Ian Patrick, FISM News
A study recently presented at Tel Aviv University shows that young Evangelicals support for Israel isn’t what it used to be.
According to the study, published in “The Change of the Guard: Young Evangelicals and Israeli-Palestinian Dispute” and broken down in ALL ISRAEL NEWS, support has dropped in Evangelicals ages 18 to 29 by over 30% since 2018. At that time 69% of this population voiced their support for the nation, but now that number has dropped to 33.6% in 2021.
The authors of the study, Motti Inbari, and Kirill Bumin of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, write that this drop in support is surprising especially because this younger demographic tends to attend church and read the Bible more often than before. These are traits common among the older demographic, which shows much more support for the Israeli people.
In fact, of those who were surveyed 59% said their religious beliefs were the reason they show overwhelming support for Israel. Additionally, 57.8% believe that God’s covenant with the Jewish people is still in place today.
The study also found that the younger Evangelicals are typically more keen to show support for Palestinians, with 44.7% wanting to establish an official Palestinian State compared to 35% back in 2018. When asked why, 48.4% of those showing Palestinian support said it is politically motivated while another 40% said it was just a feeling.
Yet, despite the uptick in Palestinian support, the majority still thinks that Jerusalem should remain Israel’s capital at 71.6% compared to the 28.4% that think it should be the Palestinian capital.
Probably the most telling aspect of this survey is the political affiliation, since there were more Democrats than Republicans among those who were surveyed. Speculators believe that the shift from Red to Blue explains the shift in support and beliefs. In an interview with Jerusalem Post, study co-author Inbari assumed that President Trump was a determining factor.
[Young Evangelicals] saw their parents and grandparents standing beside Trump without reservation, and it created an opposite effect among the young. Opposing Trump would be like a youth rebellion.
Yoav Fromer, head of the Center for the Study of the United States, told ALL ISRAEL NEWS that Israel’s government had made the mistake of relying solely on Evangelical Republicans for American politics and that this could create issues in the future.
If the trends clearly reflected in this study continue, we will discover in the not-too-distant future that the basket is broken, because the support has not been transmitted to younger generations. And the result? The loss of Israel’s most important strategic pillar: the unreserved support of the United States.
Former Israeli ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer, however, said that Israel should be doing more in reaching out to the American Evangelical. He said that group is the “backbone” of U.S. support for Israel.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking at NRB 2021, told Christian broadcasters that Israel is still America’s greatest ally. While serving under President Trump he said he removed language in government documents which called Israel an “occupying force” in the land, and called for American Christians to support them wherever possible.
The study was done as a survey of 700 Evangelicals between the ages of 18 and 29, taken from March 22 to April 2 of this year.