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Bible Belt Legislator in Samaria: ‘G-d’s Promise is Forever'

A Bible Belt state legislator who backed a pro-Israel resolution hopes more states will follow. “G-d’s promise to Jews is forever."
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 11/30/2011, 5:23 PM

Mesika (left) and Sen. Clemmons
Mesika (left) and Sen. Clemmons
Samaria Regional Council

America’s “Bible Belt” takes the Scriptures seriously – very seriously. There still are some folks there who think Jews have “horns on their heads,” a view based on the improper translation that Moses descended from Mount Sinai with “horns” of light on his head, based on the literal translation of the Hebrew word "keren,” which in this context is understood as “rays.”

There are other verses that are not open for interpretation, and two South Carolina senators this year succeeded in using them to help gain unanimous state legislative support for the first-ever pro-Israel resolution in a state.

It commends “the Nation of Israel for its relations with the United States and with the state of South Carolina.” Even more unusual is that the resolution was proclaimed “Whereas, Israel has been granted her lands under and through the oldest recorded deed as reported in the Old Testament, a tome of scripture held sacred and reverenced by Jew and Christian, alike, as the acts and words of G-d;

and Whereas, as the Grantor of said lands, G-d stated to the Jewish people in the Old Testament; in Leviticus, Chapter 20, Verse 24: 'Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey.'"

Several other “whereas” statements continued the theme of the Promised Land for Jews and also noted that “those same haters of Israel also hate, and seek to destroy, the United States of America.”

Resolution co-sponsor Rep. Alan Clemmons, on his first-ever visit to Israel, visited Samaria this week and spoke with Arutz Sheva, which asked him why a Bible Belt state legislator – a Mormon, no less – is so interested in Israel while the “Jewish vote” is minimal in his state.

“I have a heartfelt desire to correct what I felt was a wrong when President Obama shared with the world his proclamation and his belief that Israel should return to the 1948 ceasefire lines, what he called the 1967 borders,” Rep. Clemmons said. “You and I know there are no such borders.”

He said that he, along with co-Republican Sen. Larry Smith, who is to visit Israel next week, sponsored the resolution in favor of Israel because "I am bringing peace to myself.”

Rep. Clemmons explained that it must be understood that “Israel is a G-d given land, that G-d gave the land to Israel and that Israel is not occupying any land. He promised the Jewish people that Israel would be theirs forever. That means 'always,' regardless of what a president or prime minister says.”

He said he was pleasantly surprised that “not a single one of the 124 members of the legislature in South Carolina objected to the resolution.”

Asked if local issues are not more important to his constituents, the senior senator replied, “In the area I am from, one out of every five able-bodied persons is unemployed. At the same time, I cannot overlook injustices. Our  best friend is under attack. To send such a message of despair from the president to America’s best friend was a wrong to be righted.”

As a Mormon, Rep. Clemmons is aware of concerns by many nationalists that "Christian Zionists" are on a secret mission to convert Jews.

“Israel is a special place for all Christians, and Jews have a right to be concerned with Christian persuasion and influence,” he replied. “When it comes to Israel, abuse and injustice in the name of religion have worked against the Jews for millennia, but if there is any thought of missionary activity – there is none. I am not interested in converting Jews. I am here to support Jews."

Like many first-time visitors to Israel, Rep. Clemmons expected “an old city of Jerusalem and a strife-filled and older country with little infrastructure and bullets flying. What I found was a modern country that is loved by her citizens, and I found a land where the reverence that I feel in Israel for the land is palpable.”

He also said he in contact with other states concerning a resolution similar to that passed by the South Carolina legislature. “I have heard back from 15-20 states where they are looking to introduce the same in the coming session.”