web analytics
September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Israeli soldiers and security personnel protect Jews in Silwan Valley.
Jews Enter Six More Buildings in Silwan Secretly Bought from Arabs
Latest Indepth Stories
FE_PR_100112_22Learning_CableTV425x282

Can teenagers seriously be expected to behave properly when they are surrounded by so much suggestive material? Is it fair to expose them (and ourselves) to so much temptation and then tell them, “Just say no”?

Narendra Modi

Washington remains ignorant of the need to dismantle alliances with various Muslim countries.

ISIS terrorist

Defeating IS requires bombing its strongholds and recognizing the violent nature of Islam.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas speaking in Ramallah, July 1, 2014.

Abbas again used the UN to attack Israel, distort history, and undermine prospects for peace.

Israel and the Palestinian Authority cannot even agree to move their clocks back on the same day.

Shemita is about relating to each other by temporarily eliminating gaps of wealth power & status

David transcended adversity to become a leader; Who are we to make excuses for a lack of greatness?

sympathy: Feeling sorrow or pity for another’s tribulations; Empathy:sharing an emotional experience

Last week the president announced a four-point plan. Unfortunately, there’s little buy-in from our European and Middle Eastern allies. Here’s my own four-point plan that may be more palatable to our allies.

Rosh Hashanah has an obvious connection to God’s Kingship. We constantly refer to Him during the Asseres Yemei Teshuvah as Melech/King. The nusach of the tefillah, referring to Rosh Hashanah as “a remembrance of the first day” (of Creation), implies a certain dimension of divine kingship operating at the time of Creation and replicated every […]

Yes, God judges, but His judgment is that of a loving father who longs for his child’s quick return.

Anti-Semitism has returned to the mainstream of European society and Israel has become its focus.

Home is Milwaukee where their congregation, Beth Jehudah, and community always await their return.

A murderous uprising is taking place in Israel; On the roads, In the mixed Jewish-Arab cities.

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

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: