California Christians, does anything your state does surprise you anymore?
According to an article by Adam Shaw, one of FOX News' reporters covering US and European politics, California's Pitzer College is retaining study-abroad programs to China, Turkey and Cuba while ending trips to Israel. Shaw articulates that the university's president, Mr. Melvin Oliver, disagrees with the decision to end the program, which garnered 67 votes for, 28 against, and 8 abstentions. President Oliver cites the continued and longstanding exchange with universities in countries with proven human rights abuse records, such as in the case of 19,000 killed in Nepal's bloody civil war and with China's restrictive policies. Still, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) is pushing for the university's College Council to recommend ending the program. (Why is a US Representative from Michigan involved in a private California college's business? That's for another post.)
Pitzer's own student-run Claremont Independent issued a scathing retort of the activism, calling it the "worst form of virtue signaling" for its shortsightedness against academic freedom and ill-considered impact against pro-Palestinian students who find the freedom through Pitzer to experience the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from within Israel itself.
So, why, you ask, is Israel so important to Americans and isn't that statement proof that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) was right when she questioned the loyalty of Americans and lobbyists who support the Jewish State?
Well, maybe the answer is as simple as Israel's enemies always find themselves at the hands of an angry God every time, without fail?
"Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope;
even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.
I will bend Judah as I bend my bow
and fill it with Ephraim.
I will rouse your sons, Zion,
against your sons, Greece,
and make you like a warrior's sword.
The Lord Will Appear
Then the Lord will appear over them;
his arrow will flash like lightning.
The Sovereign Lord will sound the trumpet;
he will march in the storms of the south,
and the Lord Almighty will shield them.
They will destroy
and overcome with slingstones.
They will drink and roar as with wine;
they will be full like a bowl
used for sprinkling the corners of the altar.
The Lord their God will save his people on that day
as a shepherd saves his flock." (Zechariah 9:12-15, NIV)
The Bible is replete with examples of powerful kings and armies who failed against Israel (e.g., Pharaoh: Exodus 14, Goliath and the Philistines: 1 Samuel 17). Yeah, but that was in Biblical times, you say. Israel is nothing without US support, you say. Well, just ask Egypt and Syria what happened in 1973. Call it the October War, the Yom Kippur War, or the Six Day War, that led to the unholy alliance; regardless, two vastly greater armies learned again what it means to defy the living God. Since the end of that conflict, nations have tried to defeat Israel daily, but to no avail.
On the contrary, those in history on Israel's side have fared much better than her enemies. Even in spite of Israel's own disobedience to God at times (and one might include Israel itself today in that statement) God remains true to His promises.
Fast forward to 2019.
Democratic Freshman Representatives Omar and Tlaib are making headlines for their disparaging remarks about Israel. But they are not alone. According to a Foreign Policy article published in December, 2018, anti-Israel sentiment is increasing in the US. Citing a University of Maryland Critical Issues Poll with a representative sampling of 2,352 Americans and a margin of error of 2 percent, Shibley Telhami reported support for a "one-state solution" as high as 35 percent while 36 percent remain supportive of two states. Among the critical node, Americans between 18 and 34 years old, support for the one-state solution rose to 42 percent.
So, Christian, all of these hard facts, all of this recorded history, all of this proof begs one question: On which side of a Holy God do we as Americans want to fall?
It's not a trick question. I'll give you a hint. When God picks a side, it pays to agree with Him.
–Mark Klages is an influential contributor, a former US Marine and a lifelong teacher who focuses on applying a Christian worldview to everyday events. Mark blogs at https://maklagesl3.wixsite.com/website under the title "God Provides where Hate Divides," with a heart to heal social, political, relational, and intellectual wounds through God's divine love and grace. Mark can also be found on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-klages-04b42511/.