The Christian Zionists are Christians who belong to the Cult of Israel. They believe that the Jews have an exclusive divine right to the Holy Land (Palestine) because the Jews are the chosen holy race. The Bible is the “sacrosanct title-deed to Palestine” for the Jewish people according to David Ben-Gurion, former Prime Minister of Israel. God’s plan for the Second Coming is revealed in the Bible. The Premillennialist conception of biblical prophecy requires that certain specified events must occur before the Second Coming of Christ becomes a reality. The first step, the formation of an exclusively Jewish state is a sign, according to Biblical prophecies, that the Messiah is coming again.
All in the Name of the Bible
Edited by Hassan Haddad and Donald Wagner
Amana Books, 1986
The Christian Zionists are Christians who belong to the Cult of Israel. They believe that the Jews have an exclusive divine right to the Holy Land (Palestine) because the Jews are the chosen holy race. The Bible is the “sacrosanct title-deed to Palestine” for the Jewish people according to David Ben-Gurion, former Prime Minister of Israel. God’s plan for the Second Coming is revealed in the Bible. The Premillennialist conception of biblical prophecy requires that certain specified events must occur before the Second Coming of Christ becomes a reality. The first step, the formation of an exclusively Jewish state is a sign, according to Biblical prophecies, that the Messiah is coming again. The second coming of Christ will occur only if the Jews return to the Holy Land and create the State of Israel. World society will degenerate and the evil rule of the anti-Christ will gain ascendancy. All who oppose the State of Israel will be labeled the anti-Christ for obstructing the fulfillment of God’s plans and retarding the Second Coming. Biblical prophecy places Israel in a central role as the military power that is raised to oppose the anti-Christ. Israel’s enemies are massacred in the Battle of Armageddon on the Israel’s Plains of Megiddo. This victory over the anti-Christ forces will signify the End Times and the End of History. Armageddon will be accompanied by the “Rapture” in which the faithful will be transported out of history. The Premillennium period will end after the Battle of Armageddon and the anti-Christ is defeated. Then Christ will return. Once Christ returns, He will render the final judgment of the living and all the dead and will consign them to paradise or to be doomed for eternity. Christ will then establish a reign in his kingdom of 1000 years (Millennium) of peace. (Book of Revelation Chapter 20:1-6) The Jew, who is a non-believer in Christ and not totally acceptable to the Christian, is however the chosen race and will eventually be saved and converted to believe in Christ.
The Christian Zionists claim that in the Book of Genesis 12:3 God favored Abraham and his descendents as the chosen people: “I will bless those who bless thee and curse those who curse thee.” This blessing is applied to all who support Israel, including the Christian Zionists. The curse is applied to the Arabs, Palestinians and to anyone else who opposes Israel. The Cult believes that modern Israel is the direct descendent of Biblical Israel. Israel is a continuation and fulfillment of an historical entity based on divine election and a sacred promise of the Holy Land. The Christian Zionists believe that God gave the Holy Land to Abraham in Genesis 12, 15 and 17 and that God’s promise is carried forward and directly applies to modern Israel since God promised the land to Abraham’s descendents.
Without delving into an analysis of whether or not the Christian Zionists are correct in their interpretations of biblical text, it is important to realize that this Cult has a belief system that governs their motives and actions toward modern day Israel. It is claimed that the Christian Zionists, through their many media outlets, have followers that number up to 40 million Americans.
What are the ramifications of this belief system? What are the tangible outcomes when Christian Zionists apply their belief system to real world situations? What understanding of their motivations can we derive if we examine their activities?
Christian Zionism has its roots in the Christian movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Christian Fundamentalists of that period reaffirmed the “fundamentals” of Christianity. The Premillennialist movement had is roots in the Protestant reformation and British Fundamentalism. The Cult ‘s belief system evolved into the general outline as described in the first paragraph. Britain’s 1917 Balfour Declaration was a direct result of a sincere desire, based on biblical Premillennial beliefs held by Foreign Minister Lord Balfour and the ruling elite in Britain, to create a homeland for Jews. Advocating a Jewish return to the Holy Land supported Britain’s geopolitical goal of controlling a land bridge to its eastern empire. A major Christian Zionist lobbying effort occurred in the United States in 1891 by William Blackstone. Blackstone enlisted the support of major newspapers all over the United States, President Benjamin Harrison, Senators, Congressman, clergy of all denominations, academics and wealthy business leaders. The Jewish Zionist movement, led by Theodore Herzl and Chaim Weitzman, merged forces with the Christian Zionist movement after the First World War. These combined forces opened the door to the Zionist’s agenda in the Holy Land.
America’s Christian Zionist movement lay dormant until the period between Israel’s successful invasion of the West Bank in 1967 and the American bicentennial in 1976. Fundamentalist Christians and its conservative political agenda merged with Christian Zionism and thereafter became a significant factor in American politics. Conservatives represented by Rev. Jerry Falwell of the Moral Majority and Ed McAteer of the Religious Roundtable, televangelists (Jimmy Swaggert, Pat Robertson, Billy Graham and others of the fundamentalist right) aided by high tech resources and funding from several of America’s wealthiest individuals politicized the religious right.
The American Jewish Committee, several pro-Israel lobbys joined forces with the Christian Zionists and filled the vacuum of Christian pro-Israel support. Menachem Begin’s election in 1977 with his Likud Coalition gave reality to the far right’s religious extremism. Begin joined forces with the American Christian Fundamentalists and created a powerful coalition of Zionists, Christian Zionists and American Christian fundamentalists. Both the Jewish Zionists in the United States and Israel and the American Christian Zionists mutually manipulated each other to advantage.
The stage was now set for subsequent events. The United States reaffirmed its support for Israel in real terms. Since 1967, American largesse was manifested in military and grant aid to Israel of $3 billion per year and a total that approaches $100 billion since 1967. Each successive American Administration supported Israel and forgave the many Israeli transgressions, including the deadly air and sea attack on the U.S.S. Liberty off the coast of Israel during the 1967 War. Since the Israelis were God’s chosen people and were fulfilling biblical prophesy, what they were doing was God’s plan and they could do no wrong. Their brutal treatment of the Palestinians and the confiscation of their land were viewed as “God’s way” and were excused. The Israelis laid claim to the Occupied Territories by building settlements for Israeli immigrants from around the world. The settlements disrupted Palestinian civil and economy integrity and ultimately betrayed the Madrid and Oslo peace accords leading to the Second Intifada. In addition, the annexation of Jerusalem, disregard for international law, flouting the tenants of the Fourth Geneva Convention and ignoring UN resolutions became the norm for Israel’s behavior in the family of nations. For the Christian Zionists, Israel’s behavior was justified based on their interpretation of the Bible. The Christian Zionists contributed generously to the growth and development of the Zionist State. Televangelists roused support for Israel among American Christians and supported immigration of Jews from around the world to settle in Israel.
Lost somewhere in the thinking of the Cult of Israel is the fact that indigenous Christians, descendents of the original Christians of two thousand years ago, suffered as a result of Christian Zionist support for Israeli violations of the human rights of all Palestinians. The Israelis’ brutal treatment of the indigenous Palestinian population was viewed as Israel’s right to defend itself. Christian Zionists indulged Israel as it attempted to cleanse the Holy Land of non-Jews. Deporting the remaining Palestinians, including indigenous Christians, in Israel and the Occupied Territories is still on the Christian and Jewish Zionist agenda.
One can imagine several scenarios in the near future. The first, the Israelis succeed in subduing the Palestinians and eventually deporting them from Israel and Palestine in an ethnic cleansing operation. This event would produce a pure Jewish state in which only Jews would be allowed to live. According to the Christian Zionists, this would be the next step in the Premillennial stage. The implications of this event on the neighboring states and reactions of the 1.2 billion Muslims around the world, are too catastrophic to contemplate. Second, the family of nations comes to the realization that Israel has violated all reasonable standards of behavior and a world wide effort is made to separate the Palestinians from the Israelis and forcibly create a buffer zone between the two parties. Eventually, a Palestinian state is created and peace is achieved. Third, the present situation continues and the Palestinians remain in a subjugated state. Fourth, the Cult of Israel loses its influence, slowly withers and its political and spiritual hold on the imagination of American Christians is lost. The United States develops a more rational policy in the Middle East that places its interests ahead of Israel’s and creates a settlement based on the rights of both Palestinians and Jews.
Summarized by Robert Younes, M.D.