The World’s Burden Over Jerusalem
By Todd Strandberg
It can be a very difficult task to be a member of the anti-Israel alliance. When Donald Trump announced that he would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move our embassy, the news media were stumbling over themselves trying to explain why this was such a terrible idea.
Jerusalem has Jews’ roots that go back 3,000 years. It has been their capital since the nation was founded. The Palestinians have no historic limit to the city, and their name is just as bogus. The name Palestine was created by the Romans to mock the removal of the Jews from their land.
The news media’s first response was that this was Trump being Trump. Because he is constantly portrayed as an ignorant man, this decision, they say, has been just another one of his many blunders. Never mind the fact that every President since Ronald Reagan has stated that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. Both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush made campaign pledges to move the embassy during their administration. Obama was the most anti-Israel US President in living memory and yet he stated in a 2008 campaign speech, “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.”
It’s interesting that previous Presidents are never called out for their failed promises on Jerusalem. The press always defaults to the need to recognize the complexities of the Arab/Israeli conflict. There is a point where the denial of reality reaches into the absurd. The Obama administration took a case all the way to the Supreme Court to block American citizens born in Jerusalem from listing Israel as their place of birth.
Another objection to Trump’s action is it will violate his campaign promise not to get the U.S. into “stupid wars.” By simply naming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Trump has somehow destabilized the entire Middle East? Critics said the decision was like tossing a hand grenade into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and warned it would light the Palestinian streets on fire. I see the reason why we should worry about upsetting the most unproductive people on the planet. If rioting in the streets of Gaza, that gives them less time to dig tunnels and built rockets.
The press also attacked the recognition of Jerusalem by saying it was just Trump fulfilling a promise he made to his voter base. Several news outlets have blamed evangelical Christians for advancing a pre-tribulationalism agenda. The news organizations have widely quoted Diana Butler Bass, an ultra-liberal, religious-studies Ph.D. at Duke University. She said that we’re only interested in Bible prophecy – the bad kind – and that we want to bring about the Battle of Armageddon, the return of Jesus Christ, and vanquish all God’s enemies.
The invasion of Israel is not going to be led by Christian armies. The Gog War is going to be manned by Arab nations. If Diana Bass believes in the Word of God, she should call out Turkey and Iran as the source of future conflicts. She doesn’t believe the prophecies of the Bible, because they are at odds with her one-world view.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has a strange fixation with Israel. Erdogan, who regards himself a champion of the Palestinian cause, labeled Israel as a “terrorist state” and called for a strong reaction to the move by Trump. Erdogan, whose country holds the rotating chairmanship of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), will likely try to muster a tough statement. Because Muslim nations are heavily divided right now and unwilling to jeopardize the relationship with Washington, Erdogan can at best expect the issuance of a “boilerplate condemnation.”
Iran is very vocal about its desire to destroy Israel. In its response to Trump’s move, Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander, Qassem Soleimani, said his nation is ready to support Palestinian forces in the Gaza Strip. He also said other forces in the region are ready to defend the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. The mosque is Islam’s third-holiest shrine and a frequent flashpoint for tensions between Israel and the Palestinians.
Donald Trump and Bible prophecy believers are not the problem here. The end-time wars are going to be caused by people who side with the Arabs in saying they have ownership of Jerusalem. A conflict most frequently erupts when people fail to realize the dangers they are creating. We are at the most dangerous point, because no reporter or politician is mindful of what God promised what would happen to those who challenge His people’s ownership of His Holy City.
“The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it” (Zech 12: 1-3).