More Christian Americans Believe God Gave Israel to the Jewish People than Jewish Americans Themselves

Leading statistics think tank Pew Research Center published a study of Christian and Jewish American beliefs on whether or not God gave the Jewish people the land of Israel in October 2013.

israel god pew

Pew found that, overall:

  • 82% of white evangelical Christians think God gave the Jewish people Israel. No other group surpassed this percentage, except for Modern Orthodox Jews (90%). Even Ultra-Orthodox Jews are slightly less likely to believe Israel is God-given (81%).
  • 44% of Americans believe Israel is granted by God, while only 40% of Jews believe Israel is God-given.
  • 55% of US Christians believe God gave Israel to the Jewish people, versus only 47% of religious Jews.
  • Protestants (64%) are more likely than Catholics (38%) to believe Israel is God-given.

Once again, for emphasis: Overall, the average American is more likely to believe God gave Israel to the Jewish people than is the average Jewish American.

Other interesting findings are that:

  • 11% of the US population is atheist.
  • 28% of Jewish Americans are atheists.
  • 24% of Jews who identify as part of Reform Judaism are in fact atheists, as are even 14% of those who are part of Conservative Judaism. Overall, 20% of religious Jews are atheists. Such a concept is foreign in Christianity, where only 1-2% of self-identifying Christians are atheists.

The importance of this poll lies in the fact that its findings suggest that non-Jewish Americans are more Zionist than are Jewish Americans. It also demonstrates just how thoroughly entrenched Christian Zionism is in the US sociocultural establishment.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is of course not a religious conflict. Most supposedly “religious” violence is geopolitically and economically (that is to say, materially) motivated; it is only religious at the surface. In the US, however, many Christians perceive of it as such, and thus help reaffirm Israel’s far-right, religious extremist elements and strengthen the settler colonial project of Zionism.