A Soldier for All Humanity
TODAY, many people are talking of Israel's military might. Today, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) can compare with the best in the world. Today, Israel, a small nation (located in the Middle East bordered by Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt) with a population in 2008 of 7.28 million has shown to the world (after the State of Israel was established on May 14, 1948) that despite great odds, it will defend its sovereignty and independence against invaders. It will be recalled that within 24 hours from the proclamation on May 14, 1948 of the statehood of Israel according to the United Nations partition plan in 1947 between the Arab and Jewish communities -- the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq in full force attacked Israel. The fighting lasted for 15 months and over 6,000 Israel lives (about one percent of Israel's Jewish population at that time) were lost. But the war ended in victory for Israel.
One may ask: Who is the military expert who helped organize the army of Israel even before the State of Israel was born? Who planned the military strategy for Israel whose name is forever etched in the annals of Israel history? This article is about this man whose gravestone at West Point in US identifies him as "A Soldier for All Humanity;" whose colorful and adventurous military life had been immortalized in a Hollywood movie titled "Cast A Giant Shadow" with Kirk Douglas portraying this man. Finally, David Ben-Gurion who later became Prime Minister of Israel paid his tribute to this military expert as follows: "He was the best man we had."
For background information about Israel from the biblical standpoint, let me share the following:
* No other national group has experienced the long sufferings and the trials of the Jews from the time they were saved after 400 years of bondage in Egypt sometime in 1400 B.C. Moses was chosen by God to lead the Jews out of Egypt to the Land of Israel promised to their forefathers. Wandering for 40 years in the Sinai desert tested again the persistence of the Jews. Israel's history includes periods when Israel was crushed by other people like Assyrians, the Babylonians, and the Persians. Today, media is keeping a close watch on Israel's moves to protect itself from military attacks from the Palestinians and other hostile forces all around her;
* So often said that Israel is the only nation created by a sovereign act of God. A more astounding Biblical commitment of God to the Israelites is His promise to defend Israel from those nations that fight Israel because by fighting Israel those nations in effect are fighting against God. The basis of this divine protection for Israel is found in the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Holy Bible. It will be recalled that during the early Biblical times, God found favor with a righteous man called Abram (name later changed by God to Abraham). God made a covenant with Abram, the forefather of the Jewish people, as follows: "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all people on earth will be blessed." (Genesis 12:13) With this Biblical verse, Israel has been guaranteed a divine insurance policy against destruction or extinction as a nation;
* Many people cannot erase from their memories the holocaust catastrophe where about six million Jews were murdered during the Nazi regime of Hitler under every conceivable torture scheme;
* Israel is always vigilant of military attacks from her Arab neighbors. The 1967 Six-Day War once again demonstrated the military dominance and prowess of Israel. Israel fought Egypt, Jordan and Syria to preserve its territorial boundaries. As a consequent of the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel was able to add to its boundaries certain areas earlier occupied by her Arab enemies. …