web analytics
January 17, 2017 / 19 Tevet, 5777
Sponsored Post
Classifieds Section Check out the Jewish Press Classifieds

You can buy, sell and find what you need in the Jewish Press Classifieds section.

Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Open Letter: Dear Pastor Hagee and Christian Zionists

Printer-Ready Page Layout

[Pastor John Hagee is the head of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) – an American pro-Israel Christian organization that defines itself as “a national grassroots movement focused on the support of Israel.” It is the largest Christian pro-Israel organization in the United States.]

Dear Pastor Hagee and Christians Zionists,

Thank you for the work that you are doing. Christians supporting Israel is a beautiful phenomenon and it is beginning to heal the many wounds that Jews suffered at the hands of persecutors in the name of the Church for almost two-millennia. It is amazing to see Christians singing Israeli songs in beautiful harmony, waving the flag of Israel along with the flag of the USA, and even donating their hard-earned money to many causes of Israel. It is a sight that past generations could not have imagined, and it is a blessing for Israel and a blessing for Christians as well.

To be sure, there is still lingering suspicion between our two worlds. Among the Jews, there are many who doubt the sincerity of Christians with regard to Israel. Jewish skepticism is understandable since the dark past is still fresh while some Christian circles continue to practice underhanded missionizing tactics against Jews and maintain a goal of infiltrating Israel. These keep many Jews from believing that there are Christians who truly love Israel without ulterior motives.

For its side, the Christian world is certainly not homogeneous. While Israel-lovers make their voices heard, Israel-haters, like those who recently organized the “Christ at the Checkpoint Conference” in Bethlehem seek to undermine Israel’s sovereignty. These Christians do not see the ingathering of the Jews to the land of Israel as a fulfillment of prophecy but rather an obstacle to their theological supremacy. For them, replacement theology is alive and well, with Christianity attempting to best Judaism and Palestine aiming to replace Israel.

This is why true Christian Zionism is so important: it gives a platform for Bible-believing pro-Israel Christians to show their real love for Israel, to heal the painful past, and to offset the forces that want to use Christianity to bring Israel down.

However, if Christian Zionism to is win the ideological war against replacement theology, and earn Jewish trust, Christian Zionism needs to take a stand on real issues. Standing with Israel means backing Israel when we face our enemies. Today, those enemies use, more and more, the tool of delegitimization to remove the underpinnings of the Jewish State. Shockingly, some of the US Government’s own policies lend a hand to the delegitimization campaign, and it is in this arena where Israel-loving American citizens in general, and American Christian Zionists in particular, can make a difference.

Here is one example among many:

When I speak with American Christian groups I ask: “Do you know that the US is the number-one delegitimizer of Jewish sovereignty in Jerusalem?”

People are invariably shocked when I explain that the US refuses to place its embassy in Jerusalem because it does not recognize Jerusalem as part of Israel, let alone the capital of Israel. The State Department does not even add the word “Israel” to the word “Jerusalem” in any official document including birth certificates, passports, and death certificates, so that children born in Jerusalem (like my daughter) have no “country of birth” listed in their American papers.

As Ambassador Yoram Ettinger has written: “Israel is the only country in the world, whose (3,000 year old) capital is not recognized by the State Department and by the Presidents of the US. However 71% [of the American people] support (and 9% oppose) Jerusalem as Israel’s indivisible capital.”

I also remind American Christians that it is not only about paper work. US government representatives make a point to tell Israel not to build in Jerusalem. This was the case in August 2010 when Vice President Biden slammed Israel for planning to build additional housing in a well established residential neighborhood in the capital.

This State Department position sends a signal to the world that if America, Israel’s friend, rejects the legitimacy of Jewish Jerusalem, certainly the Irans of this world have a right to challenge it as well.

But the American people did not accept this toxic status quo. They fought and passed a new law in Congress entitled the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 which calls for the embassy to be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999. The law also said that “Jerusalem should remain an undivided city…[and that] Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel.”

But this act has a proviso which allows the president to waive the law every 6 months. And, sadly, Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, have not missed an opportunity to deny the American people the fulfillment of the law which reflects their will and has been passed by their representatives. In fact, President Obama just signed the waiver again, and regarding Mitt Romney, JTA writes: “the Republican presidential candidate, has privately told Jewish leaders he would not commit to moving the embassy as president.” So the US embassy is still in Tel Aviv, and my daughter’s US passport is still countryless.

At this point of the talk, members of the American Christian group I am addressing are really mad and they want to know only one thing: “How do we engage? Our own government delegitimizes Jewish rights to Jerusalem and thereby delegitimizes the State of Israel! How do we combat our government which is taking our money to curtail policies we voted for, and fulfill policies that we abhor?”

And that is the beauty of American civil society – being suspicious of power in the hands of government and keeping that power in check is hardwired into the American system, and into the American psyche. As the long history of American politics and jurisprudence shows: US government policy can actually be changed by the people. They just need to be empowered.

With that in mind, I turn to you, Pastor Hagee.

At the top of your website one finds a quote from Isaiah: “For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet.” This begs the question: where is CUFI and the Christian Zionist community on the Jerusalem issue? Where is the American people’s voice, and especially the Christian voice, saying “Hey, US Government, fulfill your mandate, end the waiver charade, and follow the law. The American people want the US to recognize Jerusalem as the unified capital of Israel now!”

Pastor Hagee, I once heard you say at a fundraiser in Jerusalem: “Don’t tell me you love me, show me you love me.” Now I say that very phrase back to you – Don’t tell me you love me, show me you love me by harnessing the power of CUFI and Christian Zionists to defend Jerusalem from bad US policy. American Christian Zionists are in a unique position to be part of the struggle against Israel’s delegitimization and they are waiting for you to empower them and If CUFI gets behind the issue, you can be sure the White House will listen.

A success in this arena will be a historical achievement for CUFI and for American Christian Zionism, and it will go a long way to building bridges and healing age-old wounds. In short, this is your fight.

With Sincere Respect,

[Editors note: The movement for US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is beginning to take root in the Christian world. On June 6, 2012, the International Israel Allies Caucus Foundation together with members of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus held the second annual Jerusalem Day Prayer Breakfast hosted Jewish and Christian leaders, addressing the importance of Jerusalem as the eternal, undivided capital of the Jewish people.

Members of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus and co-chairs Rep. Trent Franks (AZ-02) and Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO-05) spoke together with Rep. Michelle Bachman, Rep. Louie Gohmert, Rep. Allen West, Rep. Joe Walsh, Rep. Randy Hultgren, and Rep. John Flemming along with his wife Cindy Flemming. They declared support for a united Jerusalem and the legislation that is currently in the House and Senate to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Erick Stakelbeck of CBN reported on event.]

Yishai Fleisher

About the Author: Yishai Fleisher is a Contributing Editor at JewishPress.com, Chief Editor at JNi.media, talk-show host, and International Spokesman for the Jewish community of Hebron, an Israeli Paratrooper, a graduate of Cardozo Law School, and the founder of Kumah ("Arise" in Hebrew), an NGO dedicated to promoting Zionism and strengthening Israel's national character. Yishai is married to Malkah, and they live on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem with their children.

If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

Loading Facebook Comments ...

Imported and Older Comments:

  1. Gidon Ariel says:

    Yishai, whatever you write is great, and especially my favorite topic:-)

    but I don't understand – you say the Christian Zionists do not act, just sing songs, then give "one" example.

    It would seem to me that they do a LOT, but whoever sets the agenda either doesn't know this issue or has decided not to push it.

    I would spin it that way – you guys are God's soldiers, you are doing The Right Thing in so many issues, but here is one that should be closest to your heart but somehow got overlooked.

    Finish off with Memo to CUFI members: Remind your leaders – if I forget Jerusalem, may my right hand lose its cunning. Lobby for enforcement of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 and recognition of Jerusalem as the Eternal Capital of Israel.


  2. Valerie Corbett says:

    I totally and absolutely agree with Yishai…

  3. Eve Folley says:

    I think this applies to ALL Christians around the world. We as Bible Believing Followers of Jesus Christ, The Jewish Messiah, should support Israel in every way possible. I put my money where my mouth is, I am a partner with Godtv that broadcast from Jerusalem all over the world. Our Faith is of no consequence if we don’t follow Jesus instructions with regard to the Holy Land n the Jewish People too. He will bless those who bless the Hebrew people n will curse those that curse His people. Shalom to all my brothers n sisters in Israel. Love u all
    Eve – South Africa

  4. Hey folks – can we get serious about this US Embassy in Israel moving to Jerusalem? Let's work on it together – that is what I take away from Yishai's article. NOW we need a grassroots movement from all who love Israel. To Gidon Ariel (comment on the article), this is not just another issue, with all due respect, it will have a GIANT impact. When the US embassy is moved it will greatly increase clarity around the world that Israel is a Jewish state and its capital is in the ancient and eternal city of the Jewish people. Thank G-d now we see only prayers in a city which over history has been steeped in Jewish blood and tears. There are now prayers freely said by people from all religions with their rights to visit and pray protected by the Jewish government. A strong step toward avoiding any more blood and tears is to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. It will give strong support to Israel's effort to build a unified city that welcomes the world and focus on meeting the needs of all of its citizens.

  5. Judy Burkhalter Reynolds says:

    I agree with you Yishai, I stand with Israel! I only wish there was something I could do to change these ridiculous actions commited by these presidents.

  6. I'm in. However, we need a plan. I hear lots of people saying we need to do something, but nobody (including me) has figured out how. I think calling in CUFI is a great idea, if they will join in. You can't change the State Dept. or the establishment view with just letters and rallies. If the delay clause was out of that bill, that would help. We have more influence on congress than on presidents, the State Dept. and the "establishment".

  7. One thing we can do is use our vote to influence politicians.

  8. Bruce Wilson says:

    "The Federal Reserve has never been audited, and yet it controls the value of money in this country…While most of the stockholders are members of the so-called Eastern Establishment, allegedly the four largest stockholders are not even Americans but members of the Rothschild family of Europe." – John Hagee, from Day of Deception (1996, Thomas Nelson), page 51.

  9. Esther Rowe says:

    Genuine Christians ( those who are believers in Jesus Christ and His Gospel) love Israel. However, the word 'Christianity' is used of many who are not truly believers of the pure doctrine of the Gospel. Jesus said that they will be separated at a time of His choosing. Until then, I don't know how we can accomplish that impossible feat. We Christians are horrified at the turn our government has taken away from support of Israel. I do not believe that ANY genuine Christian would vote for an administration knowingly, who violates Israel's rights. The present administration is engaging in anti-Israeli policies that we do not support. To a great degree, our government officials no longer serve the people who vote them in office. Our very Constitution is in danger. Liberal judges no longer uphold it, they write their own law as suits them. We feel helpless because we did not vote for their liberal policies, nor do we agree with them. Please know that we who are Christians indeed DO love Israel.

  10. Esther Rowe says:

    Definitely! As much as depends on me!

  11. pninahmason says:

    Sorry but Hagee has an agenda and motive. Here are his thoughts on Jerusalem. http://jewishisrael.ning.com/profiles/blogs/hagee-preaches-the-gospel-from-the-aish-hatorah-rooftop

    His belief is that Jerusalem will belong to xtianity and every knee will bow.

  12. pninahmason says:

    Here is Hagee’s true thoughts on Jerusalem. http://jewishisrael.ning.com/video/pastor-john-hagee-at-the-wailing-wall-on-aish-hatorah-s-rooftop?xg_source=msg_mes_network

    I can assure him that the knees of Jews will not bow

  13. I have added a petition to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It is set to petition the President, Senate, and Congress. Here is the link to the petition. Lets see if we can get them to change their minds if enough of us speak. If anybody has any suggestions on things to change or add to the petition please feel free to contact me through here or facebook.


  14. Rabbi Leon Pettyjohn.

  15. Maria Diaz says:

    I guess the U.S. is not as benevolent as they seem to publish. They also have their own agenda and it is one of convenience not for anybody or us but the powers that be. I am so sorry that the current administration is even bolder in denying and not helping Israel. I pray for the peace of Israel while Obama here prays for radicals to take over. It is very disheartening to see how he lies, first he is a Christian, then knows nothing of it, then sides with ilegals trying to take away what rightly is owned by Israel. This goverment interferes where there is oil to make profits. No oil no interest. Mexico has had a horrible all out war with the worst criminals lose and I'v yet to see the American goverment help there. Over 46000 deaths in Mexico thanx to drugs, arms and the US? why don't they invade Mexico? or at least stop selling arms over the borders? or help the goverment in Mexico get a hold of the heaviest death toll war by the drug cartels? doesn't that affect the US? I guess not.

  16. Brian Mahoney says:

    Yishai, couldn't agree more that as Christians, we have a responsibility to take action in support of Israel wherever we can. Christians United for Israel has been at the forefront of leading Christians to an active role in supporting Israel thru the political system and within their sphere of influence.
    Another example of a Christian organization that takes a proactive role in supporting Israel and specifically around supporting Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel is the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. It was established in 1980 in Jerusalem in response to movement of the nations embassies out of Jerusalem. The ICEJ is the Christian nations embassy in Jerusalem to show solidarity and support for Israel.
    There are other Christian organizations who support Israel as well but too many to list. For those who are the true followers of Jesus of Nazarath, we want Israel to know that you are not alone and we will stand with you and fight for your God given right to the land of Israel.

  17. Maria Diaz says:

    There is something we can do for Israel, something which has no match: PRAY TO OUR LORD ALMIGHTY pray together in full godly love and ask for peace for Israel and all the blessings in protection, wisdom, and specially wisdom to Israel's leaders too. The Lord hears every prayer but He has to let time give His prophecies come out as written. He has planned all perfectly. The Lord does know what He is doing. And we all must learn that in unity and prayer the real one true God of Israel and this world does respond. God loves you people! PRAY TO GOD FOR ISRAEL AND FOR OUR WORLD AND FOR THE MILITARY paying such heavy tolls. so sad. Pray is what we can do. LET ALL THE NATIONS PRAY TO GOD ALMIGHTY.

  18. I definitely agree with you Esther. My heart yearns to do all I can to support Israel and Jerusalem, the rightful capitol of this Jewish Land. I try to in as many ways as I currently know how.

Current Top Story
IDF Soldier Brutally Attacked by Illegal Migrants
Watch: IDF Soldier Brutally Attacked by Illegal Migrants [video]

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/dear-pastor-hagee-and-christians-united-for-israel-cufi/2012/06/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: