The Most Influential (and Self-Promotional) Christian Zionist You've Never Heard Of
OAKLAND, California, Feb 22 (IPS) -- During a recent appearance on the Fox News Channel's "Fox and Friends" program, Mike Evans accused former President Jimmy Carter of everything from helping overthrow the Shah of Iran to causing the Russians to invade Afghanistan and provoking the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat.
He also had words of warning for President Barack Obama: listen to Carter at your own peril. "Jimmy Carter has an ideological belief system that Obama has to understand because if he plays that game we are going to have hell to pay for it," Evans said.
The long hard slog that former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld often talked about in reference to the war in Iraq has been fully embraced by Evans. However, he is primarily consumed with Israel, the Palestinians and Iran.
The media-savvy, well-connected and well-traveled conservative evangelical Christian Zionist -- with several bestselling books to his name and a bent for the hyperbolic -- has for years opposed Bush's road map to peace in the Middle East, a two-state solution, and a divided Jerusalem. He has also been warning the world about the danger that Iran poses and the necessity of a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities by either the U.S. or Israel.
These days, as the world awaits the formation of a new Israeli government -- likely to be headed by Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party and possibly in partnership with Kadima's Tzipi Livni -- Evans has honed in on another of his favorite targets: former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
Evans has written a new book titled "Jimmy Carter: The Liberal Left and World Chaos" -- the only book thus far published by his TimeWorthy Books -- which is a sharp rebuke of President Carter's efforts at working for a peaceful solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict.
Evans maintains that his new book "helps you connect the dots and understand how we have come to this crisis," the promotional materials at the book's Web site states. "More importantly, the book tells you how it can be resolved. It contains information that has never been revealed by diplomatic sources worldwide. It divulges the agenda of Jimmy Carter and the Liberal Left to sell America and the Bible Land to the highest bidder."
In a recent article, Evans, the founder of an organization called The Jerusalem Prayer Team (JPT) and the Corrie Ten Boom Foundation, stated that Carter's "solution is straightforward; Israel should embrace the Quartet" -- a plan for dealing with the Middle East crisis crafted after Hamas' parliamentary victory three years ago by the U.N., the U.S., the European Union, and Russia.
"The plan," writes Evans, "is backed by a group simply known as The Elders, an idea formulated by British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson and musician Peter Gabriel to create a world council of elders to tackle issues such as peace in the Middle East."
Carter is a member of The Elders' Middle East team. "How," Evans wants to know, can Carter and friends "ask the Jewish people to embrace a group known as The Elders?" in light of the virulently anti-Semitic book, "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion."
Carter's new book, "We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land: A Plan That Will Work," was released on Jan. 20, the same day as Evans' book.
Although Mike Evans has never had the name recognition of Pastor John Hagee, the founder of Christians United for Israel, the Rev. Pat Robertson or the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, he has been a steady presence in the Christian Zionist fold. Over the past few years, his successful self-promotional efforts have yielded several bestselling books and numerous appearances on radio and television talk shows.
In a profile of Evans, Right Web -- a project of Political Research Associates -- pointed out that in a 2007 article for his own online publication, Jerusalem World News, Evans criticized efforts aimed at a two-state solution: "The acceptance of this vile plan would turn Israel into a living hell. The Jewish people would be forced to live next door to a state controlled by Islamic fanatics such as Hamas."
"I am reminded over and over of the scripture in Psalm 83:2-5: For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; and those who hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered ones. They have said, 'Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.' For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against You."
Over the past several years, Evans has been a major advocate of military action against Iran.
Before last November's U.S. presidential election, in an early September e-mail to his supporters, Evans claimed that he had received information from a number of Iraqi and Israeli leaders that Iran was "planning a major surge in the next 30 days to kill as many American troops as possible. They believe in doing so they can undermine the success of the U.S. surge and John McCain's hopes of becoming President."
Evans, the head of a group called the Jerusalem Prayer Team, the publisher of the online Jerusalem World News, and the author of a number of books including The New York Times bestseller "The Final Move Beyond Iraq," maintained that "Muqtada Al-Sadr's, Iran's Shi'ite subcontractor in Iraq and head of the sixty-five thousand member Mahdi army (terrorists), are going to attempt to make Iraq a living hell in the next 30 days by killing as many people as possible."
How to deal with Evans' startling revelation: He suggested that the best thing his supporters could do would be to head over to "Amazon.com right now and purchase as many copies of 'The Final Move Beyond Iraq' as possible."
Why rush to Amazon.com? "Because this is the only book that reveals Iran's plans in Iraq. More importantly if you can drive the book to Amazon's Top Ten bestseller list, the network shows will be calling and inviting me to speak to tens of millions of people. I need to wake up the American people and government so they can pray and prepare for this attack that is coming. You can save American lives by helping me get on the major networks."
Despite the bluster, and Evans' certainty, there was no discernable Iranian surge. How many books were sold is unclear.
These days, Evans's "Book Wars" is continuing: In a series of e-mails, Evans has encouraged his supporters to let their fingers do the walking on over to Amazon.com, where they can both buy his new book and provide it with a five-star review. "If my book hits #1 on Amazon, the networks will call," Evans was once again telling supporters.
As of Feb. 19, the book seems to have received a bump in sales from Evans's recent appearances on the Fox News Channel's "Fox and Friends" and "Fox News Strategy" programs, as it moved up to #145 at Amazon.com.
Of the 75 recorded reviews, 71 gave Evans' book a 5-star rating. (On the same day, Carter's book ranked #1,377 and had received 54 reviews, of which 31 gave it a 1-star rating.)