Five thousand evangelical Christian supporters of Israel from throughout the U.S. and Canada filled the halls of the Washington, D.C. Convention Center July 18-20 for the sixth annual Washington Summit of Christians United for Israel.
Their purpose in coming was to proclaim their love for the Land of Israel and their belief that it is the eternal homeland of the Jewish people.
Rabbi Pesach Lerner, executive vice president of the National Council of Young Israel, had gathered about one hundred Jews to be the “Kosher Klub” in the midst of a sea of Christians. Cheryl Lewin, AFSI’s chairperson in Chicago; Ann Stacy, AFSI Chizuk participant from Dallas; and I, representing AFSI’s national office in NY, were on hand for what was a truly memorable experience.
A delegation from Israel – including David Wilder from Hebron; David HaIvri, Oshri David, and Ron Jager from the Shomron Regional Council; and Jeremy Gimpel and Ari Abramowitz from “Tuesday Night Live in Jerusalem” – was also present.
It was our great joy to interact with the CUFI attendees who extended such a warm welcome, showering us with a great outpouring of love.
The extraordinary roster of speakers for the event included Ambassador John Bolton; Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy; Pastor John Hagee, founder and national chairman of Christians United for Israel; and Glenn Beck, radio and TV personality, all of whom declared their solidarity with Israel.
Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman and talk show host/columnist Dennis Prager opened the plenary to roars of appreciation.
Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, warned about the work of ICESCO, an Islamic organization determined to assert Islamic ownership of Jewish holy sites.
Gary Bauer, president of American Values, talked about the July 19 poll taken by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, according to which 92 percent of Palestinian Arabs surveyed insist on having all of Jerusalem as the capital of a PA state.
CUFI Executive Director David Brog prepared the delegates for their visits to Congress on July 20 where the talking points included opposition to a UN declaration of PA statehood, support for security aid to Israel, and support for sanctions against Iran.
The Israeli speakers received huge ovations. The Middle East Briefing featured political and military analyst Elliot Chodoff, who declared, “We are at war, but the enemy is yet to be named.” He detailed the lists of bombings to which Israel has been subjected and warned about the dangers from Iran, which openly declares its desire to destroy Israel.
Col. (res.) Ben Tzion Gruber gave a detailed report on the extraordinary measures to which Israel goes to prevent collateral damage to civilians during warfare.
Ambassador Oren delivered official greetings from Israel at Tuesday’s Night to Honor Israel.
An amazing Holocaust exhibit, prepared by the World of Faith Fellowship led by Pastors Jane and Sam Whaley of Spindale, North Carolina, filled the exhibition hall at the Convention Center. Three hundred members of the fellowship were in attendance at the conference in order to deliver the work of the students who had executed the touching works that made up the exhibit.
When Glenn Beck was escorted through the exhibit, he cried while viewing painful scenes from the Holocaust.
When Beck spoke at the Night to Honor Israel, he said the Auschwitz railway tracks should have been blown up. Declaring “enough is enough,” he asserted that the Jews are home and that Israel has every right to exist as a Jewish state. He concluded with the ringing statement, “We are not the Christians of the Crusades. We are Christians for Israel.” The crowd erupted in wild applause.
Our day on the Hill on Wednesday was filled, for me, with efforts to extend invitations to the many senators and representatives we met to visit the areas of the Shomron as well as Hebron on their visits to Israel.
Our Israeli contingent stressed this point because we believe that once people see the truth for themselves, the myth of the two-state solution and the travesty of even considering the division of Jerusalem will be obvious.
The feeling of ebullience and good fellowship that permeated the CUFI Washington Summit will remain with me for quite a while. It was heartwarming to find so many people who understand and appreciate the importance of Israel. May this knowledge spread to both our leaders and doubters so that they will join us in declaring Am Yisrael Chai – the Nation of Israel Lives.