The Jerusalem Post reports that several thousand flag-waving Evangelical Christians marched through downtown Jerusalem in a show of support for Israel. According to the JPost, the Christian paraders said that they were undaunted by four years of Palestinian violence and the ongoing suicide bombings, and hoped to boost the morale of Israelis during their week-long visit. The JPost adds that residents in the crowd of onlookers were delighted with the foreign visitors and their simple, and unified, message of support. “At a time when Israel is isolated by its opponents around the world, the most important and secure support is that of Israel’s Christian friends around the globe,” said MK Yuri Shtern (National Union), co-chairman of the Knesset’s Christian allies caucus.
As a Jew living in liberal parts, I’m frequently asked whether I’m concerned about the “Christian right.” I typically respond with a baffled expression, followed by a quick recap of the history of unprecedented toleration of Jews by religious fundamentalists in this country, and a reminder of the tremendous support that Evangelicals have given to Israel. With respect to the latter point, the more savvy of my inquisitors often reply that Evagelicals only support Israel because they are taught that the Jews must re-settle in the Holy Land in order for the Messiah to return. However, I believe this support has more to do with common bliblical values, as the JPost story suggests. I’m also mindful of the response of one American Jewish leader: for now, we’re delighted to have their support; when the Messiah returns, we’ll consider our options.
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill
“Proclaim Liberty throughout All the land unto All the Inhabitants Thereof.” Inscription on the Liberty Bell