web analytics
November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Evangelicals : Righteous Gentiles for Israel

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking before the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) organization.

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking before the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) organization.
Photo Credit: Amos Ben Gershom/Flash90

Christian churches, as a result of international pressure organized by Palestinians and their allies, now have to consider resolutions calling for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel. Unlike the Evangelicals, mainstream Protestant churches have been sympathetic to Palestinian Christians and the Palestinian narrative for some time, and have sought to raise awareness of what they call persecution or oppression of the Palestinians. Increasingly they recommend economic action against Israel and those who do business with it.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America represented the Evangelical position when it rejected divestment proposals regarding Israel in 2007 and 2011. In contrast, mainstream religious adherents have differed on this question. To its credit, the United Methodist Church, in spite of considerable pressure, on May 2, 2012 at its meeting in Tampa, rejected a resolution calling for the Church to join the Palestinian-inspired boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaign against three companies trading with Israel. The UMC had rejected similar resolutions at its previous General Conference in 2008. The UMC in 2012, by a ratio of 2 to 1, opposed action against Caterpillar which supplies bulldozers to Israel; Hewlett-Packard, which provides advanced biometric technology; and Motorola Solutions which supplies surveillance equipment.

The UMC, however, spoke with an uncertain voice. By a 60 to 40 vote, it did adopt a resolution recommending nations should prohibit the import of products manufactured in “Israeli settlements on Palestinian land” — perhaps a warning sign that members of the UMC in some geographical areas did support both boycott and divestment resolutions against Israel. Palestinian pressure is already building to influence the vote at the forthcoming general assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA that will vote on a divestment resolution in June 2012.

Mainstream American missionaries in the past, fostering Arab nationalism for religious reasons, promoted anti-Zionism, if not always anti-Semitism. The existence of Israel as a legitimate state is now being challenged in a number of ways and by a variety of media: by a Palestinian-initiated offensive to portray Palestinians as suffering from human rights abuses and colonial crimes committed by Israel; by the Electronic Intifada, an online Internet news website; by the United Methodist Kairos Response; by individuals and groups, such as the writers and academics Grace Halsell, Timothy Weber, Tony Campolo, and Gary Burge, (Wheaton College), as well as attendees, especially Stephen Sizer, the anti-Zionist Church of England priest, at the Christ at the Checkpoint Conferences organized by the Bethlehem Bible College.

Now, however, a shift in attitude is observable among some Evangelicals. In the past, more extreme figures, such as Campolo, Burge, or Jim Wallis (Sojourners) always championed the Palestinian cause. More recently, however, major leaders such as Rick Warren have seemed to be sympathetic to Muslims; Hank Hanegraaff (The Bible Answer Man), who has been critical of Israel for some time, attended a symposium at Tehran University; Lynne Hybels, wife of the mega-pastor Bill Hybels; and popular speakers such as Shane Claiborne have tended to echo the Palestinian agenda and narrative in speaking to new and younger audiences within Evangelicalism.

Their argument is more based on a number of political factors stemming from acceptance of the fallacious Palestinian narrative of victimhood and unending Israeli oppression of Palestinians — helpful for the Palestinian government to instruct its citizens not to look at it and the corruption and wretched governance as the source of the misery, but instead at Israel and the Jews — less on theological grounds than on politically expedient ones, such as the refusal to agree to be ruled over by anyone non-Muslim. Further, there are no adverse consequences to demonizing Israel as there would be, for example, if if one were to demonize Russia. They minimize the existence of anti-Semitism, and brush aside or totally ignore Islamist attacks on Israel. They openly refuse to accept Israel with a dominant Jewish population , now in existence for 64 years, as an independent, self-governing entity. Instead they advocate the creation of a Palestinian state, sometimes alongside the state of Israel, but often in place of it.

It is therefore heartening to learn of Evangelicals, such as the members of the Pentecostal-Charismatic Faith Church in Hungary, the largest evangelical church in Europe, who are opposing this attempt to disparage and to delegitimize the state of Israel.

About the Author: Michael Curtis is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Rutgers University, and author of the forthcoming book, Should Israel Exist? A sovereign nation under assault by the international community.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

14 Responses to “Evangelicals : Righteous Gentiles for Israel”

  1. Jerry Aloof says:

    "Chasidei Umot Ha'Olam!"

  2. Rabbi Leon Pettyjohn

  3. Ian Harper says:

    why do members of some Churches and their leaders argue Israel is an apartheid state? – because a large number of the so called Churchs have forgotten their scriptures and some even disregard the Tanach – study the Word daily and you will know Israel's place in the world and its right to exist – a light to the world and may it continue until the Messiah comes.

  4. surprised with the aidea of apathied becouse when we see bibel such like this didn't support eventualy unlike this idea so that may GOD BLESS israel I konw also it is blessed country according the bible thank you.

  5. Charlie Hall says:

    "Jews in democratic countries are disproportionately disposed more than other groups to prefer the left spectrum of political and cultural affairs".

    I have not noticed this to be the case in recent elections in France, the UK, and Canada.

    "God maintains the Biblical covenant with the Jewish people, even though they were and are not perfect".

    The only churches I'm aware of that have made statements like this are the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church, both "mainline" churches. Can the author cite an example of such a statement from an evangelical church? The largest evangelical group in the US still spends huge amounts of money to convert Jews BECAUSE they think Jews cannot find salvation outside of Jesus.

  6. Ira Tick says:

    The Catholic Church also hints to the idea that the Jews maintain a covenant with God.

  7. wasnt there a democracy below Sini…Hay Rabbi's when Eliyahu comes what's going to be left of mans rules, or all these who work against Israel, our christian familys are guilty of Holy jewish blood for generations, not having wisdom to admit it either.If The World Hates Israel It Hates G-D. I think electing a muslem as president showes who we worship now..oh our churches why talk were as weak as women now.

  8. Charlie Hall says:

    The Catholic Church likes to keep its theology sufficiently vague that it can in the future be interpreted in different ways. But there is no question that Vatican II represented a complete reversal in the right direction.

  9. The Eternal City!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A would-be preacher delivers his message of hate from the Muslim"holy site" on the Temple Mount.
Al Aqsa Mosque ‘Stand-Up’ Preacher Calls for Annihilation of the United States
Latest Indepth Stories
Greiff-112814-Levaya

My son is seventeen; he didn’t want to talk about what happened, or give any details of the Rosh Yeshiva’s words of chizuk.

Protesters in Ferguson, Missouri

All involved in the Ferguson debate should learn the laws pertinent to non-Jews: the Noahide Laws.

Charley Levine

Prominent Jewish leaders acknowledged that their predecessors had mistreated the Bergson Group.

Cravatts-Richard--new

Abbas has been adding new layers of rhetoric to his tactical campaign to de-Judaize Jerusalem

The Jew’s crime is his presence.

Hamas’s love for death tried to have as many Palestinian civilians killed as possible

Israel recognizes the fabrication called a Palestinian nation; So what do we want from the Swedes?

Arab attacking Jews in the land date back a century, long before Israel was created or in control.

Creativity without clarity is not sufficient for writing. I am eternally thankful to Hashem for his gift to me.

Golden presents a compelling saga of poor but determined immigrants who fled pogroms and harsh conditions in their homelands for a better life in a land of opportunity.

It seems to us that while the Jewish entitlement to the land of Israel transcends the Holocaust, the Jewish experience during that tragic time is the most solid of foundations for these “national rights.”

Too many self-styled civil rights activists seemed determined to force, by their relentless pressure, an indictment regardless of what an investigation might turn up.

Unfortunately, at present, the rabbinate does not play a positive role in preventing abuse.

Egypt’s al-Sisi is in an expansionist mood. He wants Israel’s permission to take over Judea and Samaria.

More Articles from Michael Curtis
Rania Okby, Bedouin Israeli on faculty of Ben Gurion University Health Sciences School

Boko Haram enforces a patriarchal oriented society in which women are treated as “sexual slaves.”

Arab Woman

These feminists are so anti-Israel that they ignore Arab women’s lack of political and social freedom

With the Syrian government refusing to allow UN inspectors into the country it is difficult to see how indisputable proof of use of chemical weapons can be found

Sweden is now a country where orthodox Jews are afraid to wear a skullcap.

Since June 2005, the EU has given more than $48 million to over 90 NGOs based in Israel, who are regarded as critical of Israel.

The EU has yet to appreciate the reality that the conflict continues because of the refusal of the Palestinians to accept the right of the State of Israel to exist.

Today, fewer than 4,500 Jews remain in Arab countries. Israel absorbed and integrated 600,000 of the more than 850,000 who left.

The Palestinians have asked the World Heritage Committee (WHC) of UNESCO to recognize Battir, a village about 5 miles west of Bethlehem, as a World Heritage Site and add it to the 936 sites already maintained by UNESCO. The city’s original name was Betar, the last fortress of Bar Kochba and the name of Jabotinsky’s Zionist youth movement.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/evangelicals-righteous-gentiles-for-israel/2012/05/31/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: