Monday October 20, 2014
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20.10.2014
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Under the radar, peace process is no longer frozen
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Yoram Ettinger

Enhanced US support of Israel is deeply rooted

The special ties between the United States and Israel are uniquely driven by a people-to-people, bottom-up relationship, shaped by the American public more than by the American government. U.S. ties with the Jewish state have been exceptionally forged by shared Judeo-Christian values.

"Americans' sympathy for Israel is at a high-water mark," according to a Gallup poll from March 15, 2013. According to Gallup, there has been "a steady increase in relative support for Israel over the past decade ... Americans' sympathies lean heavily toward the Israelis over the Palestinians ... Today's 64 percent (compared to 12% sympathizing with the Palestinians) ties the highest Gallup has recorded in a quarter century, last seen in 1991 during the Gulf War."

A sustained and deep identification with the Jewish state has always characterized both chambers of the U.S. Congress, the most authentic representatives of the U.S. constituent and the chief axis of the U.S. federalist system. Moreover, the federalist system derived its name from the Latin term "foedus," which means "the covenant," in a biblical sense.   

The unique roots of the enhanced American support of the Jewish state precede the 1948 founding of Israel, the Holocaust and even the 1776 U.S. Declaration of Independence.

The foundations of America's unique empathy with the Jewish state transcend formal treaties and the mutually beneficial, surging U.S.-Israel defense cooperation in the face of intensifying mutual threats. America's covenant with the Jewish state supersedes the rapidly growing win-win U.S.-Israel partnership on behalf of joint commercial interests.

The source of the special U.S.-Israel covenant dates back to the 14th century and continues up today, with the contemporary U.S. being the most Judeo-Christian Western democracy.

According to a June 3, 2011, Gallup poll, 92% of Americans believe in God. Most polls find that 80% believe that Judeo-Christian values constitute the foundations of the American culture.

On Oct. 31, 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 396:9 to reaffirm "In God We Trust" as a national motto. President Dwight D. Eisenhower had signed this into law on July 30, 1956.

A daily prayer starts deliberations in the House of Representatives; more than 40% of Americans participate in Sunday church services; the number of Christian TV stations has surged from nine in 1974 to almost 300 in 2013; 15 million copies of the Bible are sold annually; over 80% of Americans wish to retain "one nation under God" in the pledge of allegiance, consistent with "endowed by the Creator" in the Declaration of Independence.

The seeds of the Judeo-Christian U.S. were planted in 1382, when John Wycliffe, an Oxford professor, produced the first English-language Bible manuscript, making it available to the public at large. Wycliffe's groundbreaking initiative inspired the Puritan movement, from which came the early 17th century pilgrims who landed in America.

In 1620 and 1630, the Mayflower and the Arabella docked in "the modern-day Promised Land." They departed from England -- the "modern-day Egypt" -- rebelled against their "modern-day Pharaoh" and sailed through the "modern-day Red Sea." The pilgrims referred to their mission in biblical terms, referring to John Winthrop, the commander of the Arabella, as "the American Nehemiah."

The map of the U.S. is replete with thousands of sites bearing biblical names. There are 18 towns called Jerusalem, 32 called Salem, 18 Hebron, 24 Bethel, 61 Shiloh, seven Bethlehem, 14 Canaan, nine Carmel, 38 Goshen, four Rehoboth, and six Mount Zion.

The 1752 Liberty Bell, the iconic symbol of American independence, bears the inscription: "Proclaim liberty throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof" (Leviticus 25:10).

Thomas Paine's Jan. 10, 1776, "Common Sense" cemented the rebellion against Britain, stating: "For the will of the Almighty as declared by Gideon, and the prophet Samuel, expressly disapproves of government by kings." George Washington and John Adams were referred to as Moses and Joshua, and the Founding Fathers considered themselves to be the people of the modern-day Covenant.

In 2013, Moses -- who inspired Columbus, the Pilgrims, the Founding Fathers and the abolitionist movement -- is featured at the center of the House Chamber on Capitol Hill and the U.S. Supreme Court. Monuments of Moses' Tablets -- which inspired the 1886 Statue of Liberty -- were erected in 1961 and 2012 on the grounds of the Texas and Oklahoma State Capitols.

On Dec. 24, 1968, the Apollo 8 crew -- the first manned space mission -- read the first 10 verses of Genesis during the most watched TV broadcast at the time.

On Dec. 24, 2009, celebrating the passage of "ObamaCare," the liberal Democrat Senator Tom Harkin said: "To put it in biblical terms, Harry Reid has the patience of Job, the wisdom of Solomon and the endurance of Samson."

Since 1948, U.S.-Israel relations have produced a multitude of crises, all of them rectified rapidly, due to the healthy tissue of bilateral ties, nurtured by foundations of shared values.

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