel.

There are many voices all over the world saying that Israel should try to find a peaceful modus vivendi with Hamas and that Hamas can still be rehabilitated to be a peaceful, democratic force to administer the Gaza Strip. Chaim says this is not correct and that Israel has no choice but to utterly destroy Hamas so it can’t rise again and threaten Israel again.

Chaim returns to the story about Saul refusing to utterly destroy the Amalekites, quoting from I Samuel 15:12; So when Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul, it was told Samuel, saying, “Saul went to Carmel, and indeed, he set up a monument for himself; and he has gone on around, passed by, and gone down to Gilgal.”

Chaim says it’s very odd that Saul would set up a monument celebrating his failure to fulfill the command of God. But he also says it’s possible Israel will be tempted with something similar in order to not finish Hamas off in Rafah. He says this is a make or break moment when Israel has to stand firm and not give in to the pressure being put on it to spare the last remaining stronghold of Hamas.

Chaim says Hamas must be utterly destroyed in order for both Israelis and Palestinians to have hope for a better future.

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