Shootout at the Orient Bazaar – Part Four of Four

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on David’s Tent, a ministry of Israeli believers Avner and Rachel Boskey. The Boskey’s have ministered at Tabernacle of David, and we consider them trustworthy and Biblically sound.

Parts One and Two of our previous newsletters dealt with the Iranian cruise missile/rocket attacks on Israel – context, background and battle details. Part Three presented the perspectives and goals of each nation involved in the mix. This newsletter, Part Four,  focuses on the Jewish state’s strategic alliances with unreliable nations – in biblical days and in our own time.


Broken reeds


God decided to place His Jewish people in the middle of the Via Maris – the ‘Way of the Sea’ – the superhighway of the ancient world. Set like a jewel between the superpowers of Egypt and Assyria/Babylon, the Davidic kings found themselves pressured into making covenants – alliances – with empires which did not always have the Jewish people’s best interests at heart.


The Hebrew Scriptures show us YHVH’s take on this dynamic: when alliances are made between the Jewish people and any other nation – even if those nations are superpowers – without Israel hearing directly from God as to what action He wants them to take, the results for the sons and daughters of Jacob will be deception, shame, emptiness, physical damage and great shaking:


  • Now it came about when all the kings who were beyond the Jordan, in the hill country, the lowland, and on all the coast of the Great Sea toward Lebanon, the Hittite and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard about it, that they met together with one purpose, to fight with Joshua and with Israel (Joshua 9:1-2) . . . The inhabitants of Gibeon also heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai, but they on their part acted craftily . . .   And they went to Joshua at the camp at Gilgal and said to him and to the men of Israel, “We have come from a far country; now then, make a covenant with us . . .  So the men of Israel took some of their provisions, and did not ask for the counsel of the Lord. And Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live . . .   Then Joshua called for them and spoke to them, saying, “Why have you deceived us?” (Joshua 9:3-4, 6, 14-15, 22)


  • “Now behold, you have relied on the support of this broken reed, on Egypt; on which if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it. That is how Pharaoh king of Egypt is to all who rely on him” (2 Kings 18:21; also Isaiah 36:6)


  • “Woe to the rebellious children, declares YHVH, who execute a plan, but not Mine, and make an alliance, but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin – who proceed down to Egypt without consulting Me, to take refuge in the safety of Pharaoh, and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore the safety of Pharaoh will be your shame” (Isaiah 30:1-3)


  • “Even Egypt, whose help is vain and empty” (Isaiah 30:7)


  • “Then all the inhabitants of Egypt will know that I am YHVH, because they have been only a staff made of reed to the House of Israel. When they took hold of you with the hand, you broke and tore all their hands. And when they leaned on you, you broke and made all their hips shake” (Ezekiel 29:6-7)



Broken promises


This biblical principle – that alliances or covenants between Israel and other nations (made without seeking God on the matter) will bring a curse – this dynamic applies to all nations. America plays a decisive role today as THE world superpower. Therefore, the historical examples presented here concern the US – Israel relationship.


In the 1956 Suez Crisis, Britain, France and Israel fought as allies against Egypt, who had nationalized the Suez Canal. The military battle was amazingly successful for the allies. But both the USSR and the US had other strategic plans: the weakening and crushing of the allies’ rule in the Middle East, and their being replaced by Russian or American influence. The USSR and the US forced the three allies to stand down and withdraw. Russia threatened to use nuclear weapons against Israel, while the Eisenhower Administration threatened economic sanctions on Israel. The UN passed Resolution 997, calling for an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal. 


Israeli PM David Ben-Gurion conceded to withdraw, but requested several assurances from the US before Israel moved forward: that the Straits of Tiran wouldn’t be blockaded again; that Israeli ships would have access to the Gulf of Aqaba and the Israeli port at Eilat; that the UN Emergency Force (UNEF) in Sinai couldn’t be withdrawn just due to the sole demand of the Egyptians.


On February 11, 1957, President Dwight Eisenhower offered Israel a State Department text known as an ‘aide-memoire’, stating that “no nation has the right forcibly to prevent free and innocent passage in the Gulf [of Suez] and through the Straits [of Tiran, leading to Eilat] giving access thereto. The United States is prepared to exercise the right of free and innocent passage and to join with others to secure general recognition of this right.”


This memorandum explicitly states that blocking the Straits is unacceptable, and implies that the US would be willing to use military means to back up its words – and would treat the closure of the Straits as an act of war. In a letter to Ben-Gurion following the aide-memoire, Eisenhower wrote that Israel “will have no cause to regret” its decision to withdraw. Ben-Gurion conveyed to Eisenhower that he “saw freedom of navigation in the Straits and Gulf of Aqaba as more or less assured.”


However, in May 1967, Egypt blocked the Straits of Tiran (the Gulf of Aqaba) to Israeli shipping, thereby cutting off Israel’s only supply route with Asia and stopping the flow of oil from its main supplier, Iran. President Nasser also forced the UN Emergency Force to withdraw from the region, and massed his troops for an Egypt-Syria-Jordan military offensive.


On May 17, 1967, Israel’s Ambassador to Washington, Avraham Harman, received an assurance from United States Undersecretary of State Eugene Rostow that the Jewish state “did not stand alone” . . .  However, in language very similar to that of April 13-14, 2024, Rostow asked that Israel consult with Washington before taking any military steps . . .  Rostow added that a preemptive strike by Israel at this stage would be “a very serious mistake.”



That was then and now it is today


When on May 23, 1967, Ambassador Eban pointed out to France’s President Charles De Gaulle that the closing of the Straits of Tiran constituted a casus belli (a legal cause for declaring war), De Gaulle rejected the notion. Eban pointed out to De Gaulle that in 1956 France had promised that it would recognize Israel’s right to fight if Egypt imposed a blockade, De Gaulle responded nonchalantly that “1967 is not 1957.” The high principle of freedom of navigation in the Gulf of Aqaba that the French advocated in 1957 evaporated in 1967. Three days later, the United States also reneged on its 1957 commitments.


On May 26, 1967, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Abba Eban presented proof of Egypt’s violations to President Lyndon B. Johnson. At stake, Eban stated, was not only the possibility of war between Egypt and Israel, but also the credibility of American commitments. LBJ responded, claiming that the memorandum in question had not been ratified by the US Senate, and that there was no present congressional support for military intervention. Johnson already had his hands full at home and abroad. America was bogged down in Vietnam with casualties mounting and an anti-war movement growing. Simmering racial tensions had exploded into violent riots across the US. LBJ’s approval ratings were at 40% and sinking. The last thing Johnson needed was a Middle East war. He wryly commented “I’m a tall Texan, but without Congress, I’m a short President . . .  It ain’t worth a solitary dime.” This unreliability of US government guarantees to Israel was the catalyst which jump-started the 1967 Six Day War.


Eban recalls that he “was staggered by his Oval Office meeting, which he thought underscored LBJ’s impotence, paralysis, and defeatism.”


According to a Memorandum to the President, June 5 (Johnson Library, Appointment File, June 1967, Middle East Crisis): “At the Department of State press briefing at noon on June 5, 1967, a reporter asked Department spokesman Robert J. McCloskey if he would reaffirm that the U.S. position was neutral. McCloskey replied: ‘Indeed, I would: I would be more than happy to. We have tried to steer an even-handed course through this. Our position is neutral in thought, word, and deed.’”


In a stormy meeting at IDF headquarters on Friday, June 2, 1967, IDF Intelligence Chief Aharon Yariv stated: “The United States does not intend to act seriously to open the naval blockade by force nor does it intend to take far-reaching steps to solve the conflict between Israel and Egypt.” IDF Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin then spoke, stating that “no one other than we ourselves can relieve us of the military and diplomatic stranglehold that is tightening around us.”


  • This history drives home the point that fateful decisions regarding Israel’s defense and survival cannot be given into another nation’s hands. 


In a private conversation at the UN, America’s UN Ambassador Arthur Goldberg approached his Israeli counterpart, Gideon Rafael, reminding him that “you stand alone and have to know the consequences,” but then adding a personal note: “I understand that if you have to act alone, you will know how to act.”



Broken covenant


As Dr. Alan Dowty of Notre Dame University points out: “The effectiveness of a guarantee depends upon the willingness of the guarantor to react to a threat, and upon his ability to react with sufficient force. Fear of disrupting US relations with Arab states was a factor in the 1967 US decision not to force open the Red Sea Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships. The effectiveness of a commitment depends on the underlying interests and capabilities of the guarantor (not the guaranteed!). Guarantees are not unambiguous blessings.”


On December 5, 1994, Britain, the US and Russia signed the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, guaranteeing the territorial integrity of Ukraine.  Russia was now prohibited from using military force or economic coercion against Ukraine, except in self-defense. Ukraine was required to give up its nuclear arsenal, the 3rd largest in the world. Russia’s 2014 occupation of Crimea and Donbas in eastern Ukraine and its 2022 further invasions and massive destruction of Ukraine, attest to the mirage-like significance of US and British guarantees – which also were not ratified by the US Senate.

In 1954, President Eisenhower signed a Mutual Defense Treaty. But in 1979, President Carter unilaterally annulled that treaty with the support of Congress, acknowledging the ‘one China position’ and declaring that “Taiwan is part of China.” The US Supreme Court refrained from action, declaring the matter “non-justiciable.”  The defense treaty with Taiwan would be substituted with the 1979 non-diplomatic and militarily non-committal congressional Taiwan Relations Act.


  • US defense pacts are not iron clad.



Desert storms and alliances


Moshe Arens, former Israeli Minister of Defense and Minister of Foreign Affairs, penned his excellent autobiography about his time in government during the First Gulf War (also known as Operation Desert Shield or Desert Storm). An aeronautical engineer, researcher (graduate of MIT) and diplomat, Arens carefully documented the blow-by-blow details of the US-Israel alliance during that time. His book is titled ‘Broken Covenant: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis between the U.S. and Israel.’


His inner-sanctum explanations are shocking. The book’s focus deals with one aspect of US Gulf War policy: Israel was ordered not to retaliate against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s SCUD missile attacks on Israeli citizens, but needed to rely ‘with perfect faith’ on the US for an appropriate response. Again, there are present parallels (e.g., April 13-15, 2024) to these ‘orders’ as shown in our last newsletter. Here are seven examples of perfidious actions from Arens’ book which show how Israel was pressured to fall in line with American commands and to ‘sign on the dotted line:’


  • On January 10, 1991 (p. 171), then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney promised Israel that the full destruction of Western Iraqi SCUDS was a US military priority. Yet in the six weeks of war, not even one mobile SCUD launcher was taken out.


  • On January 11, 1991 (p. 139) Cheney strongly emphasized the importance of Israel staying out of the conflict, and not to retaliate against Iraq even if Israel’s civilians or military were to be hit. Then-Egyptian Ambassador to Israel Mohammed Bassiouni (later exposed to be an Egyptian spy) conveyed a message (p. 131) from President Mubarak that Israel had nothing to fear from Saddam Hussein.


  • On January 13, 1991 (p. 174) then-Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger insisted that Israel not retaliate for the coming SCUD attacks, stating that he was completely confident of the American ability to totally eliminate any missile threat.


  • On January 18, 1991 (p.178) at 2 am, SCUD rockets began to fall on Tel Aviv. Secretary of State James Baker III immediately telephoned the-Minister of Defense Moshe Arens, expressed outrage over Iraqi attack, and pointedly emphasized that President Bush hoped that Israel would restrain itself “so as not to endanger the coalition.”


  • On January 19, 1991 (p. 184) President Bush called PM Shamir and demanded that Israel not carry out any retaliatory plans against Iraqi SCUD launchers.


  • On January 20, 1991 (p. 187) then-Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger  stressed that Israel needed to refrain from attacking Iraqi SCUD launchers if it wanted to maintain a correct relationship with the US: “There’s great appreciation for the restraint you have shown. You have a lot of money in the bank in Washington. Don’t waste it!”


  • On September 12, 1992 (p. 247) President Bush called a press conference to counter a pro-Israel AIPAC meeting at Capitol Hill. He stated at that press conference that “just months ago, American men and women in uniform risked their lives to defend Israelis in the face of Iraqi SCUD missiles,” though the truth is that no SCUD launchers were attacked or taken out during the entire six weeks of the war. Just after that press conference, certain officials in Washington, speaking privately, “described the presidential attack as a ‘bombshell’ and a ‘declaration of war.’”


The unappetizing reality portrayed in these interactions reveals that Israel’s allies are sometimes determined to “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.”


Menachem Begin once said: “There is no guarantee that can guarantee a guarantee.”



Dylan’s Neighborhood Bully – not supposed to fight back


In one of Bob Dylan’s most scorching songs, ‘Neighborhood Bully,’ he describes the exact treatment that Israel faces on a daily basis:


  • The neighborhood bully – he just lives to survive
    He’s criticized and condemned for being alive
    Not supposed to fight back, to have thick skin
    Supposed to lay down and die when his door is kicked in


When the Jewish state is attacked by jihadi monsters – whether Muslim Brotherhood terrorists like Hamas, or Shi’ite terrorists like Hezbollah, Iraqi Hezbollah, pro-Iranian Syrians, Iran or the Houthis – Israelis are lectured and threatened by the world: “Do not retaliate!” When we pursue our enemies, we are brought before world bodies to be condemned and threatened, embargoed and made to stand trial. Within less than one week of the savage atrocities of Hamas on October 7, 2023 (exceedingly violent, murders, rapes, tortures and kidnappings), much of the world’s sentiment turned against us. Some began to deny or belittle the savagery of the attacks, or even that they had ever occurred. Others quickly began to accuse the Jewish people of war crimes and genocide – while giving Hamas a clean bill of health, This past week across the globe, student demonstrators are calling for genocide against the Jews, while accusing Israel of committing genocide!


So a question needs to be asked to those nations and demonstrators who tell us not to retaliate:


  • Do you tell us not to retaliate because you are pacifists by nature, and see the Sermon of the Mount as the guideline of your lives?
  • Do you tell us not to retaliate because you are afraid that WWIII will be triggered, and you are trying to avoid that scenario?
  • Do you tell us not to retaliate because you truly care for the welfare of the Jewish people, and you have their best interests at heart?


The God of Jacob is looking for people from all across the planet who have Ruth’s heart for the Jewish people, who are willing to swear a covenant of love and loyalty to them as the first-born nation of YHVH.


  • Then she said, “Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said, “Do not plead with me to leave you or to turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you sleep, I will sleep. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord do so to me, and worse, if anything but death separates me from you.” When she saw that she was determined to go with her, she stopped speaking to her about it.



How should we then pray?


  • Pray for revelation to be given to the human race about how seriously God views covenant – to Him and to His Jewish people


  • Pray for the physical rescue of the approximately 129 Israeli hostages (including babies) kidnapped by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and PFLP/PLO.  At this moment some hostages are being tortured, raped and starved (this based on testimonies of recently released hostages). Sadly, at least 35 of these hostages (conservatively speaking) are the corpses of Israeli citizens, held in cold storage by Hamas as bargaining chips


  • Pray for Hamas’ cruel terror dictatorship in Gaza to be decisively shattered and for all chains broken off the Palestinians living there, and for Iran’s role in jihadi deception, dissimulation and anti-Semitism to be exposed and opposed by world leaders


  • Pray that Israel’s leadership be granted justice, clarity, moral courage, discernment and divine strategies in utterly destroying the jihadi threat in all of its aspects, and for minimal loss of life for Israel’s defense forces and for those Gazans who are truly innocent


  • Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s prophetic Jewish army throughout the earth


Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.

In Messiah Yeshua,

Avner Boskey


Donations can be sent to: FINAL FRONTIER MINISTRIES 


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