Political pundits have written off the pro-Israel vote knowing that the majority of Jews in America vote Democrat. This is a big mistake! The presidency could, indeed, be decided by a few million votes, at best.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has often said to me that the most powerful pro-Israel lobby in America is not Jewish – it’s Bible-believing Christians, of which there are 52 million, and only 6 million Jews. The combined number of Christian radio and TV stations in America is larger than any secular network.
At the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, Ronald Reagan told me that the most powerful political force in America is not the Republican Party or the Democrat Party, but rather, it is the church. He said, “They meet every week, and we meet once every four years.”
The presidential vote will be determined by the “F” word – foreign policy. Most evangelicals do not buy that we were attacked over our culture or democracy, or that Islamic fundamentalists represent a “peaceful religion.” Rather, they believe that we were attacked more over our allegiance with Saudi Arabia and Israel. They also believe the Saudis got a free pass on 9-11 over oil.
The million-vote question is: Which candidate closely supports Bible-believing Christians’ uncompromising support of Israel? (This question may even take precedence over the homosexual and pro-abortion agendas, even though this group is strongly opposed to both.) They will, without question, reject a candidate they feel is cursing Israel.
This group may not be united on all issues concerning Israel. They do, however, strongly ascribe to the scriptural admonition of “I will bless them that bless thee [Israel], and curse him that curses thee.” This promise concerning how nations treat Israel was given to Abraham thousands of years ago. Bible-believing Christians believe God’s hand of protection over America is based greatly on how America treats Israel. “America’s sins can be forgiven,” they say, “but, if Americans touch prophecy, there is no forgiveness.”
Does George W. Bush have that vote sewn up? No, he does not. If he does not make the case for his support for Israel, he could find voter apathy within his own base strong enough to cost him the election. No, they will not vote for Kerry, but if they do not vote for Bush, Kerry wins.
George W. Bush’s problems began with his attempt to appease Arab and European rage during the Persian Gulf War by sponsoring the Road Map plan. Mr. Bush has also held up the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act on a national security waiver, as well as the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1987. This is a matter that does not please his constituency, and one for which he has not made a case, especially since Congress passed both bills.
By simply not signing a waiver on the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act, the U.S. Embassy would be moved from Tel Aviv to West Jerusalem. This would be a prophetic recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by the United States.
In similar fashion, the Anti-Terrorism Act would place Arafat’s PLO on the terror list, where most Bible-believing Christians believe they belong. This is not a good position for President Bush. Despite the fact he has quietly backtracked on the Road Map, Bible-believing Christians think he still supports it.
On April 14, 2004, President Bush stood alongside Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and announced a dramatic change in U.S. policy regarding the Middle East peace process. This is, perhaps, the most significant and prophetic change in Middle East policy since Harry S. Truman signed the document that recognized Israel as a state on May 14, 1948.
President Bush courageously set aside decades of liberal policies supported by six previous presidents, the State Department, the European Union and the Arab League. Mr. Bush stated that Israel would not have to return to its pre-1967 borders. He then addressed the heart of the Middle East crisis by reversing the right of return policy stating that neither Palestinians that had lost land in 1948 nor their descendants could return to Israel. They could, however return to the Palestinian territories.
Thus far, most Bible-believing Christians are not aware of this since it was bypassed by the liberal media. It would be a tragic mistake, however, for Mr. Bush not to include it in his acceptance speech, or in the presidential debates.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has hitched his wagon to President Bush more so than any prime minister in Israel’s history – a strange phenomenon since Israel’s Jewish organizations and voters in America do not support Mr. Bush.
Mr. Sharon has not reached out to the evangelicals in America. As a matter of fact, he holds the record for not meeting with this strong, pro-Israel base in the United States. Taking this group for granted is a huge mistake on Mr. Sharon’s part, and could cost President Bush the election.
There is, perhaps, no better indication of the bond between President Bush and Prime Minister Sharon that how Yasser Arafat sees it. According to a CNS report of July 26, the head of Israeli military intelligence, Maj. Gen. Aharon Ze’evi, said that Yasser Arafat is waiting out the U.S. presidential election in anticipation that Mr. Bush will not be re-elected.
“Arafat is now waiting for the month of November in the hope that President Bush will be defeated in the presidential election and turned out of office,” Ze’evi was quoted as telling the Cabinet on July 25. He added that Arafat also expects Bush’s defeat to bring down the Sharon government.
John Kerry, on the other hand, is not a card-carrying member of the club. However, he does have some Jewish blood running through his veins, and that could be enough to excite some Bible-believing Christians.
The man who would challenge President Bush for the leadership of the free world, Sen. John Kerry, has not displayed the same forthright support for Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. On the contrary, he has identified himself with the failed policies of former president Bill Clinton that have appeased Palestinian terrorism, bringing death and destruction to Israel.
One manifestation of this is Kerry’s choice of adviser for Israeli affairs, Jay Footlik. A Clinton leftover and longtime supporter of the Oslo accords that led to the last four years of intifada, Footlik is an advocate of the so-called “peace processes” that have become a code word for unilateral Israeli concessions. Another principle he champions is “evenhandedness” – that’s when the suicide bomber and his victims are assured the same measure of understanding and sympathy. Footlik promises to help Kerry be just as bad for Israel as he helped Clinton to be.
Indeed, Kerry is considered a liberal by most Bible-believing Christians who still have a bad taste in their mouths over President Bill Clinton. During the 1990s, when Mr. Clinton served as president, America saw its culture polluted, its heroes defiled, Bible-believing Americans demonized as bigots and extremists, and God dethroned. The same moral compromise that has infected our domestic policy has also infected our foreign policy. Bill Clinton became the Pied Piper of New Age secular humanism while serving the poison apple.
Again, many Bible-believing Christians are not aware of Mr. Kerry’s support, or lack of support, for Israel. If he gets a little advice from Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, and begins dropping one-liners such as “the war on terror cannot be won without a war on bigotry,” it’s time to say the “F” word – foreign policy – or blaming 9-11 on appeasing oil-rich bigots, Mr. Bush could have a real race on his hands to retain his own voter base.
If Bible-believing Christians have to choose between politics and prophecy, they will with certainty choose prophecy.