By Jim Fletcher
If the polling data holds, Benjamin Netanyahu will return to power next month in Israel, a decade after being driven from the prime minister’s chair by a Leftist media and political community that still hates him with a passion.
Netanyahu, of course, comes from one of the most celebrated Zionist families in the world. His father Benzion is a world-class scholar who taught at Cornell. Older brother Jonathan is an iconic figure for leading the famous Entebbe hostage rescue; he also gave the ultimate sacrifice. Younger brother Iddo is a writer and doctor — all three brothers served in an elite commando unit. They grew up with Israel’s history and values.
In 1972, terrorists hijacked a Sabena passenger jet. Benjamin (“Bibi”) led his commando unit in storming the plane (first posing as repairmen in white coveralls and “tool boxes”). He was shot during the successful rescue.
In 1973, while a student at MIT, he along with his friends hurried to fly home to Israel and fight back the Syrians and Egyptians who had launched another war. This Yom Kippur War would sober young Israelis like Bibi, who saw that a vicious Arab enemy could not be pacified with diplomacy and talk.
From 1996-99, Netanyahu led Israel through a very difficult time. Dealing with a rash of homicide bombings in Jerusalem, the prime minister also had to fend off the not so subtle contempt displayed from Bill Clinton in Washington. Clinton’s political machine undermined Israel at every turn, determined to force Netanyahu to accept the weird, unworkable, and evil Oslo Accords.
Thirteen times Clinton hosted the serial killer Yasser Arafat and his PLO henchmen at the White House. The very thought of someone like Arafat sleeping in the Lincoln bedroom is too surreal to think about for very long.
Netanyahu on the other hand was treated to intense arm-twisting, back-stabbing in the media, and barely concealed contempt during press conferences with the American president.
Clinton, like his vice president Al Gore a nominal Southern Baptist, surely had heard the Old Testament promises to the Jews repeated from pulpits in his youth. Sadly, he and Gore went the way of Jimmy Carter in their attempts to pressure Israel into suicidal concessions with the Arabs.
By all accounts, Netanyahu hung tough, most especially at the Wye negotiations, in Maryland in 1998. Publicly, he pledged to continue the negotiations started by the Oslo crowd, who proposed that Israel swap “land for peace.” It didn’t work then, is not working now, and will not work in the future. As prime minister, Netanyahu demanded that the Palestinians truly renounce terror, which of course did not happen. He did not deal with delusion, but reality. For that he was literally hated by Western media and political machines.
In all public pronouncements about the Middle East, by international leaders, one is chagrined to hear them spout that a “viable Palestinian state living in peace alongside Israel” is the right way to go.
The Netanyahu family knows that is folly, especially when they annually visit Jonathan’s grave in Jerusalem. They have lived through harsh realities not carried by morally soft American leaders they’ve been forced to deal with.
Just this week in Switzerland, World Economic Forum Chairman Klaus Schwab, in a discussion with Bill Clinton, said that he believes there must be close global cooperation in fending off economic disaster. Clinton of course wholeheartedly agreed with him. Clinton publicly said that America must have “others” buy our Treasury notes.
Amazing! Globalism is all the rage now, and is reality. In years past, when critics mocked people like Hal Lindsey, who said all along that this global reality was coming, few thought this would really happen. But now it is here. Bible prophecy teachers have been vindicated, in a sense.
What does this mean for Israel? Only everything.
When the Prophets set down their oracles all those years ago, most of the biggest scenarios could not be imagined, since they would require a global cabal that did not exist. Now it does.
In particular, the prophecies of Zechariah are on the horizon. Israel is being squeezed, this will intensify, and Netanyahu apparently is returning to power to deal with not only regional troubles, but a global, collective enemy that smiles and shakes his hand, while reaching for a sword with the other.
May the Lord bless this man, and give him peace and strength to be a Joshua in our world today.