Tuesday, February 28, 2012

America's Special Relationship With Israel. . . From The Beginning

"It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support." --George Washington, letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, 1790

By Douglas V. Gibbs

The influence of Israel on the operational structure of our federal government is astounding. The Founding Fathers studied the record of the ancient Israelites and were stunned by the similarities of their system to the system used by the Anglo-Saxons. The principles from the first chapter of Deuteronomy had so much influence on the creation of the American federal government that the original intent of the Official Seal of the United States was to have a Star of David on it.

The similarities between the two governmental systems used by the Israelites and the Anglo-Saxons was that both set up a commonwealth of freemen, proclaiming liberty throughout the land; the people were organized into small, manageable units where the representative of each family had a voice and a vote; an emphasis on strong, local self-government; the code of justice was based primarily on reparation to the victim rather than fines and punishment to the commonwealth; leaders were elected and new laws were approved by the common consent of the people; and accused persons were presumed to be innocent until proven guilty.

Jewish colonists first arrived in America in 1654, thirty years before the Germans, and fifty years before the Scots-Irish. From the beginning Jews never suffered in America as they did in Europe. A majority of Israelites in the New World supported the American Revolution, and joined the effort. Many were war heroes that gave all they had for the new nation, including their lives.

The first Jews in America fled from Brazil as Portugal took over the colony, and they came to New Amsterdam (New York) where the governor at the time contacted Holland about the influx of Jews into the Dutch colony.  The orders from Holland was to let them stay, and when the Dutch gave the Jews religious freedom at that time, it planted some of the seeds for religious freedom in this nation.

When the British defeated the Dutch in 1667, and took control of the colony, they renamed it New York, and guaranteed the Jews full rights to worship, trade, and to own property.  The Jewish community was about three thousand people by the time the Revolutionary War was upon this nation, and they had fully blended into America without receiving any institutionalized prejudice against them.

The American Revolution, supported by almost the entire Jewish community, saw Jewish merchants rally to the war, using their ships as blockade runners to bring supplies from Europe to supply the American army.  Most Jewish merchants lost everything by the end of the war.

When the American currency collapsed in 1781, a Jewish broker named Haym Salomon kept America financially solvent. His skill, knowledge, honesty, and generosity by using his own credit to back the finances of the United States kept the nation running, and when Robert Morris, Secretary of the Treasury, finally established a bank, Salomon was the first, and largest, depositor.

During the war Salomon personally made large loans with no interest to many leading Americans of the Revolution. Robert Morris made 75 entries in his diary about turning to Salomon for help. The Jewish broker was perhaps the person most responsible for establishing the credit of the United States in Europe.  He was backing the loans, and the Continental Congress appointed him "The Official Broker of the Office of Finance of the United States."

He died penniless in 1785, and the exact amount the United States owed Salomon was never determined since the records were destroyed when the White House was burned in The War of 1812.

Haym Salomon was a true American Patriot that gave his all for America.

When George Washington was elected President in 1789 he was greeted with congratulatory letters from the Jewish centers around the nation. His response connected the God of Israel, who delivered the Jews from Egypt, to the same God who established the United States. He asked God to bless the Hebrews with the "dews of heaven," and he requested the material and spiritual blessings for the people whose God is Jehovah - setting the tone of the attitude of Americans toward the Jewish People for all generations to follow.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

McTernan, John P. As America has done to Israel. New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House (2008)

Skousen, W. Cleon. The 5000 Year Leap. Malta, ID: National Center for Constitutional Studies (1981)

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