Christian Zionism

Kevin MacDonald


Max Blumenthal has a post that he  claims shows that “Biden should have known that Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu intended to upset his plans by Netanyahu’s appearance with John Hagee.” This refers to one of the oddest phenomena in American politics: The rabid pro-Israel activities of the Christian Zionists as exemplified by Pastor Hagee. Hagee is the ultimate Christian Zionist, using his speech before a who’s who of the Israeli government and other elements of the Israeli far right to state that Jerusalem is “the undivided, eternal capitol of the Jewish people.” He called Iranian President Ahmadinejad “the Hitler of the Middle East” and denounced the Goldstone Report as “character assassination by an unbiased and uninformed committee.”

In the audience was “Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, the chief rabbi of the illegal West Bank settlement of Efrat who gained notoriety for lobbying President Bill Clinton to pardon his friend, fugitive billionaire Marc Rich. Ayalon had stirred controversy days before when he refused to meet with a US congressional delegation brought to Israel by the progressive Jewish group J Street.”

What’s amazing to me is that the point of Hagee’s speech was to tout the $58,000,000 (!) that his group of Christians have donated to far-right causes in Israel since 2001, including settler groups and a group that aims to ensure” that students in Israel are on the right path, the path of Zionism, the love of Israel, the path of solidarity.”

As it was explained to me, Hagee, believes that God actually decreed not one, but two, plans of salvation:  one for the church, which requires faith in Christ’s atonement, and another for the Jews, which does not require them to have faith in Christ at all, but is a parallel covenant that bypasses the Church and Christ completely.  They regard the creation of the modern state of Israel as nothing less than the precursor of that heavenly kingdom, the fulfillment of prophecy, and the sign of Christ’s imminent return.

Christian Zionism is a very powerful force for philosemitism in the US.  There is a fascinating history (see, e.g., here) that suggests but falls short of proof that early Zionists like Samuel Untermeyer were important in promoting and publicizing the work of C. I. Scofield whose annotated Bible, published by Oxford University Press in 1909, is the basis of Christian Zionism. In any case, the above source discusses footnotes to the Scofield Bible added in 1967 that emphasize Zionist aims. For example,  “For a nation to commit the sin of anti-Semitism brings inevitable judgment.” ” God made an unconditional promise of blessing through Abram’s seed to the nation of Israel to inherit a specific territory forever.” “It has invariably fared ill with the  people who have persecuted the Jew, well with those who have protected him. The future will still more remarkably prove this principle.” (Footnotes to Genesis 12:3)

Jews have not stood by idly on this but have actively supported the Christian Zionism movement. Beginning in 1978, the Likud Party in Israel has taken the lead in organizing this force for Israel, and they have been joined by the neocons. For example, in 2002 the Israeli embassy organized a prayer breakfast with the major Christian Zionists. The main organizations are the Unity Coalition for Israel which is run by Esther Levens and Christians United for Israel, run by David Brog. The Unity Coalition for Israel consists of ~200 Christian and Jewish organizations has strong connections to neocon think tanks such as the Center for Security Policy, headed by Frank Gaffney, pro-Israel activist organizations the Zionist Organization of America, the Likud Party and the Israeli government. This organization claims to provide material for 1,700 religious radio stations, 245 Christian TV stations, and 120 Christian newspapers.

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