As America prepares to celebrate Independence Day this week, Israel celebrates America. Proverbs 18:24 (ESV) says, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Israel may not have many friends in the world, but our friendship with America makes up in quality what we lack in quantity.
Growing up, I always knew that America supported Israel. I can remember during the Gulf War when Saddam Hussein virtually held Israel hostage, firing missiles at Israel as a way of attacking America. With God’s help, America was able to destroy most missiles launched at Israel with patriot missiles, which resulted in minimal casualties. That is the America I know and love!
However, in the recent past there was a marked shift in America’s relationship to Israel. When once America clearly had Israel’s back, America took a more neutral stance on Israel’s conflicts – a more “politically correct” stance toward Israel’s enemies.
I never understood this approach. If Israel is America’s greatest ally in the Middle East, how could the U.S. treat Israel and her enemies the same? It made no sense to me that America would behave more like a disconnected stranger than the close friend she had always been.
America was not founded to be neutral. The founding fathers were men of integrity, principles, and action. George Washington said, “Actions, not words, are the true criterion of the attachment of friends.” John Adams said, “Let us dare to read, think, speak and write,” and also proclaimed, “I really wish the Jews again in Judea an independent nation,” distinguishing him the first Zionist to hold the office of President of the United States. The first leaders of America dared to speak up, speak out, and act in ways consistent with their values.
Praise God, the last few years have seen another change. We have witnessed the strongest relationship between America and Israel yet – and not just in words, but in action. The American Embassy officially moved to Jerusalem. America officially recognized the Golan Heights as part of Israel. America is unafraid to say what is right and what is wrong, which values she supports and which she will not tolerate.
Moreover, the American-Israeli relationship goes both ways. It is not just that America helps Israel; Israel helps America by sharing intelligence information and counter terror tactics. Israel is America’s “base” in the Middle East. As the only democracy in the region, Israel is the only country that embraces American values. In many ways, Israel is on the front lines of the war on terror. Iran’s constant refrain is that Israel is the “little Satan” and America is the “big Satan.” Their goal is not just to destroy Israel, but to destroy Israel, America, democracy, liberty, and our entire way of life.
The American-Israeli relationship is vital in times of crisis. However, on July 4 we celebrate a friendship that goes far beyond our shared political and military interests. We celebrate America because we share values, beliefs, dreams, desires, and mutual respect for each other. May God bless America, may God bless Israel, and may both of our nations bring blessings to the entire world.
With blessings from the Holy Land,
PresidentTags: Holidays IFCJ Independence Day The Fellowship US-Israel Relations Yael Eckstein