American Christian Support for Israel

American Christian Support for Israel : Standing with the Chosen People, 1948-1975

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The dominant political theme of the State of Israel is the perpetual quest for security. In its first 25 years, Israel experienced five wars with Arab states declaring their goal to destroy Israel. In American Christian Support for Israel: Standing with the Chosen People, 1948-1975, Eric R. Crouse examines how American Christians responded to Israel's wars and the persistent threats to its security. While some were quick to condemn Israel as it made difficult and unpopular decisions in its fight for survival in a hostile region, conservative Christians were trustworthy supporters, routinely voicing uplifting reports. Crouse argues that Israel's embodiment of western ideals and its remarkable economic development gave conservative Christians good reasons to favor Israel in a troubled Middle East, but the main reason for their unconditional support was the key biblical text of Christian Zionism: "I will bless those who bless you [Abraham and his descendants], and I will curse him who curses you" (Genesis 12:3).show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 20.32mm | 408.23g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739197185
  • 9780739197189

Review quote

In a short but poignant expose of US Christian support for the Israeli state, Crouse adds to the literature of the nexus of religion and politics, especially US foreign policy. Beginning with an excellent explication of the variant perspectives, he collapses the scholarship focusing on conservative Christians' 'individualistic approach to ... social involvement.' In so doing, he adds to the argument of interest group engagement in the foreign policy process as well as the discussion of asymmetric warfare, specifically the Arab-Israeli conflicts and the incremental support of the US to the point of establishing a special relationship. Though Crouse restricts his work to the first 30 years of Israel's existence, the lessons drawn remain applicable. The four main chapters illuminate the continual threats to Israel's survival and increasingly convergent support by the US. Crouse's causality of Christian beliefs for Israel's survival, however, moves from centrality to the periphery as evangelicals reacted to increasing 'Soviet intrusion in the Middle East.' Christian support for Israel therefore transitioned from strong millenarian beliefs to more secular national security policy demands 'by way of military strength and preparedness.' Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. CHOICE The book is well researched and will be of use to historians interested in the support of evangelicals for Israel and its wars of self-defense. Crouse describes very well the views of varying evangelical groups and their leading authors over the years. The Catholic Historical Review Wide-ranging research stands behind this stimulating work. Professor Crouse, already a well-regarded scholar on the connection between Christian faith and U.S. foreign policy, has surveyed the academic and journalistic literature on the History of Israel since its founding in 1948. In this book, he includes the history of major movements within American Christianity in the same period, American Middle East diplomacy, the history of the major wars imposed upon Israel by bordering Arab nations, the endless propaganda harassment and terrorist skirmishing that has made daily life in Israel unremittingly nerve-wracking for over sixty years, and an analysis of the many variants of Anti-Zionism-Muslim, secular, and ecclesiastical-in order to present a chronological account of the first thirty years of Israel's existence. Few readers will be able to resist his thesis: the most constant theme in this story has been the support of Israel, God's 'Chosen People,' by American Christians. -- Paul Merkley, Carleton University The literature on Israeli-American relations is pretty rich. Most of it is concentrated on the strategic aspects of these relations. Authors and scholars discuss the way the relationship between the two countries has developed throughout the years, and their emphasis usually places these relationships within the Realist school of thought. That is, the dominant explanation of the American support of Israel throughout the years concentrates on American interest and national security considerations. There is no doubt that this is part of the equation, but certainly not the only one, as there is another aspect of no less importance: the Idealist approach. There is an undercurrent layer that precedes even the establishment of the state of Israel and goes back to the first days of the Zionist movement: religion. Eric Crouse's American Christian Support for Israel: Standing with the Chosen People, 1948-1975 is an important addition and contribution to this too-little studied aspect of the American attitude towards Israel. Crouse's valuable book discusses the way Christian Zionists in the United States translated Israeli national security challenges to their world of terms, particularly its war with the Arab states. Crouse brings to light the voice of conservative Christians typically absent from studies on the Arab-Israeli conflict and American foreign relations. Crouse embarks on this journey through the use of a vast amount of sources, both primary and secondary, in a balanced manner. He contributes original insights that add to the existing literature and shed new light on known events and episodes relating to the Arab-Israeli conflict and U.S. foreign relations. The exposure of the Christian perspective that drove the Christian Zionism and its impact on the making of American policy toward Israel certainly adds an important dimension to the study of the American foreign relations. No study on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and U.S. relations with Israel will be complete without consulting Crouse's book. -- David Tal, University of Sussexshow more

About Eric R. Crouse

Eric Crouse is professor of history at Tyndale University more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 The Road to War and Independence Chapter 2 The Pan-Arab Invasion Chapter 3 On to the Second Arab-Israel War Chapter 4 The Sixties and the Six-Day War Chapter 5 From Attrition to the Yom Kippur War Chapter 6 Israel's Best Friendsshow more