Bible Prophecy and the American-Israeli Rift
Politicians will say just about anything to garner votes for their cause. According to White House Spokesperson Jay Carney, “cooperation [between Israel and the United States] has never been better.” Somewhere on a secure line in Moscow, Russian Prime Minister Putin is probably sharing a private chuckle with Iranian President Ahmadenijad over Carney’s latest whopper. Coming after four years of serious altercations between the two nations, Carney’s statements hold little truth.
According to a report from The Blaze, a leading Israeli newspaper, Yediot Ahronot, reported a severe confrontation between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and the US Ambassador Dan Shapiro. Netanyahu expressed his agitation to President Obama’s inaction against Iran’s nuclear facilities while Shapiro defended the President’s actions. According to Netanyahu, the Americans are also pressuring the Israelis to ignore Iran's nuclear program as well.
Many Jews share Netanyahu’s distress over Iran’s nuclear program and America’s unwillingness to do anything about it. As each day passes, Iran grows closer to obtaining their nuclear weapon, and Ahmadenijad’s lifelong goal of annihilating the Jewish state of Israel.
Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey declared, “I don’t want to be complicit if they [Israel] choose to do it.” Like the President, Dempsey is distancing himself from any future Israeli military action against Iran. America’s attempt to “negotiate” with Iran has only given the Iranians more time to become a nuclear power.
A second, and more serious setback also surfaced this recently. A recent Time Magazine article reads, “US Scales-Back Military Exercise with Israel, Affecting Potential Iran Strike.” In an effort to deter the Israelis from launching a strike on Iran, The United States has cut back on the amount of troops participating in a joint-military exercise with Israel by more than two-thirds. According to the article, without American support in the exercise, Israel’s ability to pull off a strike on Iran is severely limited.
Regarding the American’s recent scale-back, a top Israeli military official told reporters, “Basically, what the Americans are saying is, We don’t trust you.” The operation will still provide Israel with anti-missile systems, but with far fewer American crews to train and assist.
This withdrawal of American support is coming at a time when Iran is speeding up their nuclear program. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Iranians have “quickened the pace of enriching uranium to possible weapons capability.”
For most of the US/Israeli relationship’s young history, the two have been close allies. Both Democratic and Republican presidents have honored the special relationship between the two countries. During the Cold War, Israel was regarded as a strategic ally and bastion of democracy in a sea of anti-American sentiment. In the War on Terror, Israel proved itself a reliable companion against radical Islamic mayhem.
Regardless of Carney’s attempts to give the campaign-season perception that President Obama is the greatest friend Israel has ever had, the relationship between the two countries has never been worse.
At the start of his presidency, armed with the adoration of the world and promises of “Hope and Change” President Obama called on Netanyahu to give the Palestinian Authority complete sovereignty. In other words, the president wants nothing less than Palestinian independence. In Leftist circles, Palestinian sovereignty would end Palestinian violence. The Arab world would lavish praise upon Obama for finding a peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli crisis.
But the Jews knew better. Past attempts at peaceful solutions to the Palestinian question have ended in a resounding “no,” not from Israeli leaders but from the Palestinians themselves. Additionally, years of suicide bombings and uprisings have not given the Israelis much hope for a peaceful resolution.
Obama’s plan would have forced the Israelis to withdraw Jewish settlements from the territories, give half of Jerusalem back to the Palestinians, and allow a sovereign Palestinian nation inside Israel’s borders. If this sovereign nation had the temperament of Switzerland it would be another matter, but the Palestinians are not like the mild Swiss. Additionally, the new Israeli borders would shrink the country by a full third. Netanyahu said thanks, but no thanks.
More recently, American anti-Semitism surfaced at the Democratic National Convention. Democratic leadership thought it best to delete comments about Jerusalem being the capital of Israel from the Democratic Party platform. As public outrage grew over this blatant insult the DNC backed down, allowing a vote to be held on the convention floor. What followed was mayhem.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa unwittingly stepped into a hornets’ nest of anti-Semitism as he announced the vote to reinstate pro-Israeli language back into the party platform. He was met with violent boos from the crowd not once, not twice, but three times. The vote to re-install the pro-Israeli language passed, but the lesson was learned. A large portion of convention goers for a major United States political party showed their vehement dislike of Israel – on national TV.
America’s current administration’s love of Israel has grown cold. Hopefully, the next one (if he wins in November) will have a different opinion of our Jewish ally. There may be US leaders in the future who will honor the alliance, but scripturally it should come as no surprise that the relationship will continue its downward spiral.
What does the Bible say about America’s future relationship with Israel? Not much. But America’s absence from Israel’s future speaks worlds. In Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39, it is prophesied that a large alliance of nations “from the north” will invade Israel one day.
“Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In that day, when my people Israel are living in safety, will you not take notice of it? You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army (Ezekiel 38:14-15 NIV).
Ezekiel gives the identity of the attackers earlier in the chapter.
“Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshek and Tubal; prophesy against him and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshek and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army—your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you (Ezekiel 38:2-6 NIV).
These nations have been identified by historians and Bible scholars as the ancestors of Russia (Magog, Meshek, Tubal) and Iran (Persia), among others. They are joined by many nations from Africa and Central Asia as well. In the end, however, God Himself will destroy the invaders Old Testament style.
Who is conspicuously absent from Israel’s protection? The United States. The Western world, referred to as the “merchants of Tarshish” in Ezekiel 38:13, will issue no more than a complaint. This complaint might be similar to condemnations on the UN floor – it will amount to nothing. As part of the Western world, the United States will sit idly by and watch the enemies of Israel converge upon the tiny nation.
The continuing rift between the United States and Israel is yet another indication that God is preparing the earth for the coming Tribulation. In the future, it seems that Israel will continue to find itself isolated and bereft of its old ally, the United States.
Yet in 2012 there is still time for the United States to restore the relationship with Israel. This generation of Americans might hopefully seek a spiritual revival, and in the process become Israel’s great protector until the end comes. God has blessed America in part because of its protection of the Jewish nation. Perhaps the next president can learn from the mistakes of his predecessor and restore that relationship again.