CALIFORNIA September 26, 2013 – Now that the Arab Spring has disintegrated, Iran is almost nuclear weapon capable, and we’ve demonstrated inept resolve with Syria; what happens to our national commitment to protect Israel?
One clue is Obama’s obligatory words of support for Israel against Syrian and Iranian reprisals if we attack Assad. This commitment rings hollow considering his prior coldness towards Israel and obvious lack of appreciation for its daily struggle to survive. But whatever Obama’s incoherent foreign policy may be, as a country we’ve stood with our ally ever since its re-birth in 1948.
Is this due to a cultural fondness in rooting for the underdog? In part, yes. But we know a nation’s survival is vastly more consequential than picking a favorite at some sporting event.
Across the political spectrum of strong conservatives to radical liberals, ours has been a love-hate relationship with this tiny piece of land. This isn’t the case, however, with neighboring countries that deeply despise or barely tolerate her existence. In fact, much of the world routinely sides with those sworn to do Israel harm while at the same time condemning her controversial self protection measures.
So why our protective instinct towards Israel when our national survival is not directly at risk? Two basic factors come to mind: history and faith.
From an historical perspective, we can identify with the difficult birth of the modern day Israel. Against incredible odds, Israel was established and recognized as a permanent Jewish home after millennia of dispersal and religious persecution. In fact, our own national sense of compassion and justice after the holocaust of World War II undergirded much of our desire for a permanent Jewish safe haven.
Also, just like the United States was the first true Constitutional Republic, Israel is the only true democratic-republic in the entire Middle East. Although legal exceptions exist because of national security concerns, Israel’s belief in the rule of law, equal rights and representative government stand in sharp contrast to the Muslim monarchies, dictatorships, and theocracies all around her.
In addition, like the United States, Israel has used its own pragmatic: creativity; resourcefulness; independent spirit; and free enterprise know-how to build a prosperous and well defended nation. What’s even more remarkable, she accomplished this while lacking the abundant natural resources enjoyed by most other rich nations.
But there is another more profound dimension to our desire to protect Israel; one based on faith.
Because Christianity is so prevalent in our nation we share deep spiritual roots with the land of Israel. This was the land chosen by God as the location of the birth, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ; the object of all pure Christian faith and hope.
Many Christians see the ground Jesus walked on as still holy. It’s understandable, therefore, to want to protect Israel since that would guarantee protection of a unique place of deep reverence and inspiration.
Although some believe Israel has no unique spiritual significance since Christ’s First Advent; many Christians see Israel’s resurrection and continued existence as a necessary step to fulfill end time’s prophecy before Christ’s Second Advent (Acts 17:30-31). In fact, many believe our strong commitment to protect Israel is not only necessary to ensure her survival, but also our own well being (Genesis 12:1-3; Numbers 24:8-9).
With that backdrop, our loyalty to protect Israel shouldn’t be surprising. However, the Obama administration doesn’t appear to share either our historical or faith based sentiments towards this beleaguered nation.
In fact, Obama used the weakest term possible when addressing potential reprisal attacks by Syria and Iran when he said he’d “support” Israel. Given his strong words but feckless leadership in Libya and Egypt, his deferential attitude towards Palestinians and his dithering on Syria would anyone really expect Obama to use strong and swift military force to protect our ally if attacked?
Our national leadership resolve to protect Israel is no longer assured or even believed because of the ineptness exhibited by Obama. What red line around Israel would ever be seen as a credible warning to Iran, Syria or even Egypt?
America is still the strongest military and economic giant in the world, and still has a unique bond with Israel. However, Israel can no longer count on us for anything but words and minimal support. Instead of providing stability in the Middle East, Obama’s weakness has almost assured another regional war.
But this time, with a nuclear armed Iran no one will be safe.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankKacer or #BiblicalPolitics
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