Evangelical Christian support of Israel harms Jews

Jews are being targeted in Israel and elsewhere via incitement from Muslim leaders with what’s being called “knife jihad.”  They’re not targeting Israelis, they’re targeting Jews. While this is upsetting and scary to Jews everywhere since these attacks have made their way outside of Israel and into Europe, it’s not surprising. These tactics against civilian Jews are something Jews have grown accustomed to.

What is even more disturbing, however, is the world reaction. While random Jews are being stabbed and run over in terror attacks, the world-at-large is condemning Israel for defending their citizens against these attackers and adopting the narrative of Israel as unreasonably employing strong-armed maneuvers without even mentioning the attacks against them in the headlines. Jews everywhere are scratching their heads. Why would the world-at-large condemn Israel for defending their citizens against these terror attacks? No sane leader would allow their citizens to be randomly stabbed in the streets without an attempt to stop the attacks prior to their occurrence and without responding forcefully against those who carried out these attacks.

The answer to this question is not something most people want to hear. The world-at-large is mostly liberal. If we look at Europe, these are mainly liberal countries with a majority population that have rejected conservative religious ideologies, for the most part. If we look at American and Canadian liberals, we also see this rejection of conservative religious ideologies. It is due to this rejection of anything conservative or religious that their support for Israel has waned. While these countries and the majority of the citizens within these countries seem to have unlimited tolerance for conservative Islamic ideologies, seemingly based on the belief that because most Muslims have dark complexions, they are an underdog in the world and must be protected, they harshly criticize the country of Israel and mistakenly believe that Israel is comprised of white, European colonists (conveniently forgetting that Jews in Europe have never been considered white or European).

Their lack of support of Israel isn’t because Israel is a right-wing, conservative religious country; it’s not. It is directly related to the very vocal conservative, evangelical Christian support of Israel. The personal experiences of liberals throughout Europe, the US and Canada are rooted in a Christian-based society and when they reject that which has affected them personally in a negative way, it becomes rejection of anything supported by that ideology. Because Christian evangelicals staunchly support Israel, liberals are automatically rejecting Israel based on that evangelical support without looking into the matter any further. If John Hagee supports Israel, then the automatic response from those who despise his worldview is to reject Israel. There are more people in the world who reject the personal philosophy of John Hagee than there are who support his personal philosophy. I maintain that the evangelical Christian support of Israel has been the single-most damaging thing for Jews since the Holocaust. When terrorists know that liberals hate Israel so much, they know that they can attack Jews anywhere with virtual impunity in the court of public opinion.

Israel and Jews outside of Israel have welcomed this evangelical Christian support of Israel because they feel that any friend is better than no friend. However, the price that comes with accepting this support is not worth it. If not for this relationship between Israel and evangelicals, I believe eventually the liberal world-at-large would have come to support Israel again, as they did in the 60s and 70s, when Jewish civilians are attacked simply because they’re Jews. With the addition of the evangelical movement’s pro-Israel agenda, that support is withheld in a knee-jerk fashion. During the latest wave of attacks on Jews, I’ve seen liberal, white, anti-Israel activists don PLO kaffiyehs and parade around a Jewish deli in Los Angeles. I don’t think things like that would be as commonplace if evangelical support were not a huge component in the liberal bias against Israel.

If evangelical Christians want to support Israel, great, but do it quietly. If your goal is actually to support Israel and Jews, and you’ve now been put on notice that your very vocal support is harmful, then I would expect you to have no problem doing it quietly. However, if you’re doing it for personal glory in the same fashion you parade around your religious ideology, please stop supporting Israel.

About the Author
Debbie Hall is a writer and activist living in the diaspora.
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