(Jerusalem, Israel) — Israel is successfully managing the COVID-19 crisis, and beginning to reopen the society and reboot our economy. But we may create a new crisis if we move forward with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s plan to annex large swaths of Judea and Samaria as early as next month.
This is a huge story here and reporters keep asking me how Evangelicals are reacting.
Here are excerpts from the interview I did with Amir Tibon, Washington correspondent for the Israeli daily, Haaretz:
- “Joel Rosenberg, an evangelical author and analyst who lives in Jerusalem, believes that annexation isn’t going to make much of a difference for most evangelical voters. ‘This is driven by Israeli politics, not American politics,’ he says. ‘Most evangelicals in America are focused right now exclusively on domestic issues: the COVID-19 crisis, the race tensions, unemployment and the fact that churches are not yet open. I don’t think most evangelicals have even heard about annexation.'”….
- “Rosenberg has taken several groups of evangelical leaders to meet heads of Arab states in recent years, and tells Haaretz his contacts in the Arab world are struggling to understand the logic behind an Israeli annexation move at this time. ‘The relationship between Israel and the Arab world is as good as it’s ever been,’ he says, ‘and my contacts are asking me: why risk that right now? What’s the urgency?’”…..
- “There are definitely evangelical leaders who will be happy about any opportunity to incorporate biblical lands into Israel. But I don’t agree with the analysis that Trump will benefit politically with the average evangelical voter by supporting annexation. If you believe Trump is pro-Israel, you’ve already been convinced by the embassy move and his pressure against Iran. Annexation isn’t going to change your view on this issue.”…..
- “Rosenberg says he believes the main motivation behind the annexation push ‘has nothing to do with evangelicals,’ but instead is based on ‘fears [in Netanyahu’s sphere] that Trump won’t win a second term. But my question to people who make that argument is: If that’s what you’re predicting, how does Israel benefit from punching Joe Biden in the nose?”
Note: I made these comments in my private capacity as a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen, not as the founder and Chairman of The Joshua Fund, which is a non-profit organization that takes no positions on political or legislative issues.