Amid evangelical support, Israel toasts ties with Christians

October 15, 2017 GMT

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s prime minister has told a group of Christian media professionals that Israel has no better friend than the world’s Christian communities.

Benjamin Netanyahu spoke Sunday at the Christian Media Summit in Jerusalem, the first such event Israel says it has hosted. His comments and the event itself reflect the close ties and staunch support for Israel in the evangelical world.

That support has been magnified by the election of U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump counts white evangelicals among his strongest supporters. Trump has wooed them by repeatedly promising to protect the religious liberty of Christians and being strongly sympathetic toward Israel.

Attitudes in Israel toward evangelicals are evolving, from skepticism about Christian Zionist motives, to the realization that Israel cannot survive on the support of diaspora Jewish communities alone.