Should Israel be participating in the world’s climate change agenda?
The “People of the Book” should trust in the Almighty's promise never again to destroy the earth
Among the many injunctions that the Almighty gave to Israel, His chosen people, a real standout is Numbers 23:9: “The people shall dwell alone and shall not be reckoned among the nations.” One version actually says, “it does not consider itself among the nations.”
So, who thought it was a great idea for Israel to be represented, along with other nations, in the United Nations’ annual climate change conference, COP27, held this month in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt?
Gathered from every corner of the world, the nations came to pay homage to the earth and covenanted to honor her with compassion and respect. They say that no commitment is too great and no price too high – not mankind’s comfort, conveniences or even necessity when it comes to extending lavish attention and deference to the planet’s needs. We are now instructed to bow down, serve and worship creation, absent the Creator.
Who would have thought that Israel would join this chorus? Yet there we were, linking arms with the nations as they genuflected to their new deity. It was to this backdrop that Israel’s President Isaac Herzog, in his opening address on Monday, promised Israel’s net zero carbon emissions by 2050, despite his inability to make such a guarantee, given that Israel’s attorney general prevented the passage of such a bill.
Perhaps the most curious part of Herzog’s speech was his choice to invoke the Quran which “teaches us to be good to others as Allah has been good to us, and to not seek to corrupt the land.”
The name “Allah” was actually the name of a pagan lunar deity.
So why would the president of the only Jewish nation – commanded by God not to be reckoned with the others – use such a reference? And where does the notion of the climate change agenda – an industry rife with corruption, massive wealth transfer and self-aggrandizement at the expense of world populations – fall into the category of “corrupting the land?”
The Jewish scriptures tell us that Israel’s elders rebelled against God back in the day of the prophet Samuel, declaring that they wanted a king just like the other nations. According to 1 Samuel 8, God told the prophet that they had not rejected him, but rather God, Himself as their king. This led to a tragic history of our people, culminating in multiple exiles from the land promised as our inheritance.
In failing to understand our unique and singular role, among the nations as those who had been chosen to bring forth the law from Zion and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem, our people have suffered humiliation, degradation and banishment. Not being up to the task which had been set before us, caused us to lose thousands of years of blessing in our land and prevented us from living out our high calling.
Yet, in His infinite compassion and unfailing word, the God of heaven and earth, the one, true God, brought us back to our homeland, promising to never again allow us to be uprooted (Amos 9:15). Then the nations would no longer be able to point to us as those who had been cast off and forgotten, an object of ridicule (1 Kings 9:7).
It’s sad that we haven’t learned from our mistakes. Instead we still go along with the nations and even invoke their deities in order to gain stature in their eyes.
Wandering in the wilderness seems to be what we do best as a people, but it’s time we decide that our spiritual destiny is to get out of that same trap into which we are so prone to fall.
The nations’ representatives warn that we have very little time left before we doom ourselves into an uninhabitable morass. In 2019, alarmist U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the darling of the Democratic Squad, declared that the world was going to end in just 12 years. That means, by her reckoning, that we only have another eight years until an instantaneous combustion will take place, catapulting each and every soul into the oblivion of time and space. Of course, no scientific evidence was ever produced to back up such an outlandish statement – not by her or anyone else who have made similar prophetic claims.
At different junctures, the great climate naysayers have tried to convince us that summer is getting hotter, winter is getting colder, oceans are rising, ice is melting and the atmosphere is in a free fall.
But the “People of the Book,” who reside in the Promised Land should reject such claims because the scriptures say something different. Following the great flood, the Almighty promised: “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth, and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:21, 22)
This is the message Israel needs to spread among the nations! We have a God whose compassion is greater than our own natural propensity to do evil. But We don’t have to wring our hands and fret that when 2031 rolls around we’re all going to disappear into thin air.
Paying homage to the gods of climate change comes with a price. That price entails revoking our calling of being a people who dwell alone. Are the accolades which come by joining forces with the great and powerful wizards more important? Will we also prostrate ourselves before the winds, the mountains, the oceans and the air? We must remember that their lofty commitments come only second to their ravenous accumulation of wealth and might.
The year 2022 will be marked as the first time Israel had a pavilion at the U.N. Climate Conference. It reminds me of when we as a people decided that God was not enough for us – we had to be like everyone else and have a king.
May He forgive us for this lapse in judgment and continual need to seek favor, protection and acceptance by the nations which will, one day, collectively turn upon us according to the prophet Zechariah.
God, help us to internalize who You are, how You preserved us as a people and the fact that You summon hosts on behalf of Your beloved nation of Israel – the land that must not be reckoned with the nations!
A former Jerusalem elementary and middle-school principal and the granddaughter of European Jews who arrived in the US before the Holocaust. Making Aliyah in 1993, she is retired and now lives in the center of the country with her husband.