Posted on Monday 31 March 2008
Dear Secretary Rice
As I write this, you are making your way back home after spending two days throwing your weight around in Israel, my adopted homeland.
Yes, I know it’s your job as Secretary of State; you have a president to please. You speak for the world’s number one superpower. And of course you have your reputation to think of and your destiny to fulfill.
I know, too, that you will never read this, and it is doubtful that anyone near you will either. Unlike you, I do not have any earthly power; people will obviously not hang onto my every word, circulating and commenting on what I say.
But that’s okay. I’m going to write you anyway. Because just as you are obligated (unless you want to lose your post) to represent and communicate the position of your boss, I am obligated to represent and communicate the position of mine. I can choose to ignore what you say, and you can choose to ignore what I say. The choice to speak out, and to take heed, is always ours.
All Christians who believe the Bible and strive to live by it are responsible for conveying its truths. We have a calling, a duty, a responsibility; and a day is coming when we will have to give an account.
I therefore feel bound to tell you, Madam Secretary, that ever since you set your sights on implementing the two-state vision that aims to create an Arab state on biblically and historically Jewish land, you have been playing with fire; potentially with eternal fire, and not just with your own life, but with the life and future of your nation.
You need to know this.
I know you go to church and I assume you read the Book of books. If so, you may remember the account in the 21st chapter of 1 Chronicles, where David, a God-appointed king, saw tens of thousands of his own subjects die as a direct result of his deliberate decision to ignore the Lord’s injunction not to take a census in Israel.
As Israelites were dropping like flies around him, David cried out to God saying: “Was it not I who commanded the people to be numbered? I am the one who has sinned and done evil indeed; but these sheep, what have they done?”
A man after God’s own heart, he had the moral courage to add: “Let Your hand, I pray, O LORD my God, be against me and my father’s house, but not against Your people that they should be plagued.”
Ms. Rice, like David, you and your president have been raised to your positions by that same God. It is He who “removes kings and raises up kings” (Daniel 2:21).
At the same time there was a national responsibility and a national consequence. The Israelites asked for a king and got David. Americans voted for a president and they got Mr Bush, who appointed you. Just as the Israelites were subject to David’s authority, Americans are subject to the authority represented by the White House and its administration.
What I want to convey in the strongest possible terms is this: Just as the Israelites bore the consequences of the actions of their leaders, your American people are bearing the consequences of your actions, particularly your actions in the Middle East, into which the Bush administration was drawn against its will, but which it has now made its top priority as its time in office runs out.
“I hope that President Abbas and Prime Minister Olmert can sign an agreement before the end of my presidency [in January] that defines a clearly-outlined Palestinian state,” the German daily Die Welt quoted Bush as saying yesterday.
And, speaking on the same day here in Jerusalem, you let Israel know that you “intend to be much more systematic about what is being promised and what is being done” by Israel to facilitate this. You are “expecting it to happen very very soon.”
Then, in Amman, Jordan this morning, standing next to veteran terrorist leader Mahmoud Abbas - who used violence against civilians to generate support like yours for his “cause” - you denounced Israel for settling Jews in Samaria and Judea.
“We continue to state America’s position that settlement activity should stop, that its expansion should stop – that is indeed not consistent with Road Map obligations,” you said.
That’s a good solid biblical word, “settlements.” If I may, I’d like to draw your attention to two more Bible verses:
In Isaiah 14:1 it says: “For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel, and SETTLE them in their own land” [emphasis mine].
And through Ezekiel in chapter 34, God says: “And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land; I will feed them on THE MOUNTAINS OF ISRAEL, in the valleys and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in good pasture, and their fold shall be on THE HIGH MOUNTAINS OF ISRAEL. There they shall lie down in a good fold and feed in rich pasture on THE MOUNTAINS OF ISRAEL” [emphasis again mine].
Do you see the phrase “the mountains of Israel?” Do you know where these are? The mountains of Israel are Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights, the very parts of the Land of Israel you are working to sever from Jewish “occupation.”
Occupation? It is THEIR God-given land; it has never been the “Palestinians!’”
Bottom line: It is not the Israeli government that is behind the settlement activity in Judea and Samaria. It’s the LORD God Himself.
Moving on, I was interested to read that, while you planned to give Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu just 15 minutes of your time on this visit here- an expected courtesy perhaps - what he had to tell you, as he spoke of the dire consequences of giving Judea and Samaria to the Arabs, compelled you to spend at least an hour with him.
“I brought her information from security officials and intelligence indicating that Hamas could take over the West Bank and create what is essentially an Iranian base there,” Netanyahu told reporters after that meeting.
In other words you can never say that you were not warned - and not for the first time - of the very probable outcome of what you are forcing Israel to do.
I say forcing, because it is what you are doing; and you are building on what Israel has been forced to do - through diplomatic blackmail and not-always-so-veiled threats - by the presidents and secretaries of state that have preceded you.
With respect, your argument that the US is only doing what Israel’s governments are in agreement about doing is deceptive. The overwhelming majority of those in Israel who today go along with land-for-peace and the creation of Palestine ONLY do so because they have been pushed and pressured by America for decades to do so.
The buck for this stops in the Oval Office - and at Foggy Bottom. And please don’t protest about all the good things America has done for Israel - your “friend” and “ally” in the Middle East. There is little that is laudable about giving support to someone while aiding his enemies in their efforts to kill him.
I come back to what I said about the consequences of your actions to your nation.
As you are flying home, Madam Secretary, the Fox Extreme Weather Center is reporting multiple tornado warnings and unrelenting flooding hitting great swathes of your country.
The weather, which has been excessive for weeks on end, with “freak tornadoes” brought about by “record-breaking warm winter weather” rampaging through towns and cities - is today being described as “brutal.”
Here in Israel we are watching pictures of destroyed homes in Oklahoma City and other parts of what the forecasters call “America’s heartland” and more damage is reportedly on the way.
“The weather is training through this region, storm after storm, flashflood warnings, six to eight inches of snow, and a possible uncontrollable tornado breakout lashing the country tomorrow.” Instead of March “roaring in like a lion and going out like a lamb,” said Fox, the month was roaring out an even bigger lion than it came in.
And the second story topping the news? The most sweeping regulatory power being brought into play by the Treasury in America since the Great Depression.
I don’t need to tell you about what has happened to your dollar; what your people are now paying for gas. How Vice President Dick Cheney had to go to Saudi Arabia, cap in hand, and ask for a favor to keep that price-per-barrel from going out of control.
Bible believers read that God will require at America’s hand, and at the hands of all those nations who participate in this process, an answer for its dividing up of the Land of Israel and the scattering of its people.
Ms. Rice, I know it will require a superhuman ability you likely do not have within yourself. But for the sake of your nation and for the sake of your ultimate legacy, it is my deep and earnest hope that you will recognize the error of the way in which you are set, and turn from this path before it is too late.
Yours, as a lover of Zion and a lover of the United States
Stan Goodenough - a Jerusalem Watchman