Trump's visit strengthened Christian support for Israel

Today, Jews and Christians have in common assaults against them by the Islamist world.

Tags: Evangelicals
Ronn Torossian

OpEds Evangelical Christian prayers in Jerusalem
Evangelical Christian prayers in Jerusalem

President Donald Trump’s visit to Israel was very positive all in all, and certainly a very welcome departure from President Obama, who was undoubtedly the most anti-Israel President in recent times.  Pro-Israel supporters can count a number of victories from Trump’s trip, starting with his visit to the Western Wall – the first by any sitting U.S. president. Trump’s visit proved to be a historic and monumental gesture of American solidarity with the Jewish people.

Another victory lies in what Trump didn’t say – he departed Israel without mentioning the words “settlements” or “Palestinian state.” Not only did Obama decry the settlements and call for a Palestinian state in his 2013 speech in Jerusalem, but he also talked of Israeli “occupation.” Trump’s visit was a full “180” turn by comparison.

Not to be forgotten in the political equation for American support of Israel, is the American-Christian community, a vital constituency in securing long-term political support for Israel. Christian Zionists number in the tens of millions in the U.S., and voted for Trump by wide margins.  Trump’s Jerusalem visit provided yet another victory by symbolically connecting the shared values of Christians and Jews.

Trump did so with his back-to-back visits of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall. The visits drew a picture of mutual heritage and shared history between Christians and Jews and served to bring American Christians closer to the Jewish State. Christians and Jews not only share a heritage, but we also share the future, one in which both faiths are under assault.

Christians in Egypt and Iraq are murdered. Jews in Europe come under attack, and Jews in the former Soviet Union remain trapped by endemic anti-Semitism and discrimination.

Jews and Christians must stand together in the face of this violence,
“The President’s visit puts Israel and the Jewish people into the world’s focus, and reminds us that many thousands of Jews remain subject to virulent anti-Semitism and persecution,” says Don Horwitz, Executive Director of Christians Care International (CCI), who works to build bridges between Jews and Christians.

“Christians have also become increasingly subject to persecution and religious violence – Jews and Christians must stand together in the face of this violence,” Horwitz says.

With gestures like Trump’s visit to these holy sites, the bonds between Christians and Jews should only become stronger and deeper. That’s good politics for Trump. And it’s good for the future of Israel and the Jewish people.