Evangelical Christians Risk Setting Middle East on Fire

Jonathan Cook explains why the wave of pro-Zionist preachers taking an interest in Israel is bad news for Palestinians and loaded with ominous historic precedent.  

On Monday Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed the annual summit of Christians United for Israel, espousing Christian Zionist support for the state of Israel.  Jonathan Cook takes a deep look into this phenomenon. 

By JonathanCook
in Nazareth


The recent arrival of Africa’s most popular televangelist preacher, TB Joshua, to address thousands of foreign pilgrims in Nazareth produced a mix of consternation and anger in the city of Jesus’s childhood.

There was widespread opposition from Nazareth’s political movements, as well as from community groups and church leaders, who called for a boycott of his two rallies. They were joined by the council of muftis, which described the events as “a red line for faith in religious values.”

TB Joshua. (YouTube)

Joshua’s gatherings, which included public exorcisms, took place in an open-air amphitheater on a hill above Nazareth that was originally built for papal masses. The site was used by Pope Benedict in 2009.

The Nigerian pastor, who has millions of followers worldwide and calls himself a prophet, aroused local hostility not only because his brand of Christianity strays far from the more traditional doctrines of Middle Eastern churches. He also represents a trend of foreign Christians, driven by apocalyptic readings of the Bible, interfering ever more explicitly in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories – and in ways that directly aid the policies of Israel’s far-right government.

Much-Needed Tourism Boost

Nazareth is the largest of the Palestinian communities in Israel that survived the Nakba, or catastrophe, of 1948, which forced most of the native population out of the bulk of their homeland and replaced it with a Jewish state. Today, 1-in-5 Israeli citizens are Palestinian.

The city and its immediate environs include the highest concentration of Palestinian Christians in the region. But it has long suffered from the hostility of Israeli officials, who have starved Nazareth of resources to prevent it from becoming a political, economic or cultural capital for the Palestinian minority.

The city has almost no land for growth or industrial areas to expand its income base, and Israel has tightly constrained its ability to develop a proper tourism industry. Most pilgrims pass through briefly to visit its Basilica of the Annunciation, the site where the angel Gabriel reputedly told Mary she was carrying Jesus.

Nazareth’s municipal officials leapt at the chance to exploit the publicity, and income, provided by Joshua’s visit. The municipality’s longer-term hope is that, if the city can attract even a small proportion of the more than 60 million Christian evangelicals in the U.S. and millions more in Africa and Europe, it will provide an enormous boost to the city’s economy.

Recent figures show evangelical tourism to Israel has been steadily rising, now accounting for about 1-in-7  of all overseas visitors.

View of Nazareth with Basilica of the Annunciation at center. (Almog, via Wikimedia Commons)

Playing with Fire

But as the fallout over Joshua’s visit indicates, Nazareth may be playing with fire by encouraging these types of pilgrims to take a greater interest in the region. Most local Christians understand that Joshua’s teachings are not directed at them – and, in fact, are likely to harm them.

The Nigerian pastor chose Nazareth to spread his gospel, but faced vocal opposition from those who believe he is using the city simply as the backdrop to his bigger mission – one that appears entirely indifferent to the plight of Palestinians, whether those living inside Israel in places such as Nazareth, or those under occupation.

Political factions in Nazareth noted Joshua’s “ties to far-right and settlers circles in Israel.” He is reported to have had meetings about opening operations in the Jordan Valley, the reputed site of Jesus’ baptism but also the agricultural backbone of the West Bank. The area is being targeted by the far-right government of Benjamin Netanyahu for settlement expansion and possible annexation, thereby dooming efforts to create a Palestinian state.

A View of Armageddon

During his visits to Israel, Joshua has also enjoyed access to key government figures such as Yariv Levin, a close ally of Netanyahu’s, who has been in charge of two portfolios viewed as critical by the evangelical community: tourism, and the absorption into Israel of new Jewish immigrants from the U.S. and Europe.

Many in the evangelical community, including Joshua, believe it is their duty to encourage Jews to move from their home countries to the Promised Land to bring forward an end-times supposedly prophesied in the Bible.

This is the Rapture, when Jesus returns to build his kingdom on earth and righteous Christians take their place alongside him. Everyone else, including unrepentant Jews, it is implied, will burn in Hell’s eternal fires.

The cliff above the Jezreel Valley where Joshua and his disciples congregated offers views over Tel Megiddo, the modern name of the biblical site of Armageddon, where many evangelicals believe the end of the world will soon happen.

Tel Megiddo, site of an ancient city in northern Israel. (Itamar Grinberg/Israeli Ministry of Tourism)

Speeding up the Second Coming

These Christians are not simply observers of an unfolding divine plan; they are active participants trying to bring the end-times closer.

In fact, the traumas of the Israel-Palestine conflict – the decades of bloodshed, violent colonization and expulsions of Palestinians – cannot be understood separately from the interference of Western Christian leaders in the Middle East over the past century. In many ways, they engineered the Israel we know today.

The first Zionists, after all, were not Jews, but Christians. A vigorous Christian Zionist movement – known then as “restorationism” – emerged in the early 19th century, predating and heavily influencing its subsequent Jewish counterpart.

The restorationists’ peculiar reading of the Bible meant that they believed the Messiah’s second coming could be accelerated if God’s chosen people, the Jews, returned to the Promised Land after 2,000 years of a supposed exile.

Charles Taze Russell. (Wikimedia Commons)

Charles Taze Russell, a U.S. pastor from Pennsylvania, travelled the world from the 1870s onwards imploring Jews to establish a national home for themselves in what was then Palestine. He even produced a plan for how a Jewish state might be created there.

He did so nearly 20 years before the Jewish Viennese journalist Theodor Herzl published his famous book outlining a Jewish state.

The secular Herzl didn’t much care where such a Jewish state was built. But his later followers – deeply aware of the hold of Christian Zionism in Western capitals – focused their attention on Palestine, the biblical Promised Land, in the hope of winning powerful allies in Europe and the U.S.

Rallying Cry for Herzl’s Followers

Imperial Britain’s support was especially prized. In 1840, Lord Shaftesbury, who was connected through marriage to Lord Palmerston, a later prime minister, published an advert in the London Times urging the return of Jews to Palestine.

Christian Zionism was an important factor influencing the British government in 1917 to issue the Balfour Declaration – effectively a promissory note from Britain that became the blueprint for creating a Jewish state on the ruins of the native population’s homeland.

Writing of the declaration, Israeli historian Tom Segev has observed: “The men who sired it were Christian and Zionist and, in many cases, anti-Semitic.” That was because Christian Zionism took as its premise that Jews should not integrate into their own countries. Rather, they should serve as instruments of God’s will, moving to the Middle East so that Christians could achieve redemption.

Edwin Montagu was the only British cabinet minister to oppose the Balfour Declaration, and he was also its sole Jewish member. He warned – for good reason – that the document would “prove a rallying ground for anti-Semites in every country in the world.”

‘Struggle Until the Rapture’

While Jewish Zionists looked to the imperial powerhouse of Britain for sponsorship a century ago, today, their chief patron is the U.S. The standard-bearers of Christian Zionism have been enjoying growing influence in Washington since the Six-Day War of 1967.

That process has reached its apotheosis under President Donald Trump. He has surrounded himself with a mix of extreme Jewish and Christian Zionists. His ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, and Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, are fervent Jewish supporters of the illegal settlements. But so too, it seems, are key Christians in the White House, such as Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Before he entered government, Pompeo was clear about his evangelical beliefs. Back in 2015, he told a congregation: “It is a never-ending struggle … until the Rapture. Be part of it. Be in the fight.”

This past March, he backed the idea that Trump might have been sent by God to save Israel from threats such as Iran. “I am confident that the Lord is at work here,” he told the Christian Broadcasting Network.

Pence, meanwhile, has said: “My passion for Israel springs from my Christian faith … It’s really the greatest privilege of my life to serve as vice-president to a president who cares so deeply for our most cherished ally.”

Sleeping Giant Awakens

Trump’s relocation last year of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, pre-empting any negotiated settlement of the Israel-Palestine conflict, was designed to pander to his Christian Zionist base. Some 80 percent of white evangelicals voted for him in 2016, and he will need their support again in 2020 if he hopes to be re-elected.

Nazareth graffiti photographed in 2018: “Jerusalem is Palestine’s capital.” (Jj M ?tp, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Not surprisingly, the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem was consecrated by two prominent televangelist pastors, John Hagee and Robert Jeffress, known for their fanatical support for Israel – as well as occasional anti-Semitic outbursts.

More than a decade ago, Hagee, the founder of Christians United for Israel, told delegates at a conference organized by AIPAC, Israel’s main political lobby in Washington: “The sleeping giant of Christian Zionism has awakened. There are 50 million Christians standing up and applauding the state of Israel.”

The Hagee group’s activities include lobbying in Congress for hardline pro-Israel legislation, such as the recent Taylor Force Act that slashes U.S. funding to the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinians’ government-in-waiting. The group is also active in helping to push through legislation at the state and federal levels, penalizing anyone who boycotts Israel.

For U.S. evangelicals, and those elsewhere, Israel is increasingly a key issue. A 2015 poll showed some three-quarters believe that developments in Israel were prophesied in the Bible’s Book of Revelation.

Many expect Trump to complete a chain of events set in motion by British officials a century ago – and more and more of them are getting directly involved, in hopes of speeding along that process.

Closer Ties to Settlers

Israel’s vision of an “ingathering of the exiles” – encouraging Jews from around the world to move to the region under the Law of Return – fits neatly with Christian Zionism’s beliefs in a divine plan for the Middle East.

The efforts of extremist Jewish settlers to colonize the West Bank, the bulk of any future Palestinian state, also chimes with Christian Zionists’ understanding of the West Bank as the “biblical heartland,” an area Jews must possess before Jesus returns.

For these reasons, evangelicals are developing ever-closer ties with Israeli Jewish religious extremists, especially in the settlements. Recent initiatives have included online and face-to-face Bible studies programs run by Orthodox Jews, often settlers, targeted specifically at evangelical Christians. The tutorials are designed to bolster the settlers’ narrative, as well as demonizing Muslims and, by extension, Palestinians.

The most popular course offered by Root Source, one such venture, is titled “Islam – Insights and Deceptions.” It uses the Old and New Testaments to make the case that Islam “is extremely dangerous.”

A few months ago, Haaretz, Israel’s leading liberal newspaper, published an investigation into the growing flow of evangelical volunteers and money into the West Bank’s illegal settlements – the chief obstacle to achieving a two-state solution.

One U.S. organization alone, Hayovel, has brought more than 1,700 Christian volunteers over the past 10 years to help in a settlement close to Nablus, in the heart of the West Bank.

Infusion of Evangelical Money

An increasing number of similar initiatives have been aided by new rules introduced last year by the Israeli government to pay Christian Zionist groups such as Hayovel to advocate abroad for the settlements.

It is much harder to know exactly how much evangelical money is pouring into the settlements, because of a lack of transparency regarding U.S. donations made by churches and charities. But the Haaretz investigation estimates that over the past decade, as much as $65 million has flowed in.

Neighborhood in West Bank town of Ariel. (Ori via Wikimedia Commons)

Ariel, a settler town sitting in the very center of the West Bank, received $8 million for a sports center from John Hagee Ministries a decade ago. Another evangelical outfit, J H Israel, has spent $2 million there on a national leadership center.

Other Christian charities that have historically funded projects inside Israel are reported to be increasingly considering assisting the settlements too.

Should a Trump peace plan – touted for publication later this year – back annexation of parts of the West Bank, as is widely expected, it would likely unleash a new and even greater wave of evangelical money into the settlements.

Immune to Reason

This is precisely the problem for Palestinians, and the wider Middle East. Christian Zionists are meddling yet again, whether they be government officials, church leaders or their congregations. Evangelical influence is to be found from the U.S. and Brazil to Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia.

Western governments typically have more practical and pressing concerns than realizing biblical prophecy to justify divide-and-rule policies in the Middle East. Chiefly, they want control over the region’s oil resources, and can secure it only by projecting military power there to prevent rival nations from gaining a foothold.

But the uncritical support of tens of millions of Christians around the world, whose passion for Israel is immune to reason, makes the job of these governments selling wars and resource grabs all the easier.

Both Israel and the West have benefited from cultivating an image of a plucky Jewish state surrounded by barbaric Arabs and Muslims determined to destroy it. As a result, Israel has enjoyed ever greater integration into a Western power bloc, while Western governments have been offered easy pretexts either to interfere in the region directly or delegate such interference to Israel.

The payoff for Israel has been unstinting support from the U.S. and Europe, as it oppresses and drives the Palestinians off their lands.

With an evangelical base behind him, Trump has no need to offer plausible arguments before he acts. He can move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, or approve the annexation of the West Bank, or attack Iran.

Standing Against Israel’s Enemies

Seen this way, any enemy Israel claims to have – whether the Palestinians or Iran – automatically becomes the sworn enemy of tens of millions of evangelical Christians.

Netanyahu understands the growing importance of this uncritical overseas lobby as his and Israel’s standing drops precipitously among liberal U.S. Jews, appalled by the rightward lurch of successive governments.

In 2017, Netanyahu told a crowd of evangelicals in Washington: “When I say we have no greater friends than Christian supporters of Israel, I know you’ve always stood with us.”

For Palestinians, this is bad news. Most of these evangelicals, such as T B Joshua, are largely indifferent or hostile to the fate of the Palestinians – even Palestinian Christians, such as those in Nazareth.

A recent editorial in Haaretz noted that Netanyahu and his officials were now “endeavoring to make evangelicals – who support Israel’s hawkish rejectionism regarding the Palestinians – the sole foundation of American support for Israel.”

The truth is that these Christian Zionists view the region through a single, exclusive prism: whatever aids the imminent arrival of the Messiah is welcomed. The only issue is how soon God’s “chosen people” will congregate in the Promised Land.

If the Palestinians stand in Israel’s way, these tens of millions of foreign Christians will be quite happy to see the native population driven out once again – as they were in 1948 and 1967.

Jonathan Cook is a freelance journalist based in Nazareth.

This article is from his blog at Jonathan Cook.net.

48 comments for “Evangelical Christians Risk Setting Middle East on Fire

  1. Patrick Constantine
    July 20, 2019 at 12:16

    I feel bad for Palestinian Christians. They are squeezed between throat-slitters like Islamic Jihad and Hamas on one hand and the checkpoints & economic restraints by Israeli state/settlers on the other.

    For Christians wishing to help their confessional brothers and sisters in Palestine, have to entirely skip the evangelical types. Maybe donate to IOCC (int’l orthodox Christian charities) and specify its for Christian relief in Palestine. I’m sure the Vatican has a middle eastern relief office too.

  2. aspnaz
    July 18, 2019 at 07:28

    TB Joshua is the same as any con man: he relies on weak minded people who need hope and belonging in their lives. My guess is that he fucks a few hookers or underage boys most nights: As Jesus would.

  3. Zhu
    July 18, 2019 at 03:43

    Christian Zionists are far from new. Cook could have written the same article 40 years ago. I keep waiting for Born-Agains to lose hope in the Rapture, to turn on Jews for not rebuilding a Temple, etc. It hasn’t happened yet.

  4. Robert
    July 17, 2019 at 11:37

    There is an information/propaganda disconnect between Christians living in Israel and its occupied territories and some Christian groups in the US. A clear majority of Christians in Israel and the occupied territories support Palestinians and oppose the actions of the Israeli government against them.

  5. Thomas Prentice
    July 15, 2019 at 13:48

    It is another white Christian crusade to retake the Holy Land, using Jews as pawns (anti-Semitic!) and Zionism as ideology and Wrong Readings of the Bible as motivation.

  6. elmerfudzie
    July 14, 2019 at 16:29

    This entire article hearkens back to the arch apostate of Christendom, Clyde Ingerson Scofield and his exponent, John Nelson Darby. You see folks, God has two plans and two groups of people (did you know that?) where Israel is God’s kingdom on earth and Christendom is God’s heavenly kingdom. Scofield decided to re write the Bible to fit this revelation? he had in mind. . In a way he was a Zoroastrian; the wise “lord” Ahura Mazda, defeats the evil Ahriman at the end of time. During the last struggle described as the final one of several dispensation periods or cycles) Christ will defeat the Antichrist at Armageddon (just north of Tel Aviv. Hummmm how odd! The wicked will be sent into endless tortures meanwhile as the story-line goes, after seven years of burying the dead, this statement, suggesting some survivors? God returns with total peace and joy bringing the raptured ones along side Him….It sums up all the sputter from those Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker types. I must interject here that Falwell exhausted himself in frequent tirades about the world coming to an end and in between these lines or diatribes… oh! please, oh! please someone tell me why won’t those Jews convert? Talk about magical thinking!

  7. July 14, 2019 at 09:06

    I guess I forgot to push post or said something obnoxious according to the reviewer because my comment did not appear. Merely stated that the influence of evangelicals in the formation of Israel is overstated. I assume it was just an oversight that my comment is missing. It wasn’t very profound anyway.

    July 14, 2019 at 06:49

    The Christion Zionists are present day Gestapo—leave the Palestinians alone—let them live in peace—

  9. Tiu
    July 14, 2019 at 04:10

    When I was a young boy I used to live in Zambia, at the time (between 1970-74) the minority white population was mostly British or American. Many of the Americans were missionaries (others were in the mining business, teachers, etc., Zambia didn’t have a major business centre, it was predominately a copper mine – and still is). So whenever I see these African evangelicals – they’re popping up all over London for example – I assume they have caught the bug from the American missionaries of recent years.
    They’re a powerful bunch those evangelicals, but personally I suspect their doctrine is false and comes from the publishing houses of the late 19th century which were controlled ultimately by the Rothschilds.

    • Zhu
      July 18, 2019 at 03:55

      Sorry Tiu, but Christian Zionists are responsible for their own follies and crimes. Blaming Rothschilds or Reptilians is childish folly at besr.

      • Tiu
        July 22, 2019 at 03:52

        The folly is all yours Zhu. Or perhaps it’s a bit beyond your comprehension to understand that Christian Zionism is a Rothschild program (look in to the publishing of the Schofields Bible by Oxford University for further comprehension http://theinfounderground.com/smf/index.php?topic=12779.0;wap2). And I have no idea where you got the Reptilians from!

  10. mike k
    July 13, 2019 at 18:04

    Nutcase “Christians” have caused immense harm in the world.

  11. July 13, 2019 at 14:43

    I find it interesting to note that Jesus had some choice words for those who are eager to hasten the so-called “End Times” and the so-called “Great Tribulation”, including especially those who think they are followers of Jesus.

    “It must needs be that offenses and tribulations will come, but woe to those by whom they come. It would be better for such to have a millstone hung around their neck and be cast into the sea …” (Luke 17:1-2)

    His words would certainly and especially apply to those who want to bring about the “Great Tribulation”.

    Note: I myself am not a Christian, but I find it fun using the words of Jesus against Christians who are particularly obnoxious and reprehensible. The Zionist Christians are among the most obnoxious and reprehensible of Christians (and of course do not represent or speak for all Christians).

  12. Brian James
    July 13, 2019 at 12:52

    Jul 13, 2019 AFGHANISTAN: Muslim Nation, Christian Marriage

    God called John Weaver to Afghanistan as a single man, and he stayed in the country even after 9/11 when the U.S. government encouraged all Americans to leave.


  13. Seamus Padraig
    July 13, 2019 at 11:19

    Meh. This gate-keepy stuff is why I don’t follow Jonathan Cook much anymore. Christian Evangelicals have little or no control over US government policy–gay marriage anyone?–or for that matter, any US-based institution of significance other than their own churches. Their function with regards to Israel is simply to furnish a distraction from the real enablers and supporters of Israel in America and the West, such as AIPAC and CRIF, who very decidedly NOT Christian.

    It is much harder to know exactly how much evangelical money is pouring into the settlements, because of a lack of transparency regarding U.S. donations made by churches and charities. But the Haaretz investigation estimates that over the past decade, as much as $65 million has flowed in.

    Sixty-five million over the course of a decade? And how, pray tell, does this sum compare with the 5 BILLION a year the US government gives Israel under the direction of AIPAC et al.?

  14. Anonymous
    July 13, 2019 at 00:30

    It’s generally accepted that the diaspora did happen. You’re positing all sorts of fringe stuff as “fact” and “truth” and claiming that everyone but you is trying to end the world.

    Typical of someone like you to run around calling people “insane”. Ironic, but completely typical.

  15. Seer
    July 12, 2019 at 23:47

    WHAT? Power corrupts? Tell me it ain’t so!

  16. July 12, 2019 at 21:44

    The writer over rates Christian Zionism although real and under rates the likes of Herzl, Weissman, Brandeis and Rothschild. At the same time, it is clear that Jewish Zionists, the movers and shapers among Zionists find Christian Zionist both useful and naïve. Perhaps it is too flippant but Jewish Zionists, including the religious ones see the Rapture as amusing but still worthy of their silence. I do not think they take seriously the premise that all Jews who don’t embrace Christ are going to hell. They see Christian Zionists to be particularly useful since they may be the reason our next president will be the same as this one.

    I also take exception to the writers suggestion that the two state solution was ever a serious proposition and two that oil is the major reason for our behavior in the Middle East. Our policy in the middle east is driven mainly to serve Israel’s interests and as to oil, the oil producers must sell their oil and there are too many other sources of oil, with new ones be found.

  17. July 12, 2019 at 18:36

    For what it is worth, a lot of evangelical Christians are not Zionists, and completely reject the theology of John Hagee.

    In the UK, Stephen Sizer, a staunch evangelical, has strongly opposed Zionism, and published two books attacking it’s theological and biblical bases: “Zion’s Christian Soldiers”, and “Christian Zionism: Roadmap to Armageddon”? These books were published the IVP, probably Britain’s most influential evangelical publishing house.

    Even in the USA, there are influential evangelical leaders, such as Pastor John Piper, who don’t accept Christian Zionism. See his comments on the subject at: https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/israel-palestine-and-the-middle-east

  18. elmerfudzie
    July 12, 2019 at 16:01

    This entire article hearkens back to the arch apostate of Christendom, Clyde Ingerson Scofield and his exponent, John Nelson Darby. You see folks, God has two plans and two groups of people (did you know that?) where Israel is God’s kingdom on earth and Christendom is God’s heavenly kingdom. Scofield decided to re write the Bible to fit this “revelation” he had in mind. . In a way he was a Zoroastrian; the wise “lord” Ahura Mazda, defeats the evil Ahriman at the end of time. During the last struggle (described as the final one of several dispensation periods or cycles) Christ will defeat the Antichrist at Armageddon (just north of Tel Aviv. Hummmm how odd! The wicked will be sent into endless tortures meanwhile as the story-line goes, after seven years of burying the dead, this statement, suggesting some survivors? God returns with total peace and joy bringing the raptured ones along side Him….This belief or theory sums up all the sputter from those Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker types. I must interject here that Falwell exhausted himself in frequent tirades about the world coming to an end and in between these lines or diatribes… oh! please oh! please, someone tell me why won’t those Jews convert? Talk about magical thinking!

    July 12, 2019 at 08:59

    These folks are a little behind the times. Revelations predicted the end of the world in a great battle at Armageddon, one involving a huge army led by the “Kings of the East”, which enters the Middle East and is destroyed on the plain before Megiddo.

    In fact this battle was fought 759 years ago, and the world is still here. In 1258 a Mongol army numbering some 120,000 men, led by a Nestorian Christian general, Kitbuqa, invaded and conquered Baghdad, Aleppo, and Damascus short order. In the summer of 1260 it crossed into Palestine and on September 3, 1260 it was defeated in the Jezreel valley, before the walls of ancient Megiddo, by the army of the Caliph of Egypt, which had rushed northward to reclaim the conquered Islamic territory. Kitbuqa’s head was sent to Cairo for public display and the Mongols never returned to the Middle East.

    John’s inventive tales of great and bloody battles were metaphors for the struggles within men’s souls between good and evil. Westerners who imagine these Midrashic tales describe events that literally took place, or which are to occur, could not be more mistaken in their interpretation.

  20. gh
    July 12, 2019 at 03:59

    I again, think, you underestimated theology of armageddon, christian zionism which took over anglozionism once israel established after ww2. Today political implications of The Revelation include nuclear war as well as one world currency, 666. There is no other way to fight against evil, but to reveal how false is the book of revelation: The Antichrist Wrote The Revelation http://therevelator.freeblog.site/ so the humanity could depopulate by one third, and soon after mammon rule over the rest.

  21. July 12, 2019 at 01:13

    These evangelicals would make a fantastic cast of thousands starring in an epic Looney Tunes cartoon were this situation actually humorous. It isn’t. How can we laugh when these people think it is a good idea to extinguish ourselves on purpose? A reality TV star playing the roles of both King Cyrus and Queen Esther in this melodramatic saga? Were Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny not available?


  22. Alan E
    July 12, 2019 at 01:07

    Christians, Jews, Muslims … each religion has an end times philosophy … and each forecasts theirs will prevail.

    This book opened my eyes to the fanaticisms all round … no point taking a rational approach to engaging with the fundamentalists … https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004WN4VNI/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i2

    For those not interested in going down the doomsday road, it’s important to recognise what the fanaticals are trying to do …

    • Tiu
      July 12, 2019 at 20:27

      You just forced me to buy two more books for the “to be read” section on my bookshelves!!

    • Zhu
      July 18, 2019 at 04:21

      Don’t forget the Marxists, preaching “pie after the Revilution” ibstead of “pie in the sky by and by”.

  23. firstpersoninfinite
    July 12, 2019 at 00:03

    “The cliff above the Jezreel Valley where Joshua and his disciples congregated offers views over Tel Megiddo, the modern name of the biblical site of Armageddon, where many evangelicals believe the end of the world will soon happen.”

    What’s the point in pursuing an Armageddon in the midst of such stupidity? A basic political power ploy is not the stuff the universe recognizes as a modus operandi. If the evangelicals have embraced Israel as their cause, which seems obvious, they can only have done so out of complete contempt for all their beliefs, secular or religious. A right-wing rogue nation in the Middle East will not save an unctious Protestantism still seeking domination over the processes of Capitalism for its own enrichment.

  24. Abe
    July 11, 2019 at 22:45

    Pausing for applause for Israeli apartheid. warmongering, and Trump’s “generous assistance”:

    Netanyahu addresses the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Summit in Washington on July 8, 2019

  25. JRf
    July 11, 2019 at 22:28

    a) The Bible is a work of fiction.
    b) The Torah is a work of fiction.
    c) The number of errors, omissions, redactions and interpolations exceed 30,000.
    d) Most of the biblical stories (Old and New Testament) are fables.
    e) Important (and extremely meaningful) characters such as Moses, David, Jesus and many others have never been found recorded in the historical record.
    f) This means that the belief “systems” (religions) based upon either the Torah or the Bible are factually false. They believe in fables and people and events that never happened.
    g) Historians, linguists, researchers and archeologists have weighed in on this topic and if they are not already a member of a cult like Christianity – flatly state that the Bible is a fictional book, based upon characters, events, people, places and times that are incorrect and/or never happened. However, cult-members refuse to point any of this out as this affects their ultimate profit margins.
    h) The Middle East is a hotbed of idiocy, extremism, rampant stupidity and manipulation. The exact same definitions apply to countries like America, which has been hoodwinked into believing the Bible, supporting Israel over everything else (including genocide) and ignoring fact-based evidence requirements.
    i) Cult-members are indoctrinated as cannon fodder and ATM cash machines for the priesthood. It generates hundreds of billions of dollars every year and permits lavish lifestyles of licentiousness for the priesthood. Jesus if he had ever existed, would be disgusted, spewing these lying fools from his mouth as promised in the scriptures.

    • Anarcissie
      July 12, 2019 at 00:53

      If the Bible and so on were truly made up, it would not be possible to say whether they were factual or contrafactual, unless other evidence could be brought in. Did Moses, say, actually lead a tribe out of Egypt into what is now Palestine? Who knows?

  26. Sam F
    July 11, 2019 at 22:03

    Just as most political leaders are frauds hiding behind big flags, most religious leaders are frauds using religion as a mask, and all are for sale to the highest bidder. That situation is far worse than most wish to believe. They assemble the most credulous, fearful, dependent personalities young enough to be fooled or old enough to fearfully bequeath riches, and fleece them. None of them believe a word of their fake principles, and the more they lie the more angrily they must insist. Christian fools have always been readily fleeced by oligarchy and the MIC/zionists. Their more energetic “believers” are opportunists on the payroll and nothing more.

    But the “Christian zionist” connection is primarily zionist propaganda to absolve Jewish zionists. Blaming the fools of religious frauds is like blaming farmers for anti-socialism. They are simply fools and opportunists.

  27. Dunderhead
    July 11, 2019 at 20:52

    Though I largely agree with this article I have to say I think it’s a bit much to lay the blame on whatever happens to the Palestinians at the feet of Christian Zionism, this is a huge factor absolutely but the dupes that are true believers of this perversion should be shown compassion with the determination to help educate them. This business has been going on for years Jerry Falwell and other Evangelist ministers have been regularly groomed by the Israelis and I assume largely with the blessing of whatever American alphabet soup agency takes notes of such things.

    Beyond what ever religiosity may be at play, this is a land grabbing, rent seeking power game. Partial list of the true architects of this atrocity, Cecil Rhodes-Milner roundtable, architects of World War I from Mandel House, Warburg, let us just say virtually the entire American financial and military establishment as well as British obviously as this was the beginnings of the Anglo-American establishment. Israel was done for the specific reason of empire, don’t get me wrong the Zionists were great shock troops but Europe has no shortage of fanatics. The British fleet was just converting from coal oil and it was already pretty well understood of the reserves in the middle east. The religious aspect of this project is nothing more than Cover for the moneyman not to mention the parasites who serve as technicians to this establishment and both then and now.

    What ever flavor of evangelist charlatan happens to be a emerging is irrelevant, this is just business and has always been happening, if we desire that the Palestinians do not lose more of their homeland that is on the rest of us who know better.

  28. JWalters
    July 11, 2019 at 18:32

    Thanks for this excellent article.

    The Evangelicals are among the least educated and most easily duped of Christians. In direct opposition to Jesus’ central teaching to “love thy neighbor as thyself”, they crave a massive war of death and destruction. The Koran specifically says Muslims worship the same God as the Jews and the Christians, but these Evangelicals have been duped into believing the exact oppoosite. It would not surprise me one bit if there is significant money from war profiteers being pumped into this movement.

    • Josep
      July 11, 2019 at 19:20

      The Koran specifically says Muslims worship the same God as the Jews and the Christians, but these Evangelicals have been duped into believing the exact oppoosite.

      It’s almost as if other linguistic backgrounds do not matter to them.
      From what I’ve heard, the name ‘Allah’ is also used by Arabic-speaking Christians to refer to the Christian God. Sure, the name ‘Allah’ is also used by English-speaking Muslims as well, but that by no means makes, for instance, ‘haram’ and ‘forbidden’ refer to completely different things, considering the former is the Arabic word for the latter.

    • Josep
      July 11, 2019 at 20:06

      Other things I’ve noticed:

      During Obama’s presidency, many self-proclaimed Christians (some of whom were indeed Evangelicals) were convinced that Obama is a Muslim just because of his policies, though I’m not sure if him being a Democrat was the first indicator. Some went as far as to impugn his birthplace (claiming he was born in Kenya, not Hawaii) and therefore his eligibility as president. By their logic, if Obama were really a Muslim, then he wouldn’t have campaigned to legalize same-sex marriage in the first place, nor would he launch wars in the Middle East and North Africa. It’s just as bad as Democrats claiming that ‘Trump stole the election’ or the WaPoo’s tagline that ‘Democracy Dies in Darkness’.

      Many Israeli Jews accused Obama of being anti-Israel and therefore anti-Semitic. Evangelicals even claimed he’d be the Antichrist. What exactly did he do to get this reputation, considering the chaos he created in the Middle East and North Africa?

      Apparently a faction of Evangelicals believe that ‘liberals’ (read: Democrats) and Muslims go hand-in-hand just because of what the Evangelicals perceive to be anti-American, anti-Christian or anti-Semitic behavior. The American Thinker, for instance, once ran an article expressing confusion at pro-Obama sentiment in the Visegrad nations, otherwise known for their pro-American sentiment. I won’t doubt that persecution of Christians in the US has worsened under Obama’s presidency, but that doesn’t automatically make ‘pro-Obama’ mean ‘anti-American’.

      The binary two-party system is obsolete and has no place in a self-proclaimed ‘democracy’. Having the choice of only two candidates robs voters of a third option. The Evangelicals are honestly myopic if they think this two-party dichotomy is correct, whatever the anti-Christian views of the Democrats. Why does it have to be black or white?

  29. Sally Snyder
    July 11, 2019 at 18:11

    Here is an article that explains how key representatives of the Republican Party are doing their best to convince the party’s evangelical base that an attack on Iran is justified:

    These three gentlemen who are being used to solidify the electoral support of America’s Christian right seem to have forgotten that one of the key tenets of Christianity is the concept of peace. Their “turning of plowshares into swords”, particularly when it comes to Iran, stands in complete opposition to what they claim to believe in their religious lives.

  30. mike k
    July 11, 2019 at 18:05

    Evangelical idiocy embraces violence to bring back the Prince of Peace. Orwell would love it – wage war to create peace. War is peace (1984). Jesus as warmonger. These folks are seriously insane.

  31. Drew Hunkins
    July 11, 2019 at 16:40

    My goodness does this Epstein scandal appear below the surface to perhaps be some sort of under the table Mossad operation. Extortion likely involved, important players and politicians conceivably compromised. We’ll likely never know the true story behind all this sordid conduct.

    Now Epstein’s ultra Zio lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, is claiming he never took his underwear off during his massages at Epstein’s mansion. Yeah, sure you didn’t pal, sure you didn’t. No doubt Dersh ran for a massage after he was obliterated and humiliated by Norman Finkelstein in one of the greatest debate slaughters I’ve ever witnessed on Democracy Now circa 2003. Hopefully this travels ok: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6To-o-aiRg

    (In no way is what I’ve written above meant to disparage or malign any ADULT sex workers. Something that should be decriminalized and regulated for the safety and pleasure of all ADULTS.)

  32. DW Bartoo
    July 11, 2019 at 16:39

    As many here well know, unquestioning support for Israel is fully bipartisan.

    I have been curious what position Tulsi Gabbard may hold regarding Israel and also, how she views Iran. Somewhat less than a year ago, Gabbard, as well as Barbara Lee, signed off on a bill to extend sanctions sanctions against Iran, Russia, and North Korea.

    Clearly, Tulsi Gabbard supports economic sanctions, or did so as recently as last August.

    Friday last, July 05, 2019, at CounterPunch, Jeffrey St. Clair (I share the concerns voiced by others here regarding both CP and St. Clair) presented an article entitled;

    ‘Roaming Charges: When the Band
    Plays “Hail to the Chief”, They Point
    the Tank at You, Lord’

    The second video visual to which St. Clair links provides a video of Tulsi Gabbard addressing Christians United for Israel, described by St. Clair as an “ultra Zionist group”.

    It is certainly worth watching.

    CounterPunch is also among the most accessible means of viewing the video, with the least site commentary surrounding the video.

    Gabbard’s views on the relationship between the U$ and Israel, the nature of the terrorists operating in the Middle East, and Iran, its nuclear intentions, its influence on Iraq, andthe threat which it poses, generally, are most interesting.

    It is entirely possible that Gabbard’s views on all these areas or topics have evolved since 2015, she certainly has criticized Israel for killing unarmed Palestinian protestors, yet it would be useful were the questions that the U$ personality/popularity form of debates and town meetings does not ask of those seeking political office – WERE asked.

    If Gabbard is truly opposed to military violence as solution, beyond her “Aloha” speech, which she repeats so very often that she must know it by heart, then I would hope that she might provide an at-length and in-depth description of what she considers U$ global “strategic” interests to be, as well as indicating those nations she considers allies and those she holds to be credible threats, as well as the reasons that they be friend or foe.

    Some may claim that an unfair request.

    Yet for anyone desiring to be Commander in Chief (the very position she claims to be, among all other presidential aspirants, most and best well qualified to hold), those question are not merely appropriate, but necessary.

    If such questions are considered issues of “purity”, then what really is “practical”, “realistic”, and “important”?

    Policy must matter, fundamentally.

    As it reflects aspects of intent AND character.

    I am not interested in wankish, slick evasive language, elegant turn of phrase, bellicose posturing, or polished public/private insincerity.

    We have had too much of all those “styles”.

    Far too much is at stake for vacuous
    create -your-own-fill-in-blank Obama aspirational savior routines.

    Remember, voting is a sacred rite, an empty ritual designed to convince the many that a superficial, choreographed candidate is the Real Thing, while the actual purpose of the ritual is confer legitimacy to the continuing failure of U$ empire and neoliberal austerity.

    We really ought question politicians who further the aims of Armageddon bound Xians.

    Is Tulsi Gabbard such a politician?

    I do not know.

    Do you?

    • Seer
      July 12, 2019 at 23:26

      St. Clair has a hair up his ass on this. Not sure what his angle is, but he isn’t the be-all-end-all that he thinks he is.

      Anyone can create the guilt-by-association via six degree of separation.

      Every politician that supports Israel is on record, with clarity. Gabbard is not. She would be finished NOW if she were to come out against Israel (and or pro-Palestine). She doesn’t have enough of an army behind her to guard her against attacks. I, or anyone else, and that includes St. Clair, cannot read another’s mind to KNOW what they truly believe. But, as seems to be the REAL test is what legislation they support; but even there one has to be careful to actually read what’s in that legislation, AND, again, KNOW what’s in someone’s mind for their reasons for supporting or rejecting (sometimes some amendments, stuffers, are the reason- a politician votes for that knowing that their holding back from supporting the legislation at large won’t affect the outcome- yeah, sometimes you look for a small victory where you can find it, and sometimes that comes at the expense of others- this should be no shock to anyone).

      The rabbit hole is deep. It might sound superficial, but her “aloha” is meant to establish more civil actions. Our divisive and nasty social discourse needs to be 180’d if there is any hope of actually reaching decent outcomes.

      IMO Gabbard’s talk about fighting “terrorists” is more about ending the CIA’s terrorist activities: Gabbard is quite clear that she recognizes the CIA’s role in creating the terrorists. It might be that it’s a way to allow the CIA to save face while they are neutered. How would YOU Ior anyone else- perhaps the “brilliant” St. Clair has an idea?] get a handle on the MIC and CIA?

      Gabbard supports Sanders. St. Clair doesn’t like Sanders. And full disclosure: I was a long-time reader of Counterpunch.org until it became clear that they wouldn’t question the official 9/11 narrative; with simple physics telling us the story is bunk why did/does Counterpunch.org continue to steer clear? 9/11 was a seminal event.

      • DW Bartoo
        July 15, 2019 at 20:35

        Seer, St. Clair is no Robert Parry.

        I hope that you have watched the video, for it allows Tulsi Gabbard to share her views, unprompted, and at some length. I suggested CounterPunch as the place to view the video simply because it had the least commentary around the video.

        Frankly, CP seemed to have lost much of its nerve when accused of being Russian dupes and when a supposed Russian agent fooled St. Clair into believing she was the real thing. Yet, as it turned out, she was cribbing the work of others.

        I have made clear that I am not suggesting what to know what Tulsi Gabbard thinks.

        I am concerned by the views she shared in 2015 before a Christian Zionist group, about her thoughts on Israel and on Iran.

        I am concerned that she voted for continued sanctions, eleven months ago, on Russia, Iran, and North Korea, because I regard such sanction to be economic warfare that can have very fatal results for the people of the nation’s targeted, rather than on whatever leadership the U$ Government finds offensive, or not to its liking. I do not consider the lives of 500,000 children under five years of age, in Iraq, “… a price worth paying.”

        I have no idea what Gabbard may think about sanctions, I have only her record in Congress to indicate what she has supported in past.

        However, I do think it appropriate that she (and all other presidential) candidates) be asked, directly and specifically, what she does think about those things and what her policies toward or around those things might or ought to be.

        We, far too often, are saddled with leadership that talks a good line, think Obama, but behaves very differently, which is excused with the admonition that “folks” merely imagined that Obama was about peace, justice, and financial accountability.

        I consider that candidates for public office ought be held to serious scrutiny before they may be elected.

        If the media will not ask the serious, necessary, questions, then we must do so, and that starts by asking each other what question are necessary, which ones impact our collective future well-being, and speak to the behavior of our nation and society on the Earth.

  33. Hammer
    July 11, 2019 at 15:51

    Nothing about nothing.

  34. Jill
    July 11, 2019 at 14:57

    Among top “leadership” on all sides, Christian Zionism is a use-use-use-use relationship of truly evil people who want world domination. It appears that some of these “leaders” may actually believe they are doing their god’s work. Those people are the most dangerous “leaders” because: 1. they have a complete certainty of their own rightness and 2. no religious armagenddenist has been content to simply let armaggenden happen. Currently and throughout history, end timers have always helped things along. The only difference between current and past end timers is the current ones have weapons that can do the job.

    I live in one of the highest concentrations of Christian Zionists in this nation. The following are some of my observations. These are not high placed “leaders” in the movement. They are typical believers.

    They take great pride in following a really weird understanding of Jewish law. They love to speak Hebrew as this is a sign of their righteousness. Many have gone to Israel and consider themselves a bridge between ordinary, unenlightened Christians and Jews. They definitely want the “Lost Tribes” back in the promised land. They show little actual concern for Jews and no concern at all for Palestinian Christians, let alone Muslim, secular or other Palestinian. Their concern is for themselves and their fellow believers. It is all about the rapture where they will be taken up by god and rewarded for their wonderful obedience to him. They have a very striking way of talking about others who are not in their group. Others are quite simply “a means to their end”.

    Although many of these people are extremely intelligent and they are often kind to others, there is a basic cruelty in their thought which translates into actions. It really is o.k. to use others. I see a lot of this willingness to use others in personal and business as well as religious situations. Many of these people are abuse victims and many are abusers. To my mind, the viciousness of their religious doctrine encourages cruelty and abuse. (At this point, I want to emphasize that I see much the same ideas in our wider society with similar results.) Yet I would say this strong embrace of “others as a means to an end” often results in the ability to commit extraordinary cruelty.

    In this same way, you can see how US politicoreligious “leaders” have a great deal of cruelty in their actions. They seem devoid of compassion or mercy. Nothing is too vicious for them,–not child rape, torture, the erasure of any other person’s rights, lying, cheating, stealing or even mass annihilation. It is their right by virtue of their belief in their god. There is nothing to discuss, no kindness or justice to consider. It is simply their right.

    • geeyp
      July 11, 2019 at 17:48

      Jill – Spot on in your description of our “politicoreligious ‘leaders’ “. I don’t wish to put you on the spot: Are you in the Great Lakes region? Ohio, Michigan? Although this could happen in any of the sequestered enclaves in retired FLA. or scattered parts of the country. Thanks.

    • JWalters
      July 11, 2019 at 18:41

      “Many of these people are abuse victims and many are abusers.”

      Fascinating and highly relevant observation. Thank you.

    • dave
      July 12, 2019 at 19:43

      Chris Hedges (an ordained minister, btw) makes some of the same points in his 2008 book about the Christian right “American Fascists”:


      Though written over ten years ago, it’s still highly relevant and worth reading.

    • July 18, 2019 at 00:46

      “It is from the Bible that man has learned cruelty, rapine, and murder; for the belief of a cruel God makes a cruel man.
      Thomas Paine — “A letter: being an answer to a friend, on the publication of The age of reason.” Paris; May 12, 1797.



      And a cruel upbringing can make one believe in a cruel God and/or become a cruel person. See Alice Miller, For Your Own Good, Hidden cruelty in child-rearing and the roots of violence


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