No one can question the love of God for Israel “because the Lord loved Israel forever” (1 Kings 10:9 NASB):
“How fair are your tents, O Jacob,
Your dwellings, O Israel!…
God brings him out of Egypt,
He is for him like the horns of the wild ox.
He will devour the nations who are his adversaries,
And will crush their bones in pieces,
And shatter them with his arrows…
Blessed is everyone who blesses you,
And cursed is everyone who curses you”
(Numbers 24:5, 8-9 NASB).
Although America has long been Israel’s most trusted ally and friend, in recent years, political factions within the United States have led to a decrease in support of Israel. In fact, a Gallup study found: “Whereas 65 percent of Americans said they were ‘more sympathetic’ to Israel over the Palestinians in 2018, 59% said the same in 2019, marking a six-point drop. That decline is the biggest over a one-year period in the history of the poll, which began in 2001.”
Anti-Semitism in American Politics
Support of Israel is becoming a defining issue for the 2020 presidential election. At a Democrat debate, Senator Bernie Sanders made international headlines for denouncing Israel and her Prime Minister: “I am very proud of being Jewish. I actually lived in Israel for some months. But what I happen to believe is that, right now, sadly, tragically, in Israel, through Bibi Netanyahu, you have a reactionary racist who is now running that country.”
But the former presidential candidate isn’t alone in this radical sentiment. In fact, after announcing his intent to boycott the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference denouncing the organization for opposing “basic Palestinian rights” and providing a platform of “bigotry,” Bernie was lauded by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar:
Thank you @BernieSanders for standing up for Palestinian human rights.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 24, 2020
But this anti-Israel sentiment is deeper than opposition to a Prime Minister or even a lobbying group. New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made headlines last year for declaring Israel’s “occupation,” “very, very criminal and it is very, very unjust.” Meanwhile, anti-Semitism is on the rise as “more than half of the hate crimes in New York City last year were attacks on Jewish people.”
Not a Partisan Issue
The support of Israel should be bipartisan as well as international. President Woodrow Wilson observed: “I am persuaded that the Allied nations, with the fullest concurrence of our own Government and people, are agreed that in Palestine shall be laid the foundations of a Jewish commonwealth.”
Founded on Judeo-Christian values, America owes an eternal debt of gratitude to the Jewish people. And as citizens of this country and the next, we would do well to remember the word of the Lord:
“Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it. Yet on your fathers did the Lord set His affection to love them, and He chose their descendants after them, even you above all peoples, as it is this day” (Deuteronomy 10:12-15 NASB).