No subject in international politics today touches more delicate and violent feelings than the question of the status and behavior of the nation of Israel. This is bitterly tragic to many Jews and Christians because to them Israel is a simple case: God loves Israel; therefore, she should be permitted to exist and exercise her power in the Middle East pretty much as she wishes.
Unfortunately, this is a vast oversimplification of an extremely complex set of problems that go to the heart of the way America and Israel relate to the whole Arab-Islamic world, which includes it must be said several million Arab Christians. To me, only fools pontificate in oversimplification of the many issues involved in this sensationally complex set of problems, and I certainly won’t try to do so here. This subject belongs in many hands, including the hands of theologians, religious leaders and, yes, political leaders all over the world. If Israel is in fact a subject of the will of God — as I believe she is — then the whole of humanity is involved in this issue. Nobody who believes the word “God” means anything can believe that it does so unless God relates to the whole human race.
And yet here we are watching the Trump government throw a gigantic fire-grenade into world politics by proposing unilaterally and without discussion with other world leaders to recognize Jerusalem as a “capital” of Israel.
Nobody who knows this subject in any depth dares to touch it without realizing that the many conflicting religious claims about Jerusalem almost compel the sword over Jerusalem to be put in the hands of an international political authority with the power to compel Jews, Muslims and Christians to dwell together in Jerusalem without violence and conflict. This means among other things guaranteeing the right of religious believers of all three Abrahamic religions to occupy and keep their sacred shrines there intact without fear of attack and violence. It must also include the right of Christians and Muslims to dwell in Jerusalem without violence and persecution by Israel.
Unfortunately, and tragically, Jerusalem in the exclusive hands of Israel cannot possibly guarantee this outcome. This is just one of the many reasons why I oppose the Trump government’s plans to recognize Jerusalem as the “capital” of Israel.
This act will almost certainly touch off anti-Israeli and anti-American violence all over the world and it will be opposed by nearly all other governments all over the Christian and Islamic world. It is an outrageous, radical act and one that I believe Christian Americans must strenuously oppose.
Catholic and Protestant missions and charities I support in Israel will join in protest against this move, but it seems destined to fall on deaf ears in this dark and radical Trump government. If ever America needed prayers to be cleansed from dark blindness, it is now, in my view. How bitter it is to say these words about the country we all love, and yet I think it is time to say this! To me, refusal to speak such words now is defiance of God at this moment in our history.
— David A. Lee, Ottawa