Republican backing for Israel remains steadfast following the October 7 attack by Hamas, with the party emphasising its support for a key ally and the region’s sole democracy. The alliance between the Republican Party and Israel is further underscored by the significant influence of evangelical conservatives within the party, who see the Jewish people as God’s chosen ones and view the establishment of the modern state of Israel as the fulfilment of biblical prophecy.
The newly elected Republican Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, a staunch evangelical, voiced his unwavering support for Israel during a recent “March for Israel” event in Washington DC. Johnson framed the conflict between Israel and Hamas as a battle between good and evil, civilization and barbarism. He firmly rejected calls for an Israeli ceasefire in Gaza, labelling them as “outrageous” and echoed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s sentiments.
Evangelical leaders like John Hagee, a Texas-based Christian minister and president of Christians United for Israel, play a pivotal role in solidifying the connection between Republicans and Israel. Hagee, who holds controversial views, emphasised the need for unity between Christians and Jews, asserting that Israel is central to God’s plan and describing it as the “shining city on the hill” and “God’s firstborn son.”
While Democratic leaders like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries have expressed support for Israel, dissent on the left is growing, with some Democrats drawing attention to Palestinian civilian casualties and condemning Israel’s military actions. In contrast, Republican support for Israel remains largely monolithic, with only a few isolated voices opposing a recent bill providing substantial aid to Israel.
The alignment of interests between Republicans, evangelicals, and Israel is evident both on the stage in Washington and in Congress, showcasing a united front despite growing divisions among Democrats over the handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict.