Looking out my back door: living in Israel, and glad, once again, to be an American.
Wow, what a week, eh? President Donald J. Trump did something that no president in 70 years has had the gumption to do—tell the truth about Israel’s claim to Jerusalem. I don’t know how this will all shake out, and if the US policy will be ‘nuanced’ in the future regarding so-called “East/ West Jerusalem”, but here are a few thoughts that may help us keep things in perspective.
As the President said, “Today we finally acknowledge the obvious, that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do.” To that I would say, “Amen. Finally.” Yet, predictably, the Arab/Muslim world as well as the Western liberal press and politicians have reacted in “horror and dismay” and Trump’s decision. Consider these headlines:
- Trump’s Jerusalem speech sparks violent Mideast protests – MSN.com (USA)
- Trump ignores warnings with ‘reckless Jerusalem move’ – Al Jazeera (Qatar)
- Jerusalem’s Christian Leaders to Trump: Recognition Will Cause ‘Irreparable Damage’ – HaAretz (Israel)
- White House forced to deny Donald Trump has DEMENTIA after he slurred and stuttered during Israel speech – and he vows to take medical test to prove it – The Sun, (UK)
The media has taken what should be an historic landmark for progress in ethics and global politics, and turned it into a silly rant about Donald Trump’s dentures. OK, so The Donald did slur the word ‘states’ in his speech. Big deal. Who of us hasn’t mangled the English language at some point in our lives.
What you are really seeing, my friends, is this world’s opposition to God’s will and God’s word. For example, God said in 2 Chronicles 6:6, “I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.” Only one of numerous claims God made regarding Jerusalem.
Yet, the Muslim world has rejected the Bible, as has the Western secular world, therefore anything as important as the status of Jerusalem–notwithstanding recorded history and the archaeological record–will certainly be contested by people opposed to what God has said.
As far as history and the sacred texts are concerned, it should be helpful to observe the import of Jerusalem to the Bible and the Qur’an. In the Bible, Jerusalem is mentioned over 800 times. In the Qur’an it is mentioned…not once.
I think it reasonable and fair to graciously ask our Muslim friends why is it that Jerusalem is absent from the Qur’an, when it is supposed to be so important to Islam?
Kindergarten with Ashtrays
Yet last week the UN General Assembly “voted overwhelmingly to disavow Israeli ties to Jerusalem as part of six anti-Israel resolutions it approved on Thursday in New York. The vote was 151 in favor and six against, with nine abstentions.” The resolution stated that “any actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever.”
Do you ever feel like our world is run by children? A very good realtor friend once told me that a common quip in the real estate industry is, that it’s often like “kindergarten with ashtrays.” Such seems to be the august body of the UN: foolish men and women who will seem to go to any lengths to deny the obvious truth.
As it has been said, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” As believers, we must understand that silence on the status of Jerusalem from the leader of the Free World, the USA, has only served as acquiescence and bolstered the campaign to de-legitimize not only Israel’s right to Jerusalem, but Israel’s right to exist at all.
Solomon wrote, “Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil” Ecc. 8:12). To not deal with people who have committed crimes or have evil intentions only makes for a worse situation in the future. Those who are criticizing Trump’s announcement are simply of the same mind of those who lauded Neville Chamberlain with his 1938 ‘peace in our time’ agreement with Hitler, and we know how that ended.
To finally cease ‘kicking the can down the road’ is the best thing US leadership could do, as National Review’s David French said in calling it one of President Trump’s “best, most moral, and important decisions” that “strikes a blow against international anti-Semitism.”
If some are still not convinced, I think it safe to say that when the world’s leader in state sponsored terrorism, Iran, as well as the PA, Hezbollah, Hamas and N. Korea are angry with what you are doing, you’re probably doing the right thing. Please continue to pray for the President for wisdom, grace and courage to handle this situation in a proper way.
Ultimately, Israel and our world needs a Savior. May God use you and me to bring light and sanity to a dark and confused world.