Thlipsis: Greek – meaning pressure or distress. “[T]ribulation produces patience, patience produces character, and character produces hope.” Romans 5:3-4
Two thousand years ago one method of torture was to put a huge stone on someone’s chest the pressure of which slowly suffocated the victim. So, too, crucifixion, the weight of one’s body finally preventing enough air to enter the lungs. This, in literal terms, is thlipsis. In symbolic terms, it cannot better describe what a majority of Americans feel today about affairs in Israel.
Tribulation produces patience. . .
Miss Constitution would say that understanding the causes of the tribulation helps produce the patience and character to endure it; adding an empirical and rational mind helps fix it; and grace through faith, helps one see the hope patience, character, and intellect have painstakingly produced. The tribulation we need to understand is the stone on the chest of humanity in the Middle East.
The rich history of the Temple Jews, the scattering of Jews in the world, their critical role in nation-state finance, the debate regarding whether a race or religion aside, the critical question underlying the modern Jewish Question is whether they were to survive assimilating into other cultures or whether they were owed a sovereign state of their own. The debate regarding Zionism (a homeland for the Jewish people) was real and fierce. In 1917, under the British Progressive Labour Party of Lloyd George, it was proposed that such a homeland be created in the British Mandate of Palestine – ancient Israel. Woodrow Wilson was at first opposed to the plan but was later persuaded to support it by his top advisor, Colonel House, influenced by a leading American Jew and later Supreme Court Justice, Louis Brandeis.
Riots in Jerusalem soon broke out. The Palestinians felt betrayed as they had been promised nationhood if they stood with the Allies against Turkey in World War I. America severely reduced the immigration of Jews from Europe with the Immigration Act of 1924. In 1929 only 6,500 Poles could enter the United States, only 377 Romanians. Anti-German sentiment in the 1930’s grew understandably alarming. Many Americans feared that Jewish immigrants might be spies, their loyalties as assimilated Germans outweighing the growing threats of cultural extinction. Prior to the war, with European Jews unable to emigrate to safety anywhere, proposals were made to allow emigration to Africa – namely Kenya – and also Madagascar, but nothing came of it. The Holocaust soon followed.
And so, after the utter tragedy of Jewish annihilation in World War II, the British transferred their Palestinian Mandate to the United Nations, who created the State of Israel in 1948. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were displaced. Truman recognized the new nation and welcomed 40,000 “displaced persons” – survivors of the genocide – into the United States. Nothing but Arab/Israeli Wars have followed and we now face the prospect of maniacal bloodshed, of Holy War – Jihad – of China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran all as allies against Christians, Jews, and non-Jihad Muslims – considered filthy, loathsome, and degenerate by Radical Islamists. Hence, the recent butchery of Jews by Hamas in southern Israel, living in land (Gaza) ceded to them by Israel in 2006, is, to some, due and owed.
Patience produces character. . .
But does it produce savvy? It is not the fault of anyone living today that America lost her way at the beginning of the 20th century. George Washington had warned us a century earlier not to get entangled in the ridiculous and deadly affairs of Europe. We looked on with horror as concepts from our own Revolution against Great Britain were warped into the bloodshed that was the revolution in France. Napoleon sold us a third of what is now the United States to wage devastating European wars in the early part of the 19th century. We thought they would leave us alone but France and Great Britain never lost their interest in reclaiming America. Plans were laid to partition what was left of the Union after the Civil War. Alexander II of Russia, luckily for us, told them “no.”
If not through war, the European banking cartel sought to control us through central-banking lending schemes – Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln, luckily for us, said “no.” Capitalism’s extraordinary success as an economic system gave rise to the opposing ideologies of anarchy and Marxism by the mid 19th century. Wealthy individuals in America – Jacob Schiff, for one – began to operate as private secretaries of state and fund war and peace as individuals. The treatment of Jews in Russia became his obsession and we mistakenly plunged, through his and others’ influence, right into the middle of the Jewish Question in Europe. America put a huge stone on her own chest.
Character produces hope. . .
Miss Constitution would say savvy produces hope. It is abundantly clear that the ramifications of our entry into World War I – making the world safe for democracy – (never our national mission) have been a complete disaster. The arranged national marriages of different peoples into artificial nation-states has only produced deep-seated hatreds and resentments, endless war, nuclear weapons, carnage, and bloodshed. International organizations created to make sense out of the senseless have collapsed under the weight of their own corruption. The banking schemes America once said “no” to have morphed into grotesque global financial giants whose purpose is to control the entire world by ending the concept of the nation-state and creating “one-world government.” America’s actual mission as articulated in the Preamble to the United States Constitution – securing the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity – seems sweetly naive.
And so, how do we remove the stone we placed on our own chest? And how do we help remove the stone placed on Israel’s chest? How are we to be relieved of thlipsis?
We remove it, Miss Constitution would say, not with patience, character, and hope but with realism, honesty, and strength. We need to be realistic about the love affair America’s intelligentsia has had with the ideas of Karl Marx since the Russian Revolution of 1917. We need to be realistic about the indoctrination of these ideas into our precious children today. We need to be honest about the mistakes in policy America has made in the past and turn back to the philosophical Foundations of the nation. We need the strength to disassociate ourselves with world financial schemes and return control of America’s monetary policy back to Congress and the United States Treasury.
Israel’s tribulations are, in part, the result of an “experiment” first articulated in the late 1800s and supported as part of the administration of the British Empire with America’s help. Realistically, America’s current administration is supporting Israel’s primary enemy. Israel is essentially on her own.
The hope Israel has, and the strength that she needs, will depend on the savvy of her leaders. To depend on America would be a mistake. We are slowly suffocating ourselves.