American evangelicals need to realize that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is no battle between good and evil. The more Christian view, far from blind loyalty to Israel, is recognizing the Palestinians’ humanity, says Kirsten Powers.
“Blessed are the peacemakers.”
“Declaring that evangelical Christians are ‘on the front line of defense for Israel in the United States of America,’ the Rev. John Hagee brought delegates to the Christians United for Israel Washington Summit 2012 to their feet with loud cheering and even the sounds of shofars being blown,” The Times of Israel reported in April 2012.
That same month, Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, told NBC News of evangelical support of Israel, “American evangelicals have it in their DNA: God blesses those who bless the Jews and curses whoever curses the Jews.”
During the GOP primary, many evangelicals expressed support for Newt Gingrich, who called Palestinians “invented people.” Someone from a country that is a few hundred years old complaining about “invented” national identities would be comical if the crux of his message weren’t so offensive. Such despicable nonsense is spouted for one reason: to dehumanize Palestinians. After all, if they are just invented, pretend people, then who cares what happens to them?
Since when is dehumanizing people—God’s creation—an acceptable Christian view?
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Kirsten Powers is a columnist for The Daily Beast. She is also a contributor to USA Today and a Fox News political analyst. She served in the Clinton administration from 1993 to 1998 and has worked in New York state and city politics. Her writing has been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, The New York Observer, Salon.com, Elle magazine, and American Prospect online.