JPost.com » Opinion » Columnists » Article Aug 16, 2009 20:46 | Updated Aug 17, 2009 9:10

Candidly Speaking: Evangelicals: An appreciation

By ISI LEIBLER

A prominent American Jewish leader recently told me that the passionate standing ovation he received after addressing 4,000 participants at John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel rally in Washington was reminiscent of the fervent Zionist gatherings he attended as a youngster. The two-day Evangelical Christian parley was designed to express support for Israel, receive updates on the current challenges facing the Jewish state and lobby congressmen in support of Israel. They heard addresses from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu via satellite, Sen. Joe Lieberman, Ambassador Michael Oren, Malcolm Hoenlein of the Presidents’ Conference and others.

At a time when much of global public opinion views Israel through the distorted lenses of Arab and anti-Semitic defamation, millions of Evangelicals have emerged as our most devoted supporters.

The evolution of this relationship is extraordinary and defies logic. It is only over the past three decades that support for Israel assumed such a high priority among this Christian denomination, which is rapidly expanding at a time when other churches are in dramatic decline.

Until recently, most Jews regarded Evangelicals as zealots obsessed with a desire to convert everyone. They also believed that their philo-Semitism was not “genuine” because it was based on an eschatology which predicted that the second coming of the messiah would only come after the Jewish people had returned to Israel and brought about the end of days.

Read the rest of this article from the Jerusalem Post at: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=1&cid=1249418620257&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

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