Prof. As’ad Abdul Rahman
Christian Zionism has been on the scene in the United States way before the establishment of the Zionist entity (Israel) in Palestine in 1948. With more than 20 million followers, the Christian Zionist group is now the most effective advocate of Israel in the USA. Its fanatic beliefs have been pervasive among many denominations mainly the Southern Baptists who represent one of the basic voting blocks in the RepublicanParty.
As a theological and political movement, its members embrace the fundamentalist Christian belief in “the Second Coming of the Messiah” dependent upon the happening of certain events, mainly the ‘return of the Jews to Palestine (according to the biblical doctrine of restoration), the establishment of the State of Israel, the ‘rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem’ and the ‘demise of the State of Israel during the Armageddon’ (the final battle between the good vs. evil). After Armageddon-according to this belief-the age of “dispensation” shall begin in which after “the end of times” the second coming of the Messiah would take place “to rule the world from Jerusalem”.
This fundamentalist Christian Zionism first took hold in England in the 17th century. Oliver Cromwell, the English military and political leader who later became the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland, was the most ardent supporter of this doctrine. He became “an independent puritan who fervently believed that God was guiding his victories against his enemies”. After Cromwell came the English jurist, judge and politician, William Blackstone, who strongly advocated “the return of the Jews to Palestine” to fulfill “the principle of restoration” in order to usher “the age of dispensation” when divine rule shall be established. This same belief flourished in America by John Nelson in 1909 who advocated “the end of times” which was propagated by “the Cyrus Scofield Reference Bible” which is still preached to this very day by Christian Fundamentalists who call themselves Christians Zionists.
Later, and to fulfill the biblical prophecy of “the return of the Jews to Palestine”, James Balfour, as British Foreign Secretary acted on his belief in Christian Zionism through “the Balfour Declaration” given in a written form, a letter, to Lord Rothschild in 1917, propagating “a Jewish Homeland” in Palestine. Also, President Harry Truman was a believer as well as President Ronald Reagan. President Truman was the first to recognize the Zionist state and President Reagan made the Christian Zionists and the whole Southern States the basic voting block for the Republican Party.
According to Christian Zionists, anything that may hasten the apocalyptic Armageddon event in Palestine should be supported while anything that may delay it should be opposed by all means possible. Hence their opposition to any peaceful settlement between the Palestinians and the Israelis, which they believe that not only it may delay “the Second Coming”, but it would completely prevent it because Armageddon would not take place, consequently “the Demise of the State of Israel”, according to their doctrine, would not take place to usher “the Coming of the Messiah”. In this context, it is to be remembered that America’s Christian Zionists are the most ardent supporters of the colonial settlements in the West Bank in addition to a complete Judaization of Historical Palestine including Jerusalem because these actions, in their view, shall increase the hate between the Jews and all Muslims which would kill peace; thus enhance the chances of Armageddon taking place in which the state of Israel is destroyed “to usher the Second Coming”.
Furthermore, Christian Zionists support the destruction of ‘the Temple Mount’ (Al-Haram Al-Sharif or the Noble Sanctuary) in order “to build again the true Temple of God in Jerusalem”. Allied with Jewish zealots, they are now trying to genetically engineer the birth of a cow with a biblical description to signal- according to their belief-, the start of the building of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, but first (Al-Haram Al-Sharif) has to be destroyed completely which will absolutely bring about the apocalyptic event that may fulfill their dim-witted belief which is totally contradictory to the spiritual messages of Judaism and Christianity combined.
Christian Zionists have established a number of organizations including a bank called the Christian Trust for Israel with branches in Israeli towns whose main purpose is to finance the purchase of Arab Palestinian properties, especially in Jerusalem and to finance the expansion of the Israeli colonial settlements in the West Bank. The “National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel” was created with its main motto including: “You cannot be a true Christian if you are not a Jew first”. Across the United States, nearly 80 thousand preachers work to spread their message through 400 broadcasting stations. “The Christian broadcasting Network (CBN) established by Pat Robertson has a daily 10 million audience listening to its fundamentalist message in its support of the Israeli extremist party (Likud) agenda for the Judaization of all Historical Palestine. When former prime minister Ariel Sharon ordered the dismantlement of Israeli settlements in Gaza, Robertson called him “a blasphemer who is violating God’s Commandments”.
In other words, absolutely nothing will please the Christian Zionists in America more than adding fuel to the raging fire of the present conflict between Jews and Muslims to fulfill their extremist destructive doctrine which has no spiritual reality and is totally devoid of any messages of peace and conciliation.