Foundational & Structural Relationship the United States and Israel

Larry Cohler-Esses and James D. Besser write in the NY Jewish Week about Michael Oren's addressing the AIPAC Policy Conference: "Israeli historian Michael Oren set the stage with an analysis suggesting that the roots of American support for Israel date back to the early colonial era—and Protestants who created a theology embracing the concept of a restored Zion anticipating the Zionist movement" http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/newscontent.php3?artid=13793&print=yes

"Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East 1776 to the Present" by Michael B. Oren, Reviewed by Chris Barsanti
... missionary Protestantism, the 19th century forebears to today’s evangelicals, who could see no higher purpose than to reclaim the Middle East for Christianity. It was a religious form of Manifest Destiny, that wanted not land, but souls, and churches across the country were obsessed with the idea, “not as an end in itself, but rather as a means for hastening Christ’s return.” These missionaries were so fascinated by the region they practically invented Zionism: an NYU biblical scholar and professor of Hebrew named George Bush—actually a forebear of both Presidents Bush—published a book in 1844 that called for recreating a Jewish state in Palestinian. This missionary effort to get Jews to resettle as farmers in Palestine was an effort doomed to failure by their own naiveté, lack of interested Jews, local Arab hostility, and an unforgiving land. John Steinbeck’s grandfather was among those Protestant Zionists who ran an early sort of kibbutz (Melville visited once) until a vicious attack by several Arabs in 1858 sent them back home.

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