One section of new book Armageddon: What the Bible Really Says About the End explains some of the socio-political consequences of the belief that “the end is near. Here’s a consequence that I bet is not widely known: U.S. Foreign Policy on Israel.
In my book I emphatically state that I am not taking a stand on U.S. policy per se and certainly not on the Israeli-Palestinian issue itself. I am interested purely in the historical question: why has the U.S. been (and still is) so invested in supporting Israel in particular?
This is how I explain it in the book (this will take two posts).
Modern Israel in Ancient Prophecy?
Many people – possibly most – hold some beliefs without knowing quite why. Because of our upbringing, environment, and news sources, certain ideas just seem like common sense. Those raised in families, communities, and churches that believe the United States needs to provide substantial support for Israel usually know some of the reasons: we need to promote stability in the Middle East, protect American oil interests in the region, and help those who have suffered centuries of oppression. It is important to realize, however, that America’s concerns for Middle Eastern stability and oil are relatively recent. American support of Israel was originally, and widely still is, in a certain way of reading the Bible, starting with Genesis “In the Beginning” and continuing to Revelation “At the End.”
Readers of the Bible have always