By Nicole Jansezian, www.Travelujah.com
More than 1,000 evangelical Christians reaffirmed their staunch support of the Jewish state at a gathering in the nation’s capital Monday night with Israeli leaders.
Pastor John Hagee, founder of Christians United for Israel, kicked off “A Night to Honor Israel” at the Jerusalem Convention Center to repeated standing ovations and wild applause. Hagee brought to Israel a group consisting of 12 full tour buses.
“For Zion’s sake, we will not be silent,” Hagee said. “Israel exists because of a covenant God made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob 3,500 years ago and that covenant still stands.”
Hagee presented Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a scroll listing Christians who have signed a pledge of support for Israel. The scroll contains more than 200,000 names of families representing some 800,000 people.
“What that says is that we believe the Jewish people have the right to live in their modern homeland, and that Israel has the same right as any other nation to defend herself from attacks,” Hagee said. “Our future is bound together by a covenant relationship. We are bound together by the Torah, the patriarchs and the words of the prophets.”
The event was broadcast live on God TV.
Netanyahu noted that Christian Zionism received a boost in the last few decades “when leading American clergymen, among them most notably, Pastor John Hagee, a dynamic pastor and leader from Texas, began to say to their congregations and to anyone who listened, it’s time to take a stand with Israel.”
“I salute you, the people of Israel salute you, the Jewish people salute you,” the prime minister said. “Time after time, through thick and thin, you have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with our state. Today that friendship is more important than ever, because Israel faces unprecedented challenges to its security.”
Both Hagee and Netanyahu decried the nuclear threat from Iran. Hagee called Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the “Hitler of the Middle East.” Netanyahu said there was no greater threat to Israel and the United States than a nuclear Iran.
He asked Christians to reaffirm Israel’s legitimacy and remind the world that the land of the Bible still exists today, and it is modern day Israel.
“Time after time, through thick and thin, you have stood shoulder to shoulder with our state, and I have come here tonight to thank you for your unwavering friendship,” Netanyahu said. “And today that friendship is more important than ever because Israel faces unprecedented challenges to its security and its legitimacy.”
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said his goal as mayor is to “share Jerusalem with the world” and welcomed Christians to partake of all the city has to offer.
One attendee said this was her first time in Israel, a dream come true, and the experience was thus far magical.
“To see the land where Jesus walked, see the same sky and the same hills, it is sensory overload,” Shelley Fisher from Minnesota told Travelujah. Shelley plans to come back: “ I love that expression: Next year in Jerusalem!”
Through the years, CUFI has donated $58 million to Israeli organizations including youth programs, medical centers, yeshivas and schools. The purpose of A Night to Honor Israel, which is held in churches across the United States, is to allow Christians “to demonstrate their love and support for Israel and the Jewish people,” according to the organization’s website.
Nicole Jansezian writes for www.Travelujah.com, the only Christian social network focused on travel to the Holy Land. Travelujah is a vibrant online community offering high quality Christian content, user and expert blogs, travel tours and planning services for people interested in connecting to the land.