More on the Controversy over Christian Zionism

The debate over whether to support Christian Zionism is back in the news.

Likud opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu said on Sunday at a conference for American Evangelicals in Jerusalem, “This is a friendship of the heart, a friendship of common roots, and a friendship of common civilization.”

On the other hand, Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, says, “What they mean by support of Israel and what we mean by support of Israel are two very different things.”  Yoffe is referring to the fact that Christian Zionists reject a two-state solution, which the Reform Movement supports.

In a column in the New Jersey Jewish News, Rabbi Clifford Kulwin describes the visit of Rev. Robert Stearns, a leader of Christians United for Israel, to Temple B’nai Abraham in Livingston.  “Stearns words rang with sincerity and truth. I think everyone present — including many who showed up intending to take him on — left with the sense that we have a real ally and Israel has a real friend here.”

Christian Zionists believe that the return of the Jews to Israel is a necessary step in the process leading up to the “last days.” These Christians believe that the apocalyptic texts found in Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and Revelations refer to a literal return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel. Since 1948, some have opined that this condition has already been fulfilled.

Early British involvement in the affairs of the Holy Land was partially influenced by Christian Zionism. The British government was the first to establish a consulate in Jerusalem, in 1838. In the nineteenth century, a number of British politicians were Christian Zionists: Palmerston, Lloyd George, T.E. Lawrence and Allenby.

Christian Zionism became popular in the United States when the great Ottoman Empire began to crumble. Certain Christians supported the establishment of the State of Israel after World War II and redoubled their efforts in support of Israel after the Six-Day War. In 1980, the International Christian Embassy was founded in Jerusalem.

In contemporary American society, a number of Christian organizations have formed to support the State of Israel. For instance, Christians United for Israel (CUFI) is an organization which lobbies Congress to act in favor of Israel. Evangelical Christians are often strong supporters of Israel.

Selected Websites of Christian Zionist Organizations:

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6 Comments on “More on the Controversy over Christian Zionism”

  1. Ben Says:

    Really good post, which I’ve recommended to our readers:

    http://blog.z-word.com/2008/04/christian-zionism/#more-83

    Thanks.

  2. Hadassah Says:

    Thanks, I appreciate it.

  3. Phil Sumpter Says:

    Readers may be interested in this fascinating video documentation of a Christian Zionist convention here. An Israeli government official, Dore Gold, attended and is briefly interviewed.

  4. Hadassah Says:

    Wow! Amazing inside look!

    In a Thursday post to Commentary, David Hazony claims that Jews should accept all support of Israel regardless of where it comes from:

    But to reject an alliance with Christian Zionists on the grounds that they don’t support the particular peace-process policies that most Reform Jews do, or that some such Christians entertain the belief that in the end times all Jews will convert, is to blind oneself to the basic strategic struggle that the Jewish state faces. In liberal terms, it is intolerant. In Zionist terms, it is cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.

    See the rest of this post at http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/hazony/3295


  5. […] debate over whether Jews should support Christian Zionism is not new to this blog.  (See my post, More on the Controversy over Christian Zionism.)  The Houston Chronicle does have an interesting quote from Binyamin Elon, chairman of the […]


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