By Jim May 25 2011 IsraelRepublican PartyThe GOP’s blatantly partisan love for Bibi obscures a dangerous reality: that unwavering support for Israel actually hurts wider U.S. interests in the Middle East. 2094 reads There are 5 Comments Perhaps the question should Ray S - Wed, 05/25/2011 - 6:36pm Perhaps the question should be asked "Is the CHURCH too tight with a secular, God-rejecting state that calls themselves 'Israel'?" And how has this impacted our ability to reach people (to preach the Gospel with freedom) in other parts of the Middle East? Also, how has this affected the persecution and suffering of fellow Christian believers in regions of the world that are predominantly Muslim? Now I am pre-millennial in my thinking and believe that there is a place for Israel in a future Messianic kingdom but perhaps some of my "Pre-Millennial" brothers have become more "Post-Millennial" in practice thinking that we have to "Bring in the Kingdom" ourselves by promoting Zionism and encouraging Jews to migrate en masse to Israel ("Wings of Eagles, Etc.)? Perhaps we shouldn't support Israel "No Matter What" simply because they are the "Seed" of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! Christ certainly did not so where do we find such a mandate for the Church to do so today? And yeah, let me beat you to the punch regarding "I will bless them that bless thee". This is referring to the Seed of Abraham but was this referring to those according to the flesh or was it referring to the "Children of Faith", those who possessed the "Faith of Abraham" as we clearly understand as we study the NT scriptures talking about the "Spirit of Adoption" and the "Blessings of Abraham" being imparted to Gentiles who receive the promise of the Spirit by faith? Nope, not anti-Israel by a long shot but perhaps we need to think a little clearer here and step away from the hysteria??? Love God, love Israel JT Hoekstra - Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:25pm If you mean oil as the US's "wider" interests then you are sadly mistaken. Even Exxon is promoting enough oil & gas in the US to take care of our needs for at least the next 100 years - so the lesson the GOP needs to learn is that we do need to take care of our own first and we should have no interest in foreign oil. Wouldn't that get a crawfish stuck in their throats?!? But the real lesson to be learned is history from countries such as Germany and Great Britain. Everyone knows about Germany, of course, but the British turned on Israel in 1917 (officially) and since then has seen the greatest empire in the world (where the sun never sets) dwindle to 3 little islands. Abandon Israel and you lose favored-nation status! In a stunning short period of time, Israel shall accept their Messiah - may she remember the church to be a warm, loving and caring friend after the church has met the Lord in the air. Might that be a legacy that will effect a change in the future of secular Israel? Paul certainly wished it! Even an a-mill (assuming he is still a practicing Methodist) like G.W. Bush understood the minimum benefits of having a strong ally in the middle east with a voting population! Iraq doesn't look good for it, so out of, oh, say 15 countries...you have ONE DEMOCRACY! An example to all freedom-loving people, especially over there... Wow, so much more... Israel has kept nuclear weapons out of some nasty dictator's clutches... and historically protected our (UK-US) oil business all throughout the middle east... To abandon them now, even a little, would be a stab in the back of Brutus proportions. Isn't today's Israel even a hint to all pulpits that God has not abandoned His People of the Old and New Covenant? As we proclaim the gospel of grace to all countries, may we have the same soft spot in our hearts as did our Lord for Jerusalem, and let all Israel hear and be saved! I believe there are good Ray S - Thu, 05/26/2011 - 8:56am I believe there are good reasons for the US to support Israel politically. We should continue to do so and I DO NOT believe they should go back to the 1967 borders either. Obama's statements have only alienated Israel and the rest of the Arab nations would not be satisfied with this concession anyway. Israel has the right to exist and we need to stick by them regarding this. And I will also give a hearty AMEN regarding domestic oil production and telling the Arab world that they can go and drink theirs for all we care!! My statements were directed more towards the Church's notion that somehow God's favor is more towards this secularized nation over anyone else in the region! Sorry, but the scriptures are clear that God has written them a bill of divorcement and has brought spiritual "Blindness" to them as a people! They have rejected their Messiah and paid dearly ever since! I will not pour salt into their wounds but will not give them an automatic pass simply because their ancestors were "God's Elect" 2000 years ago and perhaps their successors will become "God's Elect" once again! You have so many "Christian" leaders like John Hagee that are completely obsessed and fixated upon this secularized state and even coming up with heretical theology that somehow they can be "Saved" without even acknowledging Christ as Messiah and Savior! Jesus made it quite clear - "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except by me." "If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins!" "Ye are of your Father, the DEVIL" - addressing those asserting that they are "Abraham's seed" Now, the fact of the matter is that God does favor his elect. This is clearly shown throughout the scriptures. However, where is his elect to be found these days? They are people among every nation throughout the Earth. People who have come to a supernatural saving faith in the living, risen Savior who have received the Spirit of Adoption and cry "Abba! Father!" I think we should be a little more mindful of this. God's elect are therefore in other Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Egypt, Palestine, and Ethiopia. They can be found in Europe, China, Australia, and perhaps there is even a remnant of born-again believers here in the U.S! God's elect among those who are descendents of the twelve tribes of Israel often proclaim their faith at great expense. They are ostracized, disowned, and abandoned by their fellow Jews - including those in their immediate families. I knew a former Jewish rabbi who came to faith in Christ. He went home to NYC to tell his immediate family and was immediately disowned. They had a mock funeral for him with a gravesite in the corner of a Gentile cemetary indicating that he was an outcast even among the Gentiles! Now perhaps this is a hijack of the original direction of this thread and perhaps the author of the OP wanted to primarily discuss the politics involved but I figured we might want to examine this from an ecclesiastical standpoint seeing that this is a Christian forum and perhaps we should rethink some of our theology or at least how we put it into practice! No it doesn't Aaron Blumer - Thu, 05/26/2011 - 9:22am In answer to "that unwavering support for Israel actually hurts wider U.S. interests in the Middle East" ... No, it doesn't. The options in the Middle East are complicated but ultimately you can either support a stable, non-radical state with a valid historical claim to the land it occupies (and then some) or you can support an unstable, often religiously radical and violent coalition of peoples without a valid historical claim to the land. Broadly speaking, the former is pretty obviously the better choice in the long run, whether it's Israel and the middle east or Lower Slubovia in the land of Fictionia. The real question is how to further stable statehood in a region full of conflicting ethnic and religious interests. I.e., how to peacefully and equitably absorb what we call "Palestinians" into an Israeli state. There are already alot of "Arab Israelis." It's not impossible. If we didn't have groups like Hamas and their ilk, it would be possible to move in that direction much more quickly. Does any of this mean that we should have a "Israel can do no wrong" attitude? Definitely not. But we don't have to choose between "blind support of every policy decision/military operation" and fictional moral equivalence/pro-Palestinianism. There's plenty of territory in between. A certainty in all this: you cannot make a fair deal with a group that deeply believes you have no right to exist. Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me. How would you treat your ex-wife? JT Hoekstra - Fri, 05/27/2011 - 8:14pm God certainly divorced Israel, but He just as certainly still loves her! Paul was willing to give his salvation up as a trade for Israel's. Jesus wept over Jerusalem's unfaithfulness. Politically, Israel has suffered enough for thousands of years, and the U.S. should do all it can to trade with their economy, protect it's borders and influence for peace for all nations. Transjordan should be forced into becoming the Palestinian state, using current borders as protection for both sides. Let's see if Jordan will once again reject their own as they did in '49 (30-40K Arabs killed). Transjordan is their 'right of return.' Spiritually, we are required as believers to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. It is to our shame that a Mormon is leading that charge en masse. In the democratic spirit we need to support every freedom loving nation. As Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "The only Arabs that are truly free are the 1 million currently living in Israel." That is why we should 'blatantly' support this nation and its people. And as I wrote before, one day soon Israel will once again be the apple of God's eye. Every nation/entity that has treated Israel as outcasts has suffered itself over the long haul, you can look it up: The Soviet Union, Germany, U.K., U.N., Ethiopia...etc. - What will become of you, United States of America...???