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  • Writer's pictureAl McCarn

The Grand Delusion, American Style




One of my first papers in graduate school proposed a rational solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. That was in 1986, before it became fashionable to refer to Arabs living in Israel as Palestinians, but long after the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria had come to be known by the invented name “West Bank.” My solution was for an independent Arab state to be established alongside the Jewish state of Israel, and to declare Jerusalem an international city with security guaranteed by a largely American peacekeeping force.


After 40 years of studying this issue from many angles, I realize that my sophisticated peace proposal was simultaneously naïve and arrogant. At the time, I was just as much of a committed Christian as I am now, and I knew the Bible well, or so I thought. I knew Israel was important to God, and that the Jewish people, as Israel, had a God-given right to live in the land of Israel. What I didn’t know was that pragmatic, academic policies like my proposal had inflamed conflict since the Jewish people began returning to their ancestral homeland at the end of the 19th century.


It doesn’t matter whether those who underestimate God’s intent to restore all of Israel to all of the Promised Land are sincere, but ignorant, Christians like my younger self, or sincere, but ignorant Jews, or detached government bureaucrats, or Jew-hating jihadists. The result is the same: those who thwart the will of God open themselves to divine retribution. Those of us who simply don’t know, but are honestly trying to find a rational solution, might be among those the prophet Hosea addressed in the statement, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6) That’s why our gracious God gives room for repentance. He does that for everyone, but few take Him seriously because few take seriously His declarations about Israel, such as this:


I will make with them [Israel] an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land [Israel] in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.
Jeremiah 32:40-41 ESV (emphasis added)

God made this declaration at the time the Babylonians were about to conquer the Jewish kingdom of Judah. Is there any question whether God made this promise to the people of Israel, and specifically to the Jewish remnant of Israel? If we question God’s promise, we might find ourselves subject to another declaration:


And the LORD will give salvation to the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not surpass that of Judah. On that day the LORD will protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them on that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the angel of the LORD, going before them. And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
Zechariah 12:7-9 ESV (emphasis added)

There is a litany of nations who have succumbed to this declaration. Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome come to mind as the ancient nations who sought to destroy the independent, or semi-independent, Israeli states. It extends as well to nations who have contested the return of the Chosen People to the land of Israel. That includes the Medieval Crusader kingdoms, Spain, France, Germany, Ottoman Turkey, Czarist Russia, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain. Now we can add the United States to the list.


It’s not that the US has declared war on Israel, or expelled Jews, or put them in concentration camps. Instead, we Americans have followed the passive-aggressive footsteps of our British cousins by opposing the Jewish nation in the interest of equity and keeping the peace. That’s the nice way of describing the American abandonment of Israel in the United Nations Security Council vote on Resolution 2728 on March 25, 2024. By refusing to veto the resolution, the United States allowed the nations of the earth to call for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas for the remainder of Ramadan, without requiring that Hamas release the Israeli hostages taken in the barbaric invasion of sovereign Israeli land on October 7, 2023.


This may be the final straw in the love-hate relationship between the US and Israel. Now the Jewish state knows that America under the Biden Administration has no interest in allowing Israel to eliminate the existential threat of Hamas. By extension, that means there is no interest in allowing Israel to deal with the existential threats of jihadi genocide in Judea and Samaria as well, or in Lebanon, and most certainly not in Iran. That’s because this administration is committed to the lunacy of a “two-state solution,” and is determined to make it happen regardless of what the Israeli government and people say.


This is nothing new. Great Britain did not declare war on Israel either, but in the interest of preserving the peace and insulating the British Empire against the rising Nazi threat, His Majesty’s Government turned its back on the Jewish people just as the Americans did. That was the impact of the White Paper of 1939, in which the government led by Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain (the same man who sought to secure “peace in our time” by handing Czechoslovakia over to Adolf Hitler) outlined a new policy for British Mandatory Palestine. Having been awarded control over Palestine by the League of Nations after World War I, Great Britain was to ensure the establishment there of a national home for the Jewish people. By 1939, after considerable Arab rioting and massacres of Jewish residents, as well as agitation in British-controlled Iraq, and Arab collaboration with Nazi Germany, the pragmatic solution was this:


His Majesty’s Government therefore now declare unequivocally that it is not part of their policy that Palestine should become a Jewish State. They would indeed regard it as contrary to their obligations to the Arabs under the Mandate, as well as to the assurances which have been given to the Arab people in the past, that the Arab population of Palestine should be made the subjects of a Jewish State against their will.
British White Papers: The White Paper of 1939, Jewish Virtual Library, accessed March 26, 2024, https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/british-white-paper-of-1939.
British mandate regarding future Israel state

The White Paper went on to outline steps toward establishment of an integrated Arab-Jewish state over the next ten years in which Jews would be the perpetual minority. To achieve the desired population ratio, the White Paper established a limit of Jewish immigration over the next five years to 75,000 persons. While recognizing that Jews were in peril in Europe, the authors of the White Paper placed a higher priority on maintaining peace with the Arabs and, by extension, maintaining the security of the British supply lines through the Middle East to the oil fields of the Persian Gulf, and the vast resources of British India. Thus, while compassionate British citizens like Sir Nicholas Winton were busy trying to save Jewish children from the Nazis, the British government was establishing a policy that doomed most of the Jewish population of Europe.


Jews of the day understood the dire consequences of the White Paper. The response of the Jewish Agency for Palestine outlined those consequences and concluded with a resolute commitment:


It is in the darkest hour of Jewish history that the British Government proposes to deprive the Jews of their last hope and to close the road back to their Homeland. It is a cruel blow, doubly cruel because it comes from the government of a great nation which has extended a helping hand to the Jews, and whose position must rest on foundations of moral authority and international good faith. This blow will not subdue the Jewish people. The historic bond between the people and the land of Israel cannot be broken. The Jews will never accept the closing to them of the gates of Palestine nor let their national home be converted into a ghetto. The Jewish pioneers who, during the past three generations, have shown their strength in the upbuilding of a derelict country, will from now on display the same strength in defending Jewish immigration, the Jewish home and Jewish freedom.
British White Papers: Zionist Reaction to the White Paper, Jewish Virtual Library, accessed March 26, 2024, https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/zionist-reaction-to-the-white-paper-of-1939.

That should sound familiar. The present Israeli government has been saying similar things since the nations of the earth have closed ranks against Israel’s efforts to defend itself against the Hamas aggressors. With the American failure to oppose the UNSC ceasefire resolution, the Jewish nation has reacted with the same kind of resolve. Now Israel is alone, able to rely only on the God of Israel, and on themselves.


Kibbutz Be’eri Israel after Hamas terrorists attacked
A woman amid the ruins of Kibbutz Be’eri after Hamas terrorists attacked, Dec. 20, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

And on lovers of Israel around the world, like Nicholas Winton. That’s another echo from 1939. Even as the United States government is pursuing policies that constrain Israel’s ability to defend itself, many Americans are working to support Israel by every means at their disposal. It’s the same among Canadians, Kenyans, Malaysians, French, Swedes, and people of many nations. A great number of these supporters of Israel are Christians who recognize this present crisis as the next iteration in the ongoing struggle by the powers of this world to derail the plans of the Almighty. They see through the lies and the delusion that blinds nations and multitudes to their peril in their opposition to the Jewish nation.


About that peril: it’s evident in what happened to the British Empire. Within four months of issuing the White Paper, Britain was at war with the Axis Powers. Within a year, Britain stood alone in Europe against Nazi Germany. Britain did survive the war, but at the price of ceding leadership to the United States. After the war, the Empire disintegrated. The White Paper had set out a plan to establish an Arab-Jewish Palestinian state by 1949. Ironically, by 1949, the Jewish State of Israel was securely established, but Britain had relinquished control not only over Palestine, but also India, and was well on the way toward divesting itself of all imperial possessions. By 1982, Britain was hard pressed to win a war against Argentina, and survived as a Great Power only through its cultural and economic influence, and by clinging tightly to America’s coattails.


Is this the destiny of the United States? It’s too early to tell, but without a change of course, America will go the way of every empire that has opposed God’s Chosen People and sought to divide His Holy Land. The nations of the earth have sought peace for millennia through various formulas that remove Israel and the Jewish people from the equation. That’s the kind of thinking that seems clever, pragmatic, fair, and wise, but is actually a grand delusion. It’s the kind of delusion that causes people to say, “Peace and security!” just before sudden destruction comes upon them.


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