Former President Bill Clinton was in Israel last week to accept the Presidential Medal of Distinction, Israel’s highest honor, from Israeli President Shimon Peres, who also happened to be celebrating his 90th birthday (two months before the actual date).
What did our former chief executive say to this man who escaped the Holocaust by immigrating to Israel in 1932? What could one say to a man who heard that every member of his family who stayed in Poland was murdered by the Nazis? What would you say to a man who has served his country both in the military and government for decades? What would any decent human being say to a man who is the oldest living president of one of the world’s most productive democratic republics, one which happens to surrounded by hundreds of millions of people who wish her total destruction, and makes no bones about it?
Well, Clinton chose the festive occasion to state what many folks are already saying privately: Unless Israel accepts a two-state solution, the Jewish state will cease to exist. All the Jews need to do, you see, is give up more land for peace, in much the same way Native Americans gave away their land for peace.
We all know how well that worked out. The next time I have a heart-to-heart with Yellow Feather, Flying Eagle, and Running Deer, I’ll ask them. My guess is they’ll say it’s not so good.
A Bible prophecy has the entire world attacking Israel over the issue of Jerusalem. When those words were first penned, over 24 centuries ago, Jerusalem was about the size of Rawlings, Wyo., which has a rough population of 9,203.
What a ridiculous thing to predict. The passage, Zechariah 14:2, tells of a city lying in ruins with no major river, no strategic military significance, no natural resources, no great population, no wealth to speak of -- that a miniscule commercial significance would one day be the center of the world’s militaries’ conquests was beyond belief.
But here we are, and Clinton has spoken well. Unless the Jews consent to suicide, he and many others will do their best to cause the Jewish state to cease to exit. The Jews have given, and given, and given land away for peace. Israelis and Muslims greet each other with “Shalom” and “Salam” respectively, both words meaning peace.
So the Jews have repeatedly given land away, and throughout the Middle East folks are saying “peace,” “peace” -- but there is no peace. Sounds like another prophecy.
A safe homeland was a dream of Jews for millennia. Since the Diaspora, which began in A.D. 70, Jews around the world would close each Passover celebration with the words: “Next year, in Jerusalem.”
Now that they are back, the demise of their country is not on their agenda.
Walt Osterman is the author of "Not Home Yet: A Tale Concerning Israel's Rebirth." He served in Vietnam and is a Bronze Star recipient. He lives in Wyoming.