David Reagan - US-Israel Relations
Since the establishment of Israel in May of 1948, which American political party has shown the most favor to the Jewish state? And spiritually, what difference does it make? I think you will be surprised by the answers to both questions. Stay tuned.
David Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. I’d like to get started in this program by repeating the two questions I posed at the beginning of the program: Since the establishment of Israel in May of 1948, which American political party has shown the most favor to the Jewish state? And spiritually, what difference does it make? I’d like to answer these questions by showing you some excerpts from a presentation of mine entitled US-Israel Relations in the End Times.
David Reagan: Our relationship with the state of Israel began on the best possible terms in 1948 when President Harry Truman recognized the State of Israel eleven minutes after David Ben Gurion read the Declaration of Independence. We were the first nation of the world to recognize the existence of Israel. Truman had already shown a great heart for the Jewish people. He favored allowing Jewish refugees into the country after World War II but the congress balked at his proposal so he just sat down and issued an executive order called the Truman Directive, he signed it on December the 22nd, 1945 this order opened the door to Jewish immigration into the United States. Twenty-three thousand Jewish refugees came in in the next two years coming from Europe. Truman continued to press the Congress and in 1948 he finally got legislation that permitted 80,000 Jews to enter our country in 1948 and ’49. Truman’s swift action on May the 14th, 1948 made the United States the first nation to recognize Israel and our recognition gave them legitimacy in the eyes of the world.
Truman took this action because he was a student of the Bible and he believed the Jewish people had a right to the land. Amazingly he took this action despite the fact that almost every person in his administration opposed it. In fact the only person in the Truman Administration who encouraged recognition was the President’s legal counsel; both James Forrestal the Secretary of Defense, and George Marshall the Secretary of State vehemently opposed recognition of Israel. Again the only person in the administration who encouraged the President was this man Clark Clifford who was the President’s personal Legal Advisor. Most of the people in the administration did not like Clifford they just considered him to be a political operative. But he was a person who also believed that the Jews had a right to the land based upon his knowledge of the Bible, and based upon his feeling that they were entitled to that land as a result of their suffering in the Holocaust. I want to insert something here that I just can’t pass up.
I’ve done a lot of study of the life of Harry Truman and most people don’t know much about him. Let me just tell you a little bit about him. First of all he was a child prodigy. He was reading at the age of 3. He had read the entire Bible twice before he entered the first grade. He knew the Jewish history backwards and forwards. It’s amazing how God prepared him. He’s there in Independence, Missouri. You can count the Jews on one hand within a 100 miles, and yet when he goes into World War I who’s his best friend? A Jew from Kansas City. They develop a wonderful relationship with each other. It was Harry Truman’s best friend for life was Eddie Jacobson a Jew from Kansas City. When they came back from World War I they went into business together and opened a men’s clothing store. Truman continued that friendship throughout his life. And it was interesting that when Truman was getting ready to make this decision everybody in the administration was saying, “You’ve got to recognize–you can’t recognize Israel.” And you know what their argument was? Everybody. If you recognize Israel we will not have access to Arab oil. Sound familiar? Same old argument.
It got down to the bottom line. Well this is a story that you probably never heard. On May the 13th, 1948 the day before, Secretary of State George Marshall said, “I want to come to the White House and I want to make my final argument against recognizing Israel.” President said, “OK.” Now there was nobody on planet earth that Truman loved more and recognized more, and esteemed more than Secretary of State George Marshall. He says that in his memoirs, he said, “I idolized the man.” George Marshall had been the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff all through World War II, and F.D.R. relied on him so much he would never allow him to go into the battlefield. He said, “You’ve got to stay here in Washington D.C. with me. You be the strategist, let Eisenhower fight the battles.” And Truman appointed him Secretary of State. He was a man of great immense popularity.
He was the one who proposed the Marshall Plan. He said, “If we’ve got to rebuild Europe because if we don’t the Communist will take it over.” He had been selected by Time Magazine in 1949 as the Man of the Year. Truman loved this man. And he comes to the White House with a large staff about 10 guys he brought with him. And he appointed one of them and said, “Now, you get up and you give an argument for why we should not recognize.” So this guy gets us and for 30 minutes he gives this impassioned argument why we should not recognize Israel. And President Truman turned to Clark Clifford and said, “Clark, I want you to give the argument why we should recognize it.” And Secretary of State Marshall went bananas because he considered Clark Clifford to just be a political operative. And he said to the President, “I object to this man speaking. I don’t even know why he should be in this room.” Why is he here? The President said, “Because I invited him.” And at that point Clark Clifford got up and presented his arguments. All the time Secretary of State Marshall was sitting there steaming. When he finished the Secretary of State stood up and looked at the President and said in front of an entire room of people, “Mr. President, if you recognize the State of Israel tomorrow, I will vote for your opponent in the November election.”
One person in that room said it was like all the air was suddenly sucked out of the room. Everybody was astonished they just sat there. It seemed like an eternity and finally President Truman said, “I think we all need to go home and sleep on it.” And the next morning Secretary of State Marshall called and said, “Mr. President, I’ve slept on it. I’m still opposed, but if you recognize Israel I will back you publically.” And so eleven minutes after the Declaration of Independence Truman recognized Israel. Now, that is not the end of the story.
The Bible says God will bless those who bless Israel, and He’ll curse those who curse Israel. Folks, President Truman was facing the toughest presidential election in history. When it came to November of 1948 the Democratic Party was split three ways. Truman was the nominee of the Democrats. Strom Thurmond had pulled out and formed the Dixiecrat Party which all the southern states were supporting. Henry Wallace the former Vice President had formed the Progressive Party which all the socialists, and communist sympathizers were members of. The Democrats were split into three different parties. And the Republicans had the sophisticated, handsome, erudite Governor of New York, Tom Dewey as their candidate. Truman had no hope whatsoever, none. To the point that the newspapers across the country printed their headlines in advance, “Dewey Defeats Truman.” And to this day no political scientist has ever been able to explain how in the world Truman won that election. But, I know how he did it. God blesses those who bless Israel, and He curses those who curse Israel.
Well, Truman referred to his decision about recognizing Israel as quote, “The proudest day of my life.” Eisenhower always supported Israel in words, but behind the scenes he applied great pressure for Israel to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula after the Suez War in 1956. And in fact Eisenhower became the first president in history to threaten Israel. He told the Israeli’s that if they did not withdraw from the Suez that he would withhold more than $100 million in US aid, and he also supported a UN resolution condemning Israel for not withdrawing. One other thing he did was to continue the arms embargo that had been initiated by Truman. Although Truman recognized Israel, Truman did a very naive thing after he recognized them. He announced that he was going to put an arms embargo on Israel so there would be no conflict in the Middle East. And so we couldn’t ship arms to Israel. They had to buy them from Czechoslovakia and places like that. Eisenhower continued that arms embargo.
When it came to President Kennedy he was a very strong supporter of Israel in both and word and deed. He called Israel the child of hope, and the home of the brave. He added Israel carries the shield of democracy and it honors the sword of freedom. He lifted the arms embargo, Kennedy did, and he extended the first informal security guarantees to Israel in 1962. And beginning in 1963 he authorized the sale to Israel of advance US weaponry including surface to air hawk missiles. His brother Bobby was also a very strong supporter of Israel and because of that support he was assassinated by a Palestinian in 1968 while he was running for the Democratic nomination.
Lyndon Johnson quickly emerged as one of the greatest friends of Israel among modern day presidents. During his administration the US became Israel’s chief diplomatic ally and primary arms supplier. Long before he became president Johnson had established himself as a friend of the Jewish people. You may be astonished to learn this but in 1938 when he was a congressman he worked covertly to establish a refuge in Texas for European Jews who were fleeing from Nazi Germany. In the process he helped hundreds of European Jews to enter Texas through Cuba, Mexico, and South America. In part Johnson was influenced in his attitude towards the Jews by the religious beliefs of his family, especially his grandfather Samuel Johnson. He once told reporters that his grandfather had said to him quote, “Take care of the Jews, God’s chosen people, consider them your friends, and help them in any way you can.” Johnson strongly supported Israel during the 1967 Six Day War approving the sale of tanks and fighter planes. And when asked by Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin why the US supported Israel when there were 80 million Arabs and only 3 million Jews he replied, “Because it is the right thing to do.” L.B.J. also closely supervised the crafting of UN Resolution 242 in 1967 which called for Israel to be guaranteed secure and recognized boundaries.
President Nixon is considered today to have been an Anti-Semitic person based upon ugly comments he made about the Jews that are contained on the infamous White House tapes. But when it came to Israel he was a realist in foreign policy who recognized the importance of the only democratic state in the Middle East. And when Israel suffered a surprise invasion in 1973 in the Yom Kippur War, Nixon responded immediately with overwhelming aid to counter the offensive. He did so despite the fact that he knew it would alienate the Arab world and greatly endanger our relationship with the Soviet Union. In short order he authorized the supply of $2.2 billion worth of aid that totaled 22,000 tons of equipment that was transported to Israel in 566 round the clock flights, and another 90,000 tons arrived by sea. To this day Nixon is greatly admired by the Israelis as a man who saved Israel. Golden Meir who was the Prime Minister at the time–it is interesting her sister wrote her and said, “I don’t know why you speak so highly of Nixon, I hate him.” Her sister lived here in the United States. She wrote her sister and in the letter she said, “Look Clara, you’re in America you don’t like Nixon. I’m an Israeli I’ll never forget that if it hadn’t been for Nixon we would have been destroyed.”
David Reagan: I continued to survey US-Israel relations during the presidencies of Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan, pointing out that both Ford and Carter were very negative toward Israel. President Reagan, on the other hand, was always very positive in everything he said about Israel, but behind the scenes he often butted heads with the Israeli leaders. This brings us to the president who began to turn our nation against Israel by insisting that the Israelis start trading land for peace.
David Reagan: The First Bush presidency proved to be the decisive turning point in US-Israel relations. Bush came to power in 1989, and he had hardly assumed office before his vehemently anti-Semitic Secretary of State James Baker, proclaimed that the time had come for Israel to abandon its expansionist policies. Which caused people all over the world to say, “What expansionist policy?” Bush added fuel to the fire when he announced in 1991 that he considered East Jerusalem to be occupied territory, despite the fact that Israel had officially annexed it in 1980, following the Gulf War in 1991. And this is the real turning point.
When the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 90’s, 10’s of thousands of Jews began to fly into Israel; 3,000 a day for over a year. Three thousand every day, day after day. Israel was overwhelmed. Israel did not have the financial resources. They could not supply the jobs. They could not supply the housing, the food, the lodging. And so they went to the World Bank and said, “We need a $10 billion loan to help us deal with these refugees,” and the World Bank said, “Get lost.” So they came to the United States and they said, “The World Bank will give us the $10 billion if you will underwrite it.” And Bush said, “Ok, we’ll underwrite it, but there is something you must do. You must go to the negotiation table and you must start negotiating away your land for peace.” This is where the whole insane Land-for-Peace process started. So Bush forced them in 1991 to go to the Madrid Conference and began negotiating away their land for peace. This conference laid the groundwork for the Oslo Accords in 1993 which initiated this whole Land-for-Peace process. And I think it is interesting to note that when James Baker completed his service as Secretary of State in 1992, one of the first things he did was to establish a think tank in Houston at Rice University called the Baker Institute for Public Policy. And guess who he come to open his new think tank? The man he honored, none other than Yasser Arafat. As far as I was concerned it was equivalent to inviting Hitler to come and speak.
David Reagan: I proceeded to survey the administrations of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, pointing out that Clinton was very supportive of Israel whereas Bush wavered back and forth, finally becoming the first president to propose the two state solution. I finished by presenting an overview of the Obama Administration’s relationship with Israel. And I then concluded by summarizing all the presidents and then pointing out the biblical importance of supporting the nation of Israel in these end times. Let’s pick up where I began talking about the Obama Administration.
President Obama quickly emerged as the most anti-Israel president in U.S. history. His very first television interview was granted shortly after his inauguration to the Muslim network, Al Arabiya. He followed this up by dashing off to Egypt in June of 2009 to Cairo to give his famous apology speech to the Muslim nations of the Middle East, in which he talked about the tremendous Muslim contribution to the development of the United States of America. And nobody could figure out what he was talking about. In that speech he started developing one of his major lines of thought concerning Israel, a horrible concept that he emphasized over and over, and that was that the experience of the Jews in the Holocaust is the moral equivalent of what the Palestinians are experiencing under Israeli occupation.
A month later, in July 2009, Obama announced that the time had come for daylight between the United States and Israel. In March of 2010, Obama met with Prime Minister Netanyahu at the White House. The Israeli Prime Minister was ushered in a side door like he was some secret mistress and he was treated with disdain like he was the dictator of a banana republic. No press or photos were allowed. Obama demanded Israel’s immediate withdrawal from Jewish settlements. And when Netanyahu said, “No” the President suddenly stood up and said, “It’s time for me to eat dinner with my family.” And turned around and walked out of the room, went upstairs and left the Prime Minister of Israel and all of his people sitting there without any food or any drink, he just walked out on them.
In May of 2011 the president went on national TV to demand that Israel return to the suicidal borders that existed before the Six Day War in 1967. If Israel were to do that it would mean that in the northern part of Israel, Israel would only be nine miles wide. Ridiculous.
In March of 2014, the spokesperson for the State Department, Jen Psaki, announced that the Obama Administration no longer considered it necessary for the Palestinians to recognize the existence of the State of Israel. In other words our new position is this: you must allow the creation of a Palestinian State and you must recognize it but they don’t have to recognize you, or your right to even exist. It was insane, but that was the new policy in March of 2014. Throughout his administration, Obama has continued to condemn Israel’s settlements as being illegitimate, and he has continued to provide the Palestinian Authority with over $600 million in aid each year. But then what more could we expect from a President who proclaimed to the United Nations in a speech delivered in September of 2012 he made this proclamation, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”
My summary is this I would say that US policy toward Israel over the years has not been dictated by political party. It has been determined by the personal attitude of the president toward the Jewish people and the nation of Israel. Overall democrats have been more favorable to Israel. And yet it would be hard to find a president more favorable than Nixon. And even though the democrats have been more favorable, no president has been more hostile than Obama. In recent years since the early 1990’s our nation has become increasingly hostile to Israel, and we have literally forced them to take this self-defeating path of appeasement. Additionally year after year we have insulted the people of Israel by refusing to recognize Jerusalem as their capital. I want you to think about that for a moment, about what an incredible insult this is to the people of Israel. It is equivalent to the Israeli’s declaring that they do not recognize Washington D.C. as our capital, and then proceeding to set up their embassy in Chicago. And yet, despite all our checkered record of support we have been Israel’s best friend since 1948.
But folks, the handwriting is on the wall. The days of American support are numbered. The time has come for the Israeli leadership to face up to the fact that its hope, and trust needs to be placed in Almighty God and not in the United States of America. In fact you know that’s really what the Tribulation is all about. In the second half of the Tribulation the Antichrist is going to focus on the Jews. They are going to be persecuted as they’ve never been persecuted before. Two-thirds of them are going to die. And what God is going to do, He’s not doing that because He hates the Jews. He’s doing it because He love the Jews because He wants to bring them to the end of themselves. And at the end of the Tribulation they will finally be brought to the end of themselves. They will no longer look to the United States. In biblical times they looked to Egypt. Today they look to us. They will no longer, they will look to God. And at that point the Messiah will break from the heavens and they will look upon Him whom they have pierced and they will weep, and wail, and mourn. And they will cry out “Baruch haba B’shem Adonai” and they will be saved to the almighty glory of God. That great remnant is going to be saved. What a day that’s going to be.
But let me tell you something else. In like manner just as the Israeli’s need to wise up to the fact that they can’t rely on the United States. In like manner the time has come for our nation to realize that in our man handling of Israel we are courting God’s wrath. Let’s conclude by taking a look very quickly at what the Bible has to say about all the pressure that is being applied to Israel by the United States and the rest of the world. The most important verses are the ones I’ve already mentioned in Genesis 12, “I’ll bless those who bless you, curse those who curse you.” And history attests to the fact that God has been faithful throughout history. The nations and empires who have persecuted the Jews have ended up in the dustbin of history. The Jews are still there, they are in the dust bin of history. And history attests to the fact that God has been faithful to these promises.
Look at this the prophet Zechariah said in Zechariah 12, “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around. And when the siege is about Jerusalem it will be against Judah. And it will come about in that day that I’ll make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples who try to lift it. They will be severely injured and all the nations of the world will be gathered against it.” That includes the United States of America. I used to think surely not the US, not the US. But I can see it now. We are coming together with the rest of the world against Israel, just as it’s prophesied. And here is the really chilling prophecy in Joel chapter 3, “Behold in those days,” speaking of the end times, “and at that time when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,” it is going on today. “I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat the Valley of Judgment, and I will enter into judgment with them on behalf of my people and my inheritance to Israel whom they have scattered among the nations, and they have divided up my land.” God is going to pour out His wrath upon the nations who have forced Israel to divide up its land.
David Reagan: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy and my presentation regarding US Israel relations in the end times. The video excerpts you have been watching were filmed before the election of Donald Trump.
As you know President Trump has exhibited a very positive attitude toward Israel. He has appointed an outstanding US Ambassador, and he has promised to move our Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He has also declared that he is going to negotiate a settlement to the Israeli-Arab conflict. And folks that promise deeply disturbs me, because the conflict is not capable of a political solution. The conflict is a spiritual one, and it will be settled only when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to reign on this earth.
I fear President Trump will end up like all the previous presidents who have tried to craft a political settlement for the Middle East. They find out very quickly that the Palestinians will not budge on anything, even the recognition of the state of Israel. And that always promotes each president to then start putting the pressure on Israel to give in to the demands of the Palestinians. And when the Israelis refuse to do so, President Trump, like all our recent presidents will then most likely begin condemning the Israelis.
Putting the spiritual issues aside for a moment and considering only the political ones, what President Trump, together with the Europeans and the rest of the world, need to understand is three things: First, a Palestinian state already exists. It is called Jordan;it was carved out of the territory of Palestine that was promised by the British for the Jews in the Balfour Declaration in November 1917. Second, when Israel declared its independence in 1948 with the authorization of the United Nations, the Palestinians could have created their second state the same day, again, as authorized by the United Nations. Instead, they chose to attack Israel. Third, what the Arabs really want is not another Palestinian state, but the annihilation of the State of Israel. If the Arabs were to disarm, there would be immediate peace in the Middle East. If Israel were to disarm, Israel would cease to exist. And that, folks, is the bottom line.
Well, that’s our program for today. I hope it has been a blessing to you, and I hope, the Lord willing, that you will be back with us next week. Until then, this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb & Lion Ministries saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our Redemption is drawing near.”