By Joel C. Rosenberg
(Washington, D.C., May 15, 2008) — The eyes of the world are riveted today on Israel, the epicenter of the momentous events that are shaking our world and shaping our future.
President Bush delivered an important and controversial address to the Israeli parliament this morning. A few excerpts worth noting: “Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along,” the President noted. “We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: ‘Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.’ We have an obligation to call this what it is – the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history. Some people suggest that if the United States would just break ties with Israel, all our problems in the Middle East would go away. This is a tired argument that buys into the propaganda of our enemies, and America rejects it utterly. Israel’s population may be just over 7 million. But when you confront terror and evil, you are 307 million strong, because America stands with you. America stands with you in breaking up terrorist networks and denying the extremists sanctuary. And America stands with you in firmly opposing Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions. Permitting the world’s leading sponsor of terror to possess the world’s deadliest weapon would be an unforgivable betrayal of future generations. For the sake of peace, the world must not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.”
Sen. Barack Obama — sounding quite defensive, in my judgment — quickly fired back, though the President did not mention the junior Illinois Senator by name, and may very well have been thinking more of former President Jimmy Carter.
“It is sad that President Bush would use a speech to the Knesset on the 6Oth anniversary of Israel’s independence to launch a false political attack,” Sen. Obama replied. “It is time to turn the page on eight years of policies that have strengthened Iran and failed to secure America or our ally Israel. Instead of tough talk and no action, we need to do what Kennedy, Nixon and Reagan did and use all elements of American power — including tough, principled, and direct diplomacy – to pressure countries like Iran and Syria. George Bush knows that I have never supported engagement with terrorists, and the President’s extraordinary politicization of foreign policy and the politics of fear do nothing to secure the American people or our stalwart ally Israel.”
Meanwhile, Dr. James Dobson — the most-listened-to evangelical Christian on radio anywhere on the planet, with more than 9 million listeners a week in North America alone — begins the first of two programs on God, evangelicals and Israel. Today, he, author Tom Doyle and I explore the Biblical theology of the miraculous and prophetic rebirth of the modern State of Israel 60 years ago this week, God’s everlasting and unconditional love and plan for the Jewish people and all the people of the epicenter, and the prophecies concerning Israel’s future. Tomorrow, we will focus on the work of The Joshua Fund, Tom’s organization, and some of the ways that evangelical Christians can pray for the people of the epicenter and bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus. Please tune in on your local Christian radio station, or go to our weblog for a link to listen on-line.
At the same time, hundreds of churches, conferences and radio stations around the country are also focusing on Israel over the next few weeks.
This weekend, for example, more than 500 radio stations will be airing the “Epicenter Radio Special,” a two-hour broadcast of the major speeches and key moments from the Epicenter Conference we held in Jerusalem last month. Please check local listings, or listen on-line at http://www.epicenter08.com.
On Saturday, May 17, Tim LaHaye and I will address the Southern California Strategic Issues Conference in Los Angeles. My subject will be, “All Eyes on the Epicenter: Russia, Iran and The Future of Israel.”
On Sunday, May 18, I will will speak on God’s plan and purpose for the nation of Israel at Calvary Chapel of Chino Valley, California.
On Saturday, May 24, I will have the privilege of serving as the closing night speaker at the “Past, Present & Future Conference” at the Tucson Convention Center in Arizona, before an expected audience of some 10,000 people. The event has been organized by pastors from all over the Tucson metro area. Randy Travis is the headlining musical act. Pastors Skip Heitzig and Robert Furrow will speak the first two nights. I will talk about Bible prophecy, Israel, and how we can know the God who knows the future.
For details on any of these events, please check on our weblog. Please keep my family, my team, and me in your prayers, if you would, as we have these remarkable opportunities to help millions of people to better understand God’s heart for the Israel and her neighbors at this critical moment in world history. Thanks so much.