A new Pew survey revealed that the vast majority (70%) of evangelicals believe that the land of Israel was given to the Jews in the Biblical covenant with Abraham. Shockingly, this is more than twice the number of Jews (32%) who believe so. One rabbi believes that this symbolizes that pro-Israel Jews and Christians have more in common than they do with their less-Biblically oriented co-religionists.
“Overall, Americans continue to express more positive feelings toward the Israeli people than toward the Palestinian people,” the survey noted. “And to rate the Israeli government more favorably than the Palestinian government.”
But this number has diminished, most notably among adults under 30. 56% of adults under 30 say they feel favorably toward the Israeli people, compared with 78% among those ages 65 and older. And a solid majority of those aged 18 to 29 (61%) express favorable views toward the Palestinians, compared with 46% of those 50 and older.
This is also divided along party lines. Republicans and those who lean toward the Republican Party express much more positive views of the Israeli people (78% very or somewhat favorable) than of the Palestinian people (37%), and they view the Israeli government far more favorably (66%) than the Palestinian government (18%).
Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents hold approximately equally positive views of the Israeli and Palestinian people (60% and 64% favorable, respectively) and rate Israel’s government on par with the Palestinian government (34% vs. 37%).
The issue is also divided along religious lines when considering a solution for the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel. 28% of white evangelical Protestants say the best outcome would be a single state with an Israeli government compared to 6% each of Catholics, White non-evangelical Protestants, and Black Protestants.
30% of all U.S. adults say God gave the land that is now Israel to the Jewish people. This is divided along partisan lines, with Republicans being far more likely than Democrats to say that God gave the land that is now Israel to the Jewish people (46% vs. 18%). 36% of Black Protestants believe so, as do 31% of white non-evangelical Protestants and 25% of Catholics.
Significantly, 70% of white evangelicals say God gave the land that is now Israel to the Jewish people. Remarkably, this seems to show that far more Christians believe in the Jews’ covenantal right to the land of Israel than Jews.
A 2020 Pew survey asked Jews the same question, and only 32% believed that God gave the land that is now Israel to the Jewish people. 42% of the Jews surveyed disagreed with that statement. This was divided by religious observance. 87% of Orthodox Jews believed God gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people, whereas only 46% of Conservative Jews believe so, and only 26% of Reform Jews. 60% of Jewish Republicans believed so, whereas only 22% of Jews who voted Democrat believed God gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people.
Rabbi Pesach Wolicki, the executive director of the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC),
“It is for sure true that the average evangelical believes in the covenant of Abraham more than the average liberal left-wing reform Jew,” Rabbi Wolicki said. “You are using an old-fashioned division regarding Israel that isn’t true anymore.”
Rabbi Wolicki emphasized that political partisanship represented belief systems that were not specific to a particular religion or divided along lines that divided Christians and Jews.
“The vast majority of Jews, along the lines of 75%, voted for Biden and identified as Democrats. But bear in mind that only 9% of American Jews are Orthodox. Among Orthodox Jews, 80% voted for Trump.”
There is a major disconnect between Orthodox Jews and non-Orthodox Jews. It is not a sliding scale or a matter of degrees of belief or observance. It is much more fundamental. They are two entirely different and unrelated paradigms.”
“A Bible-believing Christian has much more in common in their world view with an Orthodox Jew than either of them has with most non-Orthodox Jews.”
“It isn’t surprising that someone, Jew or Christian, who doesn’t believe in the divinity of the Bible would not believe that God gave the land of Israel to the Jews,” Rabbi Wolicki said. “Christians and Orthodox Jews all believe in the divinity of the Bible. They both have a Biblical worldview. Why would a Jew who does not believe in the divinity of the Bible place Israel above his liberal values? Even more so for a non-Jew. And how could anyone who believes in the Bible not see Israel as being divinely granted to the Jews?”
“Among the Christians, there is a mitigating factor that would allow them to believe in a God-given Bible but not Israel being given to the Jews by God. There is a significant strain of Christian theology from time immemorial called replacement theology that believes that the Bible was divinely given, but the Jews no longer have a place in the Covenant. Jews don’t have a theological construct that allows for the divinity of the Bible but not of Israel for the Jews.”
“The political implications of whether or not people have a Biblical world view vis a vis Israel and the Jewish people are immense. There is no doubt that this is behind the move away from strong support for Israel that we see in the liberal Jewish community. The vast majority of Jews in America do not have traditional faith in the Bible or God’s promises, so they are moving away from this politically.”
“This means that the Jews who care about Israel have to realize that, unfortunately, our support and allies will not come from our non-Orthodox Jewish brethren. Israel’s allies will be the Christians who share our Biblical worldview.”
I know many Christians who are yearning for a House of Prayer for all nations in Jerusalem, but I wonder how many Reform and Conservative Jews share that vision with me,” Rabbi Wolicki concluded.