So I’m often asked this question — why do Christians support Israel? We support Israel because the Bible is a Zionist text, and we believe the Bible. There are only two ways to live — the Torah way, and the wrong way. And we choose the Torah way.
Genesis 12:3 says, “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.” You don’t need to be a rocket scientist in theology to figure that out. Good happens to those who bless Israel; bad things happen to people who attack the Jewish people. History proves that. Where are the nations that have persecuted the Jewish people? Where is Pharaoh and his army? Where are the Babylonians? Where are the Greeks? Where’s the Roman Empire? Where are the Romans? Where is that goose-stepping lunatic Adolph Hitler and his Nazi hordes? All are historic footnotes in the bone yard of human history.
Where is Israel? Where are the Jewish people? They are alive and well, they are thriving, they’re prospering, they’re growing. Even in adversity, they are advancing better than any nation in the world. Where is Israel? Where are those who were scattered throughout the Diaspora? The mighty right hand of God has gathered them from the nations of the world, and Israel was reborn May 1948.
Therefore, we can say Israel lives. We can shout it from the housetop that Israel lives. We can say it until every Islamic terrorist group hears it — Israel lives. Let every tinhorn dictator in the Middle East hear it — Israel lives. Let it be heard from the halls of the UN. Let it echo down the marble halls of the presidential palace in Iran — Israel lives. Let it ring in the terrorist camps of Osama bin Laden — Israel lives, Israel lives, Israel lives.
So why do we support Israel? Not only because of biblical fact, but because Christians owe a debt of gratitude to the Jewish people. Everything that we have, you gave us — the Torah of God, the patriarchs — Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — the prophets — Ezekiel, Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zachariah, Amos, Josiah, Joel — not a Baptist in the bunch — all of them Jewish.
The first family of Christianity, Mary, Joseph and Jesus; the apostles. That’s why a rabbi by the name of Jesus Christ said, Salvation is of the Jews. That’s not a text you hear very many Christians quote, but it’s very much in the New Testament.
The point is, if you take away the Jewish contribution to Christianity, there would be no Christianity. The point is, Judaism does not need Christianity to explain its existence, but Christianity cannot explain its existence without the Jewish experience.
Now, say that on national television, and that’ll get you more mail than a truck full.
The bottom line is this — I support Israel for the same reasons that most Jewish people do. The fact is that what we have in common as Christians and Jews is far greater than the things we’ve allowed to separate us over the centuries.
But now, in the United States of America, for the first time in our history, Christians are rallying to the cause of Israel in greater numbers, with greater rapidity, than ever in the history of the United States of America.
Let me give just a short history of the birth of Christians United for Israel in America. For many years, Christians went to Washington singing “Amazing Grace” out on the mall. I didn’t go because I told them it’s a waste of time. They said, “Why?” I said, “Because Congress could care less about your singing ‘Amazing Grace’ out on the grass. But when you walk into their office, 75, 80 of you, and say, ‘I live in your district, and I vote for you or against you based on your support of Israel,’ now you’re moving the ball down the field.”
That’s what we’ve begun doing for the first time ever in our history. As the Iranian threat began to loom ever larger, I decided that the time had come to unify America’s pro-Israel Christians in a massive, proactive, national movement. To accomplish this goal, I launched Christians United for Israel in February 2006 and invited 400 major Christian leaders from around the country. They were the pastors of the largest churches, owners of the radio, television networks; presidents of universities and owners of publishing companies. If you’d have dropped a bomb on that church that day, evangelical faith in America would’ve been backed up 100 years.
It was my wondrous privilege to ask them if they would join in this effort to assist the Jewish people — listen to what I’m about to say — without any conversionary attempt being made. And if they would, would they please raise their hand? And 400 strong immediately raised their hand and said, We will stand with Israel unconditionally.
In less than five years, we have grown to become the largest pro-Israel organization in the world. We currently have over 500,000 members, including thousands of America’s top spiritual leaders. Through these leaders, our message concerning Israel reaches millions of Christians in America and around the world. Not through the New York Times, but through Christians United for Israel.
I had dinner with, supper with Dore Gold this past Monday night. And I was talking to him that it would be good if the Israeli government would form a media war room, where they would release the stories they have first to 400,000 spiritual leaders in America, let us have it for 24 hours to send it to our people, and then send it to the New York Times and see what they could do with it to destroy it.
This year, we began two important initiatives — a Hispanic outreach to bring America’s rapidly growing Hispanic churches into the pro-Israel camp, and an African-American outreach to bring even more of America’s black churches into the pro-Israel camp.
We have formed an alliance with over 25,000 Hispanic churches in one year. Listen to that. Many of these new CUFI members are committed Democrats. And that’s important. We are a one-issue organization — Israel. Israel. Israel.
When I looked at those 400 leaders and said, We’re not going to Washington to discuss all of the hot-button issues we like to get hot under the collar about — we’re going to talk about one thing from the time we arrive and the time we leave — Israel. Then, we can recognize that as these new CUFI members are coming on — and many of them are Democrats — that they must confront those in their political party who would abandon the Jewish State in their time of need.
Our campus program, CUFI On Campus, has continued to grow and flourish, as we have currently a CUFI presence in over 350 college campuses, and our numbers are growing daily. We have sent two student groups on leadership missions to Israel. And next month, we will be hosting 70 student leaders in San Antonio for our first Winter Student Leadership session.
As has been stated tonight, CUFI conducts an average of 40 pro-Israel events in cities across America every month. Every month, 40 pro-Israel events.
In church after church, pastor after pastor — they’re telling their congregations for the first time in their history the truth about Israel. Our members are then leaving those churches and sharing that truth with their family members and their friends and their neighbors. That’s why today, just today, our membership has grown over 20,000 members. It is growing that rapidly. And every July, we gather in Washington to let Congress know that we as Christians are standing with Israel through thick-and-thin.
In conclusion, — almost 50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy flew to the divided city of Berlin at the height of the Cold War. He flew there at a time when West Berlin was a tiny outpost of freedom surrounded by Communist tyranny. He flew there at a time when West Berlin was surrounded, hounded, boycotted and hungry. He flew there to send a strong message of solidarity and resolve to the brave people of West Berlin.
Here’s what John F. Kennedy said in that place, at that time — “Two thousand years ago, the proudest boast was civis Romanus sum (I am a Roman citizen). Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is ‘Ich bin ein Berliner!’” I am a Berliner. “All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words ‘Ich bin ein Berliner!’” We need to remember President Kennedy’s words and actions now more than ever.
Today, I stand in the greatest nation on the face of the earth, the United States of America. I’m here with people who cherish our nation, people who cherish our Judeo-Christian heritage and our ally, Israel. I stand here at a time when Israel is a tiny outpost of freedom and democracy in a sea of tyranny. I stand here as Israel is surrounded, hounded, boycotted and threatened. I stand here with a strong message of solidarity with my Jewish brethren, the apple of God’s eye, the people of covenant and the cherished people. And that covenant has not been broken.
At this difficult juncture in our history, permit me to say something straight from the heart — today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is, “I am an Israeli.” All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Israel. Therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words, “I am an Israeli.”
When international bodies ignore the world’s genocides, massacres and racism to attach Israel, we must stand together and proclaim as one body, “I am an Israeli.” When college professors teach lies about Israel, and students loudly call for Israel’s destruction, we must proclaim, “I am an Israeli.” When flotillas filled with militants seek to turn Gaza into an Iranian port, we must stand together, saying, “I am an Israeli.” When the world condemns Israel for defending itself from thousands of missiles and mortar attacks, we must proclaim, “I am an Israeli.”
When terrorists threaten to kill Israeli men, women and children, we must proudly proclaim, “I am an Israeli.” When madmen threaten to destroy the Jewish State, we must proudly proclaim, “I am an Israeli.”
Israel and America share the same love of freedom. Israel and America share the same passion for democracy. Israel and America share the same Judeo-Christian values. Israel and America share the same love of life. Israel’s enemies are our enemies. Israel’s fight is our fight. If a line has to be drawn, draw the line around Christians and Jews. We are united, we are one, we are indivisible. We will not be discouraged. We will not be defeated.
In the end, when the last battle has been fought and the last bullet has been fired, the flag of Israel will still be flying over the ancient walls of the holy city of Jerusalem. The lion will lie down with the lamb. Men will beat their swords into plowshares and study war no more. And Israel will still be the praise of all the earth.
May God bless each of you, God bless Israel, and God bless the United States of America.
* The video of Pastor Hagee’s speech:
Pages: 1 2