Out of Egypt - A Christian Analysis of Obama's Cairo Speech
By Bill Randles
Undermining the Legitimacy of Israel? President Obama recently did something historic and unprecedented. He gave an address to the entire Muslim world, and that from a Muslim capital, Cairo. This was an ambitious undertaking, for the Muslim world comprises about one and a half billion people, and it is far from monolithic in its perspective.
It is not my intent to give a complete political or historical analysis of the speech, for there are many who have done so, representing points of view from the entire cultural spectrum. What I want to major on are the parts of the speech, which would, or should be of concern for Christians.
From a biblical point of view, the fact that the speech was given from Egypt has spiritual and even typological significance. Al Azhar University, the setting for the speech, is the Harvard or Yale of the Islamic world. It is the ideological breeding ground for the Islamist movement. Recently its president Ahmed Al Tayyib justified Palestinian suicide bombing as a valid expression of resistance. (See http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/019026.php)
Obama opened with a job description that no doubt was a surprise to most Americans,
I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.
President Obama is merely demonstrating that he is the product of the more than 40 years of multicultural conditioning, which has permeated the education establishment in most of the west.
There were seven major items of concern that Obama wanted to address, but for purposes of brevity I will comment on two of them.
The second major source of tension…is the situation between the Israelis, Palestinians, and the Arab world. America's strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable. It is based upon cultural and historical ties and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in tragic history that cannot be denied.
To an American or western audience this sounds like Obama is re-affirming our support for Israel in the strongest possible way.
Around the World the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries. And the anti- Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented holocaust.
Sounds good doesn't it? Obama even chided those in the Arab world who deny the Holocaust as “baseless... Ignorant…and hateful”.
Furthermore he boldly stated that “threatening Israel with destruction or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews is deeply wrong…”
There is much to commend in Obama's attempt at telling the truth to the Muslim world, and he is rightly being credited for doing so. However as Caroline Glick points out in the Jewish World Review article Obama's Arabian Dreams,
On the surface Obama seemed to scold the Muslim world for its all-pervasive Holocaust denial and craven Jew hatred. By asserting that Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism are wrong, he seemed to be upholding his earlier claim that America's ties to Israel are "unbreakable." Unfortunately, a careful study of his statements shows that Obama was actually accepting the Arab view that Israel is a foreign — and therefore unjustifiable — intruder in the Arab world. Indeed, far from attacking their rejection of Israel, Obama legitimised it. The basic Arab argument against Israel is that the only reason Israel was established was to sooth the guilty consciences of Europeans who were embarrassed about the Holocaust. By their telling, the Jews have no legal, historic or moral rights to the Land of Israel. www.jewishworldreview.com/0609/glick060509.php3
From a western Christian perspective, in view of God's promise to Abraham that he would “Bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you”… An American president delegitimizing Israel, in an address to one out of seven people in the world, who largely chafe at the very existence of the state of Israel, is ominous.
When Obama went on in his speech to sympathetically address the plight of the Palestinian refugees, he pledged that,
The American people will not turn their backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.
The significance being, that the state he pledged us to support would be created by the dividing of the land God gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
For behold in those days and at that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations, and will bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations and have parted my land - Joel 3:1-2.
One must parse [examine] Obama's language carefully, to see what is actually being said, for he is speaking to two different constituencies, the Muslim world, and the West, who each will hear the same words but receive different messages according to their respective worldviews.
Palestinians must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed. For centuries Black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights.
Glick again, points out the subtlety of the use of the word “resistance”. By using that word rather than, “Intifada”, “Jihad”, or “terrorism”, Obama legitimises again the Palestinian claims.
Even worse than his wilful blindness to the historic, legal, and moral justifications for Israel's rebirth, was Obama's characterization of Israel itself. Obama blithely, falsely and obnoxiously compared Israel's treatment of Palestinians to white American slave owners' treatment of their black slaves. He similarly cast Palestinian terrorists in the same morally pure category as slaves. Perhaps most repulsively, Obama elevated Palestinian terrorism to the moral heights of slave rebellions and the civil rights movement by referring to it by its Arab euphemism, “resistance.” www.jewishworldreview.com/0609/glick060509.php3
No Growth for Those Who are in Judea…
Another related issue of concern that Obama addressed in his speech is the continuation of Jewish settlements, in the so-called “West Bank”, which the Bible calls Judea and Samaria. He opened this subject at the point in the speech where he validated the terrorist organization elected to run the Palestinian state in the west Bank – Hamas.
Hamas does have support among some Palestinians, but they also have to recognize they have responsibilities, to play a role in fulfilling Palestinian aspirations, to unify the Palestinian people, Hamas must put an end to violence, recognize past agreements, recognize Israel's right to exist. At the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that as Israel's right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine's. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.
The last statement was as strong a statement as the US Government has ever issued in denouncing the Jewish settlements of Judea and Samaria. Columnist Charles Krauthammer, in an article at Jewish World review, called The Settlements Myth, describes the current US insistence on a “No Growth” policy for Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria,
Israel is ordered to freeze all settlement activity. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton imperiously explained (dictated) the diktat (dogmatic pronouncement): "a stop to settlements — not some settlements, not outposts, not natural-growth exceptions”. What's the issue? No "natural growth" means strangling to death the thriving towns close to the 1949 armistice line, many of them suburbs of Jerusalem, that every negotiation over the past decade has envisioned Israel retaining. It means no increase in population. Which means no babies. Or if you have babies, no housing for them — not even within the existing town boundaries. Which means for every child born, someone has to move out. No community can survive like that. The obvious objective is to undermine and destroy these towns — even before negotiations.
The heart of Israel is Judea. It is where Jerusalem is, where Jesus walked and where much of the salvation history was played out. But the world, and in particular the US government adamantly insists upon choking out the Jewish population of Judea, by this disastrous “No Numerical Growth” policy! Can our national judgment be very far away?
Remember the words of our blessed Lord and Saviour concerning the final hours before the judgment of this world,
Then let those who are in Judea flee into the mountains, let Him who is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of the house; neither let him who is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe to them that are with child, and to them who are nursing in those day, but pray that your flight not be in winter neither on the Sabbath day, For then shall be great TRIBULATION, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor shall ever be - Matthew 24:16-21.
Obama is not the only one who is firm on this demonic “No Growth Policy”, his secretary of state Hillary Clinton is adamantly pressing the issue, according to the IsraelNN.com story by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, Clinton Spars with Bibi,
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came out swinging at Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Wednesday night and specifically rejected his policy for allowing building for “natural growth" in Judea and Samaria.
Her statement came on the eve of Thursday's visit of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to the White House, which two weeks ago told Israel to stop all building for Jews in Judea and Samaria.
The president was very clear when Prime Minister Netanyahu was here. He wants to see a stop to settlements -- not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions," Secretary Clinton said at a news conference with visiting Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit. She also dined with Abbas Wednesday night.
We should note that there is a prophecy in Ezekiel 36:1-15 which is addressed to “the mountains of Israel”, in which God assures that region, Judea, that in spite of what the rest of the world says, these very mountains would be cleansed of foreign interlopers and would again be teeming with Jewish cities, towns and farms. Therefore the insistence by Obama, the Clintons, the UN, and the European Union that Judea become JUDENREIN (free of Jewish presence) is nothing less than defiance of the God of scripture, and will become the occasion for disastrous judgment for all involved.
Why the Story of Isra?
The last part of Obama's Cairo address to the Muslim world, was a reference to the Koranic story of the Isra of Mohammed.
All of us have a responsibility to work for this day when the mothers of Israelis and Palestinians, can see their children grow up without fear, when the Holy Land of the three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be, when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews, Christians and Muslims and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra when Moses, Jesus and Mohammed-peace be upon them- joined in prayer.
Remember that Obama is simultaneously speaking to two completely different audiences in this unprecedented and in many respects groundbreaking speech. He is addressing the Muslim world, 1.5 billion people, literally spanning the globe. At the same time listening in is the western world, most of which definitely wants 'peace and safety' and cannot figure out why there is so much hostility and terrorism emanating from the world of Islam. Why do they hate us? What can we do to 'fix this'?
Why did Obama refer to the Isra? Most westerners no doubt, have never heard of it, until this speech. But it sounds good, the vision of the three major monotheistic faiths praying together in peace and harmony in Jerusalem—Moses, representing the Jews, Jesus, the Christians, and Mohammed, the Muslims, all joining in prayer! What a vision of peace and ecumenical unity! It's just the kind of vision the vaguely observant, post Christian, secularised west would embrace. Can't we all just get along? Can't the religions just start praying together and quit fighting? Most westerners unfortunately would be unable to perceive the blasphemy in the suggestion of Mohammed, Jesus and Moses praying together as equals because they aren't religious anymore - they just want peace and safety.
But Obama's speech was directed to the Muslim world. They know what the Isra is. Mohammed is said to have been visited in the Kaaba in Mecca by Gabriel the angel. Gabriel brought him a winged steed named “Buraq” (amazing isn't it, Buraq, Barrack?) Buraq supposedly carried Mohammed to the “furthest mosque” from Mecca; the Koran doesn't state the location. Buraq eventually takes Mohammed to heaven where he leads Moses and Jesus in prayer. Muslims would not see ecumenism in Mohammed, Jesus and Moses praying because they believe that all three are Muslim.
The Muslims claim that Jerusalem is their city, and preposterously, that it has never been a possession of the Jews. Nowhere in the Koran is Jerusalem even mentioned. Where then, do the Muslims claim the right to the city of Jerusalem as their third holiest site? From the story of the Isra in which Muslim scholars have claimed that Jerusalem is the “furthest mosque” referred to – the same story Obama cites in his speech. Could this be Obama's way of reinforcing to the Muslim world their claim to Jerusalem?
The burden of the word of the LORD concerning Israel, says the LORD, who stretches forth the heavens, and lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling [drunkenness or reeling] to all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it Zechariah 12:1-3.
Out of Egypt
- Written by Bill Randles
- Hits: 1997
Out of Egypt - A Christian Analysis of Obama's Cairo Speech