A Woman's Perspective On The Times We Live In


September 5, 2012

Be Careful How You Treat Israel!

     Amid the ever-present sabre rattling from Iran's President and Ayatollahs, there is reason to be concerned about United States/Israel relations.   I have read opinion pieces from both Time.com, (the U.S. internet arm of Time Magazine) and DEBKAfile, (an independent Israeli website) and both sources offer some interesting insight.  So, here's my assessment, as a Bible-believing woman from middle America, who is by no means a foreign policy expert.
     Both sources agree that America has drastically cut back on a joint military exercise scheduled for this fall.  What they disagree on, is the reason why.  Originally, the goal of Austere Challenge 12, as the exercise is known, was to improve the "inter-operability" between the U.S. and Israeli anti-missile systems.  In other words, these defense systems are mutually beneficial and linked together, and the purpose of the exercise was to strengthen Israel against a possible nuclear attack by Iran.  The joint exercise is important to Israel because, although they have made inroads to their own anti-missile systems, they simply don't have enough to protect their entire country or population.


     That's why it was extremely important to the Israelis that the U.S. followed through on their promised 5,000 troops, Patriot anti-missile systems, and two Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense warships.  Instead, the U.S. has announced that the Pentagon will send only 1,200 to 1,500 members of the military and only one of the Missile Defense warships (and that's a "maybe").  The Patriot systems will arrive, but not the crews to man them.  Also Time reports that "the U.S. maintains an X-band radar installation in Israel’s Negev Desert, pointed toward Iran and linked to Israel’s Arrow anti-missile system".  This radar is so powerful that it can detect a softball thrown in the air from thousands of miles away.
     But here's the kicker ..... only Americans are allowed to see what's on those radar screens, and if there is no U.S. personnel there to assess what's on the radar, then they are virtually useless.  Because the U.S. array can detect an Iranian missile launch six to seven minutes earlier than Israel’s best radar, the lack of evaluation will put Israel at a decided disadvantage.
     It is my feeling that the U.S. is trying to stall any preemptive strike by Israel upon Iran.  I think the Pentagon and top foreign policy officials think if we pull back on our cooperation in building up Israel's defenses, they will put the breaks on and not chance going it alone.  On their part, Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have declared their intentions to launch a strike and are urging President Obama to commit to U.S. military action if Iran does not comply and halt their nuclear buildup.  But the statement by the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs, General Martin Dempsey, makes the U.S. position pretty clear: "“I don’t want to be complicit if they choose to do it.”  Sounds like "You're on your own" to me.
     For the other side of the coin, DEBKAfile sees this decision by our administration as a complete abandonment of Israel.  Military sources in Israel say the message is clear:  "the Netanyahu government will bear full and exclusive responsibility for the consequences of attacking Iran."  But Israeli sources report another reason for leaving Israel stranded and rejected.  They seem to think that there was a complicit agreement between the U.S. and Russia to control their "partners" in the region.  During this past month, President Vladimir Putin severed military ties with both Iran and Syria, in a move designed to de-escalate mounting tensions in the Middle East.  For their part, the U.S. administration was to back off military aid to Israel.
     But this shady union between the two Super Powers didn't count on Israel's determination.  Because, you see, they know that none of these diplomatic shenanigans do anything to prevent Iran from going forward with their nuclear program.  Perhaps this is part of the reason behind our President's whispered promise to Russian President Medvedev that he needed more space in regards to missile defense and he "would have more flexibility" after his next election.
     So where does all this maneuvering leave the world?  Basically in a stalemate of heightened tension and alert.  Who is going to blink first?  I don't know enough to make a prediction.  But I can tell you this.  We see in the Bible that God is a God of promises; and His character will not allow Him to abandon those promises.  We must remember that God's purpose is to bless the world through the nation of Israel.  He says in Genesis 12:2-3 .... "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you".
     This does not mean that we owe blind allegiance to Israel and everything she does.  But it does mean that we must recognize that God has a purpose for the current nation of Israel and His chosen people, the Jews, who inhabit the land.  We must be very careful about casting aside this relationship and disowning our shared inheritance in the kingdom of God.  We must do all we can to lend them our support and offer our guidance and counsel in navigating these dangerous waters.  Our mutual existence in this world and the next depends on it.

Deuteronomy 7:6      "For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession."




6 comments:

  1. I admire your faith and conviction...and also your information and analysis. I can't comment on many of the specifics that you mention for military capabilities, but you have a pretty good picture from open-sources.
    I'm personally not so grounded in Biblical interpretation as you are. I am very grounded in some detailed analysis of the realities on the ground over there. It is a powder keg. Iran has consistently done all that it said it would do. Why should anybody doubt that they want to attack Israel? And we know their nuclear program is well beyond "peaceful" uses.
    Unfortunately, the American Administration is unwilling to be decisive or steadfast. If there is nothing else that is the hallmark of the last 4 years, it is the unwillingness to actually lead. Bully? Sure. Connive and maneuver? Absolutely. Put their duty over ideology? Not so much.
    Personally, I'm convinced that Israel can operate without us to hit Iran -- HARD. What they're weighing right now are second and third order effects.
    Prior to our election, signs to watch for will be out of Iran. If they take action or pose an immediate threat, Israel will counter. After the election, we'll just have to see. That road splits in two completely different directions. I'm not confident enough to make any predictions right now.

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  2. What we see going on in the Middle East has both practical and Biblical implications. I tend to view all things through the Biblical lens since that is the guiding source of my life. But I wish I had more knowledge about the "realities on the ground" that you mention. But whenever the Biblical interpretation and the reality of our world coincide, we would do well to pay attention. Things are going to happen! Thanks for your analysis. I always appreciate it!

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  3. Hello Belle,

    Just my two cents here on the subject today. I allow everyone to believe as they wish. As you know, I'm a believer in our God and I also believe in the Word and what the Word has said. It's all there in the spoken Word. I'm not a Bibical scholar, and I cannot state the exact verse right off hand, but, God mentions that He will "spew" those out who are lukewarm. That's how I view this subject as where the US stands with this. We're either with Israel or we're against them. Politics does not play a role with God. He's made that very clear. We're either believe or we don't. I feel like if the USA does not take a stand with Israel, then we are truly doomed and damned with those who are against this people and this land of our Lord. I certainly am not one for any war, and war is a terrible thing, lives lost and families crushed on both sides. But, sometimes people need to stand up and make a stand and with doing that, we're letting others know what we believe to be right and just upfront. God will take care of the rest. He always does and always will. I'm on God's side and I stand with Israel.

    Sincerely,

    Lisa

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    1. Lisa, you are so right! In Revelation 3:16, Jesus says, "So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth." That applies to so much --- our faith, how we glorify Him, and how the Church supports God's chosen people. The nation of Israel will be purified, and it will be because God loves them so much! Not all will be grafted back in, but we are to pray and encourage as many of them as we can to accept their inheritance. (That DOES NOT mean trying to convert them!) But the union of Jew and Gentile into one Body of Believers is made apparent in Ephesians 2:14-18 ... " For He himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one [Jew and Gentile] and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in His flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away [Gentiles] and peace to those who were near [Jews]. For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit."

      I just want to caution those of the Christian faith who believe in Replacement Theology. The Jews are still God's chosen people and He will keep His promises to them. We must pray for the Jewish people to throw off their blindness and call on the name of the Lord!

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  4. When Jesus came to earth he did not start a new religion. He changed the course of the Jewish people. They were meant to follow Him. When some did not, they went off track. I think the current Jewish faith split off from the path that they were intended to take when they denied Christ. I am not sure that makes them the chosen people anymore. I think those that followed Christ carried on the path and religion of the chosen people.

    I think we have to be careful backing the secular state of Israel as if it is the religious Jewish people.

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    1. Brad, I respect your opinion, and I think that we agree more than you think. I would like to point you to the book of Romans, especially Chapters 9-12. Remember that the Apostle Paul had a very personal experience with the risen Christ, in which I believe he was told Jesus's plan for gaining the whole world. In Romans, Paul makes it very plain that we Christians are grafted in to the root, which is the faithful Jewish people. Note I said "faithful", meaning that not all of the Jewish people will be saved, only a remnant who accept Jesus as their Messiah. But that does not mean we have "replaced" the Faithful Remnant, as adherents to Replacement Theology espouse. That's why I said in my post that we do not owe blind allegiance to Israel, but we are called on to pray for their salvation, and their return to God's favor. He made a promise to them that they were his chosen people, and God doesn't go back on His promises. As Paul says in Romans 11:25 "I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way[a] all Israel will be saved." (By "all" he means the total number of Jews that will accept Jesus as their Messiah and the son of God). As Paul says in Romans 11: 17-18 " If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches." And again in Romans 11:23 "And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again." Yes, they went "off track" as you suggest, but some of them will one day be unblinded and accept Jesus and their salvation. I distinguish that remnant from the entire nation state of Israel, which as you say is secular and VERY unbelieving. But I have Jewish friends in Israel who are Believers and that is where the believing Jews will come from, so we must be careful how we treat these people of God. Sorry for the lengthy Biblical diatribe, but I want to make sure you understand what I believe and where I find my sources in the Bible. Thank you for your respectful comment.

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