Editor’s Note: The following is an edited version of an address delivered by Sen. Brownback (R-KS) to the Knesset’s Christian Allies Caucus in Jerusalem on July 19.

Since my earliest memories growing up on a farm in Kansas in the heartland of America, I have read and studied and been taught about the people of Israel. I was raised and steeped in the Bible while growing up. Ancient Israel was, and is, a living reality in my home. Its spirituality, wisdom, poetry, its majesty inspired and encouraged me all my life. You have helped form my soul and I thank you for it. 

The bedrock of support for Israel in America today is comprised of Christians, like myself, who were raised on the Bible, and who see in the Jews of Israel today the inheritors of the tradition of ancient Israel. I’ve had the great joy of seeing modem Israel, the living spirit of its past. Israel’s chain of history and its will to survive with purpose and meaning is a true miracle. 

I have been to Israel several times. The last time I was in Israel, I looked out the window of my hotel and saw the flag of Israel with the Star of David and the thought entered my mind, “God does keep His promises!” That flag which had been absent in this land for nearly 2,000 years was now flying again. What an awesome God we serve.

Yet it is another cause that draws me here today – that of peace and reconciliation. We’re living in a critical time of history. The war for Western civilization – and our very way of life – is being fought not only in Baghdad and Kabul, but it is being fought in Jerusalem as well, and has been for a long time. This battle pits democracy against totalitarianism. It pits freedom against subjugation. It pits a culture that values life against a culture willing to throw it away without remorse or regret. 

While the global war on terrorism is our common cause now, peace and reconciliation are our objectives. Through time immemorial, the people of Israel have simply sought and taught of peace, of a time when swords would be beaten into plowshares, and children would be taught war no more. When the lion would lay down with the lamb and there would be no more tears. Peace and truth go together. We must speak of peace with all who embrace peace and speak the truth about those who do not. Evil must be identified for what it is and once so exposed, it becomes weak and ultimately falls. 

That is the lesson of Ronald Reagan, when he called the Soviet Union an evil empire. It was an evil empire. Reagan called it as he saw it, because it was the truth. And once exposed for what it really was, it fell. That is the lesson of the Axis of Evil. It is. And it will fall. 

God is not neutral in the affairs of man. He is on the side of justice. Terrorism is evil and must be rejected by all civilized people and every nation. Terrorism terrorizes the innocent, is practiced on the vulnerable and is a tool only of dark souls. It must be confronted and renounced by all humanity. 

I encourage all nations to embrace the longings of their own people and give them the right to select their own leaders. What a difference that would make. Leaders responding to the yearnings of their own people rather than the blind lust of power. While democracy is not perfect, it certainly is preferable to any other form of government known to man.

Now let me speak directly to the people of Israel. I love you, and the people of America love you. We love the values you have given us that cost you so much to protect for thousands of years. We love your spirit of determination and calling. We love your heart’s desire for peace.

Another fact that is true and bears telling is that Israel has the right of self-determination and self-defense. It has the right to build a security fence to protect its own people from terrorists. This is a country that was justly founded and that, since its conception, has been continually attacked from within and without. No other nation and no other people have shared the history that you have lived through. You have survived despite countless threats and designs against you. 

We stand with you and all peace-loving people, now and forever. We revere Jerusalem – your capital, your only capital throughout history, and what will remain your capital. It is time, past time, for America to move our embassy to Jerusalem, and to recognize by this act that Jerusalem, undivided, is the capital of Israel.

We ask you to never walk away from the lessons your ancestors carried with so much courage against such overwhelming odds. Lessons they have passed down through the generations for all of us in the world today. Lessons of God’s favor and where his wrath lies, of what is good and just, and what is evil and destructive. If your nation, in the culture wars of today, embraces relativism, redefines right and wrong, good and evil, many will be led astray.

As a member of the United States Senate, my message to you today is to be encouraged. We are with you. We are with you as your allies in this war against terrorism. We are with you in the United Nations. We are with you as your friends as a wave of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric is once again on the rise.

I thank you for bringing the message of God to a world that did not know Him. And for continuing to carry that message in the face of thousands of years of persecution, suffering and death.

As a Christian, I thank you for my faith that is rooted in yours. And as a Christian, I deeply, deeply apologize for the pain and bloodshed and deafness to suffering that we have hoisted upon you and your ancestors. May this never, ever happen again.

Our past and our present and our futures are intertwined together. So, in my parting, I pray for Israel. That in this season of ingathering you will be a blessing to all nations. That you will be a Holy Nation. A nation of the righteous leading the world in righteousness. It is your duty and destiny. And when you do your duty, the rest of us will be blessed and able to do ours. Thank you and God bless you.