Israel’s founding fathers, who etched a commitment to encouraging Jewish immigration into the declaration of independence, might be surprised to find that, seven decades later, the state is relying on Christians to fulfill that promise.
What was once a strictly Jewish-funded mission is increasingly being bankrolled by evangelical Christians. Israel’s Christian allies now fund about a third of all immigrants moving to the country, according to a tally by The Associated Press.
The figures reflect the ever tightening relationship between Israel and its evangelical Christian allies, whom Israel has come to count on for everything from political support to tourism dollars.
“After 2000 years of oppression and persecution, today you have Christians who are helping Jews,” said Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, a group that raises money from evangelical Christians for Jewish causes. “This is an amazing thing.”
Israel has long depended on diaspora Jewish communities, especially in the United States, for donations and to lobby their local governments on its behalf. But evangelical communities have become increasingly important.
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