News Release

“Netanyahu Abuses Bible to Impress U.S. Evangelicals”


Rev. Dr. Don Wagner is a retired member of the Presbyterian clergy, professor and a human rights activist. He is the author of the memoir Glory to God in the Lowest: Journeys to an Unholy Land and other books including Anxious for Armageddon.

He just wrote the piece “Netanyahu abuses Bible to impress U.S. evangelicals” which states: “In his press briefing on 27 October, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu cited a biblical reference to ‘Amalek’ in the context of the destruction of Hamas and to ‘eradicate this evil from the world.’

“This pseudo-religious spin may have confused all but his ultra-right religious followers, both Jewish and Christian Zionists. Netanyahu continued: ‘We remember, and we are fighting…..our soldiers are part of a legacy of Jewish warriors that goes back 3,000 years.’

“What appeared bizarre to many was a highly intentional religious justification for Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Gaza’s Palestinian men, women, and children.

“The ‘annihilate Amalek’ theme invokes support from the divine in this modern crusade to exterminate the Amalekites, interpreted today as every Palestinian. Netanyahu´s base of political support among militant settlers finds inspiration from these violent biblical texts.

“Another base of Netanyahu’s support is the international Christian Zionist movement, rising in the Global South, southeast Asia, and North America. Netanyahu can count on these ‘friends’ to provide political, economic and media support despite a dramatic decline in his popularity at home and abroad.

“Shortly after the 7 October attacks, a letter of support for Israel’s war on Gaza was issued by 60 conservative evangelical leaders in the United States, including two former presidents of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission — Russell Moore, now editor of Christianity Today, and Richard Land.

“Several pastors from the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest evangelical Christian denomination in the United States, signed the letter. Many of the supporters, but not all, embrace the ‘annihilate Amalek’ war mentality, while others draw on just war theory.

“The letter was delivered to the White House and every Congressional office on Capitol Hill, lending support for the Israeli aggression on Gaza.”