December 27, 2016
Dear Friend of Israel
On December 23, a resolution was adopted in the United Nations Security Council that declares Israeli “settlements” – including communities in the West Bank (biblical Judea and Samaria) and East Jerusalem – to be illegal, and an obstacle to peace.
Rather than veto the outrageous resolution, which would have ensured that it didn’t pass, the U.S. chose to abstain. This is a departure from the longstanding policy held by U.S. administrations, both Republican and Democrat, of exercising U.S. veto power to protect Israel from harsh and unjust censure by the U.N.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu reacted with defiance and justifiable anger to the passage of the resolution. “The Western Wall is not occupied,” he said. “The Jewish Quarter is not occupied. The other places are not occupied either. Therefore, we do not accept, nor can we accept, this resolution. We are certain of our future just as we are certain of our past.”
Though the passage of the resolution is deeply disheartening, and is a clear slap in the face to Israel, I do not fear. Israel is blessed with strong leaders who I know will do everything in their power to protect their beloved nation. The U.S.-Israel relationship has been strained before, but it has never broken, and it will survive this. And Israel’s Christian friends have proven themselves to be staunch friends of the Jewish state; I know, with certainty, that their allegiance, which is rooted in their strong faith, will not waver.
Even as world governing bodies seek time and again to undermine Israel’s legitimacy, I remember the words of Moses as he addressed his people: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).
Friends, let us be strong and courageous. God has not forsaken His people. Like the Prime Minister, we must remain as certain of Israel’s future as we are of her past. That past is a story written by God Himself – and the future, too, is in God hands.
With prayers for shalom, peace, at the holidays and throughout the coming year,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President