Outspoken conservative television commentator Glenn Beck has for years been an easy, comfortable target for liberal ideologues. But having fully thrown his support behind Israel, Beck has discovered a whole new level of opposition.
Beck visited Israel last month to mark the reborn Jewish state's 63rd Independence Day. Upon returning to the US, Beck said he had been so moved by Israel's situation that he had decided to hold a rally "to restore courage" in Jerusalem this coming August.
"Israel is being set up," Beck told his audience in reference to the land-for-peace process that the Arabs regularly admit is just a ploy to weaken Israel in preparation for its annihilation.
Beck said he used to be one of those Christians who didn't really think modern Israel mattered all that much to him as a Bible-believer. After visiting, Beck has done a full 180 degree turn.
Clearly choked up by the topic, Beck quoted the biblical passage of Ruth 1:16:
"Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God."
Beck insisted that just as Ruth the Moabite dedicated herself to her Israelite mother-in-law, Naomi, so too must Bible believers today attach themselves to the Jewish state.
Ruth's "was an act of courage," said Beck. "And that is what needs to be said to Israel."
Beck's biblical approach to Israel and its conflict with the Arabs has riled up secular opposition, from both the left and the right of American politics. His position that it is wrong for Israel to be made to surrender its biblical heartland (the so-called "West Bank") for peace has kept even the most conservative of his political allies from supporting Beck's upcoming rally.
It was originally announced that major Republican presidential candidates would attend the rally. But the latest reports are that none have so far promised to be there.
Regardless, Beck has raised important questions for Christians in the US and around the world regarding their connection to Israel.
To gain a deeper understanding of why Israel matters so much to Bible-believing Christians, Israel Today recommends Israel's Anointing by Sandra Teplinsky.