How an Intra-Protestant Theological Divide Has Shaped U.S. Policy toward Israel

August 13, 2018 | Michael Doran
About the author: Michael Doran, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and the author of Ike’s Gamble: America’s Rise to Dominance in the Middle East (2016), is a former deputy assistant secretary of defense and a former senior director of the National Security Council. He tweets @doranimated.

While most American Jews tend to see their country’s relationship with the Jewish state as motivated by attitudes toward Jews and Judaism, Michael Doran argues that underlying this and other foreign-policy debates is a division between Protestant “modernists”—who wish to perfect the world through charitable works, social reforms, and international institutions in an ecumenical spirit—and Protestant “fundamentalists”—who favor American exceptionalism and doctrinal orthodoxy while believing mankind’s fallen state makes social perfection unachievable. The modernists, as Doran wrote in a recent essay, tend to be hostile toward Israel and Zionism, while the fundamentalists tend to be sympathetic. Even in our secular age, this intra-Christian divide often lurks behind debates over Middle East policy. (Interview by Jonathan Silver. Audio, 36 minutes. Options for download and streaming are available at the link below.)

Read more on Tikvah:

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register Already a subscriber? Sign in now