Israeli Bashing, International Mindlessness, and Isaiah 58:1: “We have a problem”

Daniel Henninger wrote in the Wall Street Journal on June 2 2010 about the almost unimaginable display of international hypocrisy and Ostrich-like response by an increasingly weakened West and radicalized Middle East. Daniel Henninger’s insights and the UN’s response impacts us all.

Henninger was writing about the current tragic situation that happened between Israel and Turkey. Israel, in one very legitimate sense, did nothing worse than protect her own borders from the support of Hamas terrorists (and in the process made mistakes that while real are minor given the other pressing matters before us). In the process things took a wrong turn. They were criticized for an unmeasured response to the threats against them (as Klein Halevi put it in his June 4 2010 article, “Israelis Wonder: Has the World Lost its Mind?” [Wall Street Journal, A 19], “How, Israelis wonder, can pro-Hamas activist welding knives be confused for peace activists?”) But the unmeasured response has been the self-righteous, hypocritical response of the international community against this democracy in a sea of terrorism. I said that it was an unimaginable hypocrisy, and it would be unimaginable except for the fact that it is so characteristic. Ignore the sinking of the South Korean warship, the Cheonan, by the little despot of North Korea and the killing of those 46 seamen onboard; keep quiet about the ongoing rantings of the nuclear bomb-arming-madman who killed his own people in a rigged election in Iran (even as the young freedom-fighters cried out to the world on Twitter), and even as he imagines a world without Israel, Britain and the United States. Do we forget the death-stare eyes of “Neda” who was gunned down for freedom’s sake against this brutal Islamic dictatorship? And just forget that a growing alliance between those sinister state terrorists and Venezuela’s own diabolical dictator, Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, is leading the world to the brink of a world war. Forget that? As Henninger quoted the Toronto Globe and Mail:

“The speed and intensity with which governments around the world condemned the Israeli behavior appear unprecedented.”

And why? Again, Henninger:

“…denouncing Israel for something like this is convenient for leaders who have failed repeatedly to do anything  about more important and difficult problems…”

It is “convenient” because it is the easy way, but a most dangerous way. Henninger has his own answer and he is absolutely on target when he writes,

“The conclusion is inescapable: the smaller the problem, the larger the world’s powers’ output of hot air…Israel should not be immune from criticism. But is the world’s powers unload like this only on relatively small, isolated nations like Israel, then clearly the keepers of the world order find it easier to be blowhards than statesmen. And that means we have a problem.”

The problem is worsened when you consider the position that this is forcing Israel into:

“By appealing to the world’s conscience, Israel’s jihadist enemies have learned how to turn their relative powerlessness into a strategic asset. Israel is increasingly forced to choose between self-defense and acceptance by the nations. The likely result will be a growing sense of empowerment among jihadists, and a growing sense of desperation among Israelis” (Klein Halevi, WSJ, June 4, A19).

As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I join Henninger to admit the problem. But I have an answer that I have staked my life on: the problem is solved with a prayer; “No! a million prayers!” May God send an international concert of prayer for revival and to plea for the right thinking that comes from it. There is no other way. Read the Old Testament prophets to see how they warned Israel in her weakness and comfort to return to the Lord lest she face destruction.

“Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; declare to My people their transgressions, And the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58.1).

Revival and then renewal of mind and heart is the answer to all of our problems that we face in these desperate days when wrong is called right and right is called wrong. But for now, those who know the Lord, the remnant in the West, must cry out Isaiah-like! Perhaps we would do well to follow the brave voices of those in the global East where revival is sweeping the nations. Their “yes is yes” and their “no is no.” They are “crying out.” Their voices have even been heard here in America as they have come to speak truth into our liberal denominations and call us to repentance and new life in Christ. All of this points to this: Now more than ever we must have preachers to stand up and declare the truth of the Gospel, to seek the fulfillment of the Great Commission, and to begin to warn our people and our leaders of the harsh destiny that awaits those who continue to disregard Christ and His justice that must shape our policies. The Puritans of New England, for instance, regularly preached “Election Day” sermons that called the elected officials to repentance and called upon the people to only elect those men who would stand for truth and justice of God. The Church is the voice and conscience of the State. It is time for our voices to be heard. It is time for the conscience of the West to recall the goodness of God when we followed Him. It is time for the West to remember the blessings that we enjoy today are but the residual spiritual wealth, as Schaeffer remind us in his many writings, of a prior generation who followed the Lord. It is time for us to speak. If we do not the torrential mudslide will finally wipe away the Western Civilization that has brought so much blessing to the world, regardless of race or creed. The whole world has been blessed by the Christendom of the West.

But where are we? The erosion of Christianity in the West, now beyond erosion and breaking out into this all-out mud slide downward (read Romans 1.18-32 and the judicial hardening and destruction that comes to a people who disregard God), has concurrently created a moral weakness and thus we witness a resulting namby-pamby approach to foreign policy for the Western nations who must stand against the expected, quickly conceived, self revealing Israeli-hatred and unbalanced criticism from the Islamic countries anytime there is any self protective action of Israel (I am not saying mistakes did not happen in the present Israeli-Turkish incident, I am saying that the incident does not rise to or deserve the level of thoughtless and hateful criticism given in the face of other clear and present dangers that deserve more of our time and political will).

Yes, it is high time for the people of God in the West to begin to “cry out,” and to do so in prayer for not only “the peace of Jerusalem,” but that God will raise up godly, wise leaders in our world. To accomplish this we would pray to God to intervene in the affairs of men and we would plead with the Lord to send revival, a genuine movement of the Lord from on high, to awaken the Church and to bring influencers out from the Church to begin to take leadership, for the good of us all. We need revival to not only awaken the dead spirits of the nations of the West, in particular, to stop that mudslide, if you will, but also to convert the peoples of the Middle East to the grace-filled teachings and life that is in Jesus Christ. We need revival to bring overdue and much-needed correction to the muddle-minded political wimps who find it easier to take easy shots at those who are our allies, like Israel, than to stand up to the global tyrants that loom large, even Hitler-like, in our generation. If we do not, to quote Henninger, “we have a problem.” Or to quote Klein Halevi,

“Has the world lost its mind?”

Sources:

The Wall Street Journal, Thursday, June 3, 2010, Daniel Henninger, “Beating Up on Israel,”

The Wall Street Journal, Friday, June 4, 2010, Klein Halevi, “Israelis Wonder: Has the World Lost is Mind?” A19.

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About Michael Milton, Ph.D.

Michael A. Milton, Ph.D. (University of Wales, Trinity Saint David's College), is an American Presbyterian pastor, theologian, and author. He is, also, an alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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