Is the Relationship Between America and Israel Weakening?
Since the beginning of the modern nation of Israel, the United States has been Israel’s closest ally. Why is this relationship weakening today?
When Israel declared its independence in 1948, the United States was the first country to recognize the new Jewish state—11 minutes after the proclamation!
From that time on, America has been Israel’s closest ally. Many past American presidents have spoken of the importance of Israel to America.
President Harry Truman said in 1952, “I had faith in Israel before it was established, I have faith in it now. I believe it has a glorious future before it—not just another sovereign nation, but as an embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization” (quotes from Jewish Virtual Library).
President George H.W. Bush said, “The friendship, the alliance between the United States and Israel is strong and solid, built upon a foundation of shared democratic values, of shared history and heritage, that sustains the life of our two countries.”
And later President George W. Bush commented, “We will speak up for our principles and we will stand up for our friends in the world.” Bush continued, “And one of our most important friends in the world is the State of Israel.”
More than friends
President George H.W. Bush spoke about America’s and Israel’s shared history and heritage, but how many realize just how extensive that heritage is?
Over 3,500 years ago, a man named Jacob had 12 sons. Two of those sons were Judah and Joseph. The Jews today are the descendants of Judah.
Joseph had two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, whom Jacob “adopted” into his family to carry his name (Genesis 48:13-16). A careful study of history and prophecy indicates that the descendants of Manasseh today are predominantly found in America. (See our sections on “12 Tribes of Israel” and “America in Prophecy” for more information on this.)
So America and Israel are not just friends, they are brothers! This is why they share a common heritage and traditional belief system.
America and Israel in the Bible
Many today think that the nation Israel is the same Israel mentioned in the Bible. But this is not totally correct.
As mentioned earlier, the Jews are the descendants of Judah, son of Jacob. But God changed Jacob’s name to “Israel” (Genesis 32:28). This makes all of Jacob’s sons and descendants “Israelites.”
So Judah was an Israelite, but so was Joseph! To say it another way, not all Israelites are Jews, but all Jews are Israelites.
The story of Israel—God’s covenant people—is a common thread throughout the Bible. It speaks of the past and the future of these people in many places. And the relationship between Joseph’s and Judah’s descendants is part of end-time prophecy.
The breaking of the covenant and the brotherhood
Notice a prophecy with implications for America and Israel today. “I took for myself two staffs: the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bonds; and I fed the flock” (Zechariah 11:7).
The staff called “Beauty” represents the covenant God made with the Israelites. The staff called “Bonds” represents the family ties of the descendants of Jacob.
“And I took my staff, Beauty, and cut it in two, that I might break the covenant which I had made with all the peoples” (verse 10).
“Then I cut in two my other staff, Bonds, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel” (verse 14).
God says that because of the disobedience of Jacob’s descendants, He will remove His blessings, and instead calamities will come upon these descendants. God says He will also sever a good relationship between the Jews and other nations descended from Israel. This seems to be happening again today between the Jewish nation of Israel and Joseph’s end-time descendants, America and Britain.
It’s no secret that America’s President Barak Obama and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have a strained relationship.
For one thing, Israel is growing restless of America’s refusal to set deadlines concerning Iran’s nuclear program. Recently Netanyahu said, “The world tells Israel: ‘Wait. There’s still time.’ And I say, ‘Wait for what? Wait until when?’ Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel.”
Shortly thereafter, Netanyahu wanted to see Obama while he was in the United States for a United Nations meeting, but Obama did not take the time to meet with him, though they talked on the phone. This is the first time since 2009 that the two have not met when Netanyahu has been in the United States.
Continue to watch the Middle East
Concerning this disagreement over Iran, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said, “We must also remember the significance of our partnership with America and do everything possible not to harm this.”
Already weakened, this good relationship between these two brothers is growing more tense. So let’s keep our eyes on the Middle East as prophecy unfolds! See more about end-time prophecy in this vital region in our section on the “Middle East in Bible Prophecy.”