Faith-based diplomacy

“Faith-based diplomacy” is a highly developed field of Israeli diplomacy pursued ever so effectively in mobilizing the support of Evangelical Christians for the Jewish State. This support rests on Evangelicalism’s traditional “Teaching of Esteem” toward the Jews, and Israeli leaders ever since David Ben-Gurion (just as leaders of the Zionist movement before him) have energetically tapped into that esteem within the scope of official diplomatic efforts.

One fresh instance of the significant achievements that Israeli faith-based diplomacy may boast in its co-operation with Evangelical Christian organizations in the US is the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. Among those organizations is the largest by far pro-Israeli lobby in America – namely, CUFI, “Christians United for Israel”, led by Pastor John Hagee of Texas.

Faith-based diplomacy has broader applications in today’s world. It belongs to the category of soft power, after all – and therefore is practiced in many parts of the globe, if only to mention Serbian-Russian relations. It should also be applied by Polish diplomacy to relations with the United States.

Of course, Polish-American relations are altogether solid. Nonetheless – as is most often the case even regarding close bilateral ties – our relations with America are top-heavy. They are lacking what Israel enjoys: grass-roots support. American Polonia, as sober observers well know, is in fact a largely imaginary construct.

Our journal Three Seas will be committedly devising ways for Polish diplomacy – borrowing upon the model of Israeli faith-based diplomacy – to establish contacts and forge co-operation with the Religious Right in the US, which comprises over 1/3 of American society and is a dynamic presence in public and political life. Importantly, the Religious Right is typified by close co-operation between Evangelicals and Catholics – and that makes Poland’s possibilities altogether promising.