I recently viewed With God on Our Side , a new documentary made by Christians, for Christians about Christian Zionism. I was reminded once again about how influential a force Christian Zionism continues to be in supporting the Israeli occupation of Palestine and justifying billions of dollars of U.S. aid to Israel. One of the results of this movement has been to de-legitimize and make invisible the presence of Palestinian, Lebanese, and Egyptian Arab-Christians. The movie holds up their voices and critiques Christian Zionism from their on-the-ground perspective. By juxtaposing the perspectives of everyday West Bank Palestinian Christian farmers, teachers, and other residents to the Biblical certitudes of Christian Zionists in the U.S., With God On Our Side offers us insight into just how destructive the impact of the latter has been.
There are many forces that influence U.S. foreign policy regarding Israel/Palestine such as the U.S. military, the U.S. arms industry, multinational oil companies and the U.S. strategy to try to control access to oil, the U.S. government’s desire for a proxy military force to carry out U.S. foreign policy goals in the area, and the often-noted Jewish pro-Israel lobby. Although generally acknowledged to be influential, the Jewish lobby’s power is likely to be seriously overestimated, especially when compared to the powerful pro-Israel Christian Zionist movement.