May 10, 2007
Carter seeks to split Evangelicals from Israel support
Former President Jimmy Carter recently has stepped up his efforts to split the bonds between Evangelical voters and Israel. From The Jewish Week:
Wading into the delicate fray over the alliance between Jews and pro-Israel Evangelicals, former President Jimmy Carter last week reportedly said it was a mistake for Jews to accept such ties, and that he was working to convince Southern Baptists to change the way they look at Judaism and the Middle East.
Christian Zionists can be better friends of Israel by challenging its government's policies, while accepting Judaism as a legitimate path to God, Carter told a group organized by Rabbi Michael Lerner in California last week, according to the rabbi.
"He said it was a terrible error for Jews to become allied with Christian Zionists who actually desire our conversion or burning in hell," Rabbi Lerner related in an interview Tuesday.
The alliance between Jewish and Evangelical Christian supporters of Israel has grown over the years. Evangelical support for Israel is often misunderstood and in some cases maligned-it comes often from the most noble of reasons. Regardless of one's views, this support has been very important.
The International Fellowship of Christian and Jews, headed by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, has been in the forefront of building these links and raises many millions of dollars from Evangelical Christians to help Jews around the world who are in need. Christians United for Israel has become a politically influential voice for Israel around the nation. In an era during which Israel has lost support in many quarters, this support from Evangelical Christians should be welcomed. Yet, there are forces developing that are not attempting to erode this support. I wrote about this dynamic earlier in this article, "Splitting the Evanngelicals from Israel".