Christian Coalition

The Temple Mount is the focus of a greater battle than meets the eye. Most commentators agree that the struggle for sovereignty is a key factor in the dispute; and certainly some Arab leaders exploit the religion card to keep the street agitated. But this ancient battle has multiple layers of truth, including the apocalyptic—the destiny of Israel and the nations surrounding her. Its center axis pivots not so much on conflicting religious systems, but on worship: Who is worshipped at the Temple Mount? Who is worshipped at Al-Aqsa Mosque? How does this spiritual side of life impact our world?

Why are the Temple Mount and Jerusalem dead center at the crosshairs of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict—and a flashpoint of global Muslim wrath? Though in Jerusalem, religious zeal seems to evoke more passion than politics does, a parallel conflict looms behind the tense stand-off between Israel, the Palestinians, Jordan, and others in the Muslim world. 

Has anyone ever wondered why Islam’s third holiest place has become so hotly contested when Muslims have Mecca and Medina in their back pocket? Or why Ramallah is not considered as a possible capital of a future Palestinian state instead of Jerusalem, with its 3,000-plus years of Jewish history and holy temple? Why are so many nations lining up against Israel in the UN and across the globe? Why is anti-Semitism spinning out of control while ruthless tyrants elsewhere inflict human suffering without censure?

On the religious side, why have the Jews and their worship been threatened with annihilation for millennia, time and again? Though other nations and faiths also have faced persecution and genocide, the Jews and Israel have broken the world record. 

From the 13th century BCE through the present, attempts to annihilate the Jews include pre-Exodus Egypt; Haman; King Herod’s slaughter of the innocents; Moorish Spain; the Crusades; the Black Death massacres in Europe; pogroms in the Russian Empire and Ukraine; Hebron and Safed during the Palestinian Mandate; the Holocaust, and many more. This list does not include massacres in Israel after 1948, or threats today from Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and others.

Some Jewish streams believe that satan is an angel who tries to lure Jews away from righteous living and their life’s mission. Is not a part of that mission to worship G-d in the place that He chose and where His Name dwells?

The question of “who is being worshipped” is crucial. The prophet Isaiah received the understanding that a satanic power behind the king of Babylon sought to be worshipped. “How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! … You said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of G-d; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.I will make myself like the Most High.”

The Jewish Scriptures have encouraging words for Israel and for us. G-d is true to his word, which says he will punish “the powers in the heavens above and the kings on the earth below,” and the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem. Islam will never own the Temple Mount. The deed belongs to Israel and the Jews.

The battle over Jerusalem has extended to higher education. A firestorm erupted over Israel’s offer to East Jerusalem Arab schools to teach the Israeli curriculum instead of the Palestinian one. The Israeli curriculum could open the door for Arab students to take the Israeli matriculation exams and study at its high-ranked colleges and universities. Many East Jerusalem parents realize that access to Israel’s colleges and universities would boost their children’s careers. To that end, the Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Ministry designated 20 million Israeli shekels (more than $5.5 million) for physical plant upgrades to the seven East Jerusalem municipality schools that accepted the option.

Not surprisingly, Palestinian educators slammed Israel’s offer as a “racist” ploy. Higher Education Minister Sabri Saidam called it a “declaration of war against Arab and Palestinian existence in East Jerusalem.” The official PA daily denounced Israel’s endowment as a conditional, arm-twisting “temptation” to force its curriculum down Palestinians’ throats. Though the curriculum is elective for both schools and students, the PA daily accused Israel of deliberately “imposing” it to “control the minds of Palestinian students and falsify Palestinian history.”

Palestinians are skittish about Israeli history, possibly because they expect Israel to teach history like they do—as a tool for propaganda and brainwashing. Palestinian leaders also distrust Western standards of scholarship, and its commitment to free thought and inquiry. They vilify Israel’s historical and archeological records—evidence of the ancient Jewish connection to the Land and Jerusalem—as attacks on Palestinian national identity. Educator Ziyad Al-Shamali threatened legal action against any schools allowing the “Judaization of education.” Like the classic ’70s Coca-Cola ad, detractors who don’t comprehend Israeli education should try “The Real Thing.”


Taste and See

Israel’s robust educational innovation and ingenuity powers its economy. Israel spends a higher share of its GDP on research and development than any developed nation, according to the Financial Times; and its universities rank among the world’s top 100 in science and engineering. A star in the nation’s high-tech crown is the Israel Defense Force Talpiot Computing and Cyber Defense Academy, a collaboration between the IDF and Hebrew University.

“Talpiot’s mission isn’t to learn how to fight. It‘s to learn how to think,” said author Jason Gewirtz. Talpiot requires not just high IQs, top grades and a scientific bent; interviewers also scan candidates for leadership potential—inquisitiveness, ingenuity and creative thinking—willingness to leap beyond the boundaries of what is known. Talpiot is a dynamic driver to the country’s defense and economy; graduates have launched high-tech and security start-ups that have stimulated jobs and foreign investment, and their expertise has enhanced cooperation between allies.

Talpiot is a stellar example of Israel’s educational tradition—founded on democratic values that foster tolerance, academic freedom and coexistence. In research designed to undergird Israel’s “equitable” public policies so as to “advance the wellbeing” of all citizens, a Taub Center for Social Policy study notes: “The low percentage of Arab Israelis with academic degrees indicates the importance of increasing accessibility to higher education for these citizens.” Sadly, those who politicize education are misinterpreting Israel’s good intentions for all its citizens.


The numbers speak

There’s a story behind the low numbers of Arab Israelis with academic degrees. The furor over the Israeli curriculum is fueled by Palestinian fears that their claims on Jerusalem and the Temple Mount will be weakened by the facts of history, and the possibility their youth might thrive and prosper in Israel’s democracy. According to Palestinian Media Watch, an East Jerusalem neighborhood leader slammed the Israeli curriculum as “no less dangerous than the Judaization of Al-Aqsa Mosque and its takeover.”  

One hopes that Palestinian leaders will want more for their youth than a politicized education that prepares them for jihad rather than a hope and a future. Talpiot’s greatest lesson is the blessings inherited because leaders nurtured youth to excel, and they in turn blessed their nation. 

The attainment of social justice has been a utopian goal throughout history. While God created all equal, there is no society in the world where this actually exists in a pure form.  There have always been advocates and champions for the poor and downtrodden so the call for social justice will always be with us. It is right to want to help those less fortunate but we must not be deceived into believing a lie over the honest truth.

On university and college campuses across America, students are particularly attracted to causes and activities which call for social justice because they are looking for something worthwhile and meaningful in which to invest their energies.  This is laudable but before signing on to support a particular cause, some investigation is in order. Sadly, too many are too quick to hang their hats on the peg labeled “social justice” without analyzing the underlying facts or closely examining those people and organizations who are leading the way.  America’s students are being influenced by liberal professors and radical Islamic activists whose agenda is not truly social justice for all. Islamic activists are working diligently on our campuses of higher learning capturing the hearts and minds of college and university students.  They are motivated not by a sense of social justice but rather by the unraveling and dismantling of the principles and values upon which America was founded. By preying on the naiveté of America’s youth, they are working on changing America from within. Once accomplished (and they are making significant progress) the consequences will be negative for America and for Israel. 

One organization, the Christian Coalition of America, is attempting to challenge radical Islam's propaganda campaigns on campuses in every state.  To be successful in confronting the evil ideology of radical Islam, they must vastly expand their presence and accelerate their efforts and this, I understand, is in the works. Remember, radical Islam openly declares their intention to destroy the “Great Satan” which is the USA and the “Little Satan” which is Israel.

Misinformation and fabricated “truths” are two of the tools in the arsenal of radical Islam which is the power source fueling the engines of terror and jihad around the world. The widespread call for social justice for the so called “oppressed” Palestinians has become a hot button to stir up strife creating a hostile environment for Jewish students on campuses. Israel has been painted as an evil pariah and solely to blame for the unfortunate plight of the “poor, oppressed Palestinians” who are suffering at the hands of an unjust “occupier.” In reality it is the corrupt Palestinian leadership with their misguided values which places jihad (holy war) with Israel as more important than lifting the standard of living for the Palestinian people.

Yes, despite what the Palestinians would have the world believe, Israel and the Jews are not the cause for their oppressed state of existence and Israel is not an illegal occupier. In fact, because of the historic Jewish experience, Jews feel a deep moral obligation to stand up for the downtrodden.  Because Israel and Jew bashing are in vogue, it’s doubtful that any of our young generation has ever heard this from one of their left-leaning professors.  Today’s atmosphere of political correctness does not leave room for positive speech about the Jews and Israel and this must stop.  If Israel and the Jews were removed from the earth, the Palestinians would still be poor and desperate. 

If those crying out for social justice really wanted to see this become a reality, they would be on the side of Israel – the one country in the world constantly and unfairly condemned by the U.N. and others and held to a different and higher standard than any other country in the world. The Jewish people are the subject of open hatred and hostility but who is seeking social justice for them? There was little to no outcry for justice when Jewish cemeteries were being desecrated and synagogues spray painted with ugly words and messages reminiscent of the dark days leading up to the Holocaust. The atmosphere today is much the same as it was in the 1930s and 1940s when Hitler unleashed his program of ethnic cleansing but without knowing history this would be difficult to discern.  Ignorance and indifference led to the deaths of millions of Jews and others.  Could it happen again? 

Efforts to achieve social justice will produce positive results if rightly placed.  We must not accept or condone acts of terror, incitement of hatred, or genocidal or brutal acts against humanity. We must know and stand on the truth. If our schools won’t teach our children, then we must teach our schools. Israel and the Jews are here to stay. They have a long and rich history which pre-dates all of us by thousands of years and they have a very wonderful habit of making significant contributions to the betterment of the world from which we all greatly benefit. 

Israel and the Jewish people have been miraculously resilient over the millennia having survived attack after attack from her enemies near and far.  Although they’ve been dispersed to the four corners of the earth, somehow they have maintained their unique Jewish identity and are now regathering in the land of Israel just as the Bible said would happen.  Against all odds, the Jews have retained their ancient religion, culture and original language. 

From the earliest recorded history, the Jews have stood out as a unique group of people not due to their own merit or determination but by the will of God Himself.  The Old Testament, which is based on the Hebrew Torah and Tanakh, predates the Koran and details the history of the Jewish people.  God chose the Jews to carefully record and preserve His word and faithfully pass it down from generation to generation.

God declared to the Jewish people how they were to conduct their lives. He said they were destined to be a light unto the nations. The Israelites were given a choice; to follow God and receive His blessings or turn from Him and face the consequences. Even so, God promised His people that He would never leave them nor forsake them but He has punished them.  Throughout history the Jews have suffered greatly. In ancient times under Pharaoh, life for the Israelites was dismal.  During the time of the Crusades the Jews were mercilessly slaughtered and even burned alive and under the Nazis they were rounded up and tortured in the most horrendous ways imaginable. Their savage tormentors have perished yet the Jews live on.  As promised, God has not forsaken them and He never will.

Those few countries and people groups who have historically blessed and stood by Israel and the Jews have prospered.  Those who embrace the Islamic ideology which is bent on annihilating the Jews are not fairing so well and this is particularly evident when looking at the so-called Palestinians. They live in deep poverty and constant turmoil under corrupt leadership. What’s happening in Jerusalem right now concerning the Temple Mount and the al-Aqsa Mosque is appalling. Palestinians are murdering Israelis in cold blood and then protesting Israel’s right to protect themselves.  Recently Palestinian gunmen ambushed and killed two Israeli police officers.  These Palestinians smuggled guns into the mosque and then burst out and opened fire killing the officers.  Israel took the very sensible step of temporarily closing the mosque and setting up metal detectors to prevent future gun smuggling into the mosque.  Setting up metal detectors has sent the world into an uproar. Palestinians have taken to the streets in violent protests.  The claim is that Israel is destroying the “status quo” and perhaps even trying to take over the Temple Mount which is completely untrue.  Even the World Council of Churches has endorsed the Palestinian protests. Has the world gone mad?  

Safety measures such as metal detectors are common at religious sites around the world.  Even Saudi Arabia established tight restrictions back in 2015 for those Muslims performing a pilgrimage to Mecca known as the Hajj.  We are living in a world where no place is immune from acts of terror.  Why are the Palestinians so outraged by these new metal detectors?  My guess is they had plans for something bigger on which this new heightened security is putting a damper.  Just as He promised, God is still watching over His people.  After all, He has placed watchmen on the walls.  

 


Christian Coalition of America encourages our members to pray for Senator John McCain, R-AZ  --  a great pro-life champion, a strong national defense supporter, and true American hero  --   who was diagnosed with a brain tumor by the Mayo Clinic care team.   

Roberta Combs, President and CEO of Christian Coalition of America said: “Senator John McCain is a dear friend of mine and of the Christian Coalition of America.  I know that being the great fighter that he is for our causes, he will fight to overcome this latest obstacle in his life!  I urge our members to fervently pray for his full recovery!”

 

Roberta Combs

President and CEO

Christian Coalition of America

 

In its short history just shy of seventy years, Israel has fought in eight recognized wars, two Palestinian intifadas, a number of armed conflicts with hostile neighbors and not one of these wars or armed conflicts was instigated or provoked by Israel. Israel’s neighbors should begin to wrap their heads around the fact that Israel was granted sovereignty with defined borders in 1948 by the United Nations. The partition borders have changed as a result of the wars brought on by her neighbors and to this day Israel’s antagonists are not letting up. So long as there is radical Islam, real peace for Israel is extremely unlikely. 

At this point in history it should be evident to everyone that radical Islam despises Jews and the Jewish nation of Israel.  Christians and the United States of America are also on radical Islam's hit list. 

The hatred spewed by Mahmoud Abbas representing the Fatah faction of the Palestinian Authority, Hamas authoritarians, Hezbollah's kingpin Nasrallah and Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini leaves Israel little choice but to be defensively prepared for the eventuality of another war. 

The international snowflakes who do not understand Middle Eastern regional politics cannot be excused for their hateful rhetoric against Israel so long as they understand the English language. What Israel's enemies say to the world in English is very different from what they say to their own people in Arabic but translations are easy to find. In Arabic, Israel’s adversaries are constantly calling for the blood of Jews and the destruction of Israel. Hezbollah's flags fly along Israel's border with Lebanon and Palestinian flags fly along the Gaza border as a constant reminder to Israel that she is surrounded by enemies. There are posters in southern Lebanon adjacent to Israel’s northern border which depict the Iranian flag and the face of the Ayatollah. Written in Hebrew and Arabic are the words, "We are coming.” It's a constant threat. 

Barring some inane idea of Hamas causing another skirmish with Israel, the next war Israel will have to face will probably be in the north against Hezbollah which is a proxy of Iran. This war will be billed as a war with Lebanon because the land belongs to the nation of Lebanon however the terror organization known as Hezbollah is deeply embedded within the Lebanese government.  Hezbollah could be used by Iran as the catalyst for sparking a war with Israel. The instigating factor will perhaps be over borders which Israel shares with Lebanon and Syria in the north or a “miscalculation” from an enemy in Syria or Lebanon whereby a rocket or missile "accidentally" lands in Israel's Golan Heights region. This would necessitate an Israeli response with a possible subsequent escalation of conflict. Iran would very much like to gain a stronger foothold in Syria whereby it could move freely into southern Lebanon and on to the Mediterranean. 

Whatever the case may be, Israeli preparations must be based not on "if" they will be forced to fight again but "when." How is Israel to respond and engage the enemy in a war provoked by Hezbollah? First, Israel relies on its intelligence that the southern border of Lebanon is saturated with rockets and missiles; ten times as many as in the war with Lebanon in 2006.  This translates into approximately 130,000 rockets aimed at Israel.  Not only is the sheer number of armament intimidating but some are now powerful enough to reach all parts of Israel with a high degree of accuracy and many are equipped with guidance systems but Israel will not be caught by surprise.  Israel's intelligence services are the most sophisticated in the world. Right now Israel's entire medical establishment is working together  mapping out a plan for dealing with mass casualties and medical evacuations.  In case of a large scale emergency, some hospitals are able to turn their cafeterias into auxiliary emergency rooms in less than ten minutes. 

Israel's military is also among the best in the world but Hezbollah’s soldiers will be an intimidating force. Many were trained by ruthless Iran and just as many were trained in battle in Syria. These forces will surge over Lebanon’s southern border into northern Israel killing and capturing Israeli citizens. Entire Israeli communities could be held hostage. The threat is so real that Israel has already prepared emergency evacuation plans for its citizens living in the north. 

Israel’s military defense is robust having been forced to deal with constant threats and attacks. The State of Israel has three very effective tiers of missile defense which is capable of blocking incoming rockets and missiles. Moreover, Israel has its own strategic and tactical missiles and rockets capable of accurately striking any opponent's position. Herein lies the quintessential ethical dilemma.

Hezbollah, like all radical Islamic organizations, has a death wish. They care nothing for human lives including their own people. In fact, they crave to see civilian bloodshed  as it plays well for propaganda when Israel is involved. Despite Israel’s best efforts to avoid civilian casualties, innocent people who are set-up to die by Hezbollah will get caught up in the war. The free world, including Israel, does not want to see this happen but human shields are a favorite tool of militant Islam. 

So, laced all along Lebanon's southern border (which is Israel's northern border) are many civilian homes outfitted with rocket and missile armaments. Who’s to say how many schools, playgrounds, mosques and societal infrastructures also conceal armaments and other Hezbollah weapons caches?

This creates a no-win situation for Israel. Her focus will be on doing her best to protect Israelis while also doing her best to avoid the loss of innocent life which is loathsome to Israel. As the political dynamics in the Middle East continue to shift like sands on the seashore, it is important for all to understand how the stage is being set hoping to force Israel's hand.  Israel is keeping a watchful eye on Syria to make certain the current ceasefire does not give Iran and Hezbollah an opportunity to move in even closer.  Jordan is interested in maintaining the ceasefire as a matter of security and also so the million plus Syrian refugees currently living in Jordan will be able to leave.  Will peace be restored to Syria or will the plot thicken as Iran cozies up to Russia, Hezbollah and Hamas continue to receive support and financing from Iran and the people of Syria continue to suffer being used as pawns by their own government and others? Only time will tell and it's already been six plus long years. 

The steady criminal, immoral and unethical acts and behaviors by governments and people groups is escalating around the world. In the last hundred years, we have seen not one but two world wars. The Second World War was ended paradoxically using atomic bombs to finally put to an end to the relentless attacks of a government hell-bent on death and destruction. It was hoped that the world would never again experience such violence and so the League of Nations, which later became the United Nations, was formed to help keep peace in the world but the goal is allusive as “nation rises against nation.” 

Today the whole of the Middle East is on fire and is antagonistic toward Israel and the Jews. When countries and factions, which largely embrace the same Islamic ideology, join together for the same anti-Semitic reasons, bullying tactics are the result and ration and reason are bypassed. This has been particularly evident at the United Nations.

Today, immoral, criminal behavior has become the norm for those with the word “anti” in their philosophy and the ones who are innocent are put on the defensive. Whether they like it or not, the people put on the defensive must enter a war not of their own making or choosing. The Israel Defense Force which is commonly known as the IDF, is a prime example.  This army is the most moral army in the world.  Their missions are defensive in nature and they do their best to protect civilians with “surgical” strikes and “roof-knocking” techniques which serve as a warning that rockets will soon follow.

Bully and other aggressive behavior by entities with similar ideologies shows up in ways either aside from, or in tandem with, physical war tactics. A current example starts with the United Nations whose existence is to promote and preserve world peace yet UN members are constantly making false accusations against Israel and changing historical facts in favor of fabricated narratives put forth by those calling themselves Palestinians. As such, the UN’s credibility and legitimacy in the world is diminishing in the eyes of those paying attention. Bullies and promoters of audacious charges and resolutions against Israel and those who want to hold Israel to a different and higher standard than any other country in the world should be shown the UN exit door. A case in point is the recent United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) “Agenda Item 7” which requires that so-called Israeli human rights violations against Palestinians be discussed at each of the UNHRC’s sessions. This is a purely anti-Israel agenda as no other country in the world is singled out in this way.  Thankfully, Western democracies are finally taking notice of the blatant Israel bashing which has become part of the culture at the United Nations.  Recently during the 35th session of the UNHRC’s triannual meeting, every Western nation boycotted Item 7 by not showing up.  Those countries which did participate did so with their usual anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian fervor. 

The UN would better serve the world’s truly innocent and helpless victims by rising against the criminal, immoral and horrific use of chemical and other weapons which has been unleashed by the government of Bashar al-Assad on the men, women and children of Syria. Syrians are suffering greatly and yet there is little UN condemnation against the Assad regime but rather only an expressed hope “for a de-escalation” of the situation as recently stated by U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres. 

Assad has never admitted his culpability for the chemical weapons attacks against his own countrymen. Fingers of blame have been pointed at the insurgents and others but the fact is the Syrian government is the only player with the motive and ability to have carried it out.  Indeed, some countries are mimicking the United Nations audacity by declaring foolishly that there is no proof of the Syrian government being behind the attacks. To date, there is no one strong enough or moral enough to stand up and publicly point the finger at the offender who is hiding behind Russia … and Iran. 

So the guilty party gets away because the spineless organization of nations would rather spend time and resources condemning Israel for baseless and fabricated accusations of crimes against the Palestinians rather than putting an end to the conflict raging in Syria causing immense suffering to innocent civilians. For this the U.N. should hold themselves accountable for crimes against humanity for not punishing the offender to the fullest extent of international law. Genocide is a reality in the Middle East and what is happening in Syria cannot be ignored by the civilized world. 

If Assad remains in power, what will be next? Will the use of a nuclear bomb be the next chemical bomb and with Assad so closely aligned with Iran and Russia, will it drop on the innocent people of Syria or the innocent people of Israel? Assad, enough is enough.


Which is the true face of radical Islam—the coat and tie or mask and fatigues? No 

matter what the attire, the goal remains the same: the eradication of Jews, Christians and all those who do not embrace radical Islam. 

The two faces appear contradictory, but they’re not. They represent two strategies with one goal which is known as jihad or holy war. For the well-dressed radical jihadist, a close shave (for some), or silk suit and tie is 21st-century battle gear for waging diplomatic jihad. For others the uniform consists of masks and fatigues and their tools are guns and machetes.

"Our negotiations with world powers are a source of national pride," said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. During the Iran-Iraq War, our “brave generals stood against the enemy on the battlefield. Today, our diplomatic generals defend us in the field of diplomacy. This, too, is jihad."

Diplomatic jihad is but one prong of the long-term global strategy to influence, infiltrate and defeat the West, including Israel. Its diplomatic initiative gained momentum due to jihadists’ frustration with Western military might, which they see as a deterrence to their plan to reestablish a caliphate by violent means, and then supplant all other religions with radical, Sharia based, Islam.

From as early as the mid-’60s, the goal of the PLO has been the “liberation of Palestine.” Radicals have embraced armed struggle to accomplish this goal which, of course, means the destruction of Israel. During its first 10 years, the PLO pursued this goal in a bloody terrorist war. But after the Arab armies’ defeat in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, PLO leader Yasser Arafat understood that violent terrorism alone was not achieving the desired results so he incorporated a new strategy into the struggle – public diplomacy. Arafat realized that terrorist brutality was not good for public relations and would gain him no friends from the outside Western world. To gain legitimacy and delegitimize Israel, Arafat deliberately launched diplomatic and political offensives using terrorism as the springboard. Arafat’s efforts peaked at his 1974 address at the United Nations where he presented the PLO as peace-seeking freedom fighters with legitimate claims, and gained observer status in the world body. Mahmoud Abbas (a.k.a Abu Mazen) is both the current PLO chairman and the president of the Palestinian Authority and he is building upon Arafat’s plan and methods.

The “aha” moment for radical Islam is not new. It is deeply embedded in radical Islamic ideology which includes the eradication of Christians and Jews and all others who do not embrace radical Islamic teachings. It is generally accepted that there are basically six tracks of the jihadist master plan: economic jihad such as Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaigns against Israel (known as BDS); ideological jihad including “jihad of the pen” and penetrating academia; political jihad; intelligence jihad by infiltrating a country’s institutions; subversive jihad to sap a country’s defenses from within while protected by its laws such as freedom of speech in the United States; and diplomatic jihad to manipulate foreign policy. Militant or radical Islamists have become masters at directing such operations and implementing these subversive takeover plans.

From this foundation stem the multiple faces of militant Islam. Compare this to Israel, which has never called for undermining or destroying the Palestinian people or questioned their right to exist. Radical Islam demands slave-like adherence to its brutal ideology abhorring diversity, freedom of religion and critical thinking. On the other hand,  Arabs living within Israel’s borders enjoy the rights and privileges of democracy including freedom of religion, free speech and free choice.

The Israel-Arab conflict is ultimately a clash between two worldviews—a result of irreconcilable foundational precepts. Any initiative to tackle the Israel-Palestinian equation requires discerning their respective foundational documents, and exposing and addressing the on-the-ground applications. Those who use diplomacy for peace—not jihad—would do well to consider this premise.

Many conservative Christians voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election due to his commitments on several issues—one being to support Israel and move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Here are several compelling reasons why this is the time to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

Righting Historic Injustices

This move would right a historic injustice: the one country in the world where the US Embassy is not located in the functioning and declared capital city is our closest and most democratic ally in the Middle East. A country whose citizens love America, weep when we weep, celebrate when we celebrate, and share our values, deserves this type of recognition.

It also would end an unrealistic requirement in UN Resolution 181 known as the 1947 UN Partition Plan. This resolution was a proposal to partition Mandatory Palestine at the end of the British Mandate making way for the creation of independent Arab and Jewish States. Jerusalem was not included in either state—Jew or Arab—and was to have a special international regime overseeing it for ten years after which the residents could vote regarding their status.

The UN Partition Plan was not law and is considered a non-binding resolution. However, it did express international backing for Jewish and Arab statehood in Mandatory Palestine. As a result, Jewish leaders declared statehood, and for this reason alone the Partition Plan is to be appreciated.

The Arabs, however, did not announce statehood and instead rejected the Plan, declared war on Israel, and attempted to take over Jerusalem—and all of Israel if possible. At the end of the war, Jordanian Arab forces occupied the entire Old City of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount—the holiest site in the Jewish faith. They destroyed the synagogues in their territory, killed or expelled all Jews, and made the eastern part of Jerusalem Jew-free until 1967 when Israeli forces gained control of eastern Jerusalem as well as the entire West Bank.

The UN Partition Plan had the best of intentions but was a total failure due to its rejection by the Arab leaders. Now is the time for the world to recognize this failure and give up on the notion that any of it still applies today, especially the provision of placing an international regime over Jerusalem.

Even if the city had been internationalized in 1948, the Partition Plan only called for a ten-year regime after which the residents could vote on their status. Today, after 50 years of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, most residents would vote to remain under Israeli governance. Recent polls indicate that just over half, or 52 percent, of Arab residents of Jerusalem would prefer Israeli citizenship, and many would move to Jewish neighborhoods to stay under Israeli rule if necessary.

Peace Through Strength

Opponents of the embassy move often caution against it out of fear of a violent reaction. No one wants to be the cause of unnecessary bloodshed, but we need to learn from Israel not to allow terrorists and jihadists to dictate our policy. Also, this President has more political leverage than any other in years and could very well pull this off with minimal reaction if he plays his cards right. The entire Sunni Arab world wants his help against Iran and will be willing to concede in other areas to get it.

Then there is the fear of derailing peace talks. There is no better way to get the Palestinians to the table than to place the US Embassy in west Jerusalem. Doing so would demonstrate that the longer the Palestinians refuse to negotiate, the more ground they will lose. Now, that is the way to get peace negotiations started!

Honoring Israeli Peacekeeping

It is time for the nations to recognize that Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem has kept the peace—not blocked it! Under Arab control, the Old City experienced ethnic cleansing and complete destruction of the Jewish quarter including its synagogues. Under Israeli control, the city has been rebuilt, holy sites have been maintained, and freedom of worship has been protected for all faiths. As a Christian organization based in Jerusalem, the ICEJ can attest to this. In all honesty, we owe Israel a big “thank you” for the freedom of access to the sites holy to our faith!

An Anniversary Worth Celebrating

This year is the anniversary of several significant events beginning 120 years ago, in 1897, when Theodor Herzl declared at the First Zionist Congress the Jews would have a state within 50 years. One hundred years ago, in 1917, British General Allenby entered the city of Jerusalem on foot ending some 1,300 years of Muslim rule over the city. Seventy years ago, in 1947, the UN Partition Plan paved the way for statehood, and 50 years ago Israeli sovereignty was established over all of Jerusalem. What better time for the nations to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel than 2017—the 50-year anniversary of its reunification under Israeli sovereignty.

Jesus predicted these days when He said Jerusalem would be “trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (Luke 21:24). Two-thousand years later gentile rule over Jerusalem has ended, and it is time for the nations to accept it!

 

Susan M. Michael is US Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem www.icejusa.org. Her writings are found at www.icejusa.org/susans-blog    


This Monday, May 29th, we will honor our nation’s veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice in all of America's wars while serving in the United States armed services. 

Memorial Day originated after the Civil War to honor those who perished in that war.  But in the 20th century, it was extended to include all those who have died while in military service.

I would like to ask all Americans to take a moment to remember all military personnel who made that ultimate sacrifice while serving on active duty.  Today there are nearly 200,000 American troops stationed in over 150 nations around the world; many of whom are active in Middle East combat zones. Please remember them in your prayers.

Let us thank and honor all the fallen for their sacrifice in defense of the United States of America and the values we so cherish.  May God bless each and every one, as well as their families this Memorial Day.