|DECEMBER 2001 - Issue #140||PUBLISHED BY AMERICANS FOR A SAFE ISRAEL|
An attitude of indifference toward Israel may have settled upon a segment of American Jewry--witness the significant decrease in recent months in the number of American Jews visiting Israel or choosing to study there--but the level of pro-Israel sentiment among Bible-believing Christians has remained as high as ever. This is not merely ironic; it contains an important lesson about possible future sources of influence on American-Israeli relations.
In a recent column in the Jerusalem Post, Jonathan Rosenblum pointed out that "many of Israel's staunchest supporters in Congress have traditionally come from states with small Jewish populations, e.g. Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, Senator Tim Hutchinson of Arkansas, Attorney General John Ashcroft, formerly a senator from Missouri, and House Majority Whip Tom DeLay." Nor do they have close ties to mainstream Jewish groups, which are diametrically opposed to them on domestic issues Rosenblum continues: "These men support Israel not because of the mainstream Jewish community, but despite it. Their views are shaped by their own consciences and reflect the consensus of their overwhelmingly Christian constituents. Devout Christians constitute the bedrock of American support for Israel. Such Christians number in the tens of millions. Unlike American Jews, they are not embarrassed by criticisms of Israel in certain leftwing circles, and do not cancel tours to Israel after each terrorist incident...Christian supporters of Israel open up their Bibles and read that Israel is the Promised Land promised to the Jews."
We at Americans For a Safe Israel have long recognized the political significance of the fact that tens of millions of conservative Christians feel deeply, even passionately, about the importance of preserving the integrity of the Land of Israel and protecting the Jewish state against its enemies. They are outraged by American pressure on Israel to withdraw from its biblical heartland, Judea and Samaria. They understand that the Oslo accords have been a disaster for Israel. They know Arafat is an unrepentant terrorist, that there is no real differ- ence between Arafat, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad. And these Christians have demonstrated their sentiment, over the years, by repeatedly undertaking joint political action projects with AFSI.
This past July, for example, a number of Christian fundamentalist leaders joined AFSI and others in a special delegation to the White House, where we met with senior aides to the president and warned against U.S. pressure on Israel. Each of the Christian delegates made sure that the president's aides got their message loud and clear: Don't take our votes for granted.
In November, the Christian Coalition and other Christian Zionist groups took part in AFSI's "Don't Sell Out Israel" rally outside the State Department, followed by meetings with dozens of members of Congress. At these meetings, we made it clear that the Christian conservatives represent tens of millions of voters, and an abandonment of Israel could have real electoral impact -- Because the issue of Israel is important to them, in a deep and personal way.
On page 3 of this Outpost, we have reprinted the text of a Christian Coalition appeal to its members, urging them to flood the White House with calls and letters opposing the establishment of a Palestinian state. How many Jewish organizations are doing anything comparable?
Herbert Zweibon is chairman of Americans For a Safe Israel.
IN THIS ISSUE:
An Open Letter to Colin Powell ...4 Terror Wins ...5 An Interview with an Israeli Arab
Journalist Kidnapped by the PA ...7 NPR Admits Bias ...10
An Open Letter to Colin Powell ...4
Terror Wins ...5
An Interview with an Israeli Arab Journalist Kidnapped by the PA ...7
NPR Admits Bias ...10
December 2001 - 1 - Outpost