America’s future depends on our relationship with Israel

Opinion: "I’m an unapologetic believer in the promises God has laid out in Scripture," writes Dr. David Jeremiah.

 American and Israeli flags (photo credit: WIKIMEDIA)
American and Israeli flags
(photo credit: WIKIMEDIA)

Shadow Mountain Church Community is proudly a Zionist church that cherishes the Jews in our community, in Israel and around the world.

This has generally been our history in the United States since the first 23 Jewish immigrants landed in New Amsterdam (later New York City) in 1654.

Space prevents me from retelling the entire story of the mutual affection expressed between a Jewish congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, and the newly elected president George Washington. But after a visit to Newport, the president wrote to the congregation, “May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while everyone shall sit under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.”

What I’m about to say is a dramatic statement, but not an overstatement. I believe America’s future, and any nation’s future, depends in large part on one simple factor: Our relationship to the tiny nation of Israel.

You may be wondering whether my thinking is upside down. America is the world’s greatest superpower; Israel is a tiny sliver of land accommodating only a few million citizens. One would think that America is the key to Israel’s survival, not the other way around.

God has a perfect track record

But I’m an unapologetic believer in the promises God has laid out in Scripture. He tells us in Genesis 12:3, speaking to Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you.” 

And God has a perfect track record for keeping His promises. 

Meanwhile, today, a number of elected US politicians openly voice their opposition to the “Children of the Stock of Abraham.”  

‘THE SQUAD’ – US Reps. Ayanna Pressley (from left), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib hold a news conference on Capitol Hill in 2019 (Credit: Erin Scott/Reuters)‘THE SQUAD’ – US Reps. Ayanna Pressley (from left), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib hold a news conference on Capitol Hill in 2019 (Credit: Erin Scott/Reuters)

The Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign has also gained a disturbing level of popularity in America from college campuses to Capitol Hill. Proponents claim to be holding Israel accountable for alleged human rights violations. Yet, in reality, we know the BDS movement is merely a cover for a deep-seated, centuries-long hatred of Israel and its right to exist in the first place. Many US politicians have publicly supported the BDS movement, or at least are too scared to criticize it. Fortunately, some have been courageous enough to confront members of their own party on this dangerous ideology. 

We’re not the only nation in Western civilization to have politicians making poor choices regarding Israel and her descendants. We have watched in recent years as there has been a dramatic rise in antisemitism in Britain, including within the Labour Party which has been the traditional home for Jewish voters, and all of this on a continent that should mind some extra caution given its history with antisemitism. 

We all know where intolerance can lead if left unchecked, and that oppression and opposition to Jews is nothing new.

That being said, whether or not our politicians, professors and pundits leave Israel alone, I’ve got a feeling that Israel is going to be just fine. 

After originally reaching their promised homeland, the people of the young nation were continually attacked by hostile tribes and other nations. In 722 BC, the Assyrians conquered northern Israel and deported its people. In 586 BC, Babylon conquered southern Israel and exiled its citizens. The Jews returned to their homeland 70 years later, but the Romans finally crushed them in AD 70, leaving them without a country for 1,878 years.

Even in the countries of their exile, the Jews were oppressed, denied rights, isolated in ghettos and persecuted. In 1933, there were nine million Jews living throughout Europe, but by 1945, two out of three European Jews had been gassed, beaten, starved to death or died of disease in Nazi concentration camps. The Holocaust led to the elimination of one-third of the world’s Jewish population. 

HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR Artemis Miron shows her Auschwitz death camp number tattooed on her arm at her home in Kfar Saba in 2020. (Nir Elias/Reuters)HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR Artemis Miron shows her Auschwitz death camp number tattooed on her arm at her home in Kfar Saba in 2020. (Nir Elias/Reuters)

Since 1948 and the establishment of the modern state of Israel, despite being hemmed in on all sides by hostile nations, and against all odds or human logic, Israel has survived all-out war and constant threats of domestic terrorism. The nation has been forced to maintain a continual state of warfare throughout its sixty-eight years of existence. Yet increasingly, the international press portrays Israel as an aggressor nation, an occupying force, a brutal regime afflicting poor and disenfranchised Palestinians who have had their land stolen out from under them.

Indeed many among the Palestinians genuinely want a peaceful resolution to the current conflict. But a Palestinian nationalism continues to thrive with its singular fixation: the death of Israel. The Palestinian leaders pay stipends to terrorists and their families who kill Israelis, financed in part by the Israel-hating regime of Iran.

The story of the Jews is not over

Modern Israel has mainly been surrounded by enemies who do not recognize its right to exist and openly vow to annihilate it. These nations occupy a land mass of more than 5,000,000 square miles. Tiny Israel occupies a land mass of almost 9,000 square miles. In some sections of Israel, herding one’s family to a bomb shelter is an almost routine experience. But when Israelis take the tough but necessary measures to defend themselves, they are slammed by world censure by the likes of the United Nations.

The problem seems to be that many in the West won’t admit that Israel is in a fight for its very survival. 

Yet the story of the Jews is not over yet. 

In spite of overwhelming odds and seemingly insurmountable challenges, they have maintained their position as the only true democracy in the Middle East and the epicenter of progress in their region of the world. 

As Professor Amnon Rubinstein noted, “[Israel] has turned itself from a poor, rural country to an industrial and post-industrial powerhouse. . . . It has reduced social, educational and health gaps . . . between Arabs and Jews. Some of its achievements are unprecedented: Israeli Arabs have a higher life expectancy than European whites.”

My hope is that world leaders today will change their tune and will extend the same goodwill that George Washington sought for the Jewish people centuries ago.

Dr. David Jeremiah is among the best known Christian leaders in the world. He serves as senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California and is the founder and host of Turning Point. Turning Point‘s 30-minute radio program is heard on more than 2,200 radio stations daily. A New York Times bestselling author and Gold Medallion winner, he has written more than 50 books.