The next day, Obama got a dressing down by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "It's not going to happen," Netanyahu said Friday. "Everybody knows it's not going to happen." Land for peace has been tried and doesn't work. Paul Greenberg called this, "the oldest established permanent mirage in the Middle East. . . the Israelis may have finally seen through this game."
By Sunday, Obama was back peddling fast, claiming his remarks were misrepresented. Perhaps polls showing that 67% of Americans disapproved changed his mind. Perhaps addressing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee did. Wisely, he reversed course. Obama stated,
"Even while we may sometimes disagree, as friends sometimes will, the bonds between the United States and Israel are unbreakable, and the commitment of the United States to the security of Israel is ironclad."Those are the words he needed to say, and the words he needs to mean.
After 2,000 years, God kept His promise calling His chosen people back to their land. Ezekiel 34:12-13 says: "As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among the scattered sheep, so will I seek out my sheep and deliver them from all the places where they are scattered. . . . .And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from among the countries, and I will bring them to their own land. I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys and in all the inhabited places." That happened as the modern state of Israel was created in 1948.
The borders of Israel were expanded in 1967 after Syria, Egypt, and Jordan attacked without provocation. Since its inception, the state of Israel has been under almost continuous attack by rocket and suicide bomber. Hamas, in Gaza, and Hezbollah, in Lebanon, have both stated goals of driving Israel into the sea. Now Hamas has joined a unity government with Fatah, the party that controls the West Bank. Israel should trust them? They have vowed Israel's total destruction.
Repeatedly Israel has given land for peace. They gave back the Sinai and Gaza, but the terrorism didn't end. Greenberg stated,
"American policymakers still talk about the conflict between Israel and her neighbors as if it were a territorial dispute - just a matter of drawing lines on a map. . . [but] this has never been about the creation of another Arab state, but the elimination of a Jewish one."
Why should we continue to support Israel? There is a mutual friendship and shared Judeo-Christian heritage, but there are better reasons. We need to be on Israel's side because God is.
God gave them the land as a perpetual heritage. God made the original covenant with Abraham and repeated it often. The prophet Isaiah wrote to Israel in Isaiah 54:5,10,
"For your maker is your husband. . . . For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed."Paul, in Romans 11:29. writes, "For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable." God keeps His promises.
More importantly, God told Abraham in Genesis 12:3, "I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you." Since they became a nation, we have been Israel's primary defender and protector. Could this be the reason that we have experienced unparalleled blessing and prosperity? With all the bad news in the world facing us, what more can we expect if we abandon our friend?