The Jerusalem Post (Link) - Earl Cox (June 20, 2010)
Words are inadequate to express our heartfelt congratulations to the nation and people of Israel on the wonderful occasion of their recent 62nd Independence Day anniversary.
To say that Israel is unique is an understatement. There has never been another nation like it in all the history of the world. Many individuals deserve credit for what Israel is today. No one can argue, however, that most of the credit must go to the God of Israel. It is He who fulfilled His promises through His prophets to regather the Jewish people to their ancient homeland and to reestablish their special little nation. And it is He who has also fulfilled His prophecies to preserve and prosper the people.
We understand how significant it is for the nation to observe two holidays back to back:
First, Israel observes the solemn Remembrance Day in honor of all the nation’s fallen soldiers, followed immediately by the joyful celebration of the rebirth of the nation, Independence Day. No other nations of the world can identify with the deep emotions Israelis experience on these two back-to-back days. No other nation has experienced what Israel has gone through to become the restored, free and prosperous nation that it is today.
We understand that nearly every Israeli has lost a family member or friend in the several wars that Israel has had to fight to survive. So, for every Israeli, Remembrance Day is certainly a deeply heartfelt and solemn time. But at sunset, the day of mourning is over and the day of rejoicing begins. Israelis turn from weeping to rejoicing about what the sacrifices of the lives of their loved ones have produced — a safe and secure Jewish homeland, after thousands of years of exile and persecution. No celebration anywhere can compare with the emotion of Israel’s Independence Day!
As could be expected, current Israeli leaders, as well as some antagonists, made significant comments this year. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reminded his people, with good reason, that “Israel can only truly rely on itself.” Netanyahu also said, “A nation that wishes to stand tall must place all its trust in itself only.”
We’re quite sure he was thinking about the seemingly fading United States support for Israel, especially in light of all the recent threats from Islamic leaders to “wipe Israel off the face of the map.” But we would like to add our view: that Israel should also place its trust in the God of Israel, who is not only the Almighty but who “never slumbers nor sleeps” while He watches over Israel.
Interestingly and significantly for those of us who are Bible-believing Jews or Christians, Israeli Army Chief, Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, stated that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) view the Bible as the No. 1 influence on their conduct and mission. “The IDF sees the Bible as our guide in the deep and practical sense of the word,” he stated. “It is no accident that the IDF swears in its soldiers with a weapon in one hand and a Bible in the other; a custom that reflects the unique and the deep bond of the Jewish people to the Book of books.”
Of course, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas had to get a word in edgewise. He called on the United States to impose a unilateral peace deal on Israel, indicating that the Palestinians have a growing frustration with what they think is Washington’s failure to get concessions from Israel’s hard-line government.
Abbas was quoted as saying, “If President Obama believes that a Palestinian state is a vital U.S. interest, then the American leaders must take forceful steps to bring it about.” He added, “Don’t tell me it is a strategic American interest and then not do anything about it.”
One more voice chimed in: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton again urged the Israelis and the Palestinians to restart peace talks, but she then laid the responsibility for the stalled peace process on Israel. And Clinton seemed to directly blame Israel for the fact that Palestinians have increasingly turned away from the more moderate Fatah leaders to the more militant Hamas leaders.
She declared that Israel needs to make more concessions to Fatah leader Abbas, in order to improve his image and his support. However, she had no instructions for Abbas to change or to improve in any way. Why does the U.S. not insist that the Palestinians finally take even one step to fulfill any of their deceitful promises to foster peace and coexistence with the Israelis?
Clinton was unfairly silent about the fact that the Palestinians have had many years to demonstrate their ability to effectively govern and to promote an atmosphere of peaceful coexistence with Israel but have failed to do so. Amazingly and miraculously, though, God continues to preserve and prosper Israel in spite of all its challenges, obstacles and enemies.
So with that in mind, we say: “Congratulations once again, Israel, on your 62nd Independence Day anniversary!