THE TRUE PROTECTOR
“For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.”
— Zechariah 2:8
Last Monday, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told his Revolutionary Council that he refused to recognize Israel as the Jewish state, and the council unanimously backed him in his position. “President Abbas has reaffirmed his refusal to recognize the Jewishness of the State of Israel and council members stood up to hail this decision,” a Fatah official announced from the Ramallah meeting.
Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyau insisted that any peace deal with the Palestinians had to include Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish state and drop demands for a “right of return” for refugees. During this Purim Season, the Jews remember those who have tried to destroy them in the past, even as they face enemies on all sides today.
While this disagreement promises to halt any peace agreement, the United States State Department has come out in support of Abbas’ position. “[T]here is no need for the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state,” State Dept. spokesman Jen Psaki told the Al-Quds newspaper Saturday, saying, “The American stance is clear in that it recognizes Israel as a Jewish state, but there is no need for the Palestinians to recognize it as such in a final agreement.”
The current U.S. presidential administration is not outwardly flat against Israel, but apathy can be just as dangerous. Tuesday, Netanyahu stood in Eilat on the Dead Sea and presented 40 rockets, 181 mortars and 400,000 bullets that had been intercepted on their way to Gaza from Iran, and the Obama administration did little better than shrug. In the meanwhile, EU’s foreign policy chief – dressed in women’s Muslim garb — shook hands with Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Tehran. Israel is in the eye of a huge Arab storm in the Middle East, and if the rest of the world won’t stand up for the Jewish state, they will have to stand alone with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Obama may believe Israel is dependent on America for safety, but trusting in God alone has worked for the Jews in the past.
This year, Purim will be celebrated March 15–16. The famed foiling of the wicked plot of Haman to blot out the Jews is, of course, one of the more dramatic narratives in the Bible. The feast of Purim was instituted by Mordecai at the end of the Esther to celebrate the deliverance of the Jews from Haman’s plot to kill them. Purim (from Akkadian, puru, “lots”) is so called after the lots cast by Haman in order to determine the month in which the slaughter was to take place (Est 9:26; 3:7).