US will be blessed by supporting Israeli nationalism
The President of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission has said that the US should support Israel because of its love for freedom and fulfilment of biblical promises.
The controversial comments by Richard Land at a prayer breakfast held at the Israeli embassy in Washington DC came at the same time as a visit by Israel's Minister of Tourism, Benny Elon, who arrived to build opposition to Bushís ìroad mapî for Middle East Peace.
Elon has said that he sees many Evangelical Christians as ìnatural partnersî in opposing the proposed two-state solution because of their theological views on Israel.
The United States should support Israel because the Jewish state has a far more powerful ally than the world's superpower, Richard Land said to the 800 strong audience which sat under two large tents on the front property of the embassy.
Saying he knew "a fellow lover of liberty and freedom and a believer in human dignity" when he saw one Land implied that America would be blessed if it helped Israel.
ìAmerica needs to support Israel more than Israel needs our support, because Israel has an ally far stronger than the United States of America. He is called the Lion of Judah." God "blesses those who bless the Jews, and God curses those who curse the Jews," Land continued.
Support for Israel by Christians is a "matter of conviction, and it will never be surrendered," Land said.
Support for the Jewish state and her people "is biblical," he insisted.
"It is the fulfilment of biblical promises. We have seen God fulfil His promises in that the Jews are back in the land and they are going to be there, they're never going to leave."
The prayer and solidarity breakfast, consisting largely of evangelical Christians, also included some Jews. Land and other speakers were among 30 members of the host committee for the event. Those attending included the Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon and Christian Coalition President Roberta Combs.
The breakfast came only two days after the "road map" to peace in the Middle East was officially unveiled to Israel and the Palestinians. The plan - proposed by the United States, Russia, United Nations and European Union - calls for a Palestinian state with temporary borders this year and a permanent state in 2005.
Critics of the plan say it could result in a division of Jerusalem, with Palestinians controlling half of the city.
John Hagee, television preacher and pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, told the audience, "As Christians, we believe that Jerusalem is now and forever shall be the eternal and undivided capital of the state of Israel. Jerusalem is not up for negotiation with anyone for any reason at any time in the future."
"Palestine has never existed as an autonomous entity," he said "The Palestinians [have] never owned the land and have no legitimate claim to the land now."
Christians support the Israeli state because of the covenant God made with Abraham in Genesis, because of the Jewish foundation of the Christian faith, because anti-Semitism is sin and because Israel's war against terrorism is also America's war, Hagee said.