(This message was sent to my sister in England. She and her family met the writer during a visit to Israel)
“Christians in the middle east are both worried and upset by the American declaration that Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel. They are particularly concerned about the uncritical support given by American Evangelical Christians to Trump. These Evangelicals are despised here. They assume that all Christians believe as they do. Their unequivocal support of Israel has blinded their eyes to the injustices that occur here. They believe that Trump’s support of Israel is a fulfilment of prophecy even if it leads to world war. They justify it by distorting scripture. ( Sara then discusses end time prophesy which, they believe, predicts the coming of Christ to Israel in the “last days”).
We Palestinian Christians are treated as guilty by association and are stigmatised as Zionists by our fellow Christians. This brings Christians into disrepute because Trump’s policy dismisses the right of people for self-determination at the expense of justice and stability in this region.
Leaders should make every effort to be true and impartial mediators. Evangelical Christians of the USA continue to show partiality in defence of their particular theology. They are ignoring the plight of Palestinian Christians and don’t want to listen to our advice,which is born of reality on the ground. Our opinions are dismissed as politically motivated. Instead of engaging in reconciliation,the American Evangelical christians are indirectly inciting violence through their statements. They infer that all the news about how we are being treated is just propaganda. Evangelicals talk about “ good news”, but there is no “ good news” for the Palestinians, ( by “good news” evangelicals are talking about the Gospel).
Would someone please educate me? Where in the Bible does it exhort followers of Jesus to behave as American evangelicals behave, morally and politically? I understand their attitudes are tribal – we all are to some extent, and I understand that evangelicals elsewhere are very different, but these Americans not only torment Palestinian Arabs but support practically everything the boy President of the USA does and says, however gross, racist, divisive and bullying. How does one square this with Christianity? I am truly perplexed.