Political pundits have written off the pro-Israel vote, knowing that the majority of Jews in America are not voting for George W. Bush.
But wait. 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 the church. “They meet every week,” he said; “and we meet once every four years.”
The million-vote question is: Which candidate closely buoys the Israel lobby’s uncompromising support of Israel? They will, without question, reject a candidate they feel is shunning Israel. Why? They feel that God will forgive you for anything but touching prophecy. They do consider the rebirth of Israel a fulfillment of prophecy, along with the restoration of Jerusalem.
Evangelical Christians 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 curse thee.” This promise concerning how nations treat Israel was made to Abraham thousands of years ago.
Does George W. Bush have that vote sewn up? Yes, he does. Why President Bush? On April 14, 2004, Bush stood alongside 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.
Bush courageously set aside decades of policies supported by six previous presidents, the State Department, the European Union, and the Arab League. 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 who had lost land in 1948 nor their descendants could return to Israel. They could, however, return to the Palestinian territories.
Sharon has hitched his wagon to a U.S. president more solidly than any other prime minister in Israel’s history – a strange phenomenon, since Israel’s Jewish organizations and voters in America have been lobbying Sharon to hitch his wagon to John Kerry.
Strangely, Sharon has not reached out to the evangelicals in America, another of Bush’s strongest support groups. As a matter of fact, he holds the record for not meeting with this strong, pro-Israel base in the United States more than any other prime minister in Israel’s history. Taking this group for granted is a huge mistake on Sharon’s part. Nevertheless, they will forgive him.
Bible-believing, evangelical Christians respect character. They believe in the Ten Commandments, not the “Ten Suggestions.” In spite of the lobbying powers of Jew-hating bigots worldwide, the land of Israel is the Bible land in the minds of Bush’s core support group.
The nearly 3,000 Christian radio and TV stations in America have a combined listener-viewership larger than any other network. The vast majority of the Congress, Senate, Cabinet and the president are Christians. One would be extremely naive to think that the foreign policy of America concerning Israel was being determined only by the Jewish lobby.
A poll by the American Jewish Committee showed that 69 percent of Jewish voters intend to cast their ballots for Kerry, while 24 percent plan to vote for the incumbent.
Yet the same poll that registers lack of support for Bush also said that 63 percent of American Jews said they support Sharon’s proposal to withdraw from Gaza, and 57 percent percent support a Palestinian state.
The truth is that more than 90 percent of Israel’s lobby of Bible-believing Christians do not support Sharon’s proposal to withdraw, nor do they support a Palestinian state. As the founder of the Jerusalem Prayer Team, America’s largest Christian coalition supporting Israel, I am aware of the power of Bible-believing Christians.
A secure, strong Israel is in America’s best interest. To weaken Israel is to destabilize the Middle East and risk the peace of the world. Bush’s base supports Israel’s right to its land – spiritually and legally – and considers this support a biblical mandate.
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