Christian Attitudes Towards the State of Israel
During the 1947 United Nations debate on the future of Palestine, world opinion was powerfully affected by news of the Holocaust and the plight of Jewish refugees, creating a momentary humanitarian advantage that helped mobilize support for the creation of the state of Israel. However, almost as soon as it became clear that the Jews had won their war for independence, anti-Zionists within Christianity reasserted themselves. A pro-Arab bloc of Western missionaries at the World Council of Churches echoed the anti-Zionism that has always characterized those churches which today constitute the Middle East Council of Churches, while the Roman Catholic Church, never friendly to Zionism, advocated the "internationalization" of Jerusalem to diminish the Jewish presence in the heart of the Holy Land. Mainstream Protestantism championed "Palestinian nationalism," and still does not hesitate to portray Israel as an "oppressor," but most evangelical Christians see Israel's restoration as a part of God's plan. In Christian Attitudes towards the State of Israel Paul Merkley demonstrates that polarized opinion continues to affect how Israel is perceived today.
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