Sep 19, 2011

Israel’s Fickle Friends

Todd StrandbergBy Todd Strandberg
Rapture Ready

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The nation of Israel has always had a shortage of friends in the world. Recent changes in the Middle East have left Israel feeling all the more isolated. The friends it still has are not as dependable as they once were.

What has changed the most is a shift toward a more radical version of Islam. The people of the Middle East are turning to religious organizations through the ballot box or revolution because they offer hope over secular governments that have been traditionally corrupt. Western nations are choosing to placate the new Islamic threat by penalizing Israel.

Under this realignment, the first friendship to go was the one Israel had with Turkey. The Turkish government officially ended relations with Israel over the Netanyahu government's refusal to apologize for storming the Mavi Marmara ship that ran Israel’s blockade of Gaza. The real reason for the break was the election of a radical Islamic government in Turkey. Once the Islamic Party gained the upper hand in 2007, it was looking for a reason to end all diplomatic ties with Israel.

The relationship between Israel and Egypt was the next to go. In 1977, Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat became the first Arab leader to officially recognize Israel. An important part of the peace treaty was Israel giving back the Sinai Peninsula, a land area larger than all of Israel. The peace was often described as a "cold peace." There has been very little trade between the two nations. The Egyptian army has regularly conducted simulated military exercises against an "enemy" Israel.

Essam SharafThe Egyptian Revolution of 2011 has put the future of the 1977 treaty into doubt. The new Egyptian government would like to reassess or void any agreement with Israel. Just last week, Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf said that "A peace deal with Israel was not sacred." Egypt's commitment to its treaty was put into further doubt by a mob attack on the Israeli embassy in Cairo, forcing all its personnel to return home to Israel .

Europe in general has been fading as a dependable friend to Israel because of the growing Islamic influence in Europe. The change is not just the result of Middle East oil wealth. Europe itself is becoming more Islamic through immigration, and its citizenry that bows toward Mecca each day is demanding that the government take a harsher tone with Israel.

America’s commitment to Israel came into question the day it elected Barack Obama. When he won the vote, one of the first things he did was reach out to the Arab world. I think the greatest damage Obama has done was in May when he became the first American president to formally endorse the policy calling for Israel's return to pre-1967 borders. Obama may soon top himself by failing to veto the upcoming vote on Palestinian statehood in the UN.

I was looking at news stories on America’s relationship with Israel and ran across a statement in The Guardian that said, “Barack Obama has good reason to ask what the present Israeli government has ever done for him.” The British press is probably the most anti-Semitic news organization outside of the Middle East, so I would expect it to pose such a quandary. Why not ask, "What has the Arab world done for us?"

It has done plenty for us. It killed thousands of our citizens in terrorist attacks, we have a war tab of $2 trillion, and it is constantly looking for ways to undermine our freedom. In contrast, we get mad at Israel when it rebuffs our meddling into its housing construction policy.

The Bible says that in the last days, Israel will have no friends who are willing to stand with it. I would hope that economic implosion caused by the Rapture is the reason the U.S. does not come to aid Israel. Any politician who claims to be a believer should know that when we support Israel, we are showing our commitment to the promises that God made to the Jewish people. If we betray that trust, we will suffer the Lord’s wrath.

“The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel , saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem . And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it” (Zechariah 12:1-3).

Related Links
Egypt bans export of palm fronds ahead of Jewish holiday of Sukkot - Ha'aretz
Turkey veto threat nixed Israeli NATO initiative - JTA
Palestinians Want a State but Don't Want Peace - The New American (Sam Blumenfeld)
UN Session Hostile to Israel Will End Obama's Jewish Support - Human Events (Gary Bauer)
Netanyahu’s Speech to Include ‘Jewish State” Demand - Arutz Sheva