The pro-Israel evangelical Christian community in the United States has been voicing criticism of the delay to Israel’s plan to announce sovereignty in the Jordan Valley, and parts of Judea and Samaria. Evangelical leader Mike Evans is pressing the U.S. administration to recognize Israeli sovereignty there.

Speaking to Israel Hayom, Evans said that if the administration in Washington fails to recognize Israel’s sovereignty bid, the evangelical community will not be able to support U.S. President Donald Trump in November.

Evans is currently in Washington. On Tuesday, he met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to award him a medal for his support for Israel. Evans praised the administration and its leaders for their support for Israel, calling them a “dream team.”

According to Evans, Pompeo has changed the State Department’s position on Israel for the better, and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is Israel’s “biggest supporter” in Washington, aside from Trump himself. Evans noted that the president is the greatest supporter the evangelical community has ever had.

He said the evangelical community “gave” Trump the presidency for two reasons: his anti-abortion stance and his support for Israel. Evans noted that evangelical Christians in the United States believe that Israel belongs to the Jewish people, as stated in the Bible.

However, he warned, if Trump does not recognize a decision by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to declare sovereignty, then he will lose the evangelical vote. All the “amazing” things he has done for Israel have shown what path he wants to take, said Evans, which is why the evangelical leader is “certain” that he will not break his promise to support Israel.

“[Trump] can’t win without the evangelical vote,” stressed Evans.

He also pointed out that various advisers to the president are not helping him by suggesting that he renege on his promise to recognize Israel’s sovereignty plan.

Evans boasts 73 million pro-Israel followers on Facebook who “want to support the president and want him to support Israel,” so if any of Trump’s advisers try to prevent that from happening, he and his followers will do everything they can to see him “fired.”

In fact, Evans thinks that ultimately, the sovereignty plan will be approved by the United States.

Everything will be fine, he assured, as it was after the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu has been shifting gears in discussions about the declaration of sovereignty. A message issued by his office on Wednesday said that he was continuing to engage in talks with the Americans, and that he met that day with the head of the National Security Council and leaders of Israel’s defense establishment.

“More meetings are expected over the next few days,” said his office.

Also on Wednesday, the head of the Intelligence Division of Israel’s National Security Council Ran Peled told the Knesset’s State Control Committee that the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet would discuss the issue of sovereignty at its upcoming meeting.

In a related development, Nabil Shaath, an adviser to Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, told a Russian news outlet that the P.A. would be willing to resume negotiations with Israel if it gave up on declaring sovereignty. Another precondition for talks, he said, was that they be based on U.N. resolutions and mediated by the international Quartet, rather than by the U.S. alone.

Senior P.A. officials met with left-wing Israeli activists in Jericho on Wednesday to protest the planned declaration of sovereignty. Jibril Rajoub of the Fatah movement said, “The entire world, as well as those in Israel who desire peace, are standing up to Bibi [Netanyahu], U.S. Ambassador [to Israel David] Friedman and his bullies to stop the annexation plan.”

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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