Rumblings about Israel Sanctions Prompt Demands for Answers

Politicians, supporters of Israel and the faithful in general are expressing deep concern amid reports that President Barack Obama and his administration are considering sanctions against Israel for new construction in the West Bank.

American Pastors Network (APN, says any U.S. sanctions against Israel would be dangerous on many levels.

“We simply cannot ignore the biblical significance of standing with God’s chosen people in Israel,” said APN President Sam Rohrer. “What America does in relationship to the support of Israel is the difference between experiencing God’s blessing or God’s judgment on our nation.”  

“Additionally, from a pure policy perspective, any suggestion of sanctions against Israel is an inexcusable and grave misstep in the United States’ relationship with Israel, who has long been our strongest ally in the Middle East and who continues to be the only truly democratic nation in that region and the only nation in the Middle East that allows true religious freedom.”

Dozens of Members of Congress came out in strong opposition to possible sanctions, with at least 48 Members signing onto a letter demanding the President clarify his actions and intentions.

According to a story on, the Obama administration has repeatedly said it disapproves of Israel’s decision to build new homes in east Jerusalem and that this construction undermines the peace process. On Friday, White House officials refused to confirm or deny reports, albeit ambiguous and from anonymous sources, that they are considering sanctions against Israel.

The Times of Israel reprinted a portion of a letter to the President from 48 U.S. Representatives, led by Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina.

“Recent reports suggest that your administration has held classified meetings over the past several weeks to discuss the possibility of imposing sanctions against Israel for its decision to construct homes in East Jerusalem,” the letter read. “Israel is one of our strongest allies, and the mere notion that the administration would unilaterally impose sanctions against Israel is not only unwise, but is extremely worrisome.”

Over the weekend, the Rev. Dave Kistler, president of the North Carolina Pastors Network, a state chapter of APN, and president and HOPE Ministries International, wrote about the possible sanctions and the global significance.

“Without doubt, the last three days have been ones of incredible activity on the part of the forces of evil,” Kistler said, referring to further reports of ISIS violence. “As well, in a stunning move, the United States may be seriously considering sanctions against our best ally in the world—Israel—for continuing to build settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. The absolute tragedy is that this proposed move would announce the severing of the final thread that is keeping America from the pit of God’s undiluted judgment—our unequivocal support for God’s chosen people.”

Kistler added that many in the evangelical community are adopting an ambivalent attitude, if not outright animosity, toward Israel, based on an errant belief in “Replacement Theology,” or the teaching that the Christian church has replaced Israel regarding the plan, purpose and promises of God. This doctrine, he says, is all too pervasive within the Christian church. In fact, Genesis 12 is just as applicable today as when it was written: “I will bless those that bless thee, and curse those that curse thee.”

“These developments underscore the desperate need for God’s preachers to stand boldly and proclaim clearly the undiluted word of God,” Kistler said. “Now is the time for God’s men and women to ‘cry aloud, spare not and lift up (their) voice like a trumpet’ in unearthing sin and declaring the whole counsel of God. Anything less will never facilitate revival. And anything less is disobedience to the great God who has called us to be His spokesmen.”

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