Brog's Blog

September 13, 2011

The Death of Great Men

Filed under: All Posts — brogsblog @ 8:56 pm
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk: The Founder of Modern Turkey

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk: The Founder of Modern Turkey

Muhammad Anwar al-Sadat -the third President of Egypt

Muhammad Anwar al-Sadat -the third President of Egypt

Historians have long debated the role that any one individual can play in changing the course of history.  Some support the “great man theory” – the idea that one man of great vision and talent can pull his nation out of its natural orbit and set it on a new and very different course.  Others argue that culture is destiny.  Yes, a leader can step forward and make a bold gesture.  But unless he brings his people along with him, the culture will ultimately wipe out that leader’s initiatives as certainly as the ocean envelopes and erases a sand castle.

Tragically, news from the Middle East this month has done much to debunk the great man theory.  We are witnessing historic challenges to the legacies of two great men.  And in the process, Israel finds itself thrust backwards in time to a more dangerous era.  For Israel, September has been a most cruel month.  And it’s not even half-way over.

Egypt’s former President, Anwar Sadat, is often cited as an example of the great man theory in action.  Back in 1977, Sadat decided to end Egypt’s state of war with Israel.  In a gesture of history-changing proportions, he boarded a plane, flew to Jerusalem, and proposed peace directly to Israel’s Parliament.  When Egypt and Israel signed the Camp David Accords in 1979, Egypt went from Israel’s most threatening enemy to its first Arab friend.  And while the peace that emerged was far colder than the Israelis had hoped, it was still peace.  Until recent weeks, Israel’s border with Egypt had been a perfectly quiet one.

But while Sadat and his successor, Hosni Mubarak, changed history, they never changed Egypt’s underlying culture.  While they made and maintained the cold peace, they allowed their media and schools to continue to teach hatred of Israel and Jews.  And now this culture is devouring their legacy.  The culture – in the form of a Jihadist assassin — killed Sadat.  And now the culture – in the form of a violent mob — has destroyed the greatest physical manifestation of Sadat’s peace: Israel’s Embassy in Cairo.  Can the document long survive when its symbols are so defiled?

Even more than Anwar Sadat, Turkey’s first president, Kemal Ataturk, has served as Exhibit A in support of the great actor theory.  For centuries, Turkey had ruled a Middle Eastern empire and been the seat of worldwide Islamic authority.  Then Ataturk decided to create a new nation state in the Western mold with a separation between church and state.  He abolished the caliphate, limited the role of Islamic courts and insisted that the Turkish language be written in Latin, not Arabic, script.  It was natural that the Turkey thus oriented was first Muslim country to recognize the State of Israel in 1949.

Bur even a man of the stature of Ataturk could not completely eradicate Turkey’s Middle Eastern roots.  Political Islam survived, and is reasserting itself.  Ataturk rests today in a mausoleum.  And his seat is filled by new leaders from an Islamic party who have gradually, but steadily, steered Turkey back to its old course.  Turkey is now clearly dedicated to reclaiming its former grandeur as the leader of the Middle East rather than continuing to plead for junior status in the European Union.  It was only a matter of time until a Turkey thus oriented began distancing itself from Israel.

Those who believe in the great man theory are now trying to apply it — in reverse — to Israel’s Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu.  They claim that Netanyahu is so great in his stubbornness that he has single handedly turned the Egypt, Turkey and the world against Israel.  According to this argument, Israel was on the fast-track to peace with her neighbors until Netanyahu came in and changed course.

This view is a fantasy for those fleeing a harsh reality.  This view ignores the fact that Netanyahu is the first prime minister from the right-of-center Likud party to embrace the creation of a Palestinians State and call for direct negotiations to achieve it.  This view ignores the five times that Israel has already offered the Palestinians a state and the five times the Palestinians have turned these offers down.  And this view ignores the real obstacle to peace in the Middle East: the ongoing refusal of so many in the region to accept a Jewish state in any size shape or form in their midst.

Israel’s peace treaties with leaders whose people remained hostile are sand castles.  And now the cultural tide is coming in.  Israel, and the world, would do well to remember this painful lesson.  In the weeks to come, enormous pressure will be brought to bear on Israel to make concessions to an individual – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.  Yet Abbas’ media and schools continue to teach hate to a Palestinian people who far too often share it.  And say what you will for Mahmoud Abbas, he is not a great man.  We should view with caution the premise that he can succeed where the likes of Ataturk and Sadat may well have failed.

David Brog is the executive director of Christians United for Israel and author of a new book, In Defense of Faith: The Judeo-Christian Idea and the Struggle for Humanity.  You can follow David on Facebook by clicking here and on Twitter by clicking here.



  1. Turkey steps into a quagmire, their steps will turn.

    Comment by Glenn Ledbetter — September 13, 2011 @ 9:52 pm

  2. I have been to Washingtons CUFI conference, I must admit all the speakers were good, but David Brog’s passionet speach moves me into tears.
    Todah David for your stance and contribution to CUFI and to Israel, I wish I could spens some time speaking with you, but I understand your posision and your time is very valubale.

    May Adonai use you mightily in His service.


    Comment by Itzhak Levy — September 13, 2011 @ 10:08 pm

  3. Your’s is a very interesting analysis and quite on target. Turkey, which rests on 2 continents, has always been the adopted child of both. It is no surprise that they are taking this route. Who wants to be a little fish in a big pond when they can easily be the big fish in a little pond? Benj Yetanyahu has the heart of Sadat in mind as he presides over Israel. He is also a good friend to the US, a fact which seems to escape our president. I believe he will be at the center of whatever peace eventually emerges from the threats from the terrorists now leading many of the countries in the Middle East. Thank you for presenting an interest viewpoint.

    Comment by Marie Smedberg — September 13, 2011 @ 10:13 pm

  4. People are going to realize painfully clear that the Jews are God’s chosen people and are the apple of his eye. His favor of them comes from the deepest depths of his heart and I personally believe that he has had enough of Islam trying to take them out. I strongly believe a heaven sent catastrophic natural disaster is about to hit the Middle East in great proportions, but will not touch Israel and there will be no doubt in anyone’s mind whom The Most High God Favors. It won’t be the first time Jehovah Nissi has stepped in to help his people and it won’t be the last. I feel the storm of devine judgement from him is about to make its presence known leaving the intellectuals, fools and radicals speechless and very affraid………….

    Comment by Lonnie — September 13, 2011 @ 10:29 pm

  5. “There will NEVER be peace in the Middle EAST”. That is just a phackt and a prophecy. It’s in the Bible and it’s in secular history. You must forget about peace their and think in higher terms of higher fractal math. In another words think of that area as being in “peaces”.

    It is written the sons of Ishmael would be “wild men” and incapable of getting along with anyone.

    May this message bring peace to YOU at last!

    Comment by BYEBYE — September 13, 2011 @ 10:33 pm

  6. “There will NEVER be peace in the Middle EAST”. That is just a phackt and a prophecy. It’s in the Bible and it’s in secular history. You must forget about peace there and think in higher terms of higher fractal math. In another words think of that area as being in “peaces”.

    It is written the sons of Ishmael would be “wild men” and incapable of getting along with anyone.

    May this message bring peace to YOU at last!

    Comment by BYEBYE — September 13, 2011 @ 10:34 pm

  7. Thank God for Benjamin Netanyahu. I pray for him almost every day & Israel. I remember at 33 when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour how God impressed on me that the Jewish people are the apple of God’s eye. The O.T. certainly says that there will be no peace between the Arabs & Jews. The way things seem to be going together worldwide it certainly looks like the soon return of Jesus Christ is near. Praise God because we all need Him. May God bless & protect Israel as the Arab world turns more & more against them. Joan

    Comment by Anonymous — September 13, 2011 @ 11:51 pm

  8. Jesus said,
    Satan’s Throne is Pergamos/Turkey. – Rev.2:12,13

    How could we believe any different?

    Comment by propheticplaces — September 14, 2011 @ 1:13 am


    Comment by VAL FOR PEACE — September 14, 2011 @ 1:59 am

  10. My Father holds the hearts of the leaders in his hand. Pray for the peace of Isrial. Thankyou

    Comment by Eric — September 14, 2011 @ 2:28 am

  11. I predict it is going to get mighty bloody in the Middle East within the next ten years. The Israelis will fight to the death. As they said after WWII and the holocaust, “Never again, never again”. Those who hate Israel and are bent on its destruction know not who they tangle with.

    Comment by Anonymous — September 14, 2011 @ 2:28 am

  12. I pray for israel an the jewish people God bless them!! I believe the time is so close for the lord jesus to return an take us home things in the bible i think are coming to past … I pray for the lost ….to some people it maybe scarey revelation is coming to past soon we should rejoice the lord will take us all home an we wont be in this terrible an hate world … Thank u jesus !!! Amen!!

    Comment by Anonymous — September 14, 2011 @ 2:33 am

  13. Please remember that Isrial is not living as a rightous nation. They are living as a secular nation. I say this with great respect to them as gods chosen people. God has said over and over again if they would live for him he would bless them. If they live for them selves he would bring there enemys to bear against them. We need to pray that they turn there hearts again to the one that loves them and has made great promises to them. Please pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

    Comment by Eric — September 14, 2011 @ 2:56 am

  14. These are days of great peril. Christian & Jewish Americans, along with all nations that believe in Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness must UNITE! Enough with appeasing a totalitarian ideology that has made CLEAR their intentions to people who love freedom. With G-d before us, who can stand against us. Never again, MEANS… NEVER AGAIN! WAKE UP MY FELLOW AMERICANS IT IS LATER THAN YOU UNDERSTAND.

    Comment by Dazzlingstar — September 14, 2011 @ 3:08 am

  15. Turkey,Iran,Egypt,and all enemies and potential enemies do not act in a vacum.They note the actions of others and the reactions those actions provoke. They especially note the reactions of the United States of America. The memory of the timid response by the USA to the act of war by Iran on our embassy is being rekindled. The apologies given to Islam by our president have been noted. That planeloads of Saudis, living it up in the USA on 911 were allowed to leave, was noted. That Amadinijad was allowed to lecture us in our university was noted. That we allow Israel, our only friend in that hate filled corner, to be threatened by ragtag medieval mobs is unforgivable.When will we choose a leader who is not afraid to, after 72 hours warning, leave not a stone unturned in Mecca.

    Comment by Jack — September 14, 2011 @ 6:21 am

  16. Israel is living as a Godless nation. Many Israeli soldiers come to india and have started worshipping the local gods and goddesses. If there is one constant in the Old Testament (besides Yaweh of course) – it’s God telling Israelites not to worship idols – and His chosen people mock Him again and again. In Israel itself they are worshipping idols like Pornography, secularism, materialism – anything and everything that God their heavenly father hates. ‘O if you would rend the heavens and come down’ cried out Isiah. Coz no human beings, not even prophets and neither your son are able to change these people. I say this with great sadness – the same sadness experienced by God as he sees his chosen people mocking him. I can imagine god thinking what is it that I have done wrong to these people?

    Comment by nirmal — September 14, 2011 @ 6:24 am

  17. In 2009, (in USA) according to data gathered from more than 14,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide, there were 1,376 hate crimes motivated by religious bias. Of those, just 9.3 percent — fewer than 1 in 10 — were committed against Muslims. By contrast, 70.1 percent were committed against Jews, 6.9 percent were aimed at Catholics or Protestants, and 8.6 percent targeted other religions. Hate crimes driven by anti-Muslim bigotry were outnumbered nearly 8 to 1 by anti-Semitic crimes.

    Comment by nirmal — September 14, 2011 @ 6:24 am

  18. Stop ;ieing to yourse;f and understand this. Sadat was far from a man of praise.
    Eight years after the destruction of the ovens from the Holicaust He as an Military Officer wrote a pretend letter to Hitler admiring that he had done. Had it been real repentence from such and real peace he wanted his people would have changed theri views as well. Learn another thing from this old man. Proof is allways in the pudding.

    Comment by Anonymous — September 14, 2011 @ 7:49 am

  19. well done david Brog. i can understand why the jews would turn their backs on G-d – this constant barage on them in anti semitism. i wish they would just understand themselves as the Josephs of the gospel and keep focused instead of joining the ignorance of mankind(joe’s brothers) and retaliating. Can you imagine if Joseph abandoned ship! no food for the world, no promise, no Judaism etc etc…. i wish you as israel never accepted an earthly king in the first place – a perfect theocratic state would upstage ALL!

    Comment by Terry — September 14, 2011 @ 8:09 am

  20. […] that the Turkey thus oriented was first Muslim country to recognize the State of Israel in 1949. MoreSource: Israel BlogsPublished: 14 September 2011Site: menorahblog.typepad.comSource by Date: Israel […]

    Pingback by The Death of Great Men « — September 14, 2011 @ 10:22 am

  21. Please visit this website: for more concerning the state of Israel as per the prophecies given by the End Time prophet of the Lord by the Name Dr. David Owuor.
    In fact the last prophecy he gave is that God is going to fight for Israel now that she is surrounded by all these enemies. Dr. Owuor who studied in Israel and later the united states of America has in addition been shown the Anti-Christ and the fact that the Messiah-Jesus Christ is coming soon.
    Let the world prepare the way for the coming King of Kings. it a times surprises me how humble are the ways of God Almighty that he can reveal himself to the poor people of Africa as opposed to the learned brothers in the west. Am writing from Kenya, a poor county that hosts the office of the End-time prophet of the Lord, we are in total revival here in Kenya and we hope to catch up with you in the air on this imminent day of rapture that is soon coming.

    Comment by Martin — September 14, 2011 @ 11:27 am

  22. Come quickly Lord Jesus ! ..June

    Comment by June — September 14, 2011 @ 3:05 pm

    1. [3] And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

    If you not on Israel side, You are not on God’s side. Are you ready for His coming?

    Harold McGee

    Comment by Anonymous — September 14, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

  24. It’s Turkey’s natural role to be a regional power. It always has been, from long before it was Turkey. Remember the Byzantine Empire? Right now Turkey’s economy is booming, its democracy is stable, and its military are firmly under civilian control. These are all great achievements and I should think Kemal Ataturk would be pleased. What you are really addressing is the collapse of Israeli and U.S. power in the region under the impact of the recent and ongoing people’s movements.

    Comment by Joanna — September 14, 2011 @ 5:51 pm

  25. Words of truth and wisdom, thank you 🙂

    Comment by Shuli Etzioni — September 14, 2011 @ 6:11 pm

  26. Lord God Almighty give us the Grace to accept these difficult sercumstances, and allow us to procede with wisdom.

    Comment by John Nuteafll – September 14, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

    Comment by John Nutefal — September 14, 2011 @ 9:45 pm

  27. Check out Isaiah chapters 11 and 19 and you will see that most westerners are missing parts of the bigger picture. Egypt, “Assyria”, and Israel WILL worship the ONE TRUE GOD together and they will be “a blessing in the midst of the earth.” Why do the prophecies of the other sons of Abraham always get overlooked? We had best be praised God that He will have His “one new man” through the reconciliation of all of the sons of Abraham.

    Comment by Pam — September 15, 2011 @ 2:54 am

  28. As Israel goes, so goes the rest of the world. Countries can attack Israel but God’s plan for Israel will never fail. There is a reason for all that is going on in the middle east. In the midst of it all, Christ is working it all out for his purpose and for those who love him.

    Comment by Marianne Lordi — September 15, 2011 @ 3:30 am

  29. Does anyone doubt His second coming is so closer now with all these things coming together? There’s only so much more time to accept God’s free gift of eternal life with Him by accepting His son, Jesus, as your personal saviour… simply tell Him “I believe in my heart that Jesus is Lord”. Tell Him you believe that He raised His son Jesus from the dead… Please read in the New Testament book of Romans chapter 10 verses 9-10. Have faith in, “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, Jesus, to whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16. Thank you.

    Comment by Bryan — September 15, 2011 @ 3:53 am

  30. Not to meantion, how isrieal has held back, from using the weapons we gave them, they can easily take out the entire middle east, at will, again, Gods plan. Good people, sometimes wait too long, to overturn evil.

    Comment by lolokimo — September 15, 2011 @ 5:33 am

  31. I am a Filipino and I support Israel by praying for its leaders and people everyday. It is true that peace between Israel and its Muslim neighbors is only a dream,it will never happen,not in this generation. But I and all evangelical christians in the Philippines stand with you Israel!

    Comment by maria cristina tria — September 15, 2011 @ 7:28 am

  32. Turkey is listed in Ezekiel Chs 38 and Ch 39 as being allied with Russian forces. A total of a 6 nation alliance that will attack Israel and lose.

    Egypt is not included in the alliance, which we would think that it would be…But: Yes a big But, their land gets destroyed by Water…LOL Moment…(Ezekiel Chs 29 & Ch 30). However, before that happens, they will have a huge Civil War…Isaiah Ch 19.

    Don’t worry about Damascus…They get destroyed forever! (Isaiah Ch 17).

    There’s a few other things going on, while these situations are going on….that make the 10 Plagues put upon Egypt, by Moses & His God Small Potatoes.

    Buy a survival Bunker, if you don’t believe in the N.T. Way of Escape!

    Comment by Greg the Electrician — September 18, 2011 @ 2:40 am

  33. Bible prophecy emphatically states that we are coming to the end of two ages:

    #1. the end of the church age.
    #2. The end of an age called “The Times of the Gentiles”.

    No diplomats can stop God’s Plans!…Neither can a P.A.C.

    Comment by Greg the Electrician — September 18, 2011 @ 2:43 am

  34. This is a refreshingly well written article. Thank you for the history on Turkey and Egypt’s presidents. As I am just learning politics, I appreciate your writings which are easy to understand and very interesting.

    Comment by Debra — September 18, 2011 @ 5:05 am

  35. I have just read this article and first want to thank Mr. Brog for his stand with Israel and his courage and comment him also on a well written article. I’ve read all the comments and some of them…well I couldn’t have said it better myself and I agree totally.

    So DITTO to Lonnie (Sept. 13) nothing more I could add to that one. And DITTO to BYEBYE’s comment that, according to the scripture, there will never be peace in the Middle East until the LORD returns and reigns. As for Anonymous (and others who commented similarly), I too thank God for Benjamin Netanyahu and pray for him and Israel and am so proud of him everytime he takes his stand for Israel and will not budge (on the things that God doesn’t want him to budge on). I many times feel that God’s Spirit is with him as he boldly stands up for Israel.

    I could go on and on about other comments but suffice it to say, I stand with Israel 100% and pray that somehow they know how many Christians here in the U.S. are with them no matter what our government may do or say that indicates we are not for them. (To Jack’s Comment on 9/14 – I hear you brother).

    As you all have stated, the LORD’s return is very near. And God Almighty is on His throne and knows everything that is going on and is working it all out according to His plan – His timing. His ways are higher than our ways. I thank Him that he didn’t leave it up to us to try and solve.

    I am so encouraged to know there are many others who know the Truth and are brave and courageous enough to stand up for it no matter what.
    God Bless Israel!!

    Comment by Anonymous — September 19, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

  36. There will be no real peace in the Middle East until the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, comes back to the earth for Israel his brethren. Until then, there will be persecution. “For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach to me….”

    Comment by Bonnie — September 21, 2011 @ 1:08 am

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