In his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul writes of the conditions that will exist in the general time of what he calls the "coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him." (2 Thessalonians 2:1) One of the conditions Paul mentions is the "strong delusion." Specifically, he writes in 2 Thessalonians 2:11: "And for this cause, God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie."
To prove our propensity to believe strong delusion, one needn't look far. A half hour of CNN ought to convince anyone. But for the real die-hard examples of the power of strong delusion, Colin Powell's Middle East speech on Monday is a real corker.
The secretary of state is a textbook case of the power of delusion. One would have to be deluded to accept the argument that the Palestinians will accept anything less than the total annihilation of Israel.
Powell's speech to the University of Louisville was designed to outline the U.S. vision for the Middle East. He spoke of Israel's "occupation" of "Palestinian" land. A quick glance at a map of Palestine pre-1917 shows the cities of Palestine included Damascus, Beirut and Baghdad. What today is referred to as "Palestinian land," (i.e., the West Bank) was called "Jordan" until June 6, 1967. The same British pen that created Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Iraq also created both Israel and Palestine at the San Remo Conference in 1920.
How can any of these states be legitimate if Israel is not? Apart from delusion, how can this be explained?
Earlier this month, Colin Powell told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that, although al-Qaida may be a terrorist organization, groups like Hezbollah and Hamas fall into a "gray area." He made the argument that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter."
From a legal standpoint, his comment was ridiculous. From a moral standpoint, the comment was deluded. International law sets forth legal standards for insurrection. Insurgency movements can be legitimate, provided they follow recognized rules of war.
The Geneva Conventions on the Rules of War set forth the test of just means. To be a "freedom fighter" – that is to say, a legal insurgency movement – that test must be applied. It is a two-pronged test. First, the objective must be just.
What is the objective of Hamas and Hezbollah? It isn't merely Palestinian statehood, since that has been offered and rejected. The objective is the destruction of the state of Israel, a legal member of the international community and a recognized member of the United Nations.
A quick look at their website makes it abundantly clear there is no room for Israel in their planned Palestinian state. If you can find Israel on this map, drawn by the Palestinian Bureau of Vital Statistics, please e-mail me.
The destruction of the state of Israel to make room for their state is hardly a just objective, either by the standards of international law or the spirit of the Geneva Conventions.
Secondly, to be any man's freedom fighter, the Geneva Conventions prohibit making war on civilians, women or children. Most of the suicide bombing attacks have targeted non-combatants in restaurants, markets, city buses and bus stations.
It is delusional in the extreme for the United States to not consider Yasser Arafat to be a terrorist. Or to imagine a Palestinian state would not instantly qualify as a terrorist state. Arafat's education system has turned out a generation of young minds so poisoned against Israel that he couldn't make peace with Israel if he wanted to.
Although Powell mentioned in his speech that incitement should be stopped, it is delusional to think incitement already codified as fact can be undone.
"The Zionists turned their attention toward Palestine as the national homeland of the Jews, while relying on false historical and religious claims," says a Palestinian 10th-grade textbook. Ninth graders learn that, "Treachery and disloyalty are the character traits of the Jews and therefore one should beware of them."
It is delusional to argue that the children of this educational system can magically be transformed into peaceful neighbors living side by side at peace with a Jewish state they believe with all their heart is really their land populated by usurpers.
The Palestinian Authority demands the "right of return" for Arabs who abandoned their lands in 1948. The demand is not a "right of return" to a newly formed State of Palestine, but to the existing state of Israel.
It is delusional to claim to support a Jewish state and to argue in favor of importing an Arab majority into Israel. The Jewish state would vanish at the next election. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out, but PA claims of accepting Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state are taken at face value.
The PA claims it will protect Christian and Jewish holy sites, even as it systematically plunders the Temple Mount and denies access to both Christians and Jews to those holy sites it already controls. Last week, members of Tanzim, the militant wing of Arafat's al-Fatah party were arrested in a plot to blow up the Tomb of the Patriarchs.
Yet the United States supports the creation of a Palestinian state, condemns Israeli "occupation" and claims with a straight face that, "we have a vision of a region where two states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side within secure and recognized borders."
Hal Lindsey is the best-selling author of 20 books, including "Late Great Planet Earth." He writes this weekly column exclusively for WorldNetDaily and maintains a website (http://www.hallindseyoracle.com) where he provides up-to-the-minute analysis of today's world events in the light of ancient prophecies.
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