“I am zealous for Zion with great zeal … I will return to Zion, and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth…”
– Zechariah 8:2-3
And He says:
“…I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land…”
– Joel 3:2
JERUSALEM – Numerous nations will elect new governments in 2019, but it is how the “winds of political fortune” will blow in Australia, where voting must take place by May 18, that we in Israel will be watching with particular concern.
The majority of Israel’s 6.8 million Jews are descended from immigrants from 120 or so countries. Influencing how they view those former host nations is the antisemitism that deeply marked the Jewish experience there.
Less so in young, modern Australia, which since World War 1 has had mostly positive dealings with the Jews and with Israel, and which accepted more Holocaust survivors per capita than any other nation but the Jewish state.
Until recently, at least, Aussie Jews believed themselves the safest community in the Diaspora.
But in many places where antisemitism became politically untenable after World War 2, Jew-hatred is rising again. It is rising in Australia, where 2018 saw an unprecedented 60 percent increase in reported incidents compared to the year before. Down Under, armed guards now patrol Jews’ schools and synagogues on the Sabbath.
What has stood out about Australia is that, governmentally, it has mostly behaved positively towards Israel when elsewhere what has been called the “new antisemitism” (which is anti-Israelism) has spread like wildfire.
Far more than any other country, Israel is demonised by the international community even as those nations champion the terror-fueled crusade duplicitously packaged as ‘the Palestinian cause’.
Embodying moral inversion, antisemitic journalists and the politicians whose views they promote work vigorously to delegitimise a nation whose millennia-long history in this land is exhaustively documented—biblically, historically and archeologically. At the same time, they enthusiastically endorse the newly-invented ‘Palestine’ which has not one historical document or archeological artifact to substantiate even a single day of past national existence.
Let us be clear about this. No Palestinian nation or state has ever been where Shechem, Shiloh, Bethel, Bethlehem and Hebron have stood for thousands of years. No part of Jerusalem has ever belonged to ‘the Palestinians’. Yet 136 of the UN’s 193 member-states have unilaterally recognised ‘Palestine’ and are ganging up to wrest half of Jerusalem from the Jews for the capital of this fraudulent thing.
Hoping against hope, Israelis observe governments come and go, looking for the election of those who will dispute the deception and lead their nations to relate in a historically just and ethical way towards the Jewish state.
For a brief minute, last October, Scott Morrison looked like being a larrikin; like he was poised to display that archetypal Australian trait and disregard the global trend that tends to bow before the threats of the Muslim world.
Jew-hatred is… rising in Australia… 2018 saw [a] 60% increase in reported incidents
His government was willing, he said, to consider recognising a time-honoured truth: that Jerusalem—which for unbroken millennia before 1948 was an undivided city claimed as capital by none but the Jews—is precisely that: their capital. And that therefore, what Australia does with all of its other embassies in the world, it should do with its embassy in Israel: put it there.
The next minute—politically speaking—Morrison was retreating before a storm of media-channeled scorn, national fear, and a fury that fanned the flames of Indonesian opportunistic outrage as that Muslim neighbour warned Australia it would pay a painful price if it steered its policy that way.
Sadly, “Scomo” bowed.
In the end, instead of demonstrating a statesmanship which would have marked the start of his tenure as extraordinary and historic, and sharp-focused its future—the prime minister played politics. Trying to please everyone, he pleased no-one when he opted to recognise just half of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and insisted that an embassy move would only occur in the context of a peace agreement between Israel and the Arabs.
Not wanting to appear churlish, I suppose, some Australian Zionists commended Morrison’s move. In many Jewish and Christian circles, however, disappointment ran deep.
Most disheartened—and with reason—is Israel. When it came to this city whose unified existence is a heart-and-soul issue to the Jewish people, their one-hundred-year mateship with Australia that was loudly trumpeted during the just commemorated centennials of WW1 battle victories suddenly seemed more sound than substance.
Australia, as seen from the Walls of Jerusalem, appears to be slipping away.
According to the proclaimed policy positions of the major contenders for leadership in Canberra, there are two starkly contrasting ways in which the future of the Australia-Israel relationship could play out:
Based on its history under some previous prime ministers, and on the Christian faith of Scott Morrison, a conservative Liberal Party government could still, it is hoped, brake the forces that seek to suck Australia into standing with most of the nations against Israel.
The Labor Party has defiantly announced it will do the opposite: throw open the floodgates, unilaterally recognise ‘Palestine,’ fully oppose Israel’s claim to any of Jerusalem, and so align Australia with the rest of the antisemitic world.
In a statement on December 15, Labor Federal MP Penny Wong declared that recognising even part of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “puts Australia out of step with the international community and shows Mr. Morrison is not prepared to put the nation first and do what is right for Australia.”
A Labor Government, insisted the woman who would be foreign minister, “will not support any policy that undermines the prospect of a two-state solution which recognises Israel’s right to exist within secure and recognised boundaries and the creation of a Palestinian state.”
“If the polls and the experts are to be believed,” wrote a concerned national prayer movement leader on January 21, “it would be an absolute miracle on a hundred different levels for a Scott Morrison led Liberal/National Coalition to be elected into office.”
And yet, it is not too late to fix this…
It is not naïve to trust that God can do the impossible. It is blasphemous to say that He can’t.
Christians who know and believe their Bible should have been instantly alerted at the abrupt appearance of the Jerusalem and ‘Israel-Palestine’ questions on the parties’ election platforms.
For the spiritually sensitized, the furor unleashed around these issues would have heightened awareness of their implications for the future of Australia.
The Labor Party has defiantly announced it will… unilaterally recognise ‘Palestine,’ [&] fully oppose Israel’s claim to any of Jerusalem…
The ostensible poll results banner-headlined daily in the Australian press should neither persuade nor intimidate us. Where the hand of God is, the trends of man mean nothing.
Nor should we be bullied into silence by unbridled outrage and scorn.
Similar tactics have been tried in Israel, and in the United States: where the ‘progressives’—journalists, celebrities, authorities—combine their power to try prevent the election of a leader who will do the right thing under God.
Their collective might is insignificant in His sight.
Admittedly, as a non-Australian, my view is not distracted by the other campaign issues.
But watching from Jerusalem, Bible in hand—I have a God’s eye view of Australia. He will always view the Gentile nations from here.
Their blessing under His hand is tied to their blessing Israel.
Endanger Israel’s people, steal Israel’s land, support Israel’s enemies, and Australia—like so many others—will go down.
So it is not too late for Christian and other right-thinking MPs to get behind Morrison and encourage him to call out the Enemy and run a pro-Israel election campaign. This is where Australian Christians should focus their prayer work, phone calling, lobbying. I believe this.
Many Aussies shy away from the thought of their country following too closely behind the US. The ANZAC legacy is to lead the charge, not bring up the rear.
But when it comes to Israel and Jerusalem, President Donald Trump set a precedent that other nations can match; a precedent the Israeli government and people really want others to follow.
The Bible talks about 10 men from each nation taking hold of a Jew and committing to go with him.
Imagine that: Imagine just 10 nations putting their embassies in Jerusalem. Imagine if Australia was to be one of them.
God doesn’t need us to be lukewarm for Zion. He doesn’t want us to play politics with Zion.
He wants us to be zealous for Zion, just as He is.