Israel Support Biblical Duty:Evangelicals

US Evangelicals have a biblical and moral obligation to support and protect Israel because it is "God's foreign policy" and because Israel is an important catalyst in the second coming of Jesus Christ, American Evangelical leaders agreed.

Israel Support Biblical Duty:Evangelicals

"My theology indicates that Israel is covenant land," James C. Dobson, a prominent Evangelical broadcaster and one of the most influential conservative Christians, told The New York Times in an interview published on Tuesday, November 14.

Evangelicals believe that the Israeli-Arab war is a battle between good and evil.

"There sits little Israel with its five million beleaguered Jews, surrounded by five hundred million Muslims whose leaders are determined to drive it into the sea," Dobson said at a recently aired edition of his program.

He compared Israel's fight with the Arabs to "the Biblical skirmish between little David and mighty Goliath."

Rev. John Hagee, the founder of the Christians United For Israel organization, had the same view.

He described Israel war with the Lebanese resistance movement Hizbullah as "a battle between good and evil" and said support for Israel was "God's foreign policy."

Washington had blocked international efforts to enforce an immediate ceasefire in Israel's 33-day war on Lebanon.

Up to 1,300 Lebanese civilians, a third of whom were children, were killed in the wide-scale blitz which left the country's infrastructure in tatters.

Many conservative Christians believe that President George Bush's support for Israel fulfills a biblical injunction to protect the Jewish state, which they think will play a pivotal role in the second coming.

White evangelicals make up about a quarter of the electorate and a large part of the Republican Party's base remains committed to a fiercely pro-Israel agenda.

Alliance

"Israel — to walk where Jesus walked, to pray where Jesus prayed, to stand where he stood — there is no other place like it on earth," Robertson says.

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, the founder of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews and the Israeli government's official goodwill ambassador to evangelicals, said he had discovered the depth of US evangelical support for Israel when he raised funds for Tel Aviv during its war on Lebanon.

The response to TV commercials on the Fox News Channel "burned out the call centers," Eckstein told the Times.

During the five-week war, his group added 30,000 new donors and the influx of money has allowed his organization to exceeded its income.

"The war really generated a momentum," Eckstein said.

Televangelist Pat Robertson, known for his regular rants against Islam and Muslims, is no less supportive of Israel.

"Israel — to walk where Jesus walked, to pray where Jesus prayed, to stand where he stood — there is no other place like it on earth," Robertson says in a commercial launched recently in cooperation with the Israeli government to boost tourism in Israel.

The Israeli government has been building alliance with US evangelicals for decades.

Israeli officials began working closely with Hagee and his church, for example, a quarter century ago, when he met several times with then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

"Mortal Threat"

Hagee says he is doing all he can to keep the pressure on United States officials to take a hard line with Iran.

Now that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is gone, evangelicals see eye to eye with Israel on the "mortal threat" posed by Iran.

Evangelical broadcasters and commentators have seized on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comments questioning the Holocaust and his call for the destruction of Israel, the Times said.

Gary Bauer, a Christian conservative political organizer, said the Iranian leader's name, with many pronunciations, comes up repeatedly on Christian talk radio shows.

"I am not sure there is a foreign leader who has made a bigger splash in American culture since Khrushchev, certainly among committed Christians," he added, in reference to former Soviet Union leader Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (1894-1971).

Hagee says he is doing all he can to keep the pressure on United States officials to take a hard line with Iran.

He said Ahmadinejad's comments motivated him to found Christians United For Israel last year.

When 5,000 evangelicals gathered last month for a "Night to Honor Israel" at his San Antonio mega church, Ahmadinejad was much discussed.

Hagee compared the Iranian leader with the biblical pharaoh of Egypt.

"Pharaoh threatened Israel and he ended up fish food," he said to great applause.

Following an hour-long talks with Bush at the White House Monday, Israeli Premier Ehud Olmert said the two allies had "complete understanding over their objectives" regarding Iran.

Bush threatened in an interview with the Israeli television on August 13 he could consider using force to press Iran to give up its nuclear program.

US veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said in a report earlier this month that the administration is looking "seriously" at striking Iran with tactical nuclear weapons.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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