By Stan Goodenough
I am writing this from the food court at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, where I have just “enjoyed” a Big Mac - getting ready for what lies ahead of me I guess.
About two hours ago I took leave of my family in Jerusalem, and in just under an hour I will board an El Al Jumbo Jet for my 13-hour flight to the United States.
For the next four weeks I, together with my mentor and good friend Jan Willem van der Hoeven - director of the Benjamin-based International Christian Zionist Center - will be traveling through a number of different states from one side of America to the other, there to speak with church leaders and congregations, and also with political leaders in Washington DC, about developments in the relationship between the US and the State of Israel.
We leave an Israel that is in political turmoil and simultaneously exceedingly grave danger. The Winograd Commission of Inquiry into the prosecution of the Second Lebanon War released its findings earlier this week: a damning indictment of failure and incompetence that goes to the highest levels of the government and military.
As infighting intensifies and demands for the prime minister’s resignation come hard and fast from every side, Israel’s enemies in Damascus and Lebanon are gloating, repeating their claim to have defeated the IDF last summer even as they continue to prepare for their next assault on the Jewish state.
Some fear the explosion could come really soon, as the Arabs take advantage of the turmoil tearing away at Israel’s insides.
Many experts have said they believe there will be another war this year, one that will likely include Syria and even, God forbid, the use of non-conventional weapons.
It is not easy, then, to leave this nation and my family in the midst of all this uncertainty.
I believe very strongly, however, in the need to impress on Christians and leaders in America the fact that the last war was - and the next one will be - in no small way attributable to the US-led land-for-peace process that has seen Israel weakened from within and without.
Madrid, Oslo and the Road Map have left Israel far more vulnerable today than she would have been if the nations had not so leaned on her to go this way of compromise and unilateral surrender to the demands of the Arabs.
Israel is in the center of a grave crisis. Things look like getting a whole lot worse before they will start to get better.
We believe it would be good - for Israel and for the United States - if instead of bewailing, as he has done, the imminent political demise of Ehud Olmert, whose leadership President George W. Bush suggested earlier this week was important to the successful realization of the “two state solution,” if the White House itself will be open to accepting the Winograd findings.
For these findings not only indict the failed Israeli leadership; they also highlight the failure of the land-for-peace process to bring any measure of peace at all to the people of the Jewish state.
Israel, under pressure, pulled unilaterally out of southern Lebanon, which today is a terrorist stronghold positively bristling with surface-to-surface missiles and threatening to bleed Israel again in order to trigger another war.
Israel, under pressure, pulled unilaterally out of Gaza, which today is a terrorist stronghold positively laden with weapons and explosives, and which seeks daily to bleed Israel until it succeeds in pulling the IDF back into the Strip and initiating intense conflict in the south.
America’s decades-old land-for-peace process has pushed Israel into this extremely precarious position, and threatens to exacerbate things even more if it can successfully bring about Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Samaria and Judea.
Within months the newly-vacated biblical heartland of Israel will, too, be turned into a terrorist mecca. Towering over Israel’s densely populated and highly-industrial coastal plain, with an open channel feeding arms, including missiles, in from Iran and any Arab state that wants to be in at “the end” - this “State of Palestine” will threaten Israel’s very existence.
It will threaten, too, the American economy, which is so dependable on the maintenance of stability in the Middle East.
The United States - so blessed by God with power, influence and prosperity - and which has already tasted the fury of heaven as it has sought to divide up the Land of Israel, is playing with, not Israel’s existence, but its own.
This is the grave and, in fact, fearful warning we are bringing to America. It will not be a popular message. We will not be welcomed with it. But it is a warning we have to sound:
9-11, Katrina, and all the other disasters and threatened disasters will pale, we believe, in comparison with what is poised to come upon the United States if, after all the pain, bloodshed and warfare US-promoted Middle East peace policies have wreaked on the people of Israel, the US persists in pushing Israel down this road.
May God give us the words to say and the courage to say them. And may He bring across our paths ears to hear, and hearts to respond, to what we have to share.
Joseph and Judah must work together or we'll fall together.
This vital biblical truth about the "Lost Ten Tribes" will help Stan to bless Judah and Jerusalem in even greater ways.