A Course Correction for President Obama

by | Jun 18, 2009 | Israel & Jewish Roots, Standing With Israel

Last week, President Obama gave a major speech in Cairo. There he made a number of important points, including issuing a strong rejection of Holocaust denial in front of an audience that has been far too sympathetic to it. Yet while confronting this one myth, President Obama unfortunately helped to perpetuate two other dangerous myths concerning Israel’s right to exist and the roots of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

This week Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave what was, at least in part, his response. In a major policy speech at Bar Ilan University, Netanyahu not only set out his proposal for peace in the Middle East, but he provided a quick and cogent rebuttal to the two myths President Obama appeared to embrace in Cairo. It was good that he did so.

The first myth is that Israel’s right to exist is based upon Jewish persecution in Europe, namely the Holocaust. With a thinly veiled reference to Obama’s words, Netanyahu clarified that; “The right of the Jewish People to a state in the Land of Israel does not arise from the series of disasters that befell the Jewish people over 2,000 years … which reached its climax in the Holocaust.” On the contrary, Netanyahu noted, “the right to establish our sovereign state here, in the Land of Israel, arises from one simple fact: Eretz Israel is the birthplace of the Jewish people.”

This is a crucial point. The connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel dates back over 3,500 years. If the Jewish people had not been born in Israel, had not ruled Israel for centuries, had not returned to Israel consistently even after the Roman exile, and had not made Israel the center of their lives even while away, then they would have no right to a state in this land. The Holocaust did not and could not confer territorial rights—it merely proved the urgency of exercising these rights.

The second myth Netanyahu confronted is that the Arab-Israeli conflict is driven by Israel’s refusal to withdraw from the West Bank and recognize a Palestinian state. Netanyahu was quick to point out that those who take such a view confuse cause and effect. He noted that, “The attacks on us began in the 1920s, became an overall attack in 1948 when the state was declared, continued in the 1950s with the fedayeen attacks, and reached their climax in 1967 on the eve of the Six-Day War with the attempt to strangle Israel. All this happened nearly 50 years before a single Israeli soldier went into Judea and Samaria” (the Biblical name for the West Bank).

If Jewish rejection and occupation is not the source of the conflict, then what is? Netanyahu was quite clear on this point. He emphasized that when the United Nations proposed partitioning Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state back in 1947, “the entire Arab world rejected the proposal, while the Jewish community accepted it with great rejoicing and dancing. The Arabs refused any Jewish state whatsoever, with any borders whatsoever.” Thus, Netanyahu concluded, “The simple truth is that the root of the conflict has been and remains the refusal to recognize the right of the Jewish people to its own state in its historical homeland.”

In the part of the speech that received the most attention, Netanyahu endorsed a two-state solution to the conflict with the Palestinians. While this position may be new for Netanyahu, it is hardly new for Israel. Far from ending in 1947, support for a Palestinian state has been the official policy of Israel’s recent governments. These governments have acted on this policy by withdrawing from all of Gaza and much of the West Bank—only to return to many West Bank towns to stop a wave of terrorism.

Yet Israel’s support for a Palestinian state alone cannot bring peace because its absence has not been the primary barrier to peace. The root of the conflict has been and remains the Palestinian failure to accept—in both word and deed—the existence of a Jewish state within any border.

In his Bar Ilan speech, Prime Minister Netanyahu set forth an approach to the peace process that enjoys broad public support in Israel. And he has taken a position that recognizes and seeks to surmount the real barriers to a negotiated settlement. Let us hope that our government will respect this Israeli consensus, and recognize this historical reality, as it continues to pursue peace in the Middle East.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Anne Graham Lotz: One Kingdom Truth That Will Never Change

Anne Graham Lotz: One Kingdom Truth That Will Never Change

Out of respect for those of you who have taken the time to comment about a statement I made 11 years ago regarding the World Economic Forum, I thought it would be beneficial to restate God’s call on my life. In 1988, He made it clear that I was to be His messenger,...

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Only Pulpits Have the Power to Change America

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Only Pulpits Have the Power to Change America

One thing is crystal clear in America: If we truly want change, we must re-spark biblical boldness and flame the fires of biblical action. If we won't fight, then spiritually speaking, we will fade away. I recently attended a large gathering of pastors in San Diego...

A Big Excuse That Shuts Down Our Ability to Hear from God

A Big Excuse That Shuts Down Our Ability to Hear from God

One of the biggest excuses we have is that we somehow feel God doesn’t speak to us. This excuse shuts down our ability to hear from Him, trust Him and surrender to Him. All three things are integral when we are trying to change our habits, lose weight, get healthy and...

How Do You Leave a Church That Becomes Toxic?

How Do You Leave a Church That Becomes Toxic?

Two weeks ago, I shared several practical guidelines on how to leave a church gracefully. I wrote this because I hear so many stories about people storming out of churches because their feelings got hurt. But one astute reader didn’t appreciate my observations because...

Prophetic Word: There Will Be a Day of Reckoning

Prophetic Word: There Will Be a Day of Reckoning

“Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and...

How You Can Plead the Blood of Jesus in the Courts of Heaven

How You Can Plead the Blood of Jesus in the Courts of Heaven

You have an enemy. His goal is to keep you from entering a covenant relationship with God. However, once you do, his goal changes. He wants to make you doubt your identity, doubt God’s ability and keep you from walking in your purpose. He changes his accusations...

Why God Will Sometimes Hesitate to Give Your Mountain

Why God Will Sometimes Hesitate to Give Your Mountain

Recently, I was having a discussion over coffee with a group of friends when one of them asked the question: “Can you believe how much the world has changed in what seems to be a very short time?” My answer was: “Yes. Yes, I have no problem believing how much the...

8 Reasons for You to Speak in Tongues

8 Reasons for You to Speak in Tongues

If a person were to ask, “Why speak in tongues?” couldn’t we also ask, “Why pray?” The Word of God shows a definite value in praying with an unknown tongue. Jesus tells us that “it is necessary always to pray” (Luke 18:1, MEV). Later, in speaking of prayer, Paul...

RECENT ARTICLES

What ‘The Jetsons’ and Cindy Jacobs Prophetically Got Right

Just as the 1960s cartoon The Jetsons depicted a future full of video phones, robotics and Google-style office space, some modern-day prophets have prophesied about a future full of exposing...
The Blueprints for Building a Powerful and Abundant Life for Jesus

The Blueprints for Building a Powerful and Abundant Life for Jesus

Have you ever seen blueprints? If not, blueprints are detailed drawings, containing specifications approved by the builder of a home. A blueprint fully outlines the quality of the materials needed to build a stable and trustworthy home. For a Christian, the Bible is...

9 Reasons Why God Never Tries to Prove His Existence

9 Reasons Why God Never Tries to Prove His Existence

God is self-authenticating. He never tries to prove His existence because it is already evident through the created order. Since He is the only objective being, all other living and nonliving objects emanate from His creative fiat word hence all reasoning (different...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]