Christian lawmakers to meet with Ya'alon, Bennett

Thousands to attend Israel Allies Foundation conference; leaders of pro-Israel caucuses to discuss Israel relations.

September 20, 2013 15:24
2 minute read.
Former tourism minister Rabbi Bennie Elon.

Bennie Elon 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Thousands of Christians, along with lawmakers from around the world, will participate in an Israel Allies Foundation conference beginning on Sunday.

The 25 visiting lawmakers are leaders of pro-Israel caucuses in their countries, affiliated with the Israel Allies Foundation, founded by former tourism minister Rabbi Benny Elon, and the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus.

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“The arrival of parliamentarians and congressmen representing hundreds of lawmakers around the world presents a picture of the great international support we have,” Elon said. “This is a great show of strength.”

Legislators from the US, European Union, Canada, Brazil, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Macedonia, Poland, South Africa, Guatemala, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Uruguay will meet with Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Sunday and discuss their countries’ activities relating to Israel.

The group will discuss ways to battle European sanctions against Judea and Samaria and tour the Old City of Jerusalem and the West Bank.

“From my personal experience with the parliamentarians, I’m sure they’ll know how to translate their admiration and friendship with Israel to a practical war against sanctions against Israel and its economy,” Elon said.

The Israel Allies Foundation is an umbrella organization that coordinates the activities of dozens of pro- Israel caucuses in parliaments around the world, which aim to increase cooperation and communication with Israel.

In addition, almost 3,000 Christians will participate in an Israel Allies Foundation event in Jerusalem on Sunday night, and approximately 2,000 more plan to visit Israel this week for the Feast of Tabernacles, organized by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.

“The Succot event shows, not for the first time, the unconditional love hundreds of millions of people around the world have for Israel and their solidarity with the state,” International Christian Embassy Jerusalem director-general Dr. Jürgen Bühler said. “Not even tension [in Syria] can prevent our guests from coming.”

The ICEJ was concerned that there would be cancelations because of the security situation, but “love of Israel conquered all and thousands of Christian tourists are arriving with a message of love and support,” Bühler said.

World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder is scheduled to address the ICEJ gathering at the Jerusalem International Convention Hall on Sunday, the WJC announced.

Lauder hailed the event in the Israeli capital as an important sign that Israel does not stand alone in the world.

“This conference is ample proof that Israel has strong Christian allies in parliaments and governments around the world on which it can rely. The World Jewish Congress will continue to work on widening this important coalition and increase cooperation with our Christian friends,” he said.

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.

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