To stand against Israel is to stand against God.
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I was raised evangelical. I was weaned on love for Israel. I was a Christian Zionist.
I’m glad the world’s 16 million Jewish people have a state, a place they can feel relatively safe, especially after the 19th-century pogroms in tsarist Russia and the 20th-century Holocaust.
I’d also be glad if the 25 million Kurds had a state. They, too, have been persecuted and slaughtered. The Iranians, Iraqis, Syrians, and Turks show them no mercy.
I’d also be glad if the 11 million Uyghurs had a state. They, too, have been persecuted and slaughtered. The Chinese show them no mercy.
It’s too late, of course, for Native Americans who valiantly resisted European colonization for centuries and suffered unspeakable atrocities, including beheadings and massacres of women and children. White settlers showed no mercy. No state for the Indigenous people.
American evangelicals have little love for the Kurds or the Uyghurs. And they had little love for Native Americans. Evangelicals cited the Bible to justify the eradication of “savages” from their “New Israel.”
And evangelicals cited the Bible to justify the expulsion of Arabs from Palestine to make room for God’s chosen people.
On November 2, 1917, Arthur Balfour, the United Kingdom’s home secretary, made a pronouncement, later known as the Balfour Declaration, in a letter to a prominent Jewish Zionist: His Majesty’s Government views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.
Balfour had been strongly influenced by British Christian Zionists who claimed that the restoration of the Jewish people to Palestine would fulfill biblical prophecy and hasten “the Second Coming.”
According to evangelicals, when Christ returns, he will destroy Israel’s enemies and demand the conversion of the Jews. (One reason Israel has mixed feelings about stalwart evangelical support.)
The last step before Christ’s return is the rebuilding of the historic temple in Jerusalem. Evangelicals in Texas (and elsewhere) have funds ready to go as soon as the site is available. Unfortunately for them, that site is home to the Dome of the Rock, Islam’s third most holy shrine.
Love for one people or the other doesn’t have to be blind. Education can open our eyes. I’ve read a lot.
I have sympathy for the Israelis.
More for the Palestinians.
None for the weapons industry.
And just a little for evangelicals.