Financial Times promotes false stereotype of Christian Zionists

A Financial Times article by their Jerusalem correspondent Mehul Srivastava, (Pompeo makes unprecedented visit to Israeli settlement winery in West Bank, Nov. 19) attempted to contextualise the putatively pro-Israel polices of both Donald Trump and his Secretary of State:

US president Donald Trump and Mr Pompeo, who is thought to be considering a 2024 run for the presidency, have sought to cheer their Christian evangelical base by adopting rightwing Israeli positions. 

Mr Trumps’ close relationship with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has underscored the most pro-Israeli US administration in decades. Christian Zionists, who vote Republican, subscribe to a prophecy that Jewish control of Judea and Samaria — the biblical names for the occupied West Bank — will hasten the Second Coming of Christ.

The FT claim concerning what motivates Christian Zionists is an extremely misleading stereotype.

As CAMERA’s Christian media analyst Tricia Miller has demonsrated, it’s only a very small number of Evangelical Christian Zionists who support Israel solely for “prophetic reasons” or out of a motivation to “hasten the second coming of Christ.”  Whilst there are some Christians whose support for Israel is motivated by their desire to convert Jews to Christianity, the overwhelming majority love the state for biblical, theological and historical reasons that don’t include attempts to convert Jews, or the desire to see Jews gathered in Israel to fulfill an interpretation of End Times events.

Rather, modern Christian support for Israel is rooted in the historic Christian belief that Jews would some day return to their ancient homeland, an understanding of the historical and spiritual connection of the Jewish people to that land, and agreement with the right of Jews to self-determination in their land.

Moreover, due in part to their sense of moral and theological duty, Christian Zionists are also overwhelmingly supportive of, and allied with, Jews in the diaspora as well, a philosemitic identity they see as distinct from other Christians who had persecuted Jews throughout the long history of their faith.  Indeed, it strikes us as quite odd – not to mention self-defeating – that some who claim to be serious about fighting antisemitism would reject Christian allies merely out of concerns over the eschatological motivations of some of their adherents.

We encourage you to read CAMERA’s in-depth report on Christian evangelical support for Israel here.

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