JERUSALEM (Christian Examiner) – As U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet in Washington to soothe strained relations caused by the Iran nuclear deal, a blogger with the Times of Israel is putting a new spin on the seeming world-wide hatred of Israel – she claims the liberal world is condemning Israel for religious reasons.
Those reasons don't include any deep-seated religious beliefs about a divine promise to Israel or arguments from faith about blessing in exchange for favor shown to Jews. They don't even have anything to do with Muslims' hatred for the children of Abraham.
According to Debbie Hall, a Los Angeles-based writer and activist, liberals across the western world hate Israel because conservative Christians love the nation too much (and too loudly).
"The personal experiences of liberals throughout Europe, the US and Canada are rooted in a Christian-based society and when they reject that which has affected them personally in a negative way, it becomes rejection of anything supported by that ideology. Because Christian evangelicals staunchly support Israel, liberals are automatically rejecting Israel based on that evangelical support without looking into the matter any further," Hall writes.
In fact, she says, the support for Israel offered by outspoken Christian ministers like John Hagee is the "single-most damaging thing for Jews since the Holocaust."
How so? According to Hall, conservative Christians and liberals are like oil and water. What one group supports, the other will not. In this case, she writes, Christian affection and support for Israel means that liberals and liberal nations once supportive of Israel are backing off.
Hall, therefore, writes that Christian support for Israel comes with a price too steep. Israel should not trade the tepid support of the majority of the liberal world for the strong, vocal support of a declining minority. Israel's acceptance of Christian support is just "not worth it."
"If not for this relationship between Israel and evangelicals, I believe eventually the liberal world-at-large would have come to support Israel again, as they did in the 60s and 70s, when Jewish civilians are attacked simply because they're Jews. With the addition of the evangelical movement's pro-Israel agenda, that support is withheld in a knee-jerk fashion. During the latest wave of attacks on Jews, I've seen liberal, white, anti-Israel activists don PLO kaffiyehs [head scarves] and parade around a Jewish deli in Los Angeles. I don't think things like that would be as commonplace if evangelical support were not a huge component in the liberal bias against Israel," Hall writes.
According to Hall, the best thing evangelicals can do for Israel is to stop supporting the country, and if they chose to do so, to tamp down the volume and "do it quietly."
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"If your goal is actually to support Israel and Jews, and you've now been put on notice that your very vocal support is harmful, then I would expect you to have no problem doing it quietly. However, if you're doing it for personal glory in the same fashion you parade around your religious ideology, please stop supporting Israel," Hall writes.
Hall also claims she is aware the answer she has provided is not one people want to hear. For her, however, she claims the equation is clear. Declining support for conservative Christian ideologies in Europe, Canada, and the U.S. implies a rejection of things once central in those ideologies. Included in that is the conservative notion of Israel's place in redemptive history.
In May, Christianity Today published the findings of a study which showed 80 percent of evangelical pastors said Christians should support Israel. Nearly 70 percent claimed to believe Israel's formation in 1948 had a direct correlation to biblical prophecy. Seventy-three percent said Israel featured prominently in the unfolding plan for the end of time described in the Book of Revelation.
Among Americans as a whole, the notion of support for Israel declined. Only 46 percent of the general public said they believed Israel's creation was a fulfillment of prophecy.