17 Aug 2020

When Your Enemies Agree With You

When Joe Biden and Thomas Friedman endorse your foreign policy “success,” you know you’re doing it wrong.

The deal struck this week between Israel and the UAE—brokered by the US—provides full diplomatic and other relations between the Jewish state and the “bank” of the Middle East. However, Israel’s move to annex parts of the West Bank are now off the table.

Of course.

Everyone is touting the achievement of the Trump White House, particularly the diplomacy done by Jared Kushner. Friedman, the New York Times columnist that is not nearly as smart as he thinks he is (he’s often profoundly wrong about his predictions), and Biden, are the two most well-known figures giving credit for the deal. Although Biden incredibly claimed partial credit. He has long been “a friend of Bibi,” but no one is more duplicitous when dealing with the Israelis. Biden cares about Joe Biden and that’s it.

Anyway, I was very disappointed to see the groundswell of support for the deal, even among Christians. Even among pro Israel Christians.

For some time, Joel Rosenberg has been advocating for these kinds of deals, the ones that restrain Israel from historic opportunities. Rosenberg has done great damage to Israel’s attempt to annex more territory, but he does love to tout his high-level contacts, including in the Arab world. Good for him, literally. It’s marketing, and ultimately helps him sell more books.

Yes, it’s great the US embassy was moved to Jerusalem. Yes, it’s great the US recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

But notice that when Israel has a chance to annex significant parts of Judea and Samaria, even for security reasons, it’s a non-starter with the international community.

Very disappointing.

We do have to remember that almost no one in the diplomatic and political corps have a biblical worldview, especially when it comes to God’s land promises to the Jews.

The argument with the UAE deal is that it will bring such an economic boon to the Middle East that everyone will embrace and build Paradise. However, I remember the painful stories of the pogroms against Jews by the Arabs in the 20s and 30s, not to mention (but let’s do that anyway) terrorism in the modern era. The historical record will show that Jews can live in peace with Arabs for decades, until the Arabs lose their minds again and start killing all over again.

Dr. Shmuel Katz recently wrote a piece that outlined Israel’s right to the land. Among his arguments:

“The Jewish people had a longstanding claim to the land, which was under the management of the British Mandate following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in 1917. The Jewish claim was recognized by the Balfour declaration and by the subsequent legally-binding decision by the League of Nations in the San Remo conference. This decision was accepted also by the nascent United Nations. Therefore, it is very clear from the international law point of view, that the presence of the state of Israel in this area is totally legal!!”

He’s correct, of course. But we must always keep in mind that this is above all a spiritual issue. The world despises the Jew. The world despises the Word of God.

What we know in a general sense from the Bible is that the world will not accept Jewish sovereignty in the land of Israel until the Messiah comes. Until the Great Day of the Lord.

Until then, Israel will be constrained by self-centered plotters that think they can upend the purposes of our Great God.

May we continue to be on the opposite side of the fence from the Thomas Friedmans of the world.