On March 2, 2015, at 11:00 AM Eastern Standard Time, with millions of other people around the world, I turned on the television to watch a historic moment in the making. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, was to address a joint session of the Congress of the United States of America.
Born on October 21, 1949, in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu is the first Israeli prime minister to be born in Israel after the re-establishment of the nation in modern times on May 14, 1948. At midnight on May 14, the British Mandate for Palestine ended, and a nation was born in a day. The new state of Israel would have to fight for its survival from the day of its rebirth, and fight the Israeli people did. Reaching maturity, Benjamin Netanyahu joined in the struggle for survival. He joined the Israel Defense Forces during the Six Day War in 1967 and became a leader in the Special Forces unit known as the Sayeret Matkal. This unit was primarily responsible for gathering intelligence on the field by deep reconnaissance behind enemy lines. The task of Sayeret Matkal was also to engage in counter-terrorism and hostage rescue beyond the borders of Israel. Their motto, “Who Dares Wins.” The man the world calls “Bibi” is a national hero, and a Hebrew warrior of the highest caliber.
What brought this warrior-statesman to the United States Congress was to share his profound concern that the president of the United States is negotiating a treaty with Iran that will allow that terrorist state to accomplish its stated political objective, which is to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Said the Prime Minister of Israel, “American leaders worry about the safety of their country, Israeli leaders worry about the survival of their country.” This message is not an exaggeration of reality. On July 23, 2014, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei took to Twitter, to state in English that Israel must be destroyed. “This barbaric, wolflike and infanticial regime of Israel which spares no crime has no cure but to be annihilated.” Jesus said that individuals speak out of their hearts (Matt. 15:19). The lesson of history is to believe powerful and ruthless personalities when they speak from their heart. They mean what they say.
Prime Minister Netanyahu was not secretive about his various motives for addressing the United States Congress. Simply put, Netanyahu does not want the President of the United States confirming a treaty with Iran that would allow a murderous regime to obtain a nuclear bomb. He called Iran’s President Hassan Rohani “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
The plot to conclude a deal with Iran must be exposed in order to give the Israeli people a chance for survival. Appealing to the story of Esther, where another plot was exposed in order to give the Hebrew people a chance to survive the murderous attempt of a Persian tyrant, Netanyahu based his argument on Biblical grounds.
“Bibi” also wanted to inform the world that Israel is ready and able to stand alone, if necessary, to prevent Iran from achieving its obvious goal of obtaining a nuclear weapon. “Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons. If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone.”
The world must not doubt Israel’s resolve to stand alone. Never again will Jews be like sheep led to the slaughter as in the days of the Nazi Holocaust. Finally, the Prime Minister wanted to visibly demonstrate to the world that Israel was not alone. America would stand with her democratic partner in the Middle East.
At 11:00 AM, Eastern Pacific Time, the man and the moment met. Partisan politicians tried to spin his speech away from the harsh reality the Prime Minister eloquently articulated and supported with known facts. Political pundits expressed their views. Some political analysts were insightful, while others were silly, and simply uninformed.
As a conservative Christian, I can hope and pray the response to the wisdom and words of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be a movement of support. Israel must not stand alone. Americans must stand with Israeli, and the Christian community in particular. It is the known will of God. To Abraham a solemn promise was made by God: “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 12:2). The dustbin of history contains the ashes of those empires that rose up to persecute the Hebrew people through whom the Messiah came. In Christ, all the families of the earth have been blessed. It is time for the families of the earth to be a blessing to the Israeli people. Let the church rise up to say, “Bibi”, Israel, you are not alone. History is on your side. God is on your side. America is on your side. The church of the Nazarene is on your side.” Survive.