Mike Evans is a self-identified evangelical Christian Zionist who, as founder of the Friends of Zion Heritage Center in Jerusalem, has presumably done good work to strengthen evangelical support for Israel. However, in his very public opposition to current efforts in the Israeli Knesset to form a new government, he sounds less like a “Friend of Zion” and more like the angry Martin Luther who employed vulgar and violent language in his antisemitic treatise, “On the
Jews and Their Lies” – language that was useful to the Nazis 400 years later as they justified everything they did to the Jews during the Holocaust.
In a blog titled Israel’s Political Striptease Show, posted in the Times of Israel on June 4, 2021, Evans used words and invoked imagery repulsive to evangelical Christians, all while he spouted antisemitic tropes and threats to mobilize Evangelicals in opposition to a new Israeli government sans Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Referring to politicians who oppose Bibi Netanyahu as “unpleasant, vulgar, disgusting and delusional,” Evans maintains that Israel’s recent election was “…not an election to improve the lives of Israelis or the nation. It’s an election to crucify a man they hate and they’re willing to destroy the nation to do it.”
In keeping with the offensive imagery Evans chose to describe his sentiments concerning the politicians attempting to form a new government, he made the following threat: “If they keep up this pathetic, political striptease act, this theater of the absurd, I’ll spend the rest of my life fighting them all, mobilizing millions of evangelicals to join me in the fight.”
In reality, it would seem that it is Mike Evans who is acting in the theater of the absurd as he assumes a position diametrically opposed to Zionism in general, and Christian Zionism in particular. The whole point of Zionism is that Jews have the right to a state in which they make their own decisions about their future – decisions that include choosing who governs them. As someone who is not an Israeli citizen, Evans has no right to declare who should be, or who should not be, leaders of the Jewish State.
Furthermore, as someone who identifies as a Christian Zionist, Evan’s intent to enlist evangelical supporters in his personal battle against an Israeli government he doesn’t agree with is antithetical to what it means to be a Christian Zionist. This is because a Christian Zionist is simply someone who, for biblical, theological and/or historical reasons, supports the right of Jews to have and maintain a state of their own, regardless of the identity or political affiliation of its leaders.
Evans’ determination to turn Evangelicals against Israeli leaders he doesn’t like is all too reminiscent of Martin Luther’s antisemitic tirades against the Jews of his day when they too failed to do what he wanted them to do. Not only is a position like this completely contradictory to a true Christian Zionist’s stand with Israel – no matter who is in leadership – but like Luther, Evan’s justification for his stance appears to be rooted in classic antisemitic tropes.
In the context of referring to the recent election as a shameful seduction, Evans refers to the politicians who are most likely to be forming the new government as “fools who think they’re legends in their own minds,” and as “amateur nobodies” who will “never be a member of a club that rules and runs the world.”
In addition to the use of insulting language in his version of this classic trope, Evans made a reprehensible statement that suggests German Jews were responsible for their own deaths during the Holocaust. He said, “I understand how the Holocaust happened. German Jews were busy insulting each other, drunk on the wine of pride. They did not see the smoke of Auschwitz rising because they were more German than they were Jews.” And, as if for emphasis later in his article, he repeated, “Yes, the Jews were busy during the Holocaust insulting each other, drunk on the wine of pride as good German citizens. They couldn’t see the smoke of Auschwitz rising.”
Finally, Evans portrayed Israeli politicians as Christ-killers due to their efforts to replace Prime Minister Netanyahu. Once again invoking words and imagery repulsive to evangelical Christians, he wrote, “Yet these would-be pretend striptease actors, with their obese bellies delusionally thinking they’re seductive, are screaming at the top of their lungs, ‘Crucify Him, crucify him!’ It is sick and shameful to see such a group running like rabid dogs possessed with power and revenge.”
Does Evans have so little understanding of the history of Christian antisemitism and the horrible consequences of vile language used for centuries to provoke violence against Jews, that he so callously employs the Christ-killer charge and description of Jews as rabid dogs – all while claiming his life has been dedicated to building support for the Jewish State? Clearly there is something very wrong with this picture!
Unfortunately, due to his use of antisemitic tropes and threats to mobilize Evangelicals in opposition to a government he doesn’t like, Mike Evans sounds more like a classic Christian antisemite than the “Friend of Zion” he claims to be.