What is Christian Zionism?
In May 2021, the world witnessed the brutal and tyrannical displacement of Palestinians, the desecration of Masjid Al-Aqsa and a volley of missiles against Gaza which is the largest open air prison in the world. The audacious and relentless persecution of Palestinians is bolstered by the indisputable role of Christian Zionists. Recently, John Hagee, the chairman and founder of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest pro-Israel lobby group in the USA, tweeted that Jerusalem and Israel belong to the Jewish people, and encouraged Christians to “take a stand against evil” and show “unconditional love and support for Israel”. There are more than 40 million evangelical Christian Zionists in America, whose theology predestines all Jews to be ‘called in’ to Palestine for the Apocalypse, to embrace Christ as their Messiah or else to perish in the Rapture of his Second Coming.
Christian Zionists believe that they have a biblical obligation to support the state of Israel. The belief stems from the idea that God promised the land of Israel to the Jews who will rule it until Jesus returns to Jerusalem. Hence their support for Israel is actually support for the return of Jesus. They believe that Israel belongs exclusively to the Jewish people, therefore the land must be annexed, Palestinians must be driven from their homes and illegal Jewish settlements must continue to expand.
Christian Zionists offer varying degrees of support to organisations such as the Jewish Temple Mount Faithful who are committed to destroying Masjid Al-Aqsa and rebuilding the Jewish Temple on the Noble sanctuary of Al-Aqsa. To them any compromise of “land for peace” with the Palestinians is seen as a rejection of God’s promises to Israel. They aver that the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 and the capture of Jerusalem in 1967 were the miraculous fulfilment of God’s promises made to Abraham that he would establish Israel as a Jewish nation forever in Palestine.
Christian Zionists regard Jerusalem as the eternal and exclusive capital of the Jews that cannot be shared with the Palestinians. They had accordingly lobbied the US Administration to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem, thereby ensuring that Jerusalem is recognised as the capital of Israel. When the United States announced the relocation of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, many observers believed it was the Trump administration’s way of answering directly not only to the Israeli right but also to the American Christian evangelical base that supported Trump.
Christian Zionists believe that the devil created anti-Semitism in order to thwart God’s plan to save the world through the ‘Jews’. After Christ returns, the thousand year rule of Christ will culminate in the ultimate defeat of Satan and his agents. This will be a time of violence, war and destruction in which Islam and Muslims play the role of the powers of darkness.
Religion & Politics
Christian Zionism’s fusion of religion with politics works to guarantee Israeli interests. It is a political theology based on the belief that Israel is not like any other country: it is part of God’s plan foretold in the Scriptures. The verse most often referred to as the biblical mandate of Christian Zionists is Genesis 12:3 in which God tells Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curse you and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” This mandate invariably results in the uncritical endorsement of and justification for Israel’s racist and apartheid policies.
Coming of Jesus
The political ideology of Christian Zionism is premised on the prophecy that the migration of Jews to Israel is a necessary prerequisite for the second coming of Jesus Christ. 20 percent of the USA population reportedly believe that the gathering of millions of Jews in Israel signifies the nearing of Jesus’ second coming. “God has a set time to do everything, and Israel is God’s prophetic clock for doing it. Recognize this fact: that God’s clock only moves when the Jewish people are in the land of Israel, and when they are in the land, the clock starts ticking.” – John Hagee
“Among the People of the Scripture is he who, if entrusted with a Qintar (a great amount of wealth), will readily pay it back; and among them there is he who, if entrusted with a single silver coin, will not repay it unless you constantly stand demanding, because they say: ‘There is no blame on us to betray and take the properties of the illiterates (Arabs).’ But they tell a lie against Allah while they know it.” (3:75)
This verse draws a distinction among People of the Scriptures; among them are those who stand as models of justice, fairness and impartiality. They readily discharge their obligations and responsibilities without prejudice or discrimination. Within them however, are those who falsely claim that God Himself has exempted them from all moral responsibility towards non-Jews (contemptuously described as illiterates), knowing well that their own scriptures provide no basis whatever for such a claim. Ibn Katheer explains the words: “There is no blame on us to betray and take the properties of the illiterates (Arabs) to mean: There is no harm in our religion if we eat up the property of the unlettered ones, the Arabs, for Allah has allowed it for us.”
The Zionist of both shades fit the description above; they distort the teachings of their scriptures, fostering fear and hatred for Muslims and justify the oppressive, unjust and cruel treatment of Palestinians in the name of religion.