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Israel's founding fathers, who etched a commitment to encouraging Jewish immigration into the declaration of independence, might be surprised to find that, seven decades later, the state is relying on Christians to fulfill that promise.The figures reflect the ever-tightening relationship between Israel and its evangelical Christian allies, whom Israel has come to count on for everything from political support to tourism dollars. Israel has long depended on diaspora Jewish communities, especially in the United States, for donations and to lobby their local governments on its behalf.European and American Jewish philanthropists championed immigration to Israel, known as "aliyah," or ascending, even before the creation of the state in 1948, by working to settle Jews in what was then Ottoman and British Palestine.Some in Israel are suspicious that the evangelical embrace stems from a belief that the modern Jewish state is a precursor to the apocalypse – when Jesus will return and Jews will either accept Christianity or die.
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