Christians Unite for Israel in Washington

Jim Fletcher is a member of the executive committee for the National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel—NCLCI—and a prolific blogger. He can be reached at jim1fletcher@yahoo.com


fletThousands of participants at the 8th Annual Christians United for Israel Summit waved Israeli and American flags Tuesday night, as CUFI’s “Night to Honor Israel” put a spectacular cap on a gathering that critics and friends alike call “a beast.”

Judging from the conversations, both in hallways and on the dais, where Malcolm Hoenlein—who delivered a thundering address Tuesday afternoon—rubbed elbows with evangelical leader John Hagee, the San Antonio pastor, who has mobilized more than one million people to advocate for Israel under the CUFI umbrella, seemed upbeat. In an address before the Summit participants, he reminded all of the positives:

“The Holocaust ended in statehood,” said the man who began developing close ties with Israeli and American Jewish leaders decades ago.

David Brog, a former Washington attorney (and cousin of Ehud Barak), is executive director of CUFI, and he used a breakout session to deliver a masterful response to those who say the Arab-Israeli conflict is a result of what the Left call the Occupation.

“It’s absurd on the face of it,” Brog said, delivering a clear and concise history of the region since 1948. Noting that the PLO was formed in 1964—three years before Israel took the West Bank, Golan Heights, and Sinai in a defensive war—Brog provided participants with plenty of information to answer charges they hear back home in their churches.

On Tuesday afternoon, in a ballroom session titled “Middle East Briefing,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the gathering, and noted his long friendship with Hagee:

“What an achievement! I salute you. You are an oasis of support for Israel, and we have no better friends than you, anywhere on the globe.”

In an interesting response that seemed to resonate with Christians who are becoming aware of an infiltration of the Palestinian narrative into American churches, Israeli Tourism Minister Uzi Landau said that “Arab money and the radical Left” have fueled media attacks on Israel. The comment showed a growing awareness of the problem, as CUFI Western Regional Director Randy Neal outlined similar problems to hundreds of college students Sunday afternoon. More than ever, there was sense at this CUFI Summit that the era of unchallenged attacks from the Left is over.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor related a dual story that underscored the difference in the cultures of jihadists and those who oppose them. Cantor said that he had been part of a delegation that heard a detailed briefing on the Iron Dome project, which has saved thousands of Israeli lives during rocket attacks from Gaza.

Cantor said that the designer of the Dome, distraught when a single rocket claimed the life of an Israeli, went “back to the lab” to perfect the defense shield. Cantor noted that this stood in stark contrast to a Palestinian woman from Gaza who was treated in an Israeli hospital, but upon returning for a follow-up visit, she was stopped at a checkpoint, where her bomb belt was discovered. The woman had planned to blow up the very doctors and nurses that had saved her life.

Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish organizations, relished the opportunity to inject a more aggressive response to critics of Israel, telling the participants: “The Jewish lobby is a myth; it’s our job to make it a legend!” Hoenlein also knew what type of language would resonate with the CUFI Summit participants when he said, “Don’t bet against the Jews.”

Many in attendance were brought to tears by the address delivered by Richard Kemp, commander of British forces in Afghanistan. Kemp began by revealing his own Christian faith, and invoked the name of another legend, whom he called “The greatest Christian Zionist in Britain.” He went on to say that he had, that morning, spoken to Orde Wingate. Many in the crowd smiled but were puzzled.

“I spoke to him this morning at Arlington,” Kemp said. Wingate, the British major-general who was a Christian Zionist, helped train what would become the Haganah, the forerunner of the Israel Defense Forces. Wingate was killed in a plane crash in India, in 1944, but remains a beloved figure for Israelis and their American supporters.

Kemp delivered an impassioned defense of Israel that brought many in the room to tears. He mentioned several of Israel’s major battlefield achievements, calling the 1976 Entebbe rescue, “The most breathtaking special forces operation the world has ever seen.”

Kemp also referred to the CUFI Summit as a “remarkable event,” and indeed it was. Jews and Christians alike were moved by such displays as the “Wall of Remembrance,” which profiled the 1,000 Israelis killed by jihadist terrorism since 2000.

On Wednesday, participants met with their representatives on Capitol Hill.

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  • alpha_1

    Great stuff. I truly wish I couldn’ve been there. God bless these people.

  • DebRollin

    A worthy cause, the nations that go against Israel will be toast. Many have found out the hardway in the past!

  • Chez

    How ironic that Evangelical Christian support for Israel exceeds that of American Jews. What could possibly account for such? Easy….the former are mostly conservative, the latter are largely liberal. Further evidence? The few LIBERAL Evangelic groups that exist in America are pro-Palestinian. On the opposite end, conservative Jewish groups are passionately pro-Israel.

    Bottom line? In the final analysis, world view is shaped not by creed or ethnicity, but by ideology.

    • Judahlevi

      Although secular US Jews are somewhat pro-Israel, their ideology trumps their attachment to Judaism and Israel. If you asked a typical leftwing secular US Jew to make a choice between their support of Israel or their liberal orthodoxy, their ideology will win.
      Because conservatives support freedom of religion (not from religion), individual rights (not collective rights), and individual property (not collective property) it is easy to support Israel because the country lives by our values, for the most part. Israeli Jews also support Republican nominees for the US President over Democratic ones.

      • Maliheh Banoo

        not in 2012 they didn’t

        • Judahlevi

          Oh, yes they did.

          Israeli Jews supported Romney over Obama by a 3:1 margin in 2012.

          You might be thinking about Arabs. They supported Obama by about the same margin. Try again.

  • StanleyT

    Found Glen Beck’s speech on YouTube, but not Kemp’s. Hope it’ll be there soon?

  • mohel metzitzah

    The days are numbered for ALL you ZioNazis!! You parasitic treasonous war criminals against Amurika will eventually pay a heavy price. It is the “price tag” of the world! Viva revolution…

    • iluvisrael

      didn’t take your medication today?

  • herb benty

    Israel is more than amazing and our Judeo-Christian heritage worth standing up for, Amen!

  • InvestMattA

    G-d bless these people. They are amongst America’s finest.

  • Edward smith

    The haganah were a bunch of terrorists along menachem begin who was a terrorist and a subversive jailed by the soviets. The irgun were terrorists. Anybody who supports these monsters are enemies of the united states.

    • AlexanderGofen

      Thank you for speaking your mind so that everybody see how sick it is. The United States is a Judeo-Christian nation. Supporting Israel is its spiritual obligation commanded by God. The fighters for Israel therefore are heroes both in Israel and in the US because both share the same spiritual values.

      • Edward smith

        America is a secular nation so we have no dog in this fight. Let the jews and arabs kill each other. Americans don’t win anything in this holy war.

        • AlexanderGofen

          America is a secular nation only in respect to secularity of its government. However America since its inception has always been a Judeo-Christian nation; Such is our national identity – to be maintained and preserved. In famous words of John Adams,

          Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.

          It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

          http://www.resonoelusono.com/Platform.htm

          The fight is not merely islam against Israel. The fight is islam against America as well,

          http://www.resonoelusono.com/Imminent.htm

          and millions of moslems are already here (including there military training camps). So much about “dogs in this fight”…

          • Edward smith

            America was founded by freemasons. We don’t have a dog in this fight. The arabs and jews are fighting over a piece of dirt. Let them kill each other.

          • UCSPanther

            Funny. I thought you conspirazoids HATED Freemasons…

      • Jonny Alpha

        Freak.

  • Maliheh Banoo

    70% of jews in america voted for President obama

    • Judahlevi

      That doesn’t say much about American Jews.