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Thursday, April 22, 2010

"I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.”

Dennis Prager cites a reason that many Americans support Israel which many Israelis will find hard to believe: The Bible.
There is a fifth reason tens of millions of Americans, including many conservative commentators, support Israel and worry about America as American support for Israel wanes. To the Left in America and around the world, this reason is dangerous nonsense. But for a vast number of America’s Christians, for many Jews, and even many non-religious conservatives, it is deeper than any military or political reason. The reason is based on a verse in Genesis in which God, referring to the Jewish people, says to Abraham: “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.”

One need not be a Jew or Christian or even believe in God to appreciate that this verse is as accurate a prediction as humanity has ever been given by the ancient world. The Jewish people have suffered longer and more horribly than any other living people. But they are still around. Its historic enemies are all gone. Those that cursed the Jews were indeed cursed.

And those who blessed the Jews were indeed blessed. The most blessed country for over 200 years has been the United States. It has also been the most blessed place Jews have ever lived in. Is this a coincidence? Many of us think not.

Those who curse the Jews still seem to be cursed. The most benighted civilization today is the Arab world. One could make a plausible case that the Arab world’s preoccupation with Jew-hatred and destroying Israel is a decisive factor in its failure to progress. The day the Arab world makes peace with the existence of the tiny Jewish state in its midst, the Arab world will begin its ascent.

The converse is what worries tens of millions of Americans — the day America abandons Israel, America will begin its descent.
For years, Israel's talking heads have been telling us not to make the argument that Israel is 'entitled' to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria because God gave them to us. It seems that all those people were wrong. It goes without saying that I believe that God has given us this land. Unfortunately, it doesn't follow that we get to live on all of it now. We have to behave ourselves. But the Torah forbids giving away whatever parts of Israel God has given us.

Hmmm.

By the way I got this post from a tweet from one of the Lefties I follow (I forget who). It came with a nasty comment. He'll be sorry.

14 Comments:

At 11:30 PM, Blogger GS said...

That's part of my rationale, to be sure. I'm also in the unique position of having an adoptive father whose family is Jewish, and of course, pro-Israel. But as an Orthodox Christian, it always makes me laugh a bit when some of the hardline Jews get apoplectic over my Jesus fandom. At the end of the day, we Christians are following a Jew, and reading from a book that was by and large written by Jews (the OT is quite a bit longer than the NT, after all). Jesus himself said that he came not to destroy the law but to uphold it, something that we Orthodox tend to take more seriously than many of our fellow Christians. But long story short, you're absolutely correct that religion is a big part of Christian support towards Israel, and something that "pragmatist" atheists and agnostics have a hard time grasping.

Great stuff, as always.

 
At 11:30 PM, Blogger Think said...

"But they are still around. Its historic enemies are all gone."

What about Muslims? They are still around.

 
At 11:48 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl's point is that the land belongs to G-d and it not the Jews' right to dispose of it as they see fit. And their tenure on the land is not absolute but conditional. IF the Jews keep their faith in Him... so will they be allowed to dwell in it. But if they backslide to paganism or turn their back on G-d, they will be violently ejected from it. Its happened many times before in Jewish history. Its up to the Jews to show their love and respect for G-d through righteous behavior though as we've seen, many secular Israelis fail to show even the minimal regard for the G-d Of Israel by turning their backs to Him and to the heritage of Israel.

 
At 11:56 PM, Blogger Moriah said...

GS:
"Jesus himself said that he came not to destroy the law but to uphold it, something that we Orthodox tend to take more seriously.."

What does Hashem have to say about bulls, buddhas, gold, fame, the environment, rampaging epileptic Arabs promising 72 virgins and dead Jews on crosses? "I am the L-rd your G-d and you shall have NO OTHER god before Me.."
That ... is ... The Law ...

 
At 12:40 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The Jewish position on Jerusalem deserves to be respected, even if others disagree. After all, they are the vast majority of the city's population and have been since at least the mid-19th century. And what do we find from the Obami? According to Marty Peretz, this:


"It’s one thing, however unbecoming, for the Obami to lecture Israel about its capital. Still, truth be told, the U.S. not only is apoplectic about the 180-odd thousands of Jews who live (and have lived) in areas of the city beyond the temporary armistice lines of 1949, it has never recognized anything specifically Israeli in even western Jerusalem. If an American baby is born, for example, in Kiryat Yovel, an old Jewish neighborhood in the “new city” (or the “western sector,” as it used to be called), of Jerusalem, his or her place of birth will be registered by the American consulate not as “Jerusalem, Israel” but just as plain “Jerusalem.” How is that for the U.S. sticking its head in the sand? And, even though the Congress has legislated transferring the ambassadorial mission from shabby Hayarkon Street in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, several Presidents have simply refused."



"Look up “U.S. Consulate, Jerusalem.” It is eerie how unresponsive and indifferent to historical realities the site is. It’s almost as if Israel does not exist there at all."



Its worth reminding oneself the US does NOT even recognize Israeli sovereignty over West Jerusalem, that is almost entirely Jewish in its demographic composition. Its like the Jews are erased from the city's history altogether.



Then there is this:



"The disdain of the president’s errand boy for the Nobelist’s message is actually repulsive. But not more repulsive than Obama’s cavalier excision, crass excision, of Jerusalem from his almost proprietary Passover story."


Every nation has the unquestioned right to decide where its capital is located, to live in it and to build in it. Every one except the Jewish nation of Israel. They are the special exception to the rule.



Read it and weep

 
At 1:01 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

NormanF,

What you say about children born in Jerusalem is true. I live in the part of Jerusalem that's beyond the 1949 armistice line, and three of my kids were born in hospitals in the western half of the city. None of them has a country of birth in their passport.

Ari Zivotovsky, whom I know, tried to sue the State Department over not listing Israel in the passports. It was thrown out - the court said it was a political question. Congress passed a bill (sponsored by Weiner (D-NY)) and State refused to enforce it.

As to the consulate, it's not really meant as a consulate to Israel - it's meant to be an unofficial embassy to the 'Palestinians.' I did a number of posts on it last year. There is a second consulate in the half of the city (on Agron Street near the Plaza Hotel), but it doesn't provide ordinary consular services (like passports and visas and citizenship proof and proof of death R"L). So you either go to the 'east' Jerusalem consulate for those things (which most of us do) and grin and bear it, or you shlep to Tel Aviv.

Think,

They're purportedly children of Abraham. But they weren't Muslims then.

 
At 1:03 AM, Blogger nomatter said...

Just imagine how much farther the question of Jerusalem would be had Bush signed the embassy act.

All those good conservative people who had an inside track to the President kept quiet. There were no marches, no protests, nothing, except for a few good blogger like Carl. Otherwise there was silence.

Signing the embassy act was more then simply placing a US embassy in the undivided capital of Israel. It would have been a message...a loud one as to the true status of our beloved Jerusalem.

By not signing the embassy act to the applause of the Arab world and others spoke volumes as to the legitimacy of Jerusalem.

For that, I say,I am not political fodder just because I am a conservative Jew and Obama is a raving anti-Israel lunitic! I will not forget that great conservative writers and conservative politicians left their love for Israel and their power to persuade our president at the same door step the embassy act was left on. (a promise to sign in the first week of office...abandoned except for signing the yearly lease on the office of the PLO in NY)

Yes indeed there are those who truly love the land of Israel. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. My only problem is they love it more vocally now because of political motivations then when our good friend...no our best friend dropped the ball.

Oh yah, "take good care of OLmert." Then it was too late. We were already thrown to the garbage.

 
At 1:18 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Nomatter,

Technically, I believe the embassy act was actually signed into law (in fact, I believe that Ari Zivotovsky - mentioned in my previous comment - relied on it to prove Congressional intent that Jerusalem be recognized as Israel's capital), but it includes a national security waiver that allows the President to say every six months that the United States' national security would be endangered if the embassy were to be moved.

Unfortunately, as you have pointed out, every President since from both parties has signed that waiver every six months.

From what I recall, there is actually a plot already chosen for the US embassy in Jerusalem - I believe Bush did that much. It's somewhere in Talpiyot if I recall correctly. That would be just barely within the 1949 armistice lines.

 
At 2:56 AM, Blogger GS said...

Moriah,

You kind of make my point here. If we were all meant to be Jewish, than surely Judaism would be a "universal religion", no? By my understanding of Orthodox theology, Jesus is not a co-god of any kind. The essential mystery of the trinity as understood by Orthodox Christians is not in any way a statement against monotheism. I understand that YOU don't see things that way, and I'm not here to start a holy war. But don't tell me that I'm a polytheist when you don't understand a fundamental part of my religion; I'm not lecturing you on Judaism, and when you make statements like that without understanding the theology of a simple gentile like myself, you sound a lot like the intolerant assholes that are killing Jews left and right.

 
At 6:58 AM, Blogger Shy Guy said...

To "Think", just as the others were once at a stage of "still around", so, too, are the Muslims at present.

To GS - with his jesus BS - whether your being a trinitarian makes you a polytheist or not is a subject of Jewish legal debate. But whether your beliefs are voided by G-d and His Torah to His people as being Avodah Zarah - "foreign/strange" worship - is not in doubt. Jesus, if he even existed, did indeed come to destroy the Law - many of them.

As for jesus being a Jew, so was Karl Marx. So following anything claimed to be preached by that long gone Jew isn't an impressive point. Next thing you know, you'll want us to take political advice from Henry Kissinger.

 
At 8:12 AM, Blogger mrzee said...

A similar court case occurred in Canada regarding passports and Jerusalem with a similar outcome.

 
At 4:07 PM, Blogger Think said...

Carl: My point was that if people who curse Jews are all destroyed (like the Nazis), why aren't the Muslims destroyed? They hate Jews and always have yet they are still around.

 
At 5:05 PM, Blogger Shy Guy said...

BTW, Think, the verse doesn't say that those who curse Israel will be "destroyed". It says they will be cursed.

Nations can exist for centuries and remain cursed all that time.

 
At 12:06 AM, Blogger swood said...

You are so right...

"For thus says the LORD of hosts, After the glory has He sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that touches you, touches the apple of God's eye."
- Zechariah 2:8

 

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