The crusade of the evangelicals in favor of Israel

Home"TO THE ONE"The crusade of the evangelicals in favor of Israel
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US Vice President Mike Pence meets Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Monday. - Photo credits: Ariel Schalit / AP

Following one of his dogmas, this Christian Church, to which Mike Pence belongs, militates for the installation of the Jews in ancient Judea and Samaria.

Following one of his dogmas, this Christian Church, to which Mike Pence belongs, militates for the installation of the Jews in ancient Judea and Samaria.

The American embassy to Israel, whose transfer to Jerusalem was ordered on December 6 by Donald Trump, will not be the first institution to claim this status. Since 1980, an "international Christian embassy" has witnessed the unwavering support that evangelical communities established in the United States, South America, Asia and elsewhere have chosen to bring to the Jewish state. Housed in an elegant mansion house in the former German colony, this organization spends more than $ 20 million each year to fund Jewish immigration, provide relief to Holocaust survivors and support Israeli settlements in the West Bank. "Unlike established churches, which have often been hostile to Jews, we are here to repair all the evil that has been done to them in the past," said David Parsons, his vice president.

Convinced that the return of the Jewish people to the ancient land of Israel, including in the West Bank, is a necessary prerequisite for the fulfillment of biblical prophecies, evangelical Christians have not concealed their satisfaction when the president of the United States has recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state. In recent days, the Friends of Zion Christian Foundation has funded the installation of dozens of signs in the city center welcoming Mike Pence. Deeply believer, the vice president shares their faith in the messianic dimension of Zionism and seems to have personally influenced Donald Trump's decision. "This visit is for him a consecration that crowns an old and unshakeable commitment to Israel," said David Parsons, whose only regret is that Mr. Pence did not find the time to meet with representatives of the evangelical current.

Facilitate aliyah

Atypical organization, the "Christian Embassy" was created in response to the diplomatic crisis that triggered the vote in the Knesset, a law proclaiming Israeli sovereignty over the whole of Jerusalem. At the call of the United Nations General Assembly, the thirteen embassies then established in the city were transferred to Tel Aviv to protest against this unilateral decision. "While our countries turned their backs on Israel, we felt it was important to show our solidarity with Israel," argues David Parsons. In partnership with the Jewish Agency and alongside other evangelical organizations, the "embassy" has since disbursed $ 55 million to facilitate the aliyah, the departure to Israel, 140,000 Jews from the former USSR, India and Ethiopia - but also France, where 4,000 candidates have benefited from its aid since 2010. In the heart of the West Bank, it finances the construction and maintenance of infrastructure for the benefit of Israeli settlers. "We do not demonize anyone," says Parsons, highlighting the work done in a synagogue in Kiryat Arba, one of the most radical settlements in the West Bank.

"Unlike established churches, which have often been hostile to Jews, we are here to repair all the evil that has been done to them in the past."

David Parsons, Vice President of the International Christian Embassy

This minority but influential position is obviously rejected by most of the Holy Land Churches. In a joint statement issued in August 2006, the Latin Patriarch (Catholic) and his Syriac, Anglican and Lutheran counterparts accused the Zionist Christians of spreading "false teachings that corrupt the biblical messages of love, justice and reconciliation" to "embrace the most extreme ideological positions of the Zionists, at the risk of obstructing a just peace between Palestine and Israel". This divorce finds a striking illustration in the fact that Mike Pence did not plan to meet any Christian dignitary during his two-day visit to Jerusalem. On the eve of his arrival, Hanan Ashrawi, who sits on the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said: "I belong to the oldest Christian tradition in the world and I do not believe that God has ordained that Palestinians be treated with such injustice. "

Sweeping these criticisms, David Parsons says he respects the Christians of Palestine but suggests that they criticize Israel under the weight of coercion. "My brothers in Bethlehem, like most Christian minorities in the Middle East, are under Islamic rule and feel compelled to join forces with other Palestinians," he says. Oddly enough, he says he knows from reliable sources that "the patriarch of one of the great churches in Jerusalem has brought champagne when Trump made his announcement."

The message of evangelical Christians, saluted today in Israel, has sometimes been greeted with distrust. Religious Jews are well aware that evangelical Christians essentially see their return to Zion as a prelude to their conversion before Christ's return to earth. But they seem to have resigned themselves to muted their reservations in the name of a "common commitment against the specter of radical Islamism". Addressing a videoconference last August to an audience of American evangelical Christians, Benyamin Netanyahu tried to make the Palestinian national demands forget by summarizing: "We are engaged in a struggle of civilization - a struggle between free societies and the forces of militant Islam. "


Jerusalem: Mike Pence drives the nail

The first US Vice President to speak in the Knesset, Mike Pence delivered a speech on Monday, filled with religious fervor and responding point by point to the expectations of Israeli leaders. Invited Sunday by King Abdullah II of Jordan to "restore confidence" after the recognition, by Donald Trump, of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, he instead chose to drive the nail. "America stands with Israel," he said. Your values ​​are our values ​​and your battles are our struggles. "In front of an audience of angels - with the exception of the thirteen deputies of the United Arab List, who were expelled after provoking a session incident - he promised that the new US embassy in Jerusalem will open "by the end of next year".

Without referring to the excitement of the decision, Mike Pence reiterated that it does not prejudge the outcome of future negotiations on the limits of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem. "The United States will support the two-state solution if it is the choice of both parties," he said, before blaming the Palestinians for their recent decision to challenge the peace effort of the United States. US Administration. "We urge them to return to the negotiating table," he said.

Echoing the Israeli impatience, he finally called on Europe to quickly correct the Iran nuclear deal and concluded: "The United States will not allow Iran to acquire the weapon atomic."


 

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