Not that anyone objects to a Palestinian state. Even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, "If we have their recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and the security requirements, there's no reason that" we not recognize a Palestinian state.
But that's just the point. According to Netanyahu, "They're trying to set up a state to continue the conflict with Israel rather than to end it." Indeed, the stated goal of the Palestinian Authority is to drive Israel into the sea. This little country of Israel, occupying an area about the size of Rhode Island, has seen some 12,000 rocket attacks by their neighbors. Israeli children live in constant fear of suicide bombers targeting their school buses. And if they retaliate, they are called the aggressors by the world. The prophet Jeremiah said it well in Jeremiah 6:14, "Peace,peace, when there is no peace." Until there is, we must stand with Israel.
Why should we stand with Israel? We share a common heritage. Jesus Christ was a Jew. The prophets were Jews, as was Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Moses, David, Solomon, etc. The apostles were all Jews. It was through the Jews that we got our Bible. It was on the Law of Moses that we based our laws. Our Judeo-Christian heritage shaped our morals. We are what we are because of the Jews.
We share common ideals. Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle East. In the past few decades, Israel changed leadership at least a dozen times through peacefully contested elections. As we watch the Arab spring unfold, we see that changing leadership in the rest of the Middle East is a matter of bloodletting and people are kept under the iron fist of Sharia Law and women live in subjugation.
Yet, the United States and Israel both respect individual freedom and honor the rights of the individual. We tolerate dissent, and we practice religious freedom. Pat Robertson writes,
"Of course we, like all right thinking people, support Israel because Israel is an island of democracy, an island of individual freedom, an island of the rule of law, an island of modernity in a sea of dictatorial regimes, the suppression of individual liberty, and fanatical religion intent on returning to the feudalism of eighth century Arabia."
We share a common enemy. On September 11th, as we were in shock and horror watching the images on TV of planes crashing into the twin towers, we also saw images on TV of people throughout the Middle East dancing in the street in celebration. But not in Israel. In Israel, the Jewish people cried with us. They flew their flag at half mast. Quoting Gary Bauer, "They shared our grief." Then he adds, "On September 11th, many Americans came to understand what it is like to be an Israeli and to face barbaric terrorism that targets innocent civilians."
The great conflict of our time is between the west and radical Islam. Israel is the front line ally in the war. Israel is surrounded on all sides by Muslim nations and daily faces Muslim terror. Bauer writes,
"It is the same philosophy that motivates the government of Sudan to kill 5 million Christians in the last decade. It inspires the gunmen with AK47's who run into churches in Pakistan and open fire on women and children. It inspires the kidnappers of Daniel Pearl who tormented him on video tape, forcing him to say over and over again, 'I am a Jew,' before they decapitated him and sent pictures of his severed head throughout the Middle East as a recruiting tool. This philosophy causes the Palestinian mother to leap for joy at the news her teenage son has blown himself up as long as it assured that he killed Jews in the process."That philosophy targets both the "Little Satan" Israel and the "Big Satan" United States for destruction.
Finally, we share a common blessing. From the day when God first made His irrevocable covenant with Abraham giving him the land of Israel, God included all who bless Israel in His blessing. In Genesis 12:3, we read God's promise, "I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you." God restored Israel to the land of promise. God will preserve them. But if we expect to continue receiving the blessings of God, we must continue to stand with Israel.
History bears this out. Egypt prospered as long as their Pharaoh blessed the Jews through Joseph. When they refused, their armies were drowned in the Red Sea.
Spain thrived and ruled the world until the Spanish Inquisition expelled the Jews from the land. Hitler was well on his way to building his thousand year Third Reich, but he ended as a suicide in a lonely bunker.
Quoting John Hagee,
"Where are the Babylonians? Where are the Romans? Where are the Greeks? Where are the Persians? Where is the Ottoman Empire? Where is that lunatic Adolph Hitler and his Nazi hordes? They are historical footnotes in the bone-yard of human history. Where is Israel? Where are the Jewish people? They are alive and well in the only democratic society in the Middle East. The Jewish people have survived pogroms and persecution. They have outlasted Pharaoh's slavery and Hitler's final solution. They are living testimony that there is a God in heaven who keeps His word."Amen!
As I close, let me leave you with a question asked by Tom DeLay,
"We need to ask ourselves: Do we want the Middle East to look more like Israel, or do we want Israel to look more like the rest of the Middle East? In a lands largely barren of freedom, we must preserve the lone fountain of freedom."Yes! We must stand shoulder to shoulder with our friend Israel.