Friday, November 19, 2010

U.S. Christians meet with Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu

By David Brog
The Washington Post
November 18, 2010

Last week, a coalition from Christians United for Israel, Texas Pastor John Hagee's pro-Israel advocacy group, met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Q&A with David Brog, executive director of Christians United for Israel, on the recent trip to Israel:

[What are the] religious and political reasons behind this meeting especially at a time of renewed efforts at peace talks?

Our trip to Israel was planned a few months back, as part of our ongoing effort to educate American Christians about the State of Israel. When we bring such high level delegations to Israel we always ask for, and typically receive, meetings with the Prime Minister.

In our meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, we simply expressed our strong support for the State of Israel in her struggle for peace and security. This message was little changed from the one we delivered to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert back in 2008. Israel continues to face condemnation and isolation from across the globe. We want Israel's leaders to know that they are not alone.

Christians United for Israel's support for Jewish state begins with theology. In particular, Christian Zionism is inspired by Genesis 12:3, which states that God will bless those who bless Israel. Yet for Israel's Christian friends -- like so many of her Jewish supporters - faith is only part of the story. Christian support for Israel is also rooted in a broader Christian worldview. Christian Zionists recognize that the U.S.-Israel relationship is built upon a set of shared values such as a devotion to Judeo-Christian morality, a love of freedom, and a passionate commitment to democracy. In addition, Christians typically recognize that Israel is on the front lines in the global war with Islamic terror. When Israel fights Hezbollah and Hamas, they are fighting sworn American enemies.

Where does CUFI stand on negotiations?

CUFI does not have an independent position on the peace process. Instead -- like many pro-Israel organizations -- CUFI supports the positions of the democratically elected government of Israel. We believe that the people of Israel are the only ones who have the right to make these weighty decisions about life and death, war and peace. We further believe that they must be able to exercise this right free from international pressure.

Consequently, we have in the past criticized our government for exerting pressure upon Israel to make concessions that the Israelis themselves did not wish to make. But what we have opposed is the pressure, not the negotiations themselves. Only the Israeli people can decide what further risks they and their children will make for peace.

What is your hope for the Holy Land?

Our greatest hope for Israel is that its people will finally be able to live in peace in security with their neighbors.

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