HOW AND WHY AMERICA'S CHRISTIANS
MUST CARE FOR ISRAEL
by Louis Rene Beres, Ph.D. (Princeton, 1971)
Prepared Especially For Delivery in Houston, Texas For The Freeman Center, October 2004
The Land and People of Israel are now in great peril.
Day after day, men, women and children are fiendishly murdered by Arab terrorists becuase they are Jews (ONLY because they are Jews).
And again, not all that many years after the Holocaust, the people of Israel are widely abandoned to villainous slaughterers - this time in a land wherein they were promised safety; a "Promised Land."
In a large scientific poll undertaken for the European Community just before the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the nations of that marvelously civilized continent proudly identified Israel - together with the United States - as the world's two most dangerous and evil countries.
Syria, Iran, Saddam's Iraq, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, North Korea barely even made the list.
So much for rational judgment in "civilized" Europe.
Arab terror in Israel has only one overriding purpose: Annihilation of the Jewish people in their own land, and transformation of the Jewish State into "Palestine."
This purpose is openly genocidal - even by the codified standards of contemporary international law - and it is not kept hidden from anyone.
The prevention of a second Holocaust, however, is not only a Jewish responsibility.
It is a Christian responsibility as well, an absolutely sacred responsibility.
I refer to G-d's Covenant with Israel and to the indisputable Christian view that Israel will be G-d's people forever.
I am a Jew, and I am also a university professor.
As a professor I could simply ask you to understand that the uniquely barbarous terror of Palestinians against Jewish civilians is morally and legally unforgivable, and that - merely as compassionate human beings - we must oppose such barbarism.
After all, there is no other single insurgency on the face of the earth where so-called "suicide bombers" intentionally direct their murderous violence against nursery schools, ice-cream parlors and municipal buses.
Nor is there any other insurgency on the face of this bleeding planet where the "martyrs" fill their explosive containers with nails and screws dipped in rat poison, to maximize the pain and suffering of primarily children.
Nor is there any other terror movement that is so filled with cowardice, as the plainest motive of the suicide-bomber is not to die, but rather to conquer death altogether.
It is only by killing Jews that this coward is able to convince himself that he shall in fact live forever. For him, the act of dying is merely a momentary inconvenience on his fiery way to heaven and the explicit promise of 72 virgins.
But I wish to speak to you this day in Houston not only as a university professor - and not only as Chair of "Project Daniel" (more about that later).
I also wish to speak with you now as a Jew - as the Jewish son of Holocaust survivors who fled Austria to Switzerland on their wedding night many years ago - on July 31, 1938.
The promise of the continuation of the people of Israel and their ingathering to the Land of Israel is revealed to all of you in Genesis (15:18): "On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abraham, saying, `To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates.'"
At the heart of G-d's covenant with Israel is the promise to the Jewish people - His People - to the land of Israel.
For Christians, this promise is the only "Road Map" of value.
No secular authority, not the Secretary General of the United Nations, not even the President of the United States, can revoke G-d's covenant with Israel.
Israel is not "Palestine."
Israel, if we are to take G-d's word seriously, is the place for ingathering of the Jews. Period!
Whenever the Jews are in their own land, the deserts bloom and water springs forth, exactly as foretold in G-d's promise at Isaiah (43: 18-21) and elsewhere.
As for the Palestinian Arab populations who wish to eject the Jewish People from their own land, their presence in the Land of Israel has surely not brought waters to the wilderness or rivers in the desert.
There are no gardens in Gaza or edens in Ramallah, only feverish preparations for bringing still more murderous violence to the Jews.
The Scriptures make it all very clear: The Lord G-d of Israel has regathered His people from the four corners of the earth.
Since June 1967, His holy city of Jerusalem is back in the hands of His people.
Sometime, perhaps sooner than we think, the great Jewish Temple will also be rebuilt - in Jerusalem.
"I will bless those who bless thee, and curse those who curse thee."
G-d's plan for those who stand against His land and His people is clear, in Genesis.
America's Bible-believing Christians shall not stand by silently and watch the persistent Palestinian assault upon Israel. (The Presbyterian and Episcopalian churches should take heed.)
So it is written.
Rather, they must show their care and love for G-d's people and land in every way within their grasp and with every fiber of their being.
There is no more sacred responsibility.
In the matter of Israel, our religious obligations - as Christians and Jews - are entirely consistent with our patriotic obligations.
The enemies of Israel are the enemies of the United States.
Make no mistake about it, all of the Palestinian terror groups are closely intertwined with Al Qaeda; all the Palestinian terror groups wept at our capture of Saddam Hussein (with whom they collaborated during the 1990-91 rape of Kuwait); and all the Palestinian terror groups celebrated wildly on 9/11.
Palestinian hatred of America is passionate and undisguised.
Israel's love of America, on the other hand, is evident in every corner of the Jewish State.
These unassailable facts notwithstanding, we give annually - from our hard-earned American tax dollars - several hundred million dollars to Yassir Arafat's Palestinian Authority - money which is converted directly into weapons for the mass murder of Jews in Israel and is also distributed meticulously to loyal Arafat henchmen involved in organized crime and narcotics trafficking.
In this way our very own American government - seeking a politically correct way to straddle the slippery fence of Middle Eastern politics - has now become directly complicit in serving the enemies of Israel.
"I will bless those who bless thee; and curse those who curse thee."
Yassir Arafat, whose hands are soaked in the blood of thousands of Jewish women and children (in some cases by his actual participation in killings and torture), was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
This is what we can expect from a world that places politics above G- d's promise.
Yassir Arafat is a billionaire; one of the richest men in the world. His family lives in unimaginable splendor as he doles out $10,000.00 rewards to the impoverished families of Arab suicide bombers.
This is the man whom Israel has been pressured to keep alive by our leaders in Washington.
Even for this president - although somewhat less than for his predecessor (President Clinton's influence on Israel's security was entirely nefarious) - the promise of Genesis has become less important than the promise of power.
Israel has been asked, again and again, to depend upon the hollow promise of international treaties and agreements.
But international law is not a suicide pact.
As even Thomas Jefferson once noted, in a scholarly essay on the French Treaties, no nation is obliged to comply with international agreements that would bring about its own destruction.
But whether one refers to the Oslo Agreements, or to the "Road Map," or even to the privately-negotiated (and especially repulsive) "Geneva Initiative," these human compacts have had only one purpose for the Arab side - that is, to remove the Jewish People from their own land.
There is ample and revealing evidence in Scripture for the kind of agreements still being extracted from a tiny and beleaguered Israel:
"We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement....We have made lies our refuge and under falsehood have we hid ourselves." (Isaiah 28, 15).
How big is Israel - G-d's own land?
It is half the size of Lake Michigan, or - for those who prefer less watery references - half the size of San Bernardino County in California.
Any comparison to Texas, of course, would make Israel's size even more incomprehensibly small.
The people of Israel - who include, of course, thousands of deeply committed Christian Zionists - live under not only hourly threats of extermination, but also under one of the most frenetic barrages of insidious propaganda in human history.
Every day the news media - in this country including THE NEW YORK TIMES; LOS ANGELES TIMES; CHICAGO TRIBUNE; CNN; etc - transforms the Jewish victims into victimizers, David into Goliath.
When, in desperation, the people of Israel build a fence to keep their children from being burned and disemboweled by Arab terrorists (disembowelment was prominently featured and secretly filmed in the Palestinian "police" lynchings of two Russian Jews who had lost their way in Ramallah), the World Court does not put Arab terrorism on trial - it puts the fence on trial.
Again and again, the world is reminded that the life of a Jewish child is substantially less valuable than the olive tree of a Palestinian farmer; that the Israeli fence crosses illegally into "Arab land;" that the Arabs must suffer no "inconvenience" or "humiliation" (President Bush). Better that Israel should suffer another bus load of murdered and burned Jewish children.
Even if we should discard the Scriptural "Road Map" - and we surely should never do that - there is ample evidence in international law, including the terms of the League of Nations Mandate and the results of repeated Arab aggressions from 1948 onward, that Israel and the so-called "territories" are Jewish land.
Indeed, if we can recall that Transjordan (later Jordan, in 1949) was illegally created by Great Britain from Mandatory lands in 1922, there is even good jurisprudential argument that Jordan is an integral part of Israel.
The Arab world is comprised of 22 states of almost five million square miles and 144 million people.
The Islamic World contains 44 states with one billion people.
The Islamic states comprise an area 672 times the size of Israel.
Israel, with a population of about 5 million Jews, is - together with Judea/Samaria and Gaza - so small that its name on maps must be printed off its own land mass, far out in the Mediterranean Sea.
Speaking of maps, there are no official maps anywhere in the Arab world that include Israel.
The official Palestinian Authority (PA) map of "Palestine" includes all of Israel.
For the PA, the PLO "Phased Plan" of 1974 is still fully-operational.
There is no "Two-State" plan for the Palestinians; no Israel living side- by-side with "Palestine."
There is only "Palestine."
The Palestinians continue to speak - together with their "civilized" European allies whose traditional anti-Semitism is now reinvigorated by Arab/Islamic Jew hatred - of "occupied territories."
Yet the PLO was formed in 1964, three years before Israel even took control of Judea/Samaria and Gaza - an inadvertent control dictated by an indispensable war of self-defense.
What, then, was the PLO planning to liberate between 1964 and 1967?
Not just Hamas and Islamic Jihad, but also "mainstream" and "moderate" PLO still calls for Israel's "liquidation."
To this very day - after all of the bowing and scraping of American presidents before the defiled altars of Arab terrorism - the PLO Charter still calls openly for Israel's elimination.
As for the Charter of Hamas, its position is rather unambiguous: "There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. We must imprint on the minds of generations of Muslims that the Palestinian problem is a religious one to be dealt with on this premise: ~I swear by he who holds in His hands the Soul of Muhammad: I indeed wish to go to war for the sake of Allah! I promise to assault and kill; assault and kill; assault and kill.'"
These are the exact words from the published Charter of Hamas.
Are they ever even quoted on the evening news or in our most important newspapers?
Israel's conflict with the Arab/Islamic world has almost nothing to do with Arab/Islamic interest in Jewish lands.
Israel comprises 1.2% of the land in the Middle East. Arab/Islamic states take up 98.8 % of these lands.
Israel is despised in the Arab/Islamic world because it is Jewish. Period.
As painful as are the torments for Israel of suicide-bombings - the most blatantly cowardly forms of modern terrorism - there is an even far- greater danger.
I refer to the very real prospect of WMD terror attacks upon Israeli populations, or even of chemical/biological/nuclear war.
Presently, with Iraq immobilized by our own country's Operation Iraqi Freedom, the main nuclear threat to Israel lies in non-Arab Iran.
(And let us not forget that Israel's own preemptive destruction of Iraq's Osiraq nuclear reactor on June 7, 1981 is THE reason why we can't find any nuclear weapons in Iraq today - it is the ONLY reason).
Moreover, it is not out of the question that a nuclear-armed Islamic adversary of Israel might be irrational; that is, it might be the individual Islamic suicide-bomber in macrocosm - A state willing to "die" itself in order to achieve a religiously- desired outcome.
Nuclear deterrence is based upon assumptions of rationality.
Where such assumptions might be unfounded, deterrence could be immobilized.
With this in mind, Israel - preferably together with its only ally - the United States of America - must prepare, once again, for acts of anticipatory self-defense.
Alternatively, it could place all of its hopes in ballistic missile defense - in Israel the system is called the Arrow - but these would be decidedly vain hopes.
As we know from our own recent American experience with the Patriot ATBM system, even we are very far from achieving a minimally high probability of interception.
Best estimates are that in the first Gulf War our American reliability of BMD intercept was less than 10%.
As Chair of "Project Daniel," a small group that has been advising Israel's Prime Minister on existential security matters, I can confirm with some authority that neither we nor the Israelis are presently prepared to rely too heavily on ballistic missile defense.
In this connection, our Project Daniel final report to the PM - ISRAEL'S STRATEGIC FUTURE - emphasizes the legal and tactical imperatives of preemption, of striking first against enemy hard targets.
This is sometimes jokingly referred to in military and defense communities as "Pre-Boost Phase Intercept."
But we come back again now to Israel as G-d's land and the People of Israel as G-d's people.
In the end, the war for Jewish survival in the Land of Israel cannot be won entirely by superior armaments.
Indeed, a look at Israel's brief history reveals rather straightforwardly that victories in 1948, 1967 and even in 1973 cannot possibly be explained by military greatness alone.
True, Israel's armed forces are vastly better than the armies of their enemies, but the force ratios are so resoundingly unfavorable that quality should long ago have yielded to quantity.
Even Von Clausewitz, the classic Prussian writer of ON WAR, understands that there comes a time when "mass counts."
Israel's genocidal enemies have long had such mass; but they have nonetheless lost every major war against a country that is half the size of an American lake.
It seems that something else is going on here.
A popular Palestinian refrain today is this: "Today the Saturday people; tomorrow the Sunday people."
We are both now despised as "occupiers" in the imperiled Land of Israel - Jews and Christians alike - and we both have an obligation to protect and serve G-d's own chosen land.
None of us - Jew or Christian - now has any right to stand silently by as Israel suffers grotesque calumny from the Arab/Islamic world and growing threats to its physical survival from that world.
All of us must now recall from Isaiah a most sacred injunction: "For Zion's sake, I will not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem I will not be still."
What shall we do?
We - Jews and Christians - know full well that Israel and America are not the problem.
We know that Israel and America are the solution.
We - Jews and Christians alike - know full well that the Arab/Islamic world of the Middle East is largely animated by a resurgent medievalism - a giant leap backward into history that now seeks to replace coexistence with Jihad (Holy War) and to supplant Reason with hateful indoctrination.
The Christian world, along with its kindred Jewish world, has already seen the violence of militant Islam - not only in Israel, but in places like Lebanon; Egypt; Algeria; India; the Sudan; Ethiopia; and elsewhere.
Now is the time for Christians to stand by their Jewish brothers and sisters against a common and retrograde threat.
We together - Jews and Christians - have already borne witness to the fulfilment of Biblical prophecy in the Land of Israel.
We have witnessed the ingathering of the Jews to Zion and the recovery of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
We both know and recognize that Jerusalem is the exclusive and eternal capital of the Jewish State - even when that knowledge and recognition is denied by the President and Secretary of State of these United States. (Contrary to Congressional authorizations, our embassy remains in Tel Aviv).
Zionism and its corrolary protection of Israel must quickly become a LIVING article of faith for all Christians in this great land of America.
Christians believe that Zionism is a prelude to the Redemption.
For Christians, as for Jews, Zionism is necessarily understood as a great and holy movement.
Zionism is understood by all Christians as a divine process that cannot be turned back - and most certainly not by a resurgent medievalism that seeks to separate G-d's land from G-d's people through mayhem and murder.
It is time to end.
In conclusion, let me become more pragmatic.
America's Christians have an obligation to fight anti-Semitism wherever it rears its ugly and decidedly un-Christian head.
America's Christians must stand up for Israel in the newspapers, on the radio, on television, wherever the Jewish State is under propagandistic and violent attack.
This includes horribly misguided statements of "divestment" from Israel by America's Presbyterian and Episcopal churches.
America's Christians must recognize and condemn the altogether unique barbarism of Palestinian terrorism, acknowledging publicly that there is no "Cycle of Violence" in the Middle East - no "equivalence" between terror and counterterror - but only an endless cycle of Arab attacks upon Jewish civilians followed by unavoidable Israeli efforts at essential self-defense.
America's Christians should visit Israel, showing solidarity with the Jewish People.
America's Christians should have courage, and should now join together with other churches and movements that seek to protect Israel - e.g., the National Unity Coalition; Christians For Israel Political Action Committee (CIPAC); and the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem. (Also, my current work with Gary Bauer, who is a great and heroic champion of Israel).
America's Christians should read beyond the mainstream press, both at internet sources and informed print media. Here, especially, they should read THE JEWISH PRESS, America's most honest and altogether best Jewish newspaper.
And they should read everything broadcast and published by Bernard Shapiro and his courageous Freeman Center right here in Houston.
America's Christians should become engaged politically in defense of Israel, speaking out against politicians who would themselves prefer personal power over Christian duty.
Finally, America's Christians must pray for Israel, for the Jewish People and for the Peace of Jerusalem - not a peace of surrender to the new and sinister forms of totalitarianism, but for a peace that would recall G-d's blessing upon Abraham:
"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse Him that Curseth thee: and in thee shall all the families of the Earth be blessed."
LOUIS RENE BERES was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971) and is the author of many books and articles dealing with international relations and international law. He is Chair of "Project Daniel," a small advisory group on nuclear matters to Israel's Prime Minister.