Christian Zionism has been a core belief of millions of Americans since the late nineteenth century. Its political influence, however, dates from the late 1970s, when the television evangelist the Rev. Jerry Falwell founded the conservative Christian campaigning organisation, the Moral Majority.1 While its main purpose was domestic – to combat liberalism and permissiveness within America itself – the Moral Majority was also passionately Zionist, supporting the Israeli right wing’s claim to a Greater Israel within its biblical boundaries. The roots of this conviction, central to the Moral Majority and to its successor organisations, lie in a particular interpretation of the Bible. In the Old Testament there are references to the Chosen People being returned to the Holy Land and the coming of the Messiah, but in the New Testament it is the Book of Revelation that forms the basis of Christian Zionist belief. This contains the prophecy that the Millennium and the Second Coming will happen when the Jews are not merely restored to the Holy Land but converted to Christianity and accept Christ as their Messiah. In other words, the Jews, not known for their enthusiasm for conversion, have literally to see the light, to accept a Second Coming to make up for their rejection of the first one.
From 1977, an alliance between the American religious right and the Israeli nationalist right began to form and it has endured to the present day.2 On xiv