As President Bush prepared for last week's Aqaba summit with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Newsweek reported on a "very mixed marriage" closely watching the Holy Land peace process. The June 2 article said that an unlikely alliance between Jews and conservative Christians supporting Israel could spell trouble for Bush's reelection.

"The administration won't be able to lean hard on Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon without being attacked by two blocs it cares very much about as the 2004 election approaches," wrote Howard Fineman and Tamara Lipper. Noting scriptural ties to Israel and implying opposition to a Palestinian state, the article said that evangelicals may become "an unmovable obstacle to Bush's road map."

Could evangelicals politically challenge Bush over Israel? The Washington Times reported on a conference where an attendee called Bush's plan "a Satanic road map." A London professor recently praised Bush in The Guardian for resisting the pressure of 45 million evangelical voters and persuading Sharon into accepting the peace plan. The Australian Financial Review called Bush's peace plan a gamble that has incensed the Christian Right.

News reports have also recently focused on a letter signed by 24 evangelical leaders sent to Bush last month that said, "It would be morally reprehensible for the United States to be evenhanded between democratic Israel, a reliable friend and ally that shares our values, and the terrorist-infested Palestinian infrastructure."

The organizer of the letter, Gary Bauer, president of American Values, told CT that signatories supported Israel for various religious and political reasons. While some of those who signed the letter have publicly opposed a Palestinian state, that objection is ...

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