By Arlene Bridges Samuels, CBN Israel—
A week ago, I attended Israel’s Government Press Office (GPO) Christian Media Summit (CMS). Held virtually in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19, this year’s summit drew more than 100 media professionals and opinion leaders from across the world. According to the CMS website, the summit’s goal is to “foster better understanding and strengthen the friendship between Christians around the world and the State of Israel.” Like a Christian media United Nations, attendees “Zoomed” in from some 40 countries on four continents. We expectantly joined together once again, this time to unite around the 2021 theme, “Abraham Accords and Abrahamic Religions: Partners in Peace.” I was not disappointed.
I participated in the 2018 and 2019 Summits on the ground in Jerusalem. Nitzan Chen, who has been director of the GPO since 2011, envisioned this outreach to Christian media and launched the first summit in 2017—engaging Israel’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem and Heritage, and Tourism. Each year its impact multiplies to educate members of Christian media, equipping us to do our reporting with a robust background of context for each topic. This was the fifth time the prime minister met with the media in order to highlight progress made during a given administration. Not surprisingly, at this year’s event, Israel’s improved relations with its Arab neighbors was prominent.
While Nitzan’s credentials as a journalist, broadcaster, reporter, and past chairman of the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Council are impressive, he is also a warm, sincere friend to all of us. His dedication and enthusiasm are evident. I am heartened that he had the foresight to reach out to Christian media knowing that we report facts to counterbalance the liberal media.
Nitzan has put the entire GPO staff on this project, getting the funding and scheduling an array of speakers that included top officials, artists, military, attorneys, Arab Israelis, archaeologists, and many others. In essence, he is Israel’s de facto official liaison to the Christian World for the CMS, a tool that he and his staff designed. Continue Reading….