BY EARL COX—
The President of the United States slapped Israel in the face again. Were we surprised? No. In fact, we expected it. Those of us in the Christian world who believe that Israel is God’s special land and that the Jews are His special people, are not at all happy. In fact, President Barack Obama’s comments made us very disappointed and, yes, even a bit angry.
Despite all that has happened in the Middle East recently, Obama still gave a speech stating that Israel should return to 1967 lines. Never before has a US President insisted on this. Moreover, Obama again leveled at Israel the charge of the “occupation” of Arab lands, adding that “the Arabs need to be free to govern themselves.”
Therefore, we were proud of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for standing up to Obama and rejecting his repeated proposal. In retort, Netanyahu declared in no uncertain terms, “Israel cannot go back to the 1967 borders. They would be indefensible.” He added, “Establishing a Palestinian state cannot come at the expense of the existence of Israel.”
In a meeting the following day at the oval office, Netanyahu said, “We may not have another chance.” He did not expound further on this, but the PM may have been implying that Israel could be destroyed if Obama’s plan were to be implemented.
With all the supposedly intelligent people in the current US administration, you would think that someone would understand that Israel’s very existence would be threatened by a return to the 1967 borders. It seems that no lessons have been gleaned from Arab behavior over the last 60 odd years and in particular, their actions in the past few months.
Netanyahu told Obama that the 1967 borders are “the borders of war, not of peace.” Returning to them would leave Israel with a virtually indefensible 10-mile-wide stretch of land along the Mediterranean Sea, and would also mean that Palestinian land would be only a few short miles from Ben Gurion airport. History does not support the assumption that the Palestinians would peacefully coexist with Israel, respect the borders, and cease firing explosive rockets and missiles into Israeli territory. Has Obama learned nothing from Gaza?
The Obama borders plan would also ostensibly mean the return of the Golan Heights to Syria, giving back land that overlooks the sea and the Galilee region – an area that had unobstructed military access prior to the Six Day War. The Obama plan would also mean giving up a large area of East Jerusalem, including the historic Old City. This would eliminate access for Jews to religious sites in the Old City, including the Western Wall of the Temple Mount, as was the case before the Six Day War.
Doesn’t anyone in the US Administration recall that Israel won back all that land in a legitimate military victory in 1967? Which country in history has ever given lands captured in a war back to their enemy? Such a mindset dictates that the United States must allow the South to secede and become a separate independent state, give Texas back to Mexico, Hawaii back to the natives, and the majority of the present continent back to Native Americans.
President Obama’s comments regarding Israel’s alleged “occupation” of the West Bank (ancient Judea-Samaria) reveals his ignorance of history. The biblical nation of Israel was located on that land 4,000 years ago. God’s covenant with Abraham promised that land to the Jewish people as “an everlasting possession.” Granted, when the Jewish people were dispersed among the nations as a punishment by the God of Israel, the land became desolate and largely unoccupied for almost 2,000 years, but a remnant of Jewish people has always remained in the land.
Beginning in the late 1800s, the Zionist movement witnessed thousands of Jewish people return from the Diaspora to their ancient homeland. Only when the Jewish people began developing the land – turning mosquito-infested swamps and barren desert into thriving agricultural and industrial enterprises – did thousands of Arabs come across the Jordan River to take advantage of the better living conditions and opportunities created by the Jews. So, from a biblical as well as a developmental perspective, the land belongs to the Jewish people and it is the Arabs who are the “occupiers.”
Doesn’t the US government, or the rest of the world for that matter, understand the difference between good and evil, between right and wrong? The Arabs make no secret of their passionate goal of destroying Israel and the Jewish people, even while the Israelis want to live in peaceful coexistence. The Arabs keep attacking Israel’s borders over and over again while the Israeli counterattacks are only ever in defense. The Palestinians have never kept their word or implemented any of the concessions they drew up in five so-called peace agreements. The Israelis, on the other hand, have made numerous concessions in the interests of peace. And another thing: Does Obama honestly believe that a Palestinian state will cause the Muslim Arab rioting to stop?
Israeli officials have oft-lamented: How can anyone negotiate or make peace with someone who wants to destroy you? With the Hamas branch of the Palestinians now apparently united with Fatah, the Palestinians in effect now have a government openly committed to destroying Israel. Yet instead of withdrawing all financial support to the Palestinian Authority and condemning Hamas in no uncertain terms for its attitude toward Israel, Obama continues to press Israel to concede its territory.
Imagine that crowds of people in the US started shouting, “Kill all the blacks!” Now imagine the backlash. No doubt, we would jump on them in a flash and silence them. Yet despite the almost daily rant of “Kill all the Jews!” heard from Hamas, it is the US government who remains silent. The Jews have a right to live in their own land and it is up to us to strongly defend that right.
There is yet another element that is consistently overlooked. Pick up a map and look at how little land the Jewish state of Israel has – even if the West Bank is included – compared to the vast area of some 21 surrounding Arab states. Israel is only a fraction bigger than New Jersey – the 5th smallest American state. The Arabs have more than a thousand times that land area.
A few years ago, former tourism minister Benny Elon, proposed that all the Arabs living within Israel’s borders today ought to be moved across the Jordan River into the already established Palestinian state of Jordan. Today Obama wants Israel to give half of its small space to the Arabs even though they have so much already. After all, doesn’t anyone remember that in 1922, the entire area of present-day Israel and Jordan was designated by the League of Nations to become, once again, the homeland of the Jewish people?
Shortly thereafter, however, 80 percent of that land – everything east of the Jordan River, was re-designated to the Arabs. Everything west of the Jordan River was to go to the Jews. Then in 1947, the United Nations decided to divide the area west of the Jordan River and give half of it to the Arabs. Doesn’t anyone remember that the Arabs rejected that division because they wanted all the land?
Doesn’t anyone remember that when the Jewish people accepted the UN plan and declared an independent state, the Arabs tried to destroy it in its infancy? Doesn’t anyone remember that when the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat was offered the same territory that Obama wants to put on the table again today, he rejected it? Why? Because, once again, it wasn’t good enough – Arafat and his cronies wanted all of the land of Israel.
So why does Obama think the Arabs will be satisfied with anything less than all of the land now?
Now is the time for all Christians and all Americans to stand strongly with Israel. It is the right thing to do. We stand for the right of the Jewish people to have their own land and their own state with defensible borders … to live without assault from their Arab neighbors – Palestinians or anyone else. As Christians and as freedom-loving Americans, we need to have the backbone to stand for Israel, even if it means standing apart from the rest of the world.
We believe that God has re-established Israel as a nation and that He will protect and preserve its land and people. We also believe that those who stand with Israel will share in God’s richest blessings, in accordance with His promise in Genesis 12.