A Brief History Lesson: The significance of Yesterday, May 14
Yesterday was a momentous day for Israel and the United States. As Israel celebrated her 70th birthday, the United States Embassy in Jerusalem was officially opened. I cannot overstate the significance of both events. The number 70 has always been important for Israel as seen in the 70 years of captivity in Babylon. I am writing this article two days before the event since I won’t have time to do so next week. I expect Israel’s enemies to throw a temper tantrum. It doesn’t matter. God will do as He pleases. Our support for Israel on this date is the best thing we, as a nation, could possibly do to ensure God’s hand of protection remains on us in spite of our sins. Today, I just want to present a little history lesson to remind us of what happened 70 years ago.
It was David versus Goliath all over again. Not once, but time after time. God blessed and empowered David because of his motivation. David wanted to prove to the world that there was a God in Israel (1 Samuel 17:46). God’s name and reputation were at stake. God still looks for people like David. He wants to work through them, but when there are no Davids, He protects His name and reputation in other ways. Israel has seen her Davids, but her greatest victories have proven that the battle belongs to the Lord (2 Chronicles 20:15).
On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion read the official State of Israel’s Proclamation of Independence in a Tel Aviv art museum. Becoming Israel’s first prime minister, he led his people into the fulfillment of Zionist hopes and dreams—a quest that defied all laws of probability considering the odds (former and current) against them. Despite this momentous occasion, the 620,000 Jews then living in Israel were surrounded by 80 million Arabs. In direct violation of the U.N. agreement, the surrounding Arab nations refused to acknowledge the existence of the newly formed Jewish nation, vowing to drive every Jew into the sea within a week. As they began their invasion, they told the Palestinian Arabs living in Israel to get out. After the Jews were destroyed, they could return and reclaim their homes, as well as the homes and property of their current Jewish neighbors.
Many people were shocked by the fact that many Jews and Arabs living in what had become Israel had become both neighbors and friends. In stark contrast to claims made today, the Jews begged them to stay. While it is true that in some cases their Arab neighbors were forced from their homes, most left on their own, temporarily relocating to the West Bank, the very region the U.N. had offered as a Palestinian state. This region, roughly approximating biblical Samaria and Judah on the west side of the Jordan River, was to become their home for longer than they could ever have imagined.
While Israel had the will, she lacked the weapons required to withstand the assault she knew was coming. She sent a representative to the United States to raise the needed money. The chosen envoy was familiar with the United States and the available resources. She had been a public-school teacher in Milwaukee and had traveled to Israel as a devout Zionist. Within two weeks, Golda Meir raised $60 million. The political career of this Russian-born Jew was just beginning. Later, she would become Prime Minister of Israel.
As Israel began purchasing military supplies, she knew the importance of being recognized as a nation, especially by the major world powers like the United States. The U.S. State Department, however, viewing Israel’s survival chances as slim to none, strongly recommended to President Truman that the United States refrain from such an endorsement. He was inclined to follow this advice when he receives a visit from an old Jewish friend who had been Truman’s business partner in their former haberdashery. Whatever he said was enough to convince the President to boldly give Israel the official recognition of the United States.
Today we have another President who is willing to ignore the advice of the “experts” and do what is right. Say what you want about Donald Trump, but he is the right man for our nation at this point in in time.