Pro Israel Support in America
Such a fascinating subject.
Twenty-plus years ago, when I began advocating for Israel in a variety of ways (primarily writing and research), it felt like pro Israel support in the American Church was very strong.
One friend who ran (runs) an organization touted “70 Million Evangelicals” as being pro Israel. There were leaders like Jerry Falwell and the Assemblies of God superintendents who could be counted on for solid support of the Jewish state.
The reality, as I came to learn, was far different. There were nowhere near 70 million evangelicals who supported Israel. Today, it is far less.
As we’ve discussed here many times (and others are starting to understand), that support has been slipping for some time. The seeds for it were sown a very long time ago, but I’d say since 2000, the erosion has accelerated dramatically.
This timeline coincides with such things as the launch of the dreadful Catalyst Conferences (Andy Stanley was and is a strong supporter, both behind-the-scenes and as a speaker), which have brought anti-Israel speakers into the mainstream. When you consider that Catalyst gets in front of 50,000 pastors per year (and many more online), it’s a real problem.
I’ve been enormously frustrated in recent years because no organized effort—caveat: that I’m aware of—has been launched to counter the systemic and highly networked anti-Israel propaganda effort from the Left.
Of the four large pro Israel Christian organizations I’m aware of, I only hear much activity from one. Two of the remaining three are not based in the U.S., so I should cut them some slack.
I know of another group that has decided a “softer, gentler” approach with our enemies is the way to go. I disagree in the strongest possible way. Totalitarians understand force. That’s all they understand. If Kim Jong-un ever does get rid of his nuclear weapons, it will be because Donald Trump forces him to do so. He won’t modify his beastly behavior due to a change of heart.
This is the fatal flaw of groups that do “softer, gentler.” But they don’t listen because they semi-worship their own intellects. They believe my approach is primitive. Befitting a Neanderthal.
Another group has spent outrageous sums on pushing support for a Two-State Solution. This one in particular causes me to rest my forehead in my hand.
Can someone, anyone, point me to any kind of evidence that the Palestinians deserve a state? What they need are lessons in personal responsibility, accountability, and living in the 21st century. People might disagree, but when the Israelis merely administered the Palestinians, violence was far less. Now, anyone who pushes a Two-State Solution must not remember the Fogel family* or the thousands of other Israelis murdered and maimed by the demons roaming the West Bank and Gaza.
(*I must ask the question: is a person truly pro Israel who places the demands of the Palestinians above the lives of Jews? Answer the question for yourself. My answer is, Hell no. Until and unless Jewish life is the priority of the international community, the Palestinians will not modify their behavior. My priorities are: Jews first, everyone else second.)
That last statement, for me, sums up the topic. What does it mean to really be pro Israel? Is attendance at rallies? Is it blessing Israel so you’ll get a blessing? Is it a vague appeal to Israel as our natural ally? Is it because the Jews fit so neatly into our neat prophecy schemes? Is it something else?
Each of us must answer the question for himself or herself.
For me, being pro Israel is working to do what I can to keep the Israelis (and Jews worldwide) physically safe.
Does this address spiritual matters? No, it obviously doesn’t. My focus is seeing Jews live in safety in their own country, and everywhere else they choose to live. Topeka. Anchorage. Cologne. Buenos Aires. Quebec.
I pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6). I watch, and will not be silent, day or night (Isaiah 62:6). I do what I can, from a limited base.
I subscribe to the Ze’ev Jabotinsky/Jonathan Netanyahu/Ord Wingate method. Secure the borders, stay vigilant, give your enemy no quarter.
When I stand before my Judge one day, I will still be remembering the Fogel family. I will remember the 1.5 million children butchered by the Nazis. I will remember the Palestinian leadership that has more concern for a cockroach than for Jews.
You cannot win a war by being kinder and gentler. I won’t sit by and become chums with the Sami Awads of the world.
That’s got me pretty isolated, which is fine by me. I sit in the evenings and pet my dog and smoke a cigar. In many places in pro Israel circles today, to paraphrase Richard Nixon, I can’t get arrested.
Good. At least I’m not a ministry/organization head simply going through the motions in order to maintain my salary and benefits, while Israel’s enemies know they can count on my kinder, gentler approach. At least I’m not producing a highbrow, meaningless magazine for scholars to discuss under a sycamore tree on the grounds of another meaningless conference.
At one time, for a long time, I wanted to assemble a small team to answer the propaganda from the Left. And, I believe—much to the chagrin of almost all Christian pro Israel leaders—that some element of Bible prophecy must be introduced in pro Israel presentations. It’s fine to present facts and data, but if you want to engage hearts, you must use Bible!
That goes over like a lead balloon.
My efforts to launch a group that would meet the Left’s propaganda head-on failed. I have concluded that your average American Christian doesn’t read much. Efforts to promote resources failed on a pretty spectacular level.
One end-result will be that pro Israel support in this country is going right off a cliff sooner rather than later. Look at all the polling data about Millennials and the “Z Generation.”
I know for a fact that at the very top of the pro Israel Christian leadership pyramid scheme, they do not want to engage and combat the evangelical enemies of Israel and Bible prophecy (Ed Stetzer, Russell Moore, Jonathan Merritt, etc.). They do not want to confront them because it could hurt their own brand and their own bottom-line. That’s a fact. There are many cowards in evangelical “leadership.”
I can live with that, because I tried. If I now have an audience of one (he sheds and chases cattle) that’s fine by me.
I didn’t knuckle-under to the enemy.