What Is the Oldest Nation?

Accepted definitions and time estimates place Israel as one of the oldest of nations. Of present-day nations, probably only Egypt and China existed before Abraham settled in the land that would be named after his grandson. It is nothing short of absurd that America officially recognizes Israel as only a 68-year-old nation with 1967 borders.

Although scholars disagree on the exact time-frame of Abraham’s journey from Ur (now Iraq) to Canaan, most place it between 1700 and 2000 BC. That is when God told Abraham, “Go…to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation.” That divine promise was later reiterated to his grandson, Jacob, as God changed his name to Israel: “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name….I am God Almighty; be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come forth from you. The land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac, I will give it to you, and I will give the land to your descendants after you.”

After a period of exile in Egypt, Moses led the return of the nation of Israel back to their land where they flourished for centuries until they were conquered by Assyria and Babylonia in the 8th and 6th centuries BC. During that relatively brief exile, a remnant of their nation remained in the promised land, which later became known as Palestine during the Roman occupation. Finally, in the 1st century AD, their nation was uprooted again by Rome scattering most Jews to surrounding nations. Again, some still stayed in their homeland.

Over the following 1900 years, most Jews, escaping frequent persecution, migrated throughout the world. Yet, wherever they settled, they maintained a common bond as citizens of the Nation of Israel. Since the diaspora (scattering) of the 1st century, all Jewish people, wherever they lived, have seen Israel as their God-given homeland.

For those 19 centuries that Israel was ruled by Rome, the Arabs, the Ottomans (Turkey), and the British, a minority of Jews living in their homeland and millions living all over the world remained committed to returning their promised land to independent status. Each annual Passover meal, or Seder, celebrated by the Jews ends with the proclamation, “Next year in Jerusalem.” Large-scale immigration back to the homeland began toward the end of the Ottoman rule at the beginning of the 20th century and continued heavily through their declaration of independence in 1948 and UN recognition as a nation again in 1949.

The Palestinians who where occupying much of the land in 1949 were an indigenous mixture of Arab people from throughout the Middle East. These Arabs had filled the vacuum left by the Jews who had not been allowed into their country for centuries. Needing some kind of identity, they took up the name of Palestinians from the old Roman name of Palestine in reference to the land of Israel. However, Palestine has never been a nation, and Palestinians have never been a nationality. They have no recognized government, no common language, and no common culture. They have simply migrated from all over the Middle East to the promised land of Israel during the rule of the land by various foreign governments.

The UN position, presently supported by the United States, advocates a two-state division of the promised land between Israel and the Palestinians. This would mean the declaration of Palestinians as a nation for the first time ever. This Palestinian nation would officially take a huge chunk of the promised land that has belonged to Jewish people of Israel for around 4,000 years. By condemning Israel’s settlements in the West Bank last week, America has strengthened Palestinian insistence on taking Israel’s land for their own nation and weakened Israel’s hold on the land God has designated for them for four millennia.

America is opposing one of the oldest nations in the world, our only dependable ally in the Middle East, a 4,000 year precedent, and the will of God Almighty. This is a big deal!

Obama’s Biggest Mistake Yet

Arab spring, Obamacare, Iranian nuke deal, executive orders, and many other irrational shenanigans have been forced on America by our president leaving us vulnerable to dire consequences. But, I would argue that last Friday’s abstention in the United Nation’s resolution against Israel could very well bring on the worst consequences of anything he’s done so far.

The UN Security Council consists of ambassadors of five permanent nations and ten non-permanent nations. The five permanent nations are the WWII principal victors: China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States. Each of these permanent nations has veto power over any resolution. For over 20 years, the US has vetoed any UN resolution in opposition to Israel. Last Friday, we betrayed our friend for the first time.

For over two centuries, America has been the staunchest ally of Jews around the world. For the last seven decades, we have supported the fledgling, relatively new nation of Israel, often in the face of global opposition. It was largely the influence of the Untied States that secured the UN vote to recognize the Nation of Israel in 1949 after their declaration of independence the year prior. Although the Palestinians still claimed certain territories within the new boundaries of Israel, the subsequent war of 1967 resulted in the new nation rightfully annexing those areas, but allowing the Palestinians to remain there. A 1993 agreement brokered by Washington after multiple skirmishes between Israel and the Palestinians established a separate “state” for the Palestinians on the West Bank of the Jordan River and the Gaza Strip (see map below).

west-bank

The Palestinians, still not satisfied with Israel’s existence–period, began terrorist attacks including missile launches against the Israelis. In response, Israel began settlements of Jewish families and businesses within the West Bank in the late 1990s and have continued until present day. The UN vote last Friday was to demand that Israel cease all construction in the West Bank. The resolution essentially legitimized the area as a Palestinian state out of Israel’s control.¬†Without the West Bank, Israel is indefensible. The US should have vetoed the resolution in keeping with normal, long-standing policy.

This very abbreviated history is only to provide a basic preface to a much greater consideration in this critical issue of global proportion. First we need to understand that the right of the Jewish people to the land of Israel goes back over 4,000 years according to a divine mandate that overrides any ethnic or political factor. Around 2100 BC, God began the process of establishing His special chosen people through Abraham promising him a large piece of land in the Middle East. The original boundaries of the promised land described in the Bible covered a much larger area than what is now recognized as Israel (see map below). Upon bestowing the land on Abraham and his future descendants forever, God included this statement, “I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you, I will curse.”

greater-israel

Throughout history, the Jews have been driven from their land by enemies only to return later. The last time, they were ousted by Rome in 70 AD not to return as a nation until 1948, a move that had been prophesied in the Bible for centuries. Through all of Jewish history, however, a remnant of their people constantly lived in Israel. The Jewish nation is the only nation ever to maintain its identity throughout its history even when it was without borders. The Palestinians, on the other hand, are not a nation. They are a hodgepodge of people from many Arab nations who have migrated over time to the land forcefully vacated by the Jews. They have never been recognized as a nation. There is no doubt that Israel has rightful claim to the territory of all of Israel and even more according to God’s promise.

America has been blessed in many wonderful ways. I believe that one of the main reasons for our blessings is that we have always supported Israel–blessed her–according to God’s promise. When we follow other nations in sanctioning this ally, we place ourselves in grave jeopardy. President Obama has just placed America on the wrong side of God according to His Word. I fully expect to see some kind of harsh consequence in the near future from this blatant act of defiance.

 

 

Will Trump’s Economy Work?

Donald Trump’s economy, as defined by his campaign positions and post-election actions defies most proven economic principles and concepts. His obstructionist plans for businesses moving overseas violate free market enterprise. His isolationist leanings regarding foreign trade don’t recognize the global market. And, his tax cuts and hefty government programs ignore the national debt problem. Yet, ironically, he is surrounding himself with the greatest economic minds the nation has to offer.

Adam Smith, considered the father of our free market economy, said that there were only three purposes of the federal government: protection from foreign invasion, certain public works, and administration of justice. He explained that administration of justice includes the protection of property rights and assurance of equilibrium between the market and the just price. Other writings by Smith recognized that this balance of market and price maintained by natural laws of economics can fail due to regulations, taxes, and greed.

Our American economy, the most successful in the history of mankind, is rooted in the principle of “laissez-faire,” allowing the free market to take its own course without government interference. Over the years, of course, our government has tempered that purist beginning by having to enact certain restrictions on business actions as a result of recession, inflation, monopolies, and corrupt business practices. However, our status as the highest GDP nation in the world is still due to our reliance on natural market forces and being relatively unencumbered by the government. But, we may be about to see that challenged “big league” by the next president.

It seems rather contradictory that the new president who was supposed to be the answer to economic recovery and the champion of business is going against the grain of basic economic foundations. Before the Electoral College has even voted, President-elect Trump has intervened in the business strategies of Carrier and Ford corporations. He is laying out his battle plan for raising tariffs on imported goods and services. He wants to combine tax cuts and increased government spending which would likely increase the budget deficit and national debt. To any economist, these objectives produce the recipe for economic chaos.

However, while pushing these agenda, Mr. Trump is bringing into his closest circle some of the most traditional conservative business and economic icons available. This week, he tapped Gary Cohn, President of Goldman Sachs, to be his Chief Economic Advisor and Chairman of his National Economic Council. He has established an ad hoc Strategic and Policy Forum made up of about 20 CEO’s of the biggest corporations in the country. Not one of these corporate superstars has made his or her fortune by ignoring proven economic concepts. All of them would insist on adherence to the principles that have been proven in the crucible of corporate America. Therein lies our hope.

I have not been a huge supporter of Donald Trump. Of the two alternatives, though, I am very pleased that he won. My skepticism remains high regarding his personal positions on managing the economy. His former micro-economic world is quite different from the macro-economic world he now faces. Yet, I find myself cautiously optimistic about America’s economic future considering the brain pool of business prowess that will be forming an economic guardrail around the oval office. The president’s proactive involvement filtered through his capable appointed advisors might just be a viable formula for making America great again.

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