27 Feb The Special Bond Between Christian Zionists and the State of Israel
The average person tends to identify Zionism with Jewish support for a Jewish state in the Land of Israel. Indeed, this is largely true, but there is in parallel a very large movement known as Christian Zionism. It comes as a great surprise to many to learn that there exist in the world millions of people – including those who live in countries that have no relations or, even worse, hostile relations with the State of Israel – who proudly identify themselves as Christian Zionists.
Who are these Christian Zionists? They are people who believe in the words of the Bible, promising to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that their descendants will be the heirs to the Land of Israel forever. They are also firm believers in the words of the prophets who foretold and lamented the destruction of Jewish sovereignty in the land, but also told the downtrodden exiles that they will eventually return to their ancestral homeland.
This Bible-based Christian Zionism is not a new phenomenon. If one looks back in history, one discovers that long before there was such a thing as the modern Zionist movement founded by Theodor Herzl at the end of the 19th century, leading Christian scholars and preachers were speaking, writing and lobbying. on behalf of the return of the Jewish people to their historic homeland, the land of Zion.
Such people included Prof. George Bush at New York University in the mid-1800s, John Henry Dunant in Switzerland, the founder of the International Red Cross and the winner of the first Nobel Peace Prize in 1901, and Lord Arthur James Balfour, the foreign secretary of Britain in the early 20th century, author of the famous Balfour Declaration declaring Britain’s support for a homeland for the Jews in the Land of Israel.
The stories of all of these people and many more of their Christian Zionist contemporaries up to modern times are told in graphic, dramatic form through the use of the latest in high-technology presentations in the Friends of Zion Museum in downtown Jerusalem.
All of these Christian believers and doers contributed in various meaningful ways to the ultimate realization of the Zionist dream and the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. A great debt i+s owed to them, as testified to by statements in the museum from the late President of Israel Shimon Peres and the current Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu.
Once one hears and sees the stories of these extraordinary visionaries and activists, and their special bond with the State of Israel, one will have acquired a new understanding of how these Christian Zionists played such a crucial role in the history of Israel. A visit to the Friends of Zion Museum is therefore an educational experience for both Jews and non-Jews who have come from all parts of the world and who have come away amazed and inspired by their visit to this unique museum.