Then and Now: Israel

On this date, in 1942, Hitler ordered all Jews in occupied Paris to wear an identifying yellow star on the left side of their coats.

He got this idea from Goebbels, his Nazi propaganda minister. Goebbels wasn’t the first to suggest a method for setting the Jews apart, nor was Hitler the first to be guilty of persecution. Throughout history, many others have done the same.

As early as 250 A.D., the Jews have been expelled from North Africa, Jerusalem, France, Spain and Greece. Some were forced into Christian conversion, their belongings have been confiscated, their synagogues have been burned, they have been burned at the stake and enslaved. By 1096, this same torment and oppression had been recorded in Hungary, Germany and England. By 1850, open Jewish bigotry had spread to the United States.

The reason I’m giving you this little reminder of history, is to tell you about this. I read a story in the Jerusalem Post on May 26, by Yaakov Lappin, regarding a group of Egyptian activists announcing plans to set up a version “of the Nazi Party”. Citing a leftist Egyptian news portal, the Al-Masry Al-Youm said “the party’s founding deputy is a former military official,” and the party would aim at bringing “together prominent figures from Egyptian society.”

Almasry Alyoum added that an Egyptian Nazi party “operated secretly under former President Hosni Mubarak, whose regime prevented party leaders from carrying out their activities freely.” The newspaper said it could not verify the report, but they had found two Facebook pages entitled “the Egyptian Nazi Party.”

It gets even more disturbing. The Egyptian government has reopened the Rafah crossing on its Gaza border to regular pedestrian traffic. This announcement is being applauded by both Fatah and Hamas. However, Israel is understandably concerned. Many believe it will result in a stream of terrorists and weapons into Gaza. Most believe this has already been happening through the tunnel.

Meanwhile, our President says, out loud no less, that Israel should just go back to pre-1967 borders. And Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Kenyan impersonating an American President, say what???!!!” Not really, but I couldn’t help it.

But seriously, does our President have any concept of the Six Day War?

In the years before the Six Day War, Egypt was ruled by Gamal Abdel Nasser. He started out as a unifier, with the goal to get all the Arab countries gathered into a single entity, with him as the mighty reformer and benevolent dictator. Nasser developed close relations with the Soviets, and they became his chief source of military equipment and financing.

Like most dictators, Nasser’s ego got the best of him and he soon began to have conflicts with other Arab countries, especially Saudi Arabia and Jordan. They weren’t too keen on Nasser’s ambitions to lead the Arab world. In 1962, Nasser stuck his nose in between Yemen against royalists backed by Saudi Arabia. Expecting an easy victory, Egypt instead got caught up in a guerilla war.

Meanwhile, Israel is getting productive and in 1964, they complete the National Water Carrier, a series of canals and pipelines to transport water from the water-rich northern part of the country to the dryer, southern regions. This ingenuity would result in population growth, immigration, industrial and agricultural development, therefore it was strenuously opposed by the Arab countries.

Syria, led by a Ba’athist regime hostile to Nasser, took the lead in demanding that the Israeli water project be destroyed. They also condemned Egypt, for hiding behind the UN peacekeeping force between Egypt and Israel. Nasser did not believe the Arabs were unified enough to defeat Israel, so he chose to wait a little while.

In May of 1967, Nasser kicked the UN peacekeepers out of the Sinai peninsula and announced a blockade of the Straits of Tiran to Israel-bound shipping. The blockade sealed off Israel’s major port of Eilat and violated the agreements that had followed the 1956 Sinai war. This was an act of war.

One by one, the other players stepped up to “kick Israel while she was down”: Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Palestinians from Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Bahrain, Iraq, and even volunteers from the Sudan came to fight against the Israelis. France spent all of its time playing the United States against the Soviets, but not helping Israel. The United States did supply weapons and aircraft to Israel, but stopped short of helping militarily. Of course, the Soviet Union encouraged the Arab states in their “takedown” of Israel.

NOT!

Israel whooped all of them. I started to write, “all by themselves”, but we Christians know better. Israel will always have the greatest ally of all time and we know who He is.

So, the more things change, the more they stay the same certainly applies here. Egypt is up to its old tricks again, just waiting on the moment when it’s “right” to go after their old enemy. And unfortunately, it appears that the vultures are swirling to swoop in. Will the U.S. use the excuse of being too embroiled in Iraq and Afghanistan to help out, the same way they used Vietnam as an excuse before? Or, will this administration be supplying weaponry and financial aid to the Egyptians?

In 1971, Golda Meir said, “This country[Israel] exists as the fulfillment of a promise made by God Himself. It would be ridiculous to ask it to account for its legitimacy.”

I say Amen!

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