When House Speaker John Boehner invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to speak to a joint session of Congress, and Bibi accepted without consulting President Obama, he put himself in the middle of an internal American political dispute in a way that will bring no benefits to the Jewish state. When he received the invitation, he should have said, “Thank you very much. I’ll ask the President if it’s OK with him.” Obama might not favor the speech, which would be a criticism of his Iran policy, but he probably wouldn’t try to forbid it, and the respect shown might have gotten Bibi a meeting with Obama as well.
In addition to not alienating Obama, Netanyahu also has to be careful not to alienate Congress itself by being overly demanding of it. The relationship between Israel and the Congress is very good, but it should never be taken for granted. The US-Israeli partnership is ultimately based on common interests, not emotional feelings. As long as US and Israeli interests are aligned, the close partnership can endure. But when they diverge, as historical experience indicates they inevitably must, Israel may find that the US is no longer willing to bail it out of its difficulties, or if it is, it may only be at a very high price in terms of Israeli sovereignty and independence. So while Israel should be careful to avoid needless antagonism of any branch of the U.S. Government, it must also plan for the day when it’s on its own against its enemies.
But how can Israel stand alone against so many enemies larger and more powerful than itself? By returning once again to its true source of strength, of course. The Hebrew nation was founded almost 4000 years ago on the principles of the supremacy of God and the truth of His Covenant. The Almighty has many ways to neutralize Israel’s enemies without the help of the US or any other nation. He can cause enemy ranks to be infiltrated by pro-Israel sympathizers who will act to foil enemy attacks at the crucial moment. He can incite them to fight one another and deplete their strength so badly that they have little let over for Israel. Perhaps that’s the explanation for ISIS. Critically timed earthquakes, fires and floods can also play a role. It’s noteworthy that the city of Teheran sits atop a network of major earthquake faults that have caused massive destruction many times in history and can shift again at any time. So God has the means to do what’s necessary. The most important thing is that Jews not prevent His help from reaching them by rebelling against Him.
I’m not in any way suggesting that Israel sit back passively and wait for miracles. It should stand up confidently to its foes using its own resources, never retreating and never showing fear. God helps us when we help ourselves. The ultimate outcome will be determined by the Almighty, and victory won’t necessarily go to the larger or seemingly stronger party.
In fact, God has been protecting Israel ever since its reestablishment in 1948, and it’s that protection, more than the courage and wisdom of its leaders, that have enabled it to survive to this day. He’s ready to help us more, but we have to merit that help by being humble and recognizing that it’s He, not us, who wields ultimate authority. For Israel to succeed at this critical juncture, it must fear God more than it fears its enemies, and trust God more than it trusts its friends.