Israel Is No Longer David the Shepherd but David the King

While Israel once garnered sympathy for seeming like the biblical David—a youthful and inexperienced shepherd facing off against a gigantic and mighty warrior in the form of numerous Arab armies—it has now become a major regional power and a global economic player. Yet, writes Robert Nicholson, it is still worthy of the comparison to David—only now the mature David, king of Israel. And this, writes Nicholson, should be the lens through which its Christian supporters see it:

Israel will have enemies for the foreseeable future, but that old fear of being “wiped off the map” has faded and has been replaced by an unshakable confidence. This new national confidence is a source of both consternation to its enemies and occasionally concern to its allies. Israel’s allies, who are accustomed to caring for the poor and endangered Jew, are adjusting to the new reality that David can fend for himself. David the weak shepherd has become David the mighty king, and many of his best friends still don’t know what to do with that. . . . In just one lifetime, the Jewish state has gone from rags to riches. So how should we think about engaging Israel in light of such dramatic changes?

First, we need to keep in mind what Israel actually is. Outsiders often reduce the country to two-dimensional images of the “Holy Land” or the “frontline against terror” that ignore the 8.5 million people who actually live there. Israel is, above all else, an exercise in Jewish self-determination and security; we support Israel because we support the Jewish people, not the other way around. Israel is also home to almost two million non-Jews, a myriad assortment of Arab, Druze, Aramean, Armenian, and Syriac citizens who care just as deeply about its future as the Jews do. [Christians’] friendship with Israel means understanding Israel’s essential humanity.

Second, we should recognize that hatred of the Jewish state remains strong in many quarters. The war isn’t over, and the timeless reality of anti-Semitism demands constant vigilance. Hubris, self-deception, and destruction lie in wait for those who mistake calm for capitulation. Third, we should begin looking at Israel as a model of entrepreneurial ingenuity that can benefit others through its hard-won knowledge. . . .

Lastly, we need to get beyond the old paradigm of “supporting” Israel and explore the possibilities of partnering with the Jewish state to advance shared values and interests.

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More about: Christian Zionism, Israel & Zionism, King David

Nikki Haley Succeeded at the UN Because She Saw It for What It Is

Oct. 15 2018

Last week, Nikki Haley announced that she will be stepping down as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations at the end of the year. When President Trump appointed her to the position, she had behind her a successful tenure as governor of South Carolina, but no prior experience in foreign policy. This, writes Seth Lispky, turned out to have been her greatest asset:

What a contrast [Haley provided] to the string of ambassadors who fell on their faces in the swamp of Turtle Bay. That’s particularly true of the two envoys under President Barack Obama. [The] “experienced” hands who came before her proceeded to fail. Their key misconception was the notion that the United Nations is part of the solution to the world’s thorniest problems. Its charter was a vast treaty designed by diplomats to achieve “peace,” “security,” and “harmony.”

What hogwash.

Haley, by contrast, may have come in without experience—but that meant she also lacked for illusions. What a difference when someone knows that they’re in a viper pit—that the UN is itself the problem. And has the gumption to say so.

This became apparent the instant Haley opened her first press conference, [in which she said of the UN’s obsessive fixation on condemning the Jewish state]: “I am here to say the United States will not turn a blind eye to this anymore. I am here to underscore the ironclad support of the United States for Israel. . . . I am here to emphasize that the United States is determined to stand up to the UN’s anti-Israel bias.”

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More about: Nikki Haley, U.S. Foreign policy, United Nations, US-Israel relations