This blog post is the text version of an infographic created for Instagram, with minor tweaks to formatting. It is meant to serve as a jumping off point for research, as one post can only hold so much. We encourage you to check out the citations. There was so much that simply couldn’t be covered in such a short post; not to mention a breadth of research that feels like it should be must read material for this topic.
A huge thank you to @willatheewisps on Instagram and A Hearth Witch for going over this prior to posting.
What is Christian Zionism?
Christian Zionism is both a religious and political ideology which has no formal structure but generally demands total support for the modern political state of Israel in order to gather all Jews in Israel which will trigger the Rapture & the second coming of Christ.
“Christian Zionists are premillennial dispensationalists who believe that the return of Jews to their homeland heralds the beginning of the biblically prophesied “End Times”.”
Christian Zionist groups often have infighting in regard to the particulars of their beliefs, even going so far as to denounce one another.
Who are Christian Zionists?
Most Christian Zionists are Evangelical & Fundamentalist Christians; however, the ideology has adherents within all Christian denominations [including Mormonism].
They exist globally; this is not solely an American phenomenon.
The largest Zionist organization in America is a Christian organization.
The largest Zionist organization has more Christian members than there are Jewish Americans alive. As of 2021, there are roughly 7.5 million American Jews. Christians United for Israel alone has over 10 million Christian members.
There more than 30 million Christian Zionists in the United States alone, according to the author & academic Tristan Sturm. That’s double the population of Jews worldwide.
Genocidal Holy War
The Rapture (belief that living & dead believers will ascend into heaven to meet Jesus Christ at the Second Coming) is a generally agreed upon aspect of the Second Coming. “Dispensationalists deem this phase “the time of Jacob’s trouble,” in which [at least] one-third of Jews convert to Christianity & are saved accordingly, while the majority are killed.” Remember: “Among Christian Zionists the belief is common that Jews will not be saved due simply to their status as God’s chosen people within Old Testament prophecy. Conversion is considered... necessary for Jews to be a part of Christ’s reign on earth.” After the Rapture, there will be a seven-year period of global turmoil marked by natural disasters, wars, & oppressive regimes. Afterward, Jesus will return with his true believers to establish a thousand-year reign, during which Jerusalem will be the world's capital. Palestinians & Jews are canon fodder; collateral damage; merely pawns to move into position in order to summon Jesus. Dead or alive.
Christian Zionism & Violent Anti-Palestinian Rhetoric
Palestinian Christians, despite including some of the oldest Christian communities in the world, do not count as the “right” kind of Christian, while Palestinian Muslims are subject to unimaginable dehumanization.
“Christian Zionist groups that fund Israeli settler communities have been criticized by the United Nations Security Council for providing support to settlement communities that are considered illegal under international law.”
“Christian Zionists have actively lobbied for both the return of Jews to modern-day Israel and for an end to the existence of the territories administered by the Palestinian Authority.”
According to scholar Tristan Sturm, “They justified the war through colonial imaginings ofterra nulliusin three ways:
1) by denying that Palestinians exist as a legitimate national identity;
2) by denying the Palestinians to reason; and
3) prophetic inevitability [the war will happen because of the prophecy].
Gaza is therefore interpreted as God’s land and the demise of Gazans—present and future—is not only anticipated and preempted, but will have (already) happened”.
Antisemitism & Christian Zionism
Antisemitism is the lifeblood of the Christian Zionist. Substituting care for Jews with nationalism [based in belief in the coming Rapture], Christian Zionists wield antisemitism as a tool.
Antisemitism is a powerful element for Christian Zionists. They use antisemitism in the Diaspora to entice Jews to move under the guise of ‘safety’, propelling & furthering their agenda of gathering all Jews in the Holy Land.
“Within the context of Christian Zionism, American Jews are relatively irrelevant, byproducts of a history whose end is the movement’s ultimate goal.”
Christian Zionists are happy to promote antisemitic propaganda, misinformation, & legislation in order to achieve this goal.
Founder of CUFI, John Hagee, “described Hitler as a hunter sent by God to get Jewish people “to come back to the land of Israel.”
Christian Zionism inherently sees “Jews as the people who fail to recognise & accept the true Messiah & have thus deprived themselves of both eternal life & sound moral guidelines”.
According to Trump, Democrats “don’t want to fund Israel. They want to take away foreign aid to Israel. They want to do a lot of bad things to Israel. In my opinion, you vote for a Democrat, you’re being very disloyal to Jewish people and very disloyal to Israel.” When called out as “about seven-in-ten [American Jews] identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party” Donald Trump continued, “any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat" shows "either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty” promoting the dual loyalty trope.
There is internal division regarding converting Jews, with some believing it is essential to convert as many Jews as possible. However, “some Christian Zionists consider themselves “proto-Jews on earth”.. & engage in such practices as observance of the Saturday sabbath.” Examples of this include Mike Huckabee.
US Christian Zionist Political Power
Christian Zionists in the USA wield massive political power, particularly in the realm of lobbying. As many (if not most) Christian Zionists are extremely conservative, they are often at odds, if not going directly against, the majority will of American Jews. “People have to understand that the backbone of Israel’s support in the United States is the evangelical Christians,” said, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer “pointing to the fact that evangelicals comprise about a quarter of Americans while Jews make up less than two percent of the population. He also noted that it’s “very rare” for evangelicals to criticise Israel, while American Jews are “disproportionately among [Israel’s] critics”.
Their influence is rooted in their ability to mobilize huge, committed constituencies, often through highly-organized advocacy groups. Christian Zionists have influenced decisions related to military aid, foreign aid packages, & support for Israeli government policies. Christian Zionist groups directly fund settlers & settler violence.
“They “oppose the Middle East peace process because they oppose a physical division of Jerusalem or of Israel”, according to Dr Clifford Kiracofe, a former adviser to the US Senate.”
“White evangelicals are the group most likely to say God gave the land that is now Israel to the Jewish people. Fully 70% of White evangelicals take that position, more than twice the share of U.S. Jews who answered a similar (but not identical) question”.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledges their power: “I don’t believe the Jewish State & modern Zionism would be possible without Christian Zionism.”
Christian Zionists in Politics*
Mike Pence: Former Vice President of the United States of America; known supporter of CUFI. Pence brought a Messianic “rabbi” to mourn the victims of the Tree of Life massacre.
Ted Cruz: United States Senator from Texas, known supporter of CUFI.
Mike Pompeo: Former United States Secretary of State, praised by CUFI founder.
Ron DeSantis: Governor of Florida.
Nikki Haley: Former governor of South Carolina, currently running for President.
Mike Huckabee: Former Governor of Arkansas, “Huckabee denies that there is a cohesive nationalism and contiguous history tying Palestinians together”, “I worship a Jew!...I have a lot of Jewish friends, and they’re kind of, like, ’You evangelicals love Israel more than we do.’ I’m like, do you not get it? If there weren’t a Jewish faith, there wouldn’t be a Christian faith!”
Jair Bolsonaro: Former president of Brazil, winner of the “Friends of Zion Award” bestowed by the FOZ Museum (a Christion Zionist museum). Built a trade embassy in Jerusalem.
Donald Trump: Former US President, “moving their respective embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, actions that were long sought by conservative Christians in the West, signaling a rejection of Palestinian aspirations for independence”...”support for settlements and Israeli annexation of the West Bank and the Golan Heights.”
“The Friends of Zion Heritage Center is a $100 million-dollar project that has become one of the central institutions... influencing the world & strengthening Israel’s relations globally while fortifying the pillars of Israeli society.”
*This is merely a tiny slice of Christian Zionists in politics. We must make it clear: there are Christian Zionists of every nationality (not just Americans, though we focused on American politics as we’re based in the US), every race, every political party (though again, we focused on Republicans), and across the denominations of Christianity.
And Yet...Some Jews accept it.
“‘As a Jew, that doesn’t make me uncomfortable at all,’ said Josh Reinstein, the Jerusalem-based president of the Israel Allies Foundation. ‘I don’t believe in Christianity. I don’t believe the messiah is coming for the second time. Let’s just focus on what we agree on until the messiah comes and then we’ll decide what happens.’” He says faith-based outreach to Christians is “the most important weapon Israel has in its diplomatic arsenal.”
When criticizing Messianics & philosemitic Christians, there has been a similar theme in the comments: despite the fact that Christian Zionists could care less about Jews, some Jews want to keep them on “our” side by appeasing their genocidal ideology.
Not believing in Christian ideology doesn’t stop the antisemitism, violence, brutality, occupation, genocide, or material horrors of this ideology. Accepting these ‘allies’ is a betrayal of our values & the fundamental truth that all life is precious.
Sturm, Tristan. “God’s just Gaza War: Futurity foreclosed through evangelical apocalypse as orthogonal promise of Eretz Israel.” Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography, vol. 103, no. 4, 2021, pp. 301–319, https://doi.org/10.1080/04353684.2021.1891557. “A Land without a People for a People without a Land” By Diana Muir