It has been said before that nations do not have friends, they have interests. Yet, in the case of Israel and the United States, friendship certainly has played a companion role with mutual interests in the long association between our nations.
Gary Bauer, President of American Values, said this in a recent article: ”America and Israel share a common bond, face the same Islamofascist enemy and must stand united.”
According to a recent Gallup World Affairs survey, updated Feb. 1-3, 2010, 67% of Americans gave Israel a favorable rating when asked for their opinion on twenty (20) countries. Gallup indicates that the percentage has not changed much over the last several years.
Despite a 67% favorable rating of Israel by the American people, President Obama and his administration appear to remain in lock step to the cadence of “fundamentally transforming America” by now focusing the drum beat upon fundamentally transforming the long-standing relationship of Israel and the United States. As with health care, cap and trade, bailouts and government takeover of some private industry, it appears the Administration is again operating in opposition to the prevailing will of the American people.
In the now all-too-familiar tact of this administration, the end seems to justify the means — even at the expense of the will of the American people. For the President, and many of the Progressives who now serve in his administration, the ultimate goal — i.e., fundamentally transforming America -- remains clear and, just as clearly, any opposition to that goal by We The People remains immaterial.
The administration’s effort to loosen the cords which have bound Israel and America together will of necessity require the unraveling of the interwoven history of two people groups — a history that reaches back to the time of the Founding Fathers, and even times prior to that.
Our nation’s Founders were men who looked to both Anglo-Saxon Common Law and the ancient Mosaic Law to write the the Constitution of the United States.
In the words of James Madison, 1778, to the General Assembly of the State of Virginia:
We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity…to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.
And according to the The 5000 Year Leap, written by W. Cleon Skousen and published by the National Center for Constitutional Studies, an even earlier connection to our nation’s history can be traced to the Reverend Thomas Hooker. From The 5000 Year Leap:
In fact, the Reverend Thomas Hooker wrote the “Fundamental Orders of Connecticut” based on the principles recorded by Moses in the first chapter of Deuteronomy. These “Fundamental Orders” were adopted in 1639 and constituted the first written constitution in modern times.
The relationship of America with the Jewish people has been enhanced throughout the years as U.S. Presidents — both Democrat and Republican — have expanded the bridge and strengthened the cords which unite us.
From the Jewish Virtual Library:
I will insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize man than any other nation. (Letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson)
Farther I could find it in my heart to wish that you had been at the head of a hundred thousand Israelites . . . & marching with them into Judea & making a conquest of that country & restoring your nation to the dominion of it. For I really wish the Jews again in Judea an independent nation. (Letter to Mordecai Manuel Noah, 1819)
Not long after the Emancipation Proclamation, President Abraham Lincoln met a Canadian Christian Zionist, Henry Wentworth Monk, who expressed hope that Jews who were suffering oppression in Russia and Turkey be emancipated “by restoring them to their national home in Palestine.” Lincoln said this was “a noble dream and one shared by many Americans.”
I had faith in Israel before it was established, I have faith in it now. (Granting de facto recognition to the new Jewish State—11 minutes after Israel’s proclamation of independence)
Dwight D. Eisenhower with David Ben-Gurion
Our forces saved the remnant of the Jewish people of Europe for a new life and a new hope in the reborn land of Israel. Along with all men of good will, I salute the young state and wish it well.
Nixon asserted that the United States stands by its friends and that “Israel is one of its friends.”
Americans admire a people who can scratch a desert and produce a garden. The Israelis have shown qualities that Americans identify with: guts, patriotism, idealism, a passion for freedom. I have seen it. I know. I believe that.
My dedication to Israel’s future goes beyond its military needs to a far higher priority — the need for peace. My commitment to the security and future of Israel is based upon basic morality as well as enlightened self-interest. Our role in supporting Israel honors our own heritage.
Israel was not created in order to disappear—Israel will endure and flourish. It is the child of hope and home of the brave. It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success. It carries the shield of democracy and it honors the sword of freedom.
George W. Bush
“The alliance between our governments is unbreakable, yet the source of our friendship runs deeper than any treaty. It is grounded in the shared spirit of our people, the bonds of the Book, the ties of the soul.
….My country’s admiration for Israel does not end there. When Americans look at Israel, we see a pioneer spirit that worked an agricultural miracle and now leads a high-tech revolution. We see world-class universities and a global leader in business and innovation and the arts. We see a resource more valuable than oil or gold: the talent and determination of a free people who refuse to let any obstacle stand in the way of their destiny.”
And, yes, President Barack Obama has also added his words in support of Israel:
“The United States was the first country to recognize Israel in 1948, minutes after its declaration of independence, and the deep bonds of friendship between the U.S. and Israel remain as strong and unshakeable as ever.”
However, words often come easy and what is most important is a corresponding action.
A recent action taken by President Obama in regard to Israel was noted in the article U.S. Joins The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, Despite Concerns about anti-Israel Bias posted on May 15 by the Central Illinois 9-12 Project. From that post:
When the Alliance first formed in 2005, the United States shunned membership in the organization, citing concerns (corroborated by the Alliance’s 2006 “Report of the High Level Group,” which you can <<<READ HERE>>>) that the organization could become a forum mainly for criticizing Israel and the West.
For example, the report cites the 1948 establishment of Israel as being the starting point for major tensions between the West and Muslim societies:
“The partition of Palestine by the United Nations in 1947, envisaging the establishment of two states — Palestine and Israel — with a special status for Jerusalem, led to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, beginning a chain of events that continues to be one of the most tortuous in relations between Western and Muslim societies. Israel’s continuing occupation of Palestinian and other Arab territories and the unresolved status of Jerusalem — a holy city for Muslims and Christians as well as Jews – have persisted with the perceived acquiescence of Western governments and thus are primary causes of resentment and anger in the Muslim world toward Western nations.”
History and Scripture indicate that the conflict — i.e., “causes of resentment and anger” — between Jews and Muslims started all the way back with Abraham and his two sons, Ishmael and Isaac. The Jewish people believe that God gave them land through His covenant first with Abraham and then Isaac. In 2002, David Gelernter wrote “A Nation Like Ours: Why Americans stand with Israel” and you can read the entire article here.
Yet the Bible insists that Jews were not the aboriginal inhabitants of the land of Israel. (The Hebrew Bible, with its guileless, tactless, relentless honesty, is the same sort of PR disaster that modern Israel has become.) “God said to Abraham: Venture forth from your land, and from your birthplace, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you” (Genesis 12:1).
And in regard to the settling of America and our ties with Israel he goes on to say:
New England settlers took this (same) commandment personally. Before the Puritans departed Southampton for America in 1630, the Reverend John Cotton preached them a sermon on II Samuel 7:10--”Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and I will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more.”
According to Reuters, another recent action being pursued by the current President is to reach out to Hezbollah, a recognized terror organization. They report:
The Obama administration is looking for ways to build up “moderate elements” within the Lebanese Hezbollah guerrilla movement and to diminish the influence of hard-liners, a top White House official said on Tuesday.
From the same news story:
John Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, met with Lebanese leaders during a recent visit. ”Hezbollah is a very interesting organization,” Brennan told a Washington conference, citing its evolution from “purely a terrorist organization” to a militia to an organization that now has members within the parliament and the cabinet.
Here is a video of John Brennan making these statements:
Fast forward to the recent development in the Middle East when Israel chose to stop six ships allegedly transporting aid to Gaza. Paul Rahe, Professor of History and Politics at Hillsdale College, writes in his article The Gathering Storm in the Middle East:
The Israeli soldiers who landed on the Mavi Marmara (in Turkish, the Blue Sea of Marmara) in preparation for conducting the ship to an Israeli port – from which the goods being carried could be sent on to Gaza – were, in fact, ambushed, as Allison Kaplan Sommer indicates in her lucid analysis of the evidence that has become available, and all of the usual suspects quickly lined up to condemn Israel for crimes she did not commit.
And what action did we take? Did we come to the defense of a friend of ours and support their right to protect themselves? Well, no, not quite. The Security Council of the United Nations quickly moved to condemn the attack and Israel. The United States, however, can and does wield undeniable influence over resolutions involving Israel. According to Elliott Abrams in his article Joining the Jackals in the Weekly Standard:
On the Gaza flotilla, the Obama administration waffled and straddled. It agreed to a statement in which the United Nations condemned the “acts” that led to loss of life but did not say “We condemn Israel.”
The U.S. has the power to block all anti-Israel moves in the Security Council, not just some of them, and to do so without agreeing to unfair, damaging compromises. So why did we agree to the presidential statement? The White House did not wish to stand with Israel against this mob because it does not have a policy of solidarity with Israel. Rather, its policy is one of distancing and pressure. This was evident last week at the NPT conference as well, where a final statement that singled out Israel while ignoring Iran—precisely what the Bush administration blocked in 2005—was permitted by the United States.
So while the Obama Administration joins the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (which arguably has anti-Israel bias), and while the Administration is working to build up the moderate elements of Hezbollah (which, by the way, is still listed as #16 on the U.S. State Department’s List of Foreign Terrorist Organizations), and while President Obama makes public statements that Israel should sign the U.N. NPT Treaty despite Israel’s legitimate concern over Iran’s potential for attaining nuclear arms, and while the President allows -- rather than stops -- the United Nations from moving to single out Israel regarding the deadly Gaza incident, we are asked to trust President Obama when he says “the deep bonds of friendship between the U.S. and Israel remain as strong and unshakeable as ever.”
Time will tell if the actions taken in regard to Israel by President Obama and his Administration will speak louder than their words.