From Cyrus to Haman
By Hal Lindsey
Harry Truman went against the advice of his Secretary of State and almost his entire foreign policy team in his support of a Jewish state in 1948. The United States was the first nation to recognize the new nation of Israel, and did so within minutes of the time it declared its independence. Truman later identified himself as a modern Cyrus, the Persian king who liberated Jews to return to their land and subsidized the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem.
For several decades following Truman, presidents of both political parties were ardent supporters of Israel. It was not a partisan issue. Israeli leaders viewed support from both major U.S. political parties as critical. But in recent years, cracks in that support began to show.
In the last few days, those cracks threatened to break wide open. On Monday, the Washington Post reported, “Senator Bernie Sanders was given unprecedented say over the Democratic Party platform Monday in a move party leaders hope will soothe a bitter split with backers of the longshot challenger to Hillary Clinton — and Sanders immediately used his new power to name a well-known advocate for Palestinian rights to help draft Democratic policy.”
It’s striking that this secular, left-wing newspaper saw the list and immediately seized on the fact that it included “a well-known advocate for Palestinian rights” — including that fact in the first paragraph of the story. The Post was talking about James Zogby, a man who equates Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to the Holocaust.
Zogby serves as president of the Arab American Institute, an anti-Israel group. Just a few days ago, he wrote on the Institute’s website a scathing article on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “His behavior has been shameful,” Zogby wrote, “but so too is the extent to which Israelis, Americans and others continue to enable his malevolent rule.”
Mr. Zogby is not the only anti-Israel partisan on the Sanders list. He also named Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress. Ellison says Israel doesn’t need to worry about Iran. “They’re not messianic crazy people running Iran,” he said. Then he admitted, “They gained support whipping up hate and hostility against the United States, Israel, and the West in general.” Finally, he assures us that “whipping up hate and hostility” doesn’t mean anything. “That’s just typical pandering; we might see that anywhere.”
Really? We might see that anywhere? Does Germany chant “Death to France”? Japan and China are ancient enemies. They have a lot of issues against one another even today. But does Japan say that it wants to wipe China from the face of the earth? With the possible exception of North Korea, you only hear such talk in the Muslim Middle East.
Representative Ellison has at times claimed to be a “friend to Israel,” but it’s hard to find evidence for that friendship.
Sanders also appointed Cornell West to the Democratic platform committee. West says he’s for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel because “The Israeli occupation is ugly, it’s vicious, it’s brutal.”
At a pro-Palestinian rally two years ago, West said, “Barack Obama is a war criminal, not because he’s black or half African and white, but because his drones have killed 233 innocent children and because he facilitates the killing of innocent Palestinians in Gaza in the West Bank.”
In other words, this man who is now on the small committee that will decide Democratic Party policy is so far to the left of President Obama as to call the man “a war criminal.”
Yet during the years of the Obama Administration, America has been clearly pulling away from Israel. When Prime Minister Netanyahu came to America last year, support for Israel looked like just one more part of the vast Republican-Democrat divide. A friendship that once seemed bipartisan and unshakeable suddenly looked precarious.
You can see why Israel believes it is crucial that U.S. support for that nation remains strong in both parties. Presidents decide American foreign policy. Since World War II, an equal number of Democrats and Republicans have served as President — six of each. Support from only one party would be disastrous because defense and support require continuity. Those things need to continue no matter who occupies the White House.
Many Americans see President Obama’s strained relationship with Israel as a low ebb. But what if it’s not? What if it’s just the next step in a continuing trend? President Obama pushed Israel to do things that were unwise. His team insulted Israel in a variety of ways. They didn’t seem to care that Israel, the nation most endangered by Iran, felt the Iran nuclear deal was terrible.
Even so, the Obama Administration continued U.S. military aid and cooperation, strengthened the Iron Dome missile defense system, and continued to stand by Israel in critical United Nations Security Council votes. Will the next president? What about the one after that?
So far, all major presidential candidates have stated at least nominal support for Israel. But with the appointment of Cornell West, James Zogby, and Keith Ellison to the committee that will write this year’s Democratic Party Platform, you have wonder how long the Democratic Party and America itself will remain on the side of Israel.
Like Cyrus, Haman was a Persian. God blessed Cyrus for helping Israel. Haman attempted a Jewish genocide, and God destroyed him. America has been blessed as it stood with Israel, but as we have pulled progressively away from Israel, that blessing by God is being steadily removed.