Christian Support for Israel

Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk


That Which People Believe Is Real, Is Real in its Consequences


   This sociological axiom can be demonstrated in innumerable ways at any time and in any place. Such demonstrations would include the support given Israel and the Jewish people by the 70 million members of the Christian coalition.

   That coalition, led by the Revs. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, holds that the return of Israel to its ancient homeland in 1948 as well as the capture of Jerusalem by Israel in 1967 are evidence that the biblical prophecies concerning Israel’s return to its ancestral land are coming true. From this, this large Christian movement derives the view that other parts of the Bible are also true, particularly the Christian belief that eventually all Jews will become followers of the founder of Christianity. Associated with that belief is the further assumption that the Christian saviour or Messiah will return and rule the world.

    Jews generally reject that Christian interpretation of Jewish history and the Jewish future.

     Therefore, there are some Jews who also reject the political and even financial aid the Christian coalition is offering Israel. These Jews worry about the scenario the Christian fundamentalists project for Israel and for all of us. Yet, such worries are spurious because they refer to beliefs which, from the Jewish point of view, are not real. What is important here is that 70 million Christians are Zionists because of their beliefs. These Christian Zionists greatly influence the policies of the Republican party and the Republican president and should therefore be welcomed by all of us. It is unimportant that people believe that all Jews will be converts to another religion. This cannot happen, alone because the majority of Jews are secularists in the first place and realists in the second place. We will not convert. However, we ought to be grateful and consider ourselves fortunate that we have so many allies in the Christian community. 

     Our president, George W. Bush, is evidently associated with the Christian coalition. This is no threat to us. No one seeks to force us into his religion. The threat to us are the 260 million Arab hate mongers and their friends, the Europeans.

     It may well be that the support we are getting is derived from an interpretation of Jewish history which we reject. But the support is there. It is there because that which people believe is real is real in its consequences. Believing that Israel has taken root in its own territory, that this territory ranges from Lebanon to Egypt and from the Mediterranean to the Jordan, fundamentalist Christians support the Jews living in small villages in an area called by the Jews towns  and “settlements” by our enemies.

     It is Christian fundamentalism  which the Bush administration needs in the hope of getting re-elected.  We Jews hardly voted for George W. Bush. Politically speaking he owes us nothing. Yet, the cause of Israel is very much part of his agenda because he too is a “born-again” Christian.

   In 1898, Theodore Herzl published Der Judenstaat or The Jewish State.  At that time it appeared preposterous for anyone to imagine that after 1828 years a Jewish state could ever be re-established. Yet, exactly 50 years after that book was written,  Israel gained its independence and a Jewish state came into being. Herzl demonstrated that that which people believe can become real in its consequences.

     Today, all those born after 1948 take the existence of Israel for granted. For those of us who witnessed the rebirth of our people in our land, this is and always will be a miracle based on nineteen centuries of Jewish belief that the return to Zion would come some day. That became reality because it was believed even when it appeared most unlikely and utterly impossible. 

      Our support for Israel is based on the belief that Israel cannot be destroyed. We and our Christian allies convert our beliefs into reality when we support President G. W. Bush, when we vote for those who support him and when we support those who support us.

     Let us be one issue voters. Let that issue be the survival of the Jewish people. Act on that issue and vote for those who also believe that we should remain in this world and prosper. If we act accordingly, we need not fear what or enemies will do. We need only fear what we will do. Therefore we must support those who support us, Bimhayro v’yomaynoo. Now and in our Day,

Shalom u’vracha.

Dr. Gerhard Falk is the author of numerous publications, including Grandparents:  A New Look at the Supporting Generation (with Dr. Ursula A., Falk, 2002), & Man's Ascent to Reason (2002).

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