Earlier this month, we linked to this piece written by Rabbi Steven Pruzansky. In it, the rabbi explodes some of the myths that surround Christian support for Israel:
What of the Christian belief that utilizes support for Israel in order to advance a distinctly Christian eschatological agenda? I don’t believe this is the case. I have spoken to evangelicals – leaders and laymen – and to a person they have rooted their support for Israel and love for Jews in the Bible’s admonition (Isaac’s blessing to Jacob) “those who curse you will be cursed, and those who bless you will be blessed.”
Not long after that, Pastor John Hagee had this to say on the subject in a good op-ed published in Ha’aretz:
Some worry that our efforts [to support Israel] are motivated by a desire to convert Jews. Others posit that our Zionism is tied to an effort to speed the second coming of Jesus. Both of these allegations are flat wrong … Like all people of faith, we Christians firmly believe that our religion is true. But we also believe in religious freedom and have enormous respect for the Jewish faith … Regarding the other allegation, the fact is that the vast majority of Christian Zionists and Evangelicals do not believe there is anything we can do to hasten the second coming of Jesus. Our theology is clear that we humans are utterly powerless to change God’s timetable.
Rabbi Eckstein has addressed this issue as well:
The truth is, Evangelicals support Israel for a variety of reasons, political and moral as well as religious and even the religious reasons do not necessarily involve “end times.” For many, the biblical call to support Israel and the Jewish people is found in the 12th chapter of the book of Genesis, which describes God’s covenant with Abraham and the blessings that will come to those who bless the Jewish people, or sections of the New Testament letters of the apostle Paul, which describe Judaism as the “root” of Christianity and define the proper attitude of Gentile toward Jew as one of humility and love. These passages, among others, form the foundation of the evangelical view of Jews and Judaism.
Interesting how prominent leaders from the Jewish and the Christian worlds have looked at the phenomenon of Christian support for Israel and come to the same conclusions.