Evangelicals Express Support for President Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian Peace Plan

President Donald Trump speaks during an event with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

To many evangelicals and ardent Christian Zionists, God promised the land of Israel to the Jews and to the Jews alone.

The belief comes, at least in part, from the Book of Genesis which recounts of the covenant God made with Abraham:

“The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you” (Genesis 17:8).

Yet on Tuesday (Jan. 28), when President Donald Trump unveiled his long-awaited plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, which calls for some land swaps with Palestinians and a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem, his evangelical advisers congratulated him for it.

Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas who attended the unveiling in Washington, called the proposal “courageous and compassionate.”

The Rev. Johnnie Moore, another evangelical adviser, said it was “nuanced, realistic and comprehensive.”

Pastor John Hagee, chairman of Christians United for Israel, said it was “the best peace proposal any American administration has ever put forth.”

For years, Hagee has defended Israel’s right to make decisions free of international interference or pressure.

“God did not make a covenant with Washington, D.C.,” Hagee said in 2011. “He made a covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And that covenant stands. It is still the covenant.”

But Trump’s plan, developed with adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner and announced alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is as close to the biblical ideal as Israel is likely to get, evangelicals said.

The plan would allow Israel to keep all the settlements it has already built in Palestinian territory annexed in the 1967 Six-Day War. Even more, it allows for the application of Israeli law in parts of the West Bank that have never been subject to it. In exchange, it gives Palestinians parts of the West Bank and some land in Israel’s Negev Desert along the Egyptian border. The plan, which falls short of giving Palestinians full statehood,  also proposes a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem.

Joel C. Rosenberg, an evangelical with dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship who has a large following among U.S. evangelicals — mostly for his bestselling fiction about Bible prophecy, but also for his views on Israel — said evangelicals are not about to turn on Trump.

“Evangelicals in the United States trust President Trump on the issue of Israel because he’s been so supportive,” Rosenberg told Religion News Service from his home in Israel. “They’re not dealing with a hostile president, like President Obama. They’re dealing with a friend who has been enormously helpful to Israel.”

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Source: Religion News Service