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Watching an American Ritual
I moved to Israel in 1967 when Lyndon Johnson was president. Since then I have watched Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama perform a ritual. All eight American presidents following the more or less same routine.
Each began with great excitement, confident he would solve the thorny ongoing issue of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Each believed he had the solution. Over the years, his officials debated and negotiated with the Palestinian people, presenting Israel’s red lines:
Recognize the Jews have a right to their own nation, Israel.
Stop once and for all the terror attacks and declare an end to war with Israel.
Revoke the Palestinian demand for “Palestinian refugees’” and their children, their children’s children, and their great great grandchildren – some 5,000,000 Arabs – to have the “right of return” to live in Israel (the purpose being to have enough Muslim votes to destroy the Jewish state through elections).
Give up their demand to make Jerusalem an Islamic capital, including the Western Wall and the many Jewish neighborhoods in the Jerusalem area. (Note that Jerusalem has never been the capital of an Arab country in all history.)
In return, Israel would give to the Arabs the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) for their state. (Gaza and Hamas is a whole other story.)
The Palestinians have never agreed to even one of these requirements, because these very “weapons” (war, diplomacy or economic strangulation) are the ones with which the Palestinians plan to destroy Israel – one way or another.
So what did the emissaries of the eight American presidents do? Turn to Israel, of course. By this time, these presidents were weary and annoyed. They just wanted to get this war over. So…if only Israel would allow the Palestinians to have a sovereign state in Judea and Samaria, all would turn out OK. So eight different Secretaries of State advised, cajoled, threatened, warned and demanded that Israel agree to divide the land of Israel into two – giving Palestinians their own land as a jumpstart to “a just and lasting peace” for the “Palestinian Refugees.” Of course, the Palestinians reminded the world that having their own state must include having their own army and weapons, etc., etc., etc.
But Israel understands Islam. The Israeli government understands their real goal is to keep fighting against Israel until the Jews are outnumbered and defeated. So Israel explains they can’t give the Palestinians part of the Israeli homeland until the Palestinians agree to recognize the right of the Jewish people to have their own country, and agree to stop fighting Israel. And there it ends.
Today the dangers facing Israel are mind-numbing. Israel faces Iran, which has supplied its surrogate Hezbollah with 100,000 missiles and battle training. Syria is the highway through which Iran sends its weapons to Hezbollah. Their mullahs absolutely believe they will be the champions to win the favor of the Islamic world because it is they who will destroy Israel. In less than a decade, maximum, Iran will be creating its own UN-approved nuclear weapons. Only because of the God of Israel, they will not be able to destroy the Jewish people.
In its immediate neighborhood, Israel faces the eternal hatred of the Arab citizens in the West Bank and Gaza – all ready to give their lives to defeat the Jewish enemy. Europe has turned its back on Israel in almost every forum – time and again, even threatening to arrest Israeli government and military officials who took part in protecting Israel from Hamas’ attempt to destroy the Jewish state.
We must note that there is one new bold pro-Israel Western leader on the horizon. British Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to stand by Israel which she describes as “a thriving democracy, a beacon of tolerance, an engine of enterprise and an example to the rest of the world for overcoming adversity and defying disadvantage.” May God bless Great Britain!
Nevertheless Israel faces an Islamic-dominated UN and its massive engine fighting the existence of Israel through hate speech, constant worldwide propaganda, BDS efforts to choke Israel’s economy, and endless resolutions against Israel. Up until now, only the U.S. in the Security Council has protected Israel from being an outlawed pariah state.
What can Israel do? Fight for her life, every minute, every hour, every day. Send its army into Palestinian areas to hunt down terrorists preparing to strike. And last but not least, Israel’s non-lethal option: fill Judea and Samaria with Jewish homes.
I repeat, spiritually speaking, the god of this world hates to see the fulfillment of Scripture take place before its very eyes. And so the rulers and “world forces of darkness” through the UN and the West have zeroed in on the building of Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria as the gravest, most unlawful action in the whole wide world. Worse than any of the 100-odd wars going on in the world right now – which nearly all involve Muslims.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict draws more UN anger than the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of men, women, children and babies in Syria or the terrorist activities of Iran across the Middle East. The UN doesn’t have time to consider human rights abuses in Russia or North Korea, Iran, Pakistan or Turkey because it must concern itself with Israel.
Think of this: In November 2015, the UN passed a resolution that Israel must give the Golan Heights back to Syria. The UN voted this way, I guess, so that not just the 50,000 Jews living there but also the Druze would be slaughtered by ISIS which is just on the Israel-Syrian border fighting whoever comes near them. If this doesn’t make sense, it’s because it doesn’t.
Israel’s defense is to fill the land with Jewish families throughout the ancient hills just as the Bible says it would.
“But you, O mountains of Israel, [Judea and Samaria and Galilee and Golan Heights] you will put forth your branches and bear your fruit for My people Israel: for they will soon come.” Ezekiel 26:8
“Behold I will gather them out of all the lands to which I have driven them….And I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul.” Jeremiah 32:37, 41
What Will Donald Trump Do?
Now enter Donald Trump. Will he dive in with conviction that he will negotiate the greatest deal ever? He has publicly confessed he would love to do such a deal. But these words send shivers down the spines of the Israeli government and most Israelis. After all, we have been through this routine before. Pressure on Palestinians. No results. OK. Pressure on Israel – with all the world cheering.
With Donald Trump, there is one true statement everyone agrees with: no one really knows what he will do. On the one hand, the parents of his beloved Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, have contributed generously to “settlements” in Judea and Samaria. Wow!
Extreme leftists, even in Israel are horrified, because they, like leftists everywhere, believe that all Israel needs to do is to give the Palestinians their own state in Judea and Samaria and voilà! Peace in our time!
The Palestinians deserve their own state, say the left, even if they refuse to recognize the right of the Jewish state to exist and refuse to stop fighting against Israel. They confidentially declare their mission to continue their war until the Jews are thrown into the sea.
Israel Needs America; America Needs Israel
Knowing that God is Israel’s source, we still say wholeheartedly that Israel needs strong U.S. backing – for Israel’s sake and for America’s sake. God has given America the privilege and honor to be Israel’s only friend with the ability to help financially and politically.
Yes, astoundingly we are gaining friends in Africa. But they need Israel’s help in agriculture and technology. And even more astoundingly, we are gaining secret friends among Arab rulers because of their dread of Iran’s terror-driven policies and nuclear ambitions. But these same Arab rulers will never publicly confront Palestinian terror. That’s just something Muslims don’t do.
If Trump’s secretary of state truly understands the conflict, and has a basic Judeo-Christian outlook concerning the return of the Jews to their homeland, Israel will be blessed, and what’s more, America will be blessed.
The dream of the Jewish nation would be for the secretary of state to be a true friend of this nation. The miracle that Israelis long for is that Trump would bring the American embassy to Jerusalem, thereby affirming that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. The U.S. Congress and Senate voted in 1995 for this to happen, but no president has yet had the guts to follow through. Will Trump be the man?
What Will You Do?
There have been various prophetic voices that prophesied Donald Trump would be the next president and that he would be like King Cyrus who in 535 BC actually fulfilled Jeremiah’s prophecy that the Temple would begin to be rebuilt after 70 years of Jewish exile. Sure enough, right on time, Cyrus gave the command that began the return of Jews to the Land of Israel.
But Cyrus was simply God’s servant to open the door for the people of God to begin to build God’s Dwelling Place. Because of godly priests, prophets and leaders, a few thousand Jews began the grueling work of rebuilding Jerusalem from its ashes. Against all odds, with tools in one hand and a sword in the other, they fought pagan enemies, manipulators, double-crossers and bureaucratic confusion. It took 80 long years to finish the task.
Today there is no magic wand to heal the hurts and sins of America. No super hero.
Trump is not Moses. He is not the one who will “save” America. Who then, is he? He is a miraculous answer to the prayers of God’s people. He pushed open the chained door and stuck his foot inside.
But Trump cannot do what the people of God must do. The job of believers is to win the lost and pray for the nation, especially its leaders.
But the spiritual leaders of America must also boldly stand up against the sins that Paul warns against: “immorality, impurity, evil desire and greed which is idolatry. For it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come.” Colossians 3:5-6
Take Hold Of That Second Chance
Looking at America from across the ocean here in Israel, it appeared that no one was going to be able to stop the U.S. from literally sliding down into a dark abyss – of atheism, politically correct authoritarianism, hatred, gross pornography, murder and violence, with a barrage of laws that would attack religious freedoms from every direction. That, together with a steadily growing influence of Islam, which, by its own mouth declares its goal to conquer America and the world, made America look irretrievable.
But now, the Lord has allowed Donald Trump and America to push the evil day back. Now there’s a second chance. There is a stay of execution. Christians and Messianic Jews must go into battle and really fight the good fight of faith as never before. Not just a few here and there. But God is calling for a mighty army to take America back.
But don’t think for a second that the godless leftist activists who are filled with rage, are not plotting at this moment to take America back down that dark abyss.
As one minister said, “If we blow this… expect disaster.”
Pray that Trump will stand firm for family values, as per the Scriptures.
Pray that Trump will stand firm in an accurate assessment of Islam and its goals.
Pray that Trump will stand firm in saving the lives of babies yet to be born.
Pray that Trump will continue to surround himself with and listen to godly men and women of wisdom, skill and experience.
Pray that Trump will truly understand God’s purposes for the people of Israel.
Pray that Trump will receive a growing understanding of godliness in character and behavior.
Pray that Trump will not be enticed into attempting to divide His Land into two.
Pray that Trump will allow Jews to build on their ancient land of Judea and Samaria, as the prophets foretold and recognize Jerusalem as the City of the Great King.
This article originally appeared in Maoz Israel Report, January 2017, and reposted with permission.