Thousands of evangelical Christians descended on Washington this week for the seventh annual Christians United for Israel (“CUFI”) conference. Their goal: defend America and bless Israel.
Efforts to forge peace in the Middle East have dominated United States foreign policy for more than two decades, with every president since George H.W. Bush wading into the same treacherous waters and failing to broker a permanent solution to the crisis. Yet even with contentious disagreements on a dauntingly wide range of issues, everyone including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas agrees on one thing: the goal of forging a two-state solution.
Everyone, except for millions of America’s most influential voters.
As one of the most strident voting blocs in American politics, evangelicals have shaped some of the country’s most controversial domestic policy debates, from abortion to gay rights.
A growing coalition within the larger evangelical movement has also begun to quietly shape a much different debate involving the future of Israel. These self-described Christian Zionists present a quandary for those hoping for a two-state solution, since Christian Zionists believe the Bible altogether precludes the formation of two states.
This stance puts them at odds with the official positions of the Israeli government and Palestinian authorities, as well as the United States, the United Nations, and the European Union. Nevertheless, Christian Zionists have evolved into a powerful constituency in the United States.
It’s always struck me as weird that at least 71% of Israeli citizens (that number was from 2011..could be higher today) supports a Two-State Solution, but outside forces, namely American Christian Zionists, do not. And that these “outsiders” will do anything they can to prevent it happening. Don’t you find it strange or even presumptuous on their part to believe “they know best?”