"Why Don’t Jews Like the Christians Who Like Them?"

The super-smart James Q. Wilson struggles for an answer in City Journal.

An excerpt:

Evangelical Christians have a high opinion not just of the Jewish state but of Jews as people. That Jewish voters are overwhelmingly liberal doesn’t seem to bother evangelicals, despite their own conservative politics. Yet Jews don’t return the favor: in one Pew survey, 42 percent of Jewish respondents expressed hostility to evangelicals and fundamentalists. As two scholars from Baruch College have shown, a much smaller fraction—about 16 percent—of the American public has similarly antagonistic feelings toward Christian fundamentalists.

Wilson is clearly writing for a secular audience that needs some orientation on who evangelicals are and what they believe. But it’s refreshing to hear a non-evangelical make the case he does.

He closes with a word of advice to Jewish Americans who value the continued existence of Israel:

Whatever the reason for Jewish distrust of evangelicals, it may be a high price to pay when Israel’s future, its very existence, is in question. . . .When it comes to helping secure Israel’s survival, the tiny Jewish minority in America should not reject the help offered by a group that is ten times larger and whose views on the central propositions of a democratic society are much like everybody else’s.

I’m not hopeful that many are going to heed that counsel.