(January 13, 2020 / JNS) Most people think that miracles are supernatural events. But miracles are also the massive and unexpected changes caused by supernatural events. The greatest miracle in history is, of course, the splitting of the Red Sea. But what made this miracle so amazing is the change it wrought—the Jewish people were about to be annihilated by Pharaoh’s army, and suddenly that very army was annihilated before their very eyes.
Similarly, in the dramatic Purim story, the Jewish nation was saved from what had seemed the foregone conclusion of Haman’s genocidal government decree. And on Hanukkah, we celebrate the unlikely victory of the tiny Maccabean army over the overwhelming force of the Seleucid Greeks.
Some would argue that the greatest miracle since the Splitting of the Sea was the establishment of the Jewish state. Here too, it wasn’t just that a nation returned to its original homeland and declared independence. Rather, it was that the Jewish people had just come out of Auschwitz, burned and devastated by the Nazi extermination machine. To come out of that and then turn around and fight a physical war against seven armies and win against all odds… the birth of Israel is indeed a miracle on par with the Exodus.
Yet more miracles were in store: In the Six-Day War, Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser and his cronies wanted to finish off the work of the Holocaust and “push Israel into the sea.” Instead, the enemies watched as Israel liberated the biblical heartland, the Golan Heights and the Sinai.
These were all instances in which the Jewish people were afforded jaw-dropping turn-around victories—with ramifications that changed the course of history.
Similarly, just a few years ago, Israel was groaning under the weight of the antagonistic administration of U.S. President Barack Obama, who did everything he could to empower the enemies of Israel and set the stage for the serious reduction of Israel’s size and security.
And then, when it seemed Obama had changed America’s policy toward Israel and the steam engine of history was barreling down the track toward the Jewish state, America made a 180-degree turn and we experienced the miracle of President Donald Trump.
Ruthlessly reversing years of careful crafting by the left, Trump tore up the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’s nuclear empowerment of Iran, defunded the murderous junta of the Palestinian Authority and set the teeth of the United Nations on edge for spewing its hateful narrative against the Jewish state.
He did all these coming off the presidency of Obama, who had been leading the most powerful country in the world to empower Iran with money and nuclear arms, to legitimize the “struggle” of the Palestinian Authority and to use the United Nations to strike at Israel.
So it’s not just that Trump is doing great things to bring sanity, and the will of the American people, back to American foreign policy. It’s that he came just in the nick of time, miraculously as it were, to reverse the deeply anti-Israel stance of the previous administration—an administration which would have brought to a boil the anti-Israel hate movements in Europe, at the United Nations and in the Muslim world.
Instead, it is the United Nations, the P.A. and the Iranian regime which are being discredited and disempowered, while Sunni Arab states are coming closer to Israel. And, critically, Jewish rights in the ancestral heartland of Judea and Samaria are being defended by the U.S. administration, as unabashedly enunciated by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Trump is indeed a kind of miracle in our time. However, Jewish miracles are always about God’s intervention together with human action. If Trump wins a second term, it is up to Israel to walk through the door, or through the Red Sea, as it were.
In the Trump era, Israel needs to be like Trump: bold and confident. Israel should boldly move forward with asserting Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. Israel should unflinchingly dismantle the repressive and corrupt P.A.. The Jewish state should deal a decisive blow to the homegrown jihadism that has taken root in the Israeli territories, in Israeli Arab cities and even in the Knesset. The Trump era is an opportunity to take big, bold steps.
Indeed, if the sea is split, let us not stop until we’re all the way across.
When we get to the other side, we’ll see even greater miracles.
Yishai Fleisher is the international spokesman of the Jewish community of Hebron and an Israeli broadcaster.
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