Dr Daniel Juster, Director

The almost certain nomination of Barack Obama by the Democratic Party as their candidate for the presidential election in November has elicited many responses, not least from Israel and the Jewish community. As of this writing, Senator Obama has a very good chance of becoming President of the United States. Some greet this prospect with alarm, but most Israelis are taking a "wait and see" attitude. There is great wariness.

From time to time an article in Tikkun may make reference to political leaders and respond to something that is said that we believe is a moral and religious issue. In so doing, we are in no way to be construed as supporting one candidate over or against another.
The American Jewish community, generally a solid Democratic Party vote, is unusually divided. In addition, the 2000 Democratic Vice Presidential candidate, Senator Joseph Lieberman, is fully behind the Republican candidate, Senator John McCain, a former prisoner and hero of the Vietnam War. While there are great concerns over Senator Obama's stated policies on taxes, social spending, abortion rights, and judicial appointments, wary Jews, including Senator Lieberman, are not supporting John McCain because of these issues. Rather, they fear that Senator Obama does not understand Islamic Fascism and how to fight it. This is said to be the defining issue of our generation. They also fear that he will not be strong in his support for Israel. His statement that he would sit down without preconditions to talk with rogue leaders such as Achmadinejab of Iran and Assad of Syria has also caused great alarm. He has since backed away from this assertion.

I argued in my last article that Islamic fascists have to be defeated because there is no common ground for a settlement that both sides could endorse as a positive outcome. Some weeks ago, Senator Obama spoke before the American Israel Political Action Committee. He sought to calm fears and spoke very strong words on his commitment to the security of Israel. Of course we Jews want to see a president that would be good for Israel! Only a few days later, however, after howls of protest from the Islamic world, he significantly backtracked and tried to distance himself from what his advisors later admitted was an unwise statement on Jerusalem.

The First African American President?

Barack Obama would be the first African American president. The election of an African American, were his policies good, would be a wonderful triumph of human values that are based in the Bible's teaching that all men are created in the Image of God and of incalculable worth. It would be great for the African American community and could lift them to a new level of hope regarding future opportunities. However, a failed African American presidency would be very sad and could have many negative repercussions.

There are also fears concerning Senator Obama's physical safety. While white racism is at historic lows in the United States, there are still radical white supremacist groups. If Barack Obama were to be assassinated it would cause terrible social destruction. When Hillary Clinton mentioned the assassination of Robert Kennedy in 1968 in the context of this campaign, many reacted and interpreted her remark to be saying that it was too risky to nominate Senator Obama. She strongly denied this.

The Role of Pro-Israel Christians and Messianic Jews

I believe that perceptive Messianic Jews and pro-Israel Christians have a crucial role to play in the forthcoming elections in the United States. We must call upon all believers to fulfill their Biblical mandate and vote with prayerful wisdom. That usually means picking the candidate whose policies are most in accord with our understanding of biblical principles. However, a people who are spiritually in tune can also hear the Spirit informing their considerations; for things are often not what they seem to be and certainly often do not turn out as expected. I Timothy 2:1-4 is central to this discussion:

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority that we may lead a quiet and profitable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

This amazing text was written in the context of a Roman government that was hardly a model of Biblical principles! Indeed, the persecution of believers had already begun. Yet, because government is necessary and ordained of God, prayer for leaders is one of our most important responsibilities! I think this includes praying for political candidates. I am tremendously burdened to exhort believers that prayer is especially urgent at this time! Here are some prayers in the light of I Timothy 2, which I believe are most fitting.

  1. Pray for supernatural protection on the candidates. Many have been motivated to pray for President Bush. We must also be motivated to pray for the new presidential candidates. If Barack Obama is elected, we must increase our efforts because of greater risk to his person from racist radicals. Our prayers may be crucial in averting great tragedy. Let us also do the same for the candidates for government in Israel.
  2. Pray for the right candidate to be elected in the U.S.; one that will support Israel in the best way. Also pray that an Israeli candidate will be elected who will be a leader of strong moral character, vision and integrity.
  3. When a leader has been chosen, pray that the leader has wisdom from God to make the right decisions. Campaign policy assertions are often adjusted in government. God can change the heart of the king. No election ends our hope; God can intervene in all situations if fervent and righteous prayer is offered.
  4. Pray for the election of leaders in Israel and the United States that will strongly foster the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This magnificent statement, for the most part the work of Charles Malik, that great and pious Christian leader of the 1940s-1960s, affirms the right to propagate ones religious beliefs. This important principle is under attack in the Western world and in Israel.

A president in the United States and a Prime Minister in Israel who genuinely believe in free speech, including the right to propagate religious beliefs, would be a great support for our Messianic movement in Israel. We declare our right to spread the Good News!

Yes, the impending elections in the United States and Israel are crucial. Pray as though your life depends on it, because it might. May God's will be done!

By Daniel Juster

Dan Juster leads the overall ministry Tikkun International. Donate to Tikkun International.

Let us know what you think - why not comment to this article. The authors of these articles are often involved in intense ministry and are thus unable to respond to most comments. As is normal with print and online magazines, Tikkun reserves the right to publish only those comments we feel are edifying in tone and content.
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08:50 05Aug08 Rev. Joyce Feldman-Pilotti -
I am a Jewish believer and have known the Lord Yeshua for 35 years. I agree with you that this is a crusial time for the USA and Israel. They are so tied together in Biblical prophesy; which is being fulfilled before our very eyes today. I receive your articles regularly and pray for your ministry daily. You are blessing for sending out the TRUTH - KEEP IT UP.

09:38 05Aug08 anonymous -
The Lord spoke to me over a year ago and said to me this is the next President of the United states.It was Senator Obama and He also compared him with JFK? I am praying for his safety because God can use who ever he wants for his purpose and plans and color do not matter to God. Remember Moses' wife! We have to trust God because He is still in control and only He knows the outcome of all things. I think we should all just pray and trust God because He is the one who appoints all men.

13:07 05Aug08 Andre Tavares -
I pray for a US president who also understands and takes care of Latin America, especially South America. For most than twenty years we don't have a US specific policy. I am not talking about poverty or economy, but about the growing left-wing populism that is leading South America to a very dangerous future. The Triple Border, between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, is full of Arabs that openly finance terrorist activity in Middle East. You know Chavez, but the real danger is the narco-guerrillas (FARC), and the leftist presidents in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Ecuador.

00:03 06Aug08 Janine -
Contrary to 'anonymous', (5 August) God hasn't spoken to me on the subject, but I remain very wary of Obama Barack. God's will be done!

01:34 06Aug08 Dolores -
I'm praying that God's righteousness be established and that He protects His remnant. I'm praying for other specifics similar to the points in this article -- these are good things for which to pray, but we need to be prepared. Whoever gets elected may make bad choices with the best of intentions, as we've seen in the past.

02:41 09Aug08 Robert (Bob) H. Ward -
I am surprised at the somewhat political correctness in this article. For me it is time to stand as the prophets of old, like Jeremiah and Isaiah, stand as the Lord leads in places (or newsletters) before leaders and the people, crying out for justice and warning because of the sins of this nation and Israel. Leaders and parties of this nation are fairly transparent to those who are observant and keep up with the current social climate, spiritually as well as politically. There is the greater of two evils and we all know which party truly disfavors Israel and has the ear of the liberal press and leftist idealism that excludes moral integrity and support of Israel and its G-d given right to retain all of its land and protect itself. True there are detractors in the other party as well and broken promises have been made over the last eight years, still it remains the lesser of two evils (righteously speaking). What human rights existed in Jerusalem from before and after the time of Yeshua under Roman rule? Why did the spreading of the Gospel of the Messiah grow under persecution and great tribulation ... because Believers were willing to share the "Good News" no matter what. Now in this day and time we once again face tumultuous times as the battle for men's hearts and minds roars across our country and Israel. It is time for the men and women Believers to take a strong stand for our Adonai and for His Ways, to speak the truth without hesitation or lack of boldness. Jeremiah 25 gives us insight as to what Adonai's attitude is towards the unrighteous and unholy attitudes of nations and leaders that incur His wrath. That in my opinion should be the bulwark of our prayers, bringing recognition to the fact that Adonai Tzva'ot will act today exactly as He did in ancient times when the people no longer serve him wholeheartedly, both in Israel and the nations. My prayer is for as many as can, be led to salvation and total devotion to Yeshua, for a strong Remnant to be raised in the interim time He has given us.

12:32 16Aug08 anonymous -
Bob, you can comment like you did freely ... but surely you must understand the tightrope Dan Juster must walk. To openly endorse or condemn one candidate or party would mean forfeiting Tikkun International's tax exempt status. So read between the lines and let the Ruach HaKosesh fill them in with His truth. But we can rest in the words of Daniel 2:21 that it is HaShem who raises up leaders ... and tears them down. Thanks for your comments ... and thank you, Dan, for as boldly as possible laying the issues and views on the table for all to see ... and we pray, "Thy will be done...on Earth as in Heaven!"

15:40 19Aug08 Glenn -
It seems as if McCain recognizes radical Islam is evil and the most serious threat facing our country. That being said, I have been surprised by the backlash against Tom Ridge or Joeseph Liberman as VP canidates. Although both are pro-choice it seems they would recognize the McCain administration as a pro-life administration and would be willing to defer on the life position in order to combat Islamic Fascism. Can you perhaps talk about why Evangelicals do not seem to see radical Islam as the greatest threat to their faith, values and security of our country?

01:55 21Aug08 anonymous -
On the contrary: I DO see radical Islam as the greatest threat to my faith --- as has my family for centuries. I also see the seriousness of the shedding of innocent blood and the sacrifice of children as a threat to our nation's very existence.

Also in this issue of the newsletter:

Eitan Shishkoff: Who is He?
Marty Shoub: Strangers No More
Asher Intrater: The Holy Spirit, The Gospel and Jewish Tradition
Asher & Amiel Intrater: Terrorist Attack in Jerusalem