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“ ‘Chris­t­ian Zion­ists essen­tial­ly think all Jew­ish peo­ple are car­i­ca­tures of the ancient Israelites — a car­i­ca­ture they asso­ciate, in turn, with the mod­ern state of Israel — and that the loy­al­ty of all Jews is, or should be, to Israel,’ says Ben Lor­ber, a research ana­lyst for Polit­i­cal Research Asso­ciates, a social jus­tice think tank. ​’Tied in with this, there is a pal­pa­ble sense in which they despise Jews in the dias­po­ra, espe­cial­ly lib­er­al Jews.’”

“Some say this polit­i­cal part­ner­ship is also premised on some­thing both com­mon and mun­dane in U.S. pol­i­tics: Trump’s efforts to mobi­lize a base in sup­port of him­self. ​“I’m not going to try to get inside Trump’s head,” Steven Gar­diner, assis­tant research direc­tor for Polit­i­cal Research Asso­ciates and author of a new report on Chris­t­ian Zion­ism, told In These Times. ​“But it’s clear from his actions that what­ev­er his beliefs are, he’s pan­der­ing to the Chris­t­ian Zion­ist base, and going above and beyond the kind of sub­stan­tive sup­port for Israel that comes in the ongo­ing finan­cial and mil­i­tary sup­port and mil­i­tary alliance in the region.” Gar­diner includes Trump’s bel­li­cose poli­cies towards Iran with­in this larg­er trend. ​“For the Chris­t­ian Zion­ist world,” he says, ​“Iran is the new dev­il in play for them.”

This does not mean, how­ev­er, that Trump is not also try­ing to cur­ry favor among more bipar­ti­san pro-Israel forces like AIPAC (CUFI most­ly draws its sup­port from the right). Accord­ing to Gar­diner, ​“AIPAC has been more or less non-par­ti­san, or at least will­ing to ally them­selves with any­one who could con­ceiv­ably be an ally of Israel. Chris­t­ian Zion­ists, on the oth­er hand, fore­ground the very acts that are going to antag­o­nize not just Amer­i­can lib­er­als, but lib­er­al Jews in the dias­po­ra in particular.”

“In terms of mobi­liz­ing vot­ers,” Gar­diner con­tin­ues, ​“It’s the Chris­t­ian Zion­ists that are going to get them­selves into hun­dreds of church­es, not AIPAC. If you’re a ​‘good’ politi­cian, you can do two things with the same action: appeal to AIPAC and Chris­t­ian Zion­ists. There’s no rea­son you would­n’t.” AIPAC, for its part, has allied with Chris­t­ian Zion­ists, and had Hagee speak at its 2007 sum­mit. And both AIPAC and CUFI have ral­lied around sim­i­lar and over­lap­ping aims, includ­ing the crim­i­nal­iza­tion of the Pales­tin­ian-led Boy­cott, Divest­ment, and Sanc­tions movement.”

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