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 Israel and War: American Christians 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).
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Product details

  • Paperback | 218 pages
  • 154 x 224 x 15mm | 295g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0739197207
  • 9780739197202

Table of contents

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 Friends
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Review quote

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 Sussex
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About Eric R. Crouse

Eric Crouse is professor of history at Tyndale University College.
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