Sep 9, 2008

A necessary partnership: Inside Israeli and American relations

by James Kimmey

Sixty years ago, on May 15, 1948, one of the greatest miracles in modern history took place. A language that had not been spoken in centuries was resurrected for after a fierce and arduous struggle, a new fledgling nation had proved its strength and resolve. For the first time in centuries, the Jewish people now had a place they could call home. Yet, this land that has inspired hope in so many has been blamed for the worst demonstrations of human depravity.

Minutes after Israel had declared itself a nation, President Truman officially recognized this status. He recognized the common values that the two nations shared and the necessity of a strong relationship. Israel faces constant threats from enemies that seek not only to harm them but also the United States. There is no time for the world to stand idly by as Israel endures constant attacks and is condemned for defending itself. When former President Jimmy Carter called Israelis occupiers and wanted them to abandon their land, there should have been outrage. Instead, Americans remained apathetic.

Granted, Israel is no larger than the state of New Jersey, but what happens there affects every American. The strong relationship that the United States and Israel share is truly a mutually beneficial relationship. Now, more than ever, it is important to stand with the Middle East’s only democracy.

For over 50 years, the late Dr. Jerry Falwell let his support for Israel be known. If you have the opportunity to tour the Carter Glass Mansion, you will notice the love he had for this land and its people. The tour demonstrates and reveals his tireless work to defend this nation. Falwell took to heart God’s lasting promise to Abraham in Genesis chapter 12, stating that God would make Israel a great nation.

In Romans 11, Paul questions if God has rejected Israel. He answers his own question strongly and candidly using the term “me genoita,” meaning may it never be. Paul’s conclusion was that God would continually protect and bless Israel.

It is important for Christians to understand the Jewish people are just as much a part of God’s kingdom as they are. Remember, Judaism can exist without Christianity, but the reverse is not true.

Christians must have the same attitude as the prophet Isaiah when he exclaimed, “For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent; for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet” (Isaiah 62:11).

For Christians, Isaiah’s statement should be a call to support and defend Israel. The first way to do this is to study the issues. Too often, Christians blindly accept what they hear from the pulpit or the talking points of modern political parties. God created man to be rational, and he must exercise this and discern the truth.

This involves keeping abreast of current affairs and understanding the threats Israel faces. Iran is indeed a real threat because a nuclear Iran threatens the safety of Israel and the United States. Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, must be taken seriously. The Israeli government believes that Iran could have nuclear capabilities within a year.

Finally, it involves electing those who understand these threats and will fight to protect this nation. It does not always mean war. It can mean divestment and economic sanctions. Several states have already done this. Specifically in Florida, this was accomplished by those that were engaged with the issue and in turn engaged their elected officials.

This election is crucial, not only for America but also for Israel as well. America and Israel cannot afford to elect anyone who will blindly talk to Ahmadinejad without conditions.

For those seeking more information on how to become involved, e-mail standwithisrael@liberty.edu.


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