Guest / Limited Access /

A handful of politically active Christian Zionists are protesting Israel's withdrawal of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip, due to start in August. Protestors may even enter Gaza itself to stand literally shoulder to shoulder with those settlers willing to defy the pullout.

But Malcolm Hedding won't be with them. Hedding, executive director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, a leading Christian Zionist group, remains neutral on "political" issues such as the Gaza withdrawal.

Hedding told CT that his organization's position is that the nation of Israel will inherit all the land God promised the Jews "when the Messiah comes [again]. Not before."

"It would be chutzpah for evangelical Christians—as we are—to tell where, or how, or when [Israel] should designate her borders. It's a matter of the timing of the kingdom."

Israel's withdrawal of Jewish settlers reveals a fault line running through Christian Zionism. Hedding, a South African, says ICEJ supports "biblical Zionism," which does not take sides on partisan political issues in modern-day Israel as other groups do.

"We can't be more interested in land recovery than in spiritual restoration," Hedding says. "That would put you in a position of a political Christian Zionist, and there are enough of those around."

Some Zionists, both Jewish and Christian, deeply oppose Israel ceding any land to the Palestinian Authority. Gershom Gorenberg, Jerusalem-based journalist, author, and Orthodox Jew, told CT that "99.9 percent" of Israeli Jews identify themselves as Zionists, and yet the Gaza pullout still has widespread public support.

"If a thousand [Christian Zionist protestors] were to show up," Gorenberg said, "the reaction in the Israeli public would be intensely ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedFacing ISIS, Middle Eastern Evangelicals Exchange Strategies
Facing ISIS, Middle Eastern Evangelicals Exchange Strategies
Christians meet with Sunni Islam's top leader, test other responses to extremists.
TrendingNew Poll Finds Evangelicals’ Favorite Heresies
New Poll Finds Evangelicals’ Favorite Heresies
Survey finds many American evangelicals hold unorthodox views on the Trinity, salvation, and other doctrines.
Editor's PickSaying Goodbye for Good
Saying Goodbye for Good
How to bid farewell as though our bodies mattered.
Comments
Christianity Today
Christian Zionists Split Over Gaza Pullout
hide thisJuly July

In the Magazine

July 2005

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.