The alliance uniting the United States and Israel for over 60 years is commonly attributed to the influence of an all-powerful Jewish lobby thought to pull the strings of American foreign policy in the Middle East. Yet in Jésus est juif en Amérique : Droite évangélique et lobbies chrétiens pro-Israël, visiting fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe Célia Belin argues that this explanation glosses over a key aspect of the issue: in today’s United States, the most fervent and numerous supporters of Israel come from the Christian right.
These dedicated supporters of the Jewish state, known as Christian Zionists, believe that it is their religious duty to love and protect Israel. Over roughly the past 40 years, they have gained unprecedented influence in the political system, aided by the explosion of conservatism and their partnership with Israeli hawks. From George W. Bush to Sarah Palin, support for Israel has become a required stance for Republican candidates. By mixing religion and politics, Christian Zionists are helping to transform the territorial conflict between Israelis and Palestinians into a struggle for religious truth.
Belin’s book plunges into the exalted universe of Christian Zionists, skillfully revealing the extraordinary rise of a political movement inspired by an archaic, fundamentalist and radical theology. Jésus est juif en Amérique received a “particular mention” from the Emile Perreau-Saussine prize on political philosophy.