In a “negative world,” evangelical support a liability for Israel?

    Source: Juan Cole, Informed Comment.

While evangelicals have long been among the staunchest defenders of Israel, the greater hostility they have been facing in American society in recent years may make such support a liability for Israel during its war with Hamas, writes Aaron Renn in his self-titled Substack newsletter (November 16). Renn has been the foremost proponent of the view that American evangelicals now face a “negative world” after a long period of neutrality and even positive responses from non-evangelical American society. The widespread attacks against “Christian nationalism” are one sign of the negative attitude towards evangelical political influence. Renn writes that evangelicals are also more divided on Israel than they were a decade ago. Both factors mean that evangelicals’ role as the backbone of the Republican Party’s support of Israel is contested, both inside and outside the evangelical movement. The Palestinian cause and “decolonization” are becoming “high status” issues among young people due to the influence of the left, “while support for Israel is declining for demographic reasons…If these trends continue, they will make evangelicals, who are themselves shrinking in numbers and significance, more conspicuous as outlier supporters of Israel rather than simply enthusiastic supporters of a pro-Israel position that represents the mainstream. Given the low status of evangelicals as an official out group in American society, that would not be good for the cause of Israel,” Renn concludes.