Evangelical US House speaker pledges support for Israel, in line with his faith
'I believe that God will bless nations that support Israel,' says Mike Johnson, newly elected House speaker last week
The new US House of Representatives speaker on Tuesday pledged that the US Congress’ support for Israel will continue, a pledge in line with his identity as a self-proclaimed evangelical Christian.
Speaking at the annual Republican Jewish Coalition meeting in Las Vegas, Johnson touted how after unexpectedly winning his post last week, he promptly presented a resolution in support of Israel, underlining that this move and his early speaking engagement with the group was no coincidence.
"I want everyone to know where we stand," he added.
Johnson also criticized anti-Israel campus protests, saying they make Jewish students feel unsafe.
He has been an outspoken advocate for former President Donald Trump and played a pivotal role in efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Message to Israel
Johnson said congressional Republicans are working on a bill to provide the necessary resources to Israel amid the current conflict with Palestine and added: "There will be a cease-fire only when Hamas ceases to be a threat to Israel."
Calling Israel the US' "greatest" ally in the Mideast, Johnson said during a phone call he conveyed his unwavering support to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
He stated that under his leadership, the US Congress would stand by Israel, citing his Christian faith and his belief, in his words, that "God will bless the nation that blesses Israel."
Who are evangelicals?
In Christianity, evangelism, which means "teaching and spreading the Gospel" that Jesus is humanity's lord and savior, is considered one of the largest Christian groups in the United States, though they lack a single denomination or authority.
Many evangelicals, numbering some 25% of the population (around 80 million people), are also known as "Christian Zionists." They believe Israel's establishment in 1948 aligns with biblical teachings and anticipate the return of Jesus to these lands, leading to the end of the world.
Traditionally, white evangelicals have supported the Republican Party, with recent elections showing strong support for Donald Trump, who some evangelicals claim was divinely chosen.
Since last weekend the Israeli army has widened its air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip – including houses and hospitals – which has been under relentless airstrikes since the surprise offensive by the Palestinian group Hamas on Oct. 7.
More than 9,800 people have been killed in the Gaza conflict, including 8,306 Palestinians and more than 1,538 Israelis, and also including 3,457 children in Gaza, according to official figures.
An Israeli blockade of the strip has also cut Gaza off from fuel, electricity, and water supplies, and reduced aid deliveries to a small trickle unable to satisfy the needs of the over 2 million Palestinians there.
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