“History is a scene in which roles and events change, but the prophecies of the evangelists confirm a fundamental event for human history, which is the return of Christ to restore the land of Israel.”
The talk here is given by Professor of Theology at Birmingham University, “Candida Moss” in a report entitled “Why Evangelicals Love Israel?”
This question has returned in recent months to resonate in the corners of most research centers, studies and universities, due to the wave of transformation in the attitudes of Latin American countries towards the Palestinian issue, which is closely linked to a strong missionary extension of the Evangelical Church.
In the background of the scene, there is a sweeping invasion of right-wing populist parties that rose to power in many countries of Central and South America, and the fuel for this rise is nothing but a religious generalization that finally raised its head after decades of latency, which is carried out by the evangelical Christian Church with influence and great political activity in the States United States of America.
At a time when the world almost unanimously expressed its rejection of the US president’s decision to move his country’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, some of the leaders of Latin American countries came out to support him with great enthusiasm, which surprised many. Latin American countries – with the exception of Colombia, Panama and Mexico – issued their recognition of the State of Palestine between 2008 and 2013.
The political reality in this region of the world has witnessed major changes. Paraguay was the third country to actually move its embassy to Jerusalem, following the tracks of both America and Guatemala in that. Shortly after that, the Guatemalan parliament, in turn, approved a resolution calling on the foreign minister to speed up this step, and newly elected Brazilian President Jair Bolsorano had promised since December 2017 – that is, while preparing to run – that if he won, he would follow Trump’s controversial decision.
This shift recorded in the attitudes of Latin American countries towards the Palestinian issue is due to a political turn towards the right that these countries are witnessing, and they are the political forces that aspire to obtain American support.
The right-wing governments of Honduras and Guatemala faced severe political crises, which made them desperately in need of American support. For their two presidents, who are being prosecuted for corruption, and the strong political opposition, moving their embassies in Israel to Jerusalem is not just to please Trump, but is an attempt to get out of their internal crises as well.
Other relations link the President of Guatemala, for example, to Israel. “Jimmy Morales” belongs to the evangelical Christian religion, which represents about 40% of the population, and he is described as an extremist Zionist.
His Honduran counterpart, Orlando Hernandez, is a graduate of a training program run by the Agency for International Development Cooperation of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Paraguay President Horacio Cartes – a billionaire pursued on charges of money laundering and drug trafficking – in turn has special ties with Israel, specifically with its current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, because one of the most prominent Cartes election campaign advisers had previously served as Netanyahu’s chief of staff. 3]
It was remarkable during the meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Chilean President in Ramallah in mid-July 2019, that he combined the attack on the Bahrain conference on the economic aspect of the “Deal of the Century” with the emphasis on the strength of the ties that link Palestine with Latin American countries.
Abbas recalled what he described as the historical commitment of these countries to support the Palestinian cause, at a time when these countries are witnessing a strong right-wing and evangelical trend, which made the positions of some of their countries reverse towards the Palestinian cause.
The Palestinian president took advantage of the opportunity of his meeting with the Chilean president to request more support from Latin American countries, due to the fact that this country includes nearly half a million people of Palestinian origin.
During his visit to Chile in May 2018, Abbas was keen to visit Palestinian sports clubs, and he also tried to renew the enthusiasm that had accompanied his tour in Latin America in 2010, when Latin American countries had recognized the unilaterally declared state of Palestine, and even Brazil took the initiative To donate a plot of land to establish the Palestinian embassy on it.
While some tend to explain the great support for the Palestinian cause in Latin America with the dominance of leftist ideology, this does not stand up to the support of countries ruled by conservative regimes such as Peru and Chile. In 2018, the latter was one of the first countries in the world to ratify laws requiring a boycott of products coming from Israeli settlements.
The Palestinian president’s efforts collided with a strong trend, called the efforts of conservative regimes sweeping Latin America to gain American support, by winning the favor of Israel and the evangelical currents.