Too often, we who support Israel feel that we are overwhelmed or even alone against those who seek to delegitimize Israel. It seems that the numbers of the anti-Israel forces are ever-increasing and that we are fighting an uphill battle.
For the last two weeks, I have been in the ‘Deep South’, specifically in Anderson, South Carolina–the city where I was born. It has been an amazingly reinvigorating experience. Everyone here supports Israel. It doesn’t make any difference about race, gender, or religious group–everyone here simply and unequivocally supports Israel. And no one tries to be politically correct about it. There is no moral relativism, no attempt to tag every statement of support with concern about the ‘poor’ Palestinians. And nobody around here talks about how Islam is the religion of peace.
Most of the people around here are incredibly well-informed evangelical Christians. I can’t tell you the number of people who can discourse easily about obscure topographical data of the Jordan Valley and the demography of Jerusalem. And everyone knows about the 3300 years of continuous Jewish history in Israel (in fact, each person knows every detail of every battle). Or the number of folks who came up to me yesterday after Mahmoud Abbas spoke again about the 4000 year old Palestinian presence in Palestine and told me how completely ludicrous the Palestinians are when they make such absurd claims.
And how did they find out what Abbas had said? Internet, TV, church networking groups, newspapers–the news is everywhere. In the last few days, I have seen at least 4 laptop computers that had the Temple Mount as their screensaver. Everyone I have talked to has either been to Israel and is going back, or is planning to go to Israel, or wants to go to Israel in the near future, or has actually led a group to Israel. And why do they go? Of course, they have the Christian impulse to want to see and walk where Jesus lived–but more often than not, the first reason that comes out of their mouths is “to show solidarity with the Jewish people.”
It goes without saying that these Andersonians applauded every word that Bibi said in the White House and in Congress. All those standing ovations that Bibi received were no accident–they reflect the massive support for Israel found throughout the United States.