The rate of support for the State of Israel among Evangelicals between the ages of 18 and 29 has declined by more than half between 2018 and 2021 – from 69% to 33.6% – according to a study that will be presented Thursday at Tel Aviv University, as cited by The Jerusalem Post.
“It seems that the Israeli government’s decision to abandon large segments of the liberal, progressive Democratic public and gamble only on the Evangelicals might end up costing us dearly,” said Dr. Yoav Fromer, head of the Center for the Study of the United States at Tel Aviv University, in partnership with the Fulbright Program, in response to the study.
The Jerusalem post says the research will be featured as part of a university conference called “The Americanization of the Israeli Right.”
The research was conducted by Dr. Motti Inbari and Dr. Kirill Bumin of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, among 700 Evangelicals aged 18 to 29. Although the 2018 study included Evangelicals of all ages and showed that overall support for Israel among Evangelicals stood at 75%, the current study did not include other ages.
The Jerusalem Post article says there was also a striking increase in support for a Palestinian state, the study showed. Some 44.7% supported the establishment of a Palestinian state today versus only 35% three years ago.
Why the shift?
“This is the million-dollar question,” Inbari told The Jerusalem Post.
“We believe that the reason for this drop is connected to the way in which young Evangelicals perceive the concept of justice,” Inbari said. “The young Evangelicals think that from a just point of view or a Christian point of view, they should develop more compassion toward the Palestinians.”
He said that in the Bible one can “find all kinds of justifications for all kinds of positions,” and that when they asked respondents why they chose to support Israel, the Palestinians or neither, the general response was “because I am Christian.”
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SOURCE: Assist News Service