America, praise God, has a long history of standing with the Jewish Nation. Long before 1948, Founding Fathers such as John Adams, expressed their support for the reestablishment of a Jewish State in the Land of Israel. In 1819, he wrote in a letter to an acquaintance “…I really wish the Jews again in Judea an independent nation.”
Both the 2nd and 6th Presidents of the United States expressed support for the reestablishment of the Jews in Israel, long before 1948. On the left is John Adams, right is his son John Quincy Adams.
Later, his son John Quincy Adams expressed similar support for the reestablishment of Jewish Sovereignty in the Land of Israel, saying he believed in the “rebuilding of Judea as an independent nation.”
From Desolation to Rebirth
It was an American, Mark Twain, who bore witness to the devastation of the Land of Israel, right before the Jewish People began to return home in large numbers in the late 19th century. On his visit to the Promised Land in 1867, he wrote “There was hardly a tree or a shrub any where. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country. No landscape exists that is more tiresome to the eye than that which bounds the approaches to Jerusalem.”
An illustration from Mark Twain's Innocents Abroad, 1867. Today, the hills surrounding the city are alive with vineyards and olive trees!
Just fifteen years later, what became known as “the First Aliyah” began, with tens of thousands of Jews began returning home, mostly from Russia and Yemen. It was then that the Land began the transition from desolation to fruitfulness.
The close of the 19th century marked the beginnings of modern Zionism—support for the establishment of a Jewish State in its Land. In 1922, US President Harding signed the Lodge–Fish Resolution, which officially put US support behind ZIonism.
Eleven minutes after Midnight
Most notably, in 1948, President Harry Truman made the United States the first country in the world to recognize Israel as a nation, just eleven minutes after its founding!
For all the good the US has done for Israel it's important not to forget faults in our dealings toward the Jewish State. Leading up to the Holocaust, the US refused to accept any more Jewish immigrants. Some presidents since Israel’s establishment have scorned the Jewish State, undermined its leadership and accused Israel of apartheid.
Since at least 1973, when President Nixon sent emergency aid to Israel during the Yom Kippur War, the US has developed a close relationship with Israel. Despite President Carter’s hostility towards Israel, it was during his administration that Israel made peace with Egypt. The US has invested billions of dollars in Israel since then, which has benefited both countries and the two nations have cooperated closely on technology and defense. It makes a difference for Israel, which spends a large amount of its GDP on defending itself.
Israeli Defense Force soldiers on patrol
Unfortunately, for a long time as well, the US has subscribed to the notion of a “Two State Solution,” that the path to peace between Israel and the Palestinians is to create a Jew-free, Palestinian State in the biblical heartland, Judea and Samaria.
A lot of false realities were shattered when President Trump came on the scene. He stopped aid money that was being funneled to terrorism and canceled the disastrous Iran deal. Against the warnings of many, he moved the US embassy to Jerusalem. Then, the US brokered peace between Israel and some longtime foes: The UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan. His administration recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and stopped calling Judea and Samaria “occupied.”
There still remains a long way to go for Israel to be secure in its own land. Right now it’s going through a relentless wave of terror attacks, and Israel just began a large operation to root out terrorist networks.
Supporting Israel just surviving or thriving?
Many lawmakers in the US vote to send aid to Israel, securing their “pro-Israel” status. Yet everything else they do is to undermine Israel, condemning Jews in Judea and Samaria, and supporting the terror-supporting Palestinian Authority. In one way they support Israel’s survival, but they do much to keep Israel from thriving.
I believe we can take encouragement, and also warnings, from the United States’ treatment of Israel. The Bible warns us against dividing God’s Land (Joel 3:2). Our actions should be to do the opposite—do what we can to support Israel’s to possess all its promised land! The current White House administration has done much to oppose Israel, making this a time for Israel-lovers to raise their voices even more. Call and write your representatives and senators. Let them know it’s high time to move past “two state” illusions, and into an unequivocal stand on God’s promises to “plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted!”