web analytics
May 30, 2015 / 12 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Recognizing Our Friends


In 1981, when Israel bombed the Iraqi nuclear reactor and was condemned for it by nearly the entire world, Pastor John Hagee decided he had to stand up for Israel. And he did. “A Night to Honor Israel” was born with the purpose of giving the Christian community an opportunity to demonstrate its love and support of Israel and the Jewish people.

“A Night to Honor Israel” became an annual event in San Antonio, Texas, where Pastor Hagee heads his church and ministry. In February 2006, Rev. Hagee, feeling the time had come to do more, called on Christian leaders across the county. More than 400, representing millions of Christians, responded and joined him in launching Christians United for Israel (CUFI), a national grassroots movement in support of Israel.

Since then, numerous “A Night to Honor Israel” events have been held in cities across the country, attracting large and enthusiastic crowds. The events have raised a substantial amount of money for Israel and Jewish causes – the Israel Emergency Relief Fund, Migdal Ohr, and Nefesh B’Nefesh, to name a few.

Recently, “A Night to Honor Israel” came here to Madison, Wisconsin. The program gripped the audience with speeches by pastors embracing Israel and the Jewish people and expressing the need for Christians to stand by them. In the words of Rev. Joel Kitsemble, Wisconsin director of Christians United for Israel, “We must let the world know that the Jews have a right to exist and that we stand with them. There are millions of Christians who support and stand with them. We want them to know that they are not alone.”

I asked Pastor Kitsemble to elaborate on why he and his colleagues feel the need to be so outspoken about their commitment to Israel.

“God,” he said, “has a love for the Jewish people and a plan for the Jewish people – they were to be a people who eat differently, speak differently, and do things differently that would show the world the one true God. And it is through their faith and the way they conduct themselves that they are to be a shining light unto the nations. History itself is testament. If any other nation had gone through what the Jewish people went through, they would not be in existence today. It shows the hand of God upon a people. As it says in Genesis 12:3: ‘I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you.’”

He also emphasized that CUFI has no conversionary objectives. “Our motive is a pure and a righteous one. Over time the Jewish people will see our true heart is behind it.”

David Brog, CUFI’s Jewish executive director, stressed that the group is not out to proselytize Jews. “These Christians work with us in supporting Israel and combating anti-Semitism,” he told me.

“You know who has the quid pro quo? The Jews. Being that the majority of Jews in this country are liberal, they say ‘unless they (CUFI) agree with our liberal social agenda, we’re not going to let them support Israel,’ and that is the wrong approach. What characterizes a coalition is not that the members agree on every issue, but that they agree on one issue  – the issue on which they have come together in coalition. As Jews, we need to be a little more fair and a little more pragmatic in joining coalitions on the issue on which we agree.”

Rabbi Daniel Lapin, president of Toward Tradition, an organization that works with Bible-believing Christians on social and cultural issues, concurred with Brog. “I’m a big believer in the free market of ideas and I can only tell you what the late Pastor Jerry Falwell once told me, which is that he was not aware of any Torah-learned and observant Jew converting to Christianity. And, I agree with him. I have not either.

“So, frankly, speaking as a Jewish leader myself, I think it behooves us to be honest – intellectually honest – and step outside of denial and face the truth: If Jews abandon Judaism, it is not because of Christian energies, it is due to a failure on the part of the Jewish community in terms of Jewish education.”

In mid-July CUFI will go to Washington with more than 4,000 advocates to speak with members of Congress about the imperative of supporting Israel. Their presence will confirm what the CUFI website fairly shouts:

When the Jews of Europe were marched to the gas chambers in Hitler’s Holocaust … the Christians of the world were strangely quiet. Never again! Not on our watch! The sleeping giant in America has awakened!

WE ARE UNITED FOR ISRAEL! WE ARE SPEAKING OUT FOR ISRAEL!

Brog explained: “AIPAC has never succeeded in really going beyond the Jewish community. It’s crucial that the millions of Christians – we’re talking of at least 50 million evangelicals – speak out … so that it will be understood that Israel is an American issue, a Christian issue, as well as a Jewish issue.”

“We are here to introduce a new era in America,” said Rev. Hagee. “An era of unity, mutual respect, and lasting peace – an era when Christian and Jew stand together hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder, and announce to a hostile world that we are united in brotherhood. Love is something you do, not just something you say.”

Rabbi Lapin put it in bottom-line terms: “I would urge all American Jews to look deep into their hearts and recognize friends where they appear.”

About the Author:


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.

No Responses to “Recognizing Our Friends”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.
Ted Cruz Calls for Financial Boycott of Universities Backing BDS Israel
Latest Indepth Stories
Keeping-Jerusalem

For a peace treaty with the PA, half the Israeli public would agree to divide the Jerusalem

As for the president’s new, softer tone vis-à-vis Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel, this is most likely being driven by the results of the recent Israeli election.

What especially appeals to us is his grand – some critics would say extravagant –view of what the borders of Israel should look like.

There was something else of great importance in play – something we would have liked to see him take into account before deciding to stand with the boycotters.

The establishment of Hebrew University was a cause much beloved to Einstein who in 1923, during what would be his only trip to Eretz Yisrael, delivered the university’s inaugural lecture on Har Hatzofim (Mt. Scopus) and, discussing the theory of relativity, spoke the first few sentences of his address in Hebrew.

The Golden Square wanted Germany to destroy the British and Jewish presence in their country. The Third Reich craved what was beneath the ground – oil.

Ida Nudel’s account of how the Soviets persecuted and punished her was far worse than imagined.

Swim4Sadna is an annual event benefiting Sadna, an integrative special-ed community in Gush Etzion

Prof. Wistrich, was THE foremost historian of anti-Semitism; committed spokesman & advocate of Jewry

Jewish Voices for Peace’s 2015 Haggadah is a blatant anti-Israel screed crying, “L’chayim to BDS!”

On his shloshim, I want to discuss a term I’ve heard countless times about Rav Aharon: Gedol HaDor

After obsequious claims of devotion to Israel, Obama took to criticizing Israel on peace process

Mr. Obama, Israeli voters have democratically chosen to apply Israeli sovereignty over Judea&Samaria

Netanyahu so disdains Shaked’s appointment he completely ignored her after the swearing-in ceremony

More Articles from Marcia Friedman
Sheldon-Adelson-123011

In September 2011, Forbes magazine ranked Sheldon Adelson the 8th richest man in America and 16th in the world.

In 1981, when Israel bombed the Iraqi nuclear reactor and was condemned for it by nearly the entire world, Pastor John Hagee decided he had to stand up for Israel. And he did. “A Night to Honor Israel” was born with the purpose of giving the Christian community an opportunity to demonstrate its love and support of Israel and the Jewish people.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/recognizing-our-friends/2007/06/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: