The Evangelical Factor
While various groups in Washington perpetuate and support Israel ’s aggressive and expansionist policies — at a cost to America , non have the zeal and the zest of the Evangelicals who support Israel to death.
According to the dispensational model, a time of turmoil lies ahead, but believers will be “raptured” away before it begins.
This period of tribulation will culminate in the final battle at Armageddon, a valley northwest of Jerusalem .
The close association between American evangelicals and Israel has been a clear goal of Israeli politicians, especially those in the Likud party. According to Rabbi Marc Tanenbaum of AJC, “the evangelical community is the largest and fastest-growing bloc of pro-Jewish sentiment in this country”.
Israel and Jewish organizations continue to rely on the support of Evangelicals to justify Israel ’s occupation of Arab land even as Christian Zionists zest for evangelizing Jews remains a point of tension.
For example, within days of the June 1982 invasion of Lebanon (with a green light from Reagan), full-page ads appeared in leading papers requesting Evangelical support for the invasion.
In 1998, when Benjamin Netanyahu visited Washington , he met with Jerry Falwell and numerous fundamentalist Christians before meeting with President Clinton.
Similarly, as recently as April 2013, Pat Robertson warned that brokering peace between Israel and Palestine would bring punishment on America.
It has been alleged that funds raised in America by right wing Christians is funneled to West Bank settlements.
The mayor of Ariel on the West Bank had estimated that two thirds of all Jewish settlements were funded by Christian Zionists.
(Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich is an independent researcher and writer with a focus on U.S. foreign policy and the role of lobby groups in influencing US foreign policy.