By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz—
The historic opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem was a religious as well as a political event with several prominent Christian leaders present. This support was not lost on US Ambassador David Friedman. In an interview with the New York Times on Saturday, Friedman said that Evangelical Christians “support Israel with much greater fervor and devotion than many in the Jewish community.”
“You’re running a country, you need friends, you need alliances, you need to protect your people,” Friedman said. Friedman, an Orthodox Jew and ardent supporter of Israel, acknowledged that Christian support was essential to the embassy move and as such, invited Pastor Robert Jeffress and Rev. John C. Hagee to speak at the opening because “they’re two of the most followed leaders of the Evangelical community, and I wanted to honor the community for having been so constructive in helping to move this along.”
This opinion was echoed by diplomats from the Israeli side. Ron Dermer, the Israeli Ambassador to the US was quoted in the article as saying that “devout Christians” were now the “backbone” of the United States support for Israel. “It’s got to be a solid quarter of the population, and that is maybe 10, 15, 20 times the Jewish population,” he said in an interview.