The long-anticipated “Deal of the Century” peace plan is the manifestation and affirmation of the Bible for US President Donald Trump’s core constituency, Evangelical Christians.“The Bible talks about the land that the Jewish people are living on, the land which the Jew haters call ‘settlements’ and ‘illegal,’” Dr. Mike Evans, founder of Friends of Zion Museum and a member of the Trump Faith Initiative said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post, a day before the expected publication of the plan to resolve the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians.
“What the president is saying is that America does not believe the Bible is illegal,” he said.
For many, the plan is a geopolitical matter that will likely present the first ever public US vision of Israel’s final borders. But for the up to 80 million Christian Zionists in the US, this has less to do with borders and more to do with God.“Our base will be weeping” with joy at the plan’s formal reveal about the prominence of the Bible, he said.Evans revealed that in private briefings both with the president’s peace team and the president himself, he learned that, “the plan does not take away the major biblical sites, and this is everything we were hoping for – everything.”“Israel just got kissed by God,” Evans continued. “I am not referring to Donald Trump as God, but I am saying he has Divine inspiration.” THE CATALYST for Evangelical support of Trump, since he won the Republican nomination for president in 2016, has been the idea that, “there was a supernatural aspect to the election of Trump to the Oval office,” as Stephen Strang, founder and CEO of Charisma Magazine said at the 2018 National Religious Broadcasters conference.For many Evangelicals, God raised up Trump much like he raised up British Prime Minister Winston Churchill just more than 70 years prior. In the book God & Churchill, authors Jonathan Sandys (Churchill’s great-grandson) and former White House staffer Wallace Henley point out that Churchill led from a core belief in Divine destiny.They write that as a 16-year-old school boy, Churchill prophesied to a friend that London would one day be attacked and that he would lead England to victory.During WWII, it was Churchill who urged the free world to rise and defeat Adolph Hitler’s Nazi regime.Trump’s understanding of the need to support the Jewish state intensified in 2003, when he contacted Evangelist Paula White-Cain, senior pastor of the New Destiny Christian Center in Orlando, Florida, after watching her television show.They became quick friends and White-Cain introduced Trump to several other Evangelicals. Since then, she has served as his personal pastor – and these other Evangelicals, including Evans, have been influencing the president.Most recently, Trump named White-Cain as an adviser to the Faith and Opportunity Initiative in the Office of Public Liaison, the part of the White House responsible for overseeing outreach to groups and coalitions organizing key parts of the president’s base. “There are 25 of us Evangelical leaders that came on board during the primaries, and no matter what secular media threw at the president, we stood with him,” Evans told the Post.
Evans maintains that “the president has given us a seat at the table. We have access to the administration, access to [Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo and [Vice President] Mike Pence, and he knows that every one of us has these beliefs [in Israel] and we are so grateful.”THE SO CALLED “Deal of the Century” is the next step in a plan Trump has been slowly unveiling all along, from his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and his recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, to the recent announcement by Pompeo that the America no longer views Israeli settlements as illegal.Each of the moves has been, in Evans’ view, pragmatically motivated by a simple understanding of Genesis 12:3 – “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.”He maintained that Trump has done so much for the Evangelical constituency – over the weekend he became the first president ever to speak at the March for Life – that the peace plan “exceeds our expectations.”He said Trump will enjoy “100% support” from Evangelicals in the 2020 election.Trump, of course, expects support for his plan from outside the Christian community, too. The president has been quietly cozying up with the Arab monarchies and helping Israel do the same. There have been meetings with leaders in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and others.According to Evans, “the president can begin implementing this plan without the Palestinians supporting it, because all the cash cows that the Palestinians need are on board, minus Qatar.”Evans himself travels to these regions regularly and told the Post that the leaders of these countries have “tremendous compliments for Israel” and feel that “the Palestinians have wasted our money.”THE PLAN, according to Evans, does not give the Palestinians air space, the ability to establish treaties or the ability to have an army.When Trump moved the embassy, the world expected World War III, but the Sunni Arab states sat in silence. By not saying no, they are implicitly saying yes – and sources close to these countries told the Post with confidence that this same silence can be expected this time around.The bigger concern, Evans said, is whether or not Blue and White will accept the plan and agree to the unity government that Evans says the president wants and needs in Israel to carry out his plans.“Will Blue and White realize that the opportunity of a lifetime has to be seized in the lifetime of the opportunity?” Evans asked. He said that the gravest danger the country faces now is the fact that it does not have a government, and that by the president inviting Gantz to the White House he is sending a message: Join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and me.“If there is no government, he does not have a partner,” Evans said, noting that there are probably close to 50 world leaders who have been standing in line for three years trying to get a meeting with the president, and Gantz had it. “When Santa Claus gives you so many gifts, the worst mistake you can make is to turn away and spit in his face.”Jews were historically persecuted by Christians based on religion and many are therefore weary of working alongside Evangelicals, even for the sake of Israel. However, for Evangelical Christians, whose faith is based on the theological premise that God rejected the Jewish people and chose them instead, there has had to be a 180-degree turn since the founding of the modern State of Israel 72 years ago. Many Christians have started to reject “replacement theology” and open their hearts and minds to how the people of Israel fit into God’s plans.As such, says Evans, now is the time for the Jewish state to embrace Christian biblical, political and diplomatic support for Israel.For the first time in American history, there is an Evangelical Christian secretary of state and vice president and a president that loves the Evangelicals.“I think the combination of this beautiful dream team has given Israel the opportunity of a lifetime – and they should take it,” said Evans.“Put all other matters aside,” he continued. “Israel will never have another president like Donald Trump – never did and never will again.”
PM Netanyahu and President Trump meet at the White House (video credit: GPO)