Evangelicals urged to oppose Middle East peace plan
Israel's Minister of Tourism, will travel to Washington this week to meet with a number of high-level Senators and Congressman, as well as Evangelical Christian leaders, to rally opposition to Bushís ìroad mapî for Middle East Peace.
The trip comes after a statement by Benny Elon that Evangelical Christians in the United States were his partyís ìnatural partnersî in opposing the proposed two-state solution.
Minister Elon is expected to meet with the President of The Christian Coalition of America, senior leadership of The Christian Broadcasting Network, Gary Bauer and Christian talk show host Janet Parshall, according to Elon's spokesperson Ronn Torossian.
Elon serves as Minister of Tourism and is the Co-Chairman of the National Unity faction of the Knesset.
Two weeks ago, in a meeting in Beit El, the tourism minister urged the party to strengthen its ties with American Evangelical Christian groups, who are also interested in Israel maintaining its hold on the territories.
"I hope that we will come out with our own platform to show the whole world that there will be no peace in this region if people do not understand that it is impossible to set up two states on this side of the Jordan River," Elon had said, although he did not present any further details regarding that platform.
The details will now emerge however as Elon presents a new peace plan entitled: "In the Wake of the War in Iraq - A Historic Opportunity for a Regional Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict."
Elon has said that he hopes that US Christians will lobby their politicians against Bush's "roadmap" to peace.
Many Evangelical Christians in the USA have eschatological views which views the establishment of the state of Israel as necessary for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Many therefore find themselves in opposition to such a "two state" solution as the one on offer.
"We have to strengthen our ties with those connected to and who influence Bush. He has the strength to stand up to international opinion," Elon had said.
Noting that Bush is a religious man and pays close attention to Christian interests, Elon had added, "He is a man who prays daily. He knows the Bible... But if the prime minister says a two-state solution should be here, what do you expect from Bush?"
National Union politicians have been particularly upset that Sharon said Israel may relinquish sovereignty over settlements at sites of major biblical significance such as Beit El, Bethlehem, and Shiloh as part of creating a Palestinian state.
Party members said they believed the only place for a Palestinian state is on the other side of the Jordan River.
They say they oppose any interpretation of the road map that calls for a Palestinian state on land on this side of the river, which they believe properly belongs to Israel.