Washington, D.C.: Where Christians Unite for Israel
Security was tight (and needed) at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown Washington, D.C. This year’s conference of Christians United for Israel brought thousands to the nation’s capital. Planned a year in advance, conferees could hardly have expected more dramatic events in the world to highlight their 9th Annual Washington Summit.
Gary Bauer was a lead-off speaker. A former top Reagan administration official (and former president of Family Research Council), Bauer criticized what he sees as moral equivalence between the Arabs and Israelis in the perennial Mideast conflict. Israel and the U.S. are not merely allies, Bauer argued. We were allied with the USSR. Alliances come and go, depending on the crisis. (Recall that the Assads’ Syria was an ally in the first Gulf War!) No, Gary Bauer said: the U.S. and Israel are pillars of Western civilization. In every report on human rights, Bauer noted, the top violators on any global listing are always Islamic countries. That’s because, he argued, that Jews and Christians have a belief in human rights that are inalienable, that are “endowed by our Creator.” There is no doubt that that Creator is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Against this view is that of moral equivalence seen every day on TV. A CNN reporter saw a crowd cheer when their Israeli Defense Force unit hit a Hamas rocket site. That reporter tweeted "SCUM" against the jubilant Jews. Did she mean SCUD? No! She really thought the Israelis were wrong to cheer the destruction of a rocket site that was targeting Israeli homes, schools, and hospitals. That reporter was reassigned – to Moscow. She should feel right at home there.
Bauer said that CNNer was doubtless a graduate of the Helen Thomas School of Journalism. The much-honored Helen Thomas, the senior White House reporter, infamously said the Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine.” Where should they go? Thomas was asked. “Back to Poland and Germany,” the eighty-ish pundit replied. Really?
Charles Krauthammer, the Pulitzer Prize=winning columnist and FOX commentator, provided a thunderous response to Helen Thomas. He cited Barbara Tuchman’s famous point: the Israelis are the only people in the world who inhabit the same land, speak the same language, and worship the same God their ancestors did three thousand years ago.
Krauthammer's quote reminds us of the question of Frederick the Great. When the famed king of Prussia expressed his skepticism about miracles, his court advisers said simply: the Jews. Krauthammer noted that the U.S., Canada, and Australia are all great nations founded by colonizers from Great Britain. Not so Israel. The homecoming of the Jews to Israel is so sure that you can dig anywhere in that young nation and find coins printed in Hebrew from as long ago as 135 AD. The longing of the Jewish people for their homeland has never been given up. For thousands of years they prayed, “Next year in Jerusalem.”
With the celebrations of the German victory in the World Cup, it’s worth noting one of history’s great oddities. Berlin leaped for joy with their football team’s success. Berlin was last Germany’s capital during the Third Reich. And the United Nations was formed in 1945 expressly to make war on Nazi Germany. For half a century, defeated Germany was cut in two. And so was Berlin.
But when Germany reunited in 1990, with the able help of George H.W. Bush, the German Bundestag voted to move their capital from Bonn to Berlin. By 1999, dozens of foreign embassies had packed up their bags and quietly moved the 478 kilometers to Berlin. There was no controversy, no dispute. Not one country refused to recognize Berlin as the capital of a united Germany.
Today, however, even the U.S. State Department, under orders from President Obama, former Sec. Hillary Clinton, and now, under Sec. of State John Kerry, refuses to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Hillary Clinton even went to the U.S. Supreme Court to deny the application of an American Jewish couple to have their child’s birth abroad certificate and passport list “Jerusalem, Israel” as the place of birth. The Supreme Court sided with Hillary and Obama in denying that Jerusalem is even part of the State of Israel.
Is there any other nation on Earth that cannot name its own capital? Was Jerusalem ever the capital of any other country? When the Jordanians controlled Jerusalem from 1949 to 1967, it was not their capital. Amman was. And the Turks, who ruled the Ottoman Empire for seven hundred years, never sought to make Jerusalem their capital.
Thus, we see why Israel needs to rely on herself for her defense. The Israelis, Charles Krauthammer pointed out, have in their IDF the first Jewish army since the Bar Kochba revolt against the Roman Empire.
If the Israelites then weren’t afraid to take on the Romans, today’s Israelis are not going to back down against Iran or CNN.
Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison are senior fellows at the Family Research Council, in Washington, D.C.