While listening to talk radio over the past few days I’ve heard a lot of people insist that our support for Israel is “costing too much” in terms of American lives lost and gas prices. Not that I was alive then, but in 1973, during the Arab embargo on oil exports that followed the Yom Kippur War, many Americans had to deal with gas rationing, and various setbacks to the economy. As a result, some called for our abandonment of Israel for the sake of oil. Jerry Falwell was a dissenting voice. He said that he would sooner give up his car and ride a bicycle than yield to Arab blackmail. Citing Genesis (12:3), he explained that God “will bless those who bless the Jews and curse whoever curses the Jews.” I know that many people dismiss this idea as more quaint than believable. So, is this verse biblical poetry or verifiably true?
I am increasingly convinced that it is verifiably true. I think of Spain, for example. One of the world's mightiest powers and most developed cultures in the 15th century. In 1492 it reached its zenith when it sent Christopher Columbus on a voyage that changed history. But the same year, it also expelled all its Jews and intensified the Spanish Inquisition against the many forced Jewish converts to Catholicism. Spain then descended into a 500-year status as “the sick man of Europe.” I think of Germany (and Austria) as the cultural and intellectual center of Europe, if not the world, before World War II. Then Germany murdered nearly every Jew in Europe. Germany lost over seven million people, was divided for a generation, and while it now thrives materially, culturally Germany has become irrelevant. Think about the world today. Look at who blesses the Jews and who curses them, and then decide whether the verse in Genesis has validity.
It is the United States that has, since its inception, most blessed the Jews and that does so almost alone today - in its support of the Jewish state against those who wish to exterminate it. By almost any reckoning, America has been, and remains, the most blessed of countries. And it is the Arab world that curses the Jews. It rivals Nazi Germany for the intensity of its Jew-hatred. Look at its state. According to Arab scholars appointed by the United Nations to report on the state of Arab society, that part of the world lags behind the rest of humanity, including in most instances sub-Saharan Africa, in virtually every social, moral and intellectual indicator. And there is no question but that its half-century long preoccupation with destroying Israel has only increased the Arab world's woes.
No one can prove it is God who actively blesses those who bless the Jews and curses those who curse them. But at the same time, the evidence historically and this very moment suggests that there is a real connection between the state of a society and its treatment of the Jews.