Israel has been America's staunchest ally in the Middle East. The friendship has been strategically beneficial for America as well as for Israel.
And think of all the historic and cultural values that the United States has in common with Israel, including liberty, an independent judiciary, a free press, freedom of religion and women's equality. Many of both countries' moral values and civic principles stem from the Jewish Holy Scriptures, known to Christians as the Old Testament.
So why jeopardize a valuable friendship?
In the years since Israel became a sovereign nation in 1948, most nations have been prejudiced against her. Their knee-jerk reaction to every event has been to blame Israel and exonerate her enemies. One reason is the hard-to-explain but widespread infection of anti-Semitism. Another is the fact that Israel is small and has no oil. Why not choose "friends" who are rich and powerful so you can win favors plus escape violent retaliation?
However, over the years the United States has usually been a reliable friend to Israel. Why is this changing now?
President Obama's foreign policy patterns
During Barack Obama's first year as president, he visited more nations than any previous president, but he has not visited Israel. He has shown conspicuous coolness toward allies like Britain, Georgia and especially Israel, while being warm to the leaders of Russia and Russia's friends and the predominantly Muslim nations. And his apologies to other nations make it appear he is genuinely ashamed of America. The pattern seems one of appeasement as a means of peacemaking.
That brings us to March 2010, when Netanyahu was scolded by both Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for allowing the approval of plans for 1,600 apartment units to be built in eastern Jerusalem. From the Israeli perspective, these are to be built in a Jewish neighborhood in the "undivided" capital city of a sovereign nation for its own citizens. But the Palestinians hope to make that area of Jerusalem part of their future capital.
Shortly after that, when Netanyahu arrived in Washington, he was treated like an intruder from a leper colony. His meetings with U.S. foreign policy officials were kept secret. And when the prime minister arrived for his visit with the president, he was brought to a side door of the White House. The president did not greet him at the door. No pictures, no joint press conference, no public statements, no diplomatic niceties were allowed.
During the meeting, Obama presented Netanyahu with 13 demands. When Netanyahu stalled, Obama stated that he was going to have dinner with his family and wheeled around and left the room. Some attendant had to escort the prime minister to the door. It's shocking that the U.S. president would treat a visiting leader with such intimidation and rudeness. Again, why?
Many believe the administration wants to weaken Netanyahu's political power in hopes that the government of Israel would then fall into line with Washington's agenda for the Middle East. Mr. Obama's 20-minute phone call May 3 might signal a slight warming in relations, but many are unconvinced.
Several U.S. administrations have naively pushed a "peace process" based on "land for peace." But radical Palestinian leaders have previously rejected such offers. They want land all right—all the land. But they don't want peace with Israel. They don't want Israel to even exist.
Also, a "two-state solution" may be impossible. Hamas in Gaza would probably never submit to Fatah in the West Bank. So a "three-state solution" might be more realistic.
Sadly, most U.S. administrations have pursued a path of appeasement, a "strategy" that has never worked. It's an example of man's prophesied failure to achieve world peace: "The way of peace they have not known" (Isaiah 59:8).
So much suffering stems from ignorance of the Bible. Biblical understanding enables understanding of human nature and correct psychology, moral values, international relations, world history, cultures, economics and governmental principles.
Thankfully the problems caused by biblical ignorance will be solved after Jesus Christ returns to the earth! Then "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:9).
Sadly, in the short-term, Jerusalem will be "surrounded by armies" and then "will be trampled by Gentiles [non-Israelites]" and subjugated for a few years (Luke 21:20, 24).
But here's the good news: Bible prophecy clearly shows that Israel will not be "wiped off the map." Christ's return will bring liberation, restoration, transformation and countless blessings to all nations!
To understand the future of Israel and all the Middle East, please read our in-depth booklet The Middle East in Bible Prophecy.