Embracing Israel’s allies
It is a time when members of the Israel’s government and Jewish leaders have a chance to reach out to their Christian counterparts and say thank you.
Knesset’s Christian Allies Caucus, Malan 2nd left Photo: JEREMY SHARON
Israeli politicians, diplomats and the public at large are often heard lamenting
the fact that Israel and its policies are misunderstood around the world.
Countless efforts have been made to rev up Israel’s advocacy campaigns to
explain to the world that the Middle East’s only true democracy is a
peace-loving nation often subject to enormous pressures and under geopolitical
conditions foreign to any other free and democratic country.
Many of our
efforts to explain to the world that we are a nation that seeks and desires
peace and prosperity often fall on deaf ears. We are decried in the liberal
media for necessary acts of self-defense and are routinely held to double
standards no other country could endure in international organizations like the
United Nations. It is no wonder that both the Israeli political echelon and
regular Israeli citizens feel under constant attack, defenseless, powerless and
IN 2004, a new initiative founded on the principles of faith-based
diplomacy was launched to save us from perennial isolation. The late MK, Dr.
Yuri Stern, together with seven other MKs from various parties founded the
Knesset Christian Allies Caucus (KCAC) to build direct lines of communication,
cooperation and coordination with Christian leaders around the world.
2007, that led to the creation of the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF) by
then-chairman of the KCAC, MK Rabbi Benny Elon, which was established to create
Israel Allies Caucuses made up of elected parliamentarians who work to mobilize
political support for Israel based on faith.
The organization sought not
only to foster ties between Knesset members and Christian parliamentarians,
often in countries where no Jewish communities exist, but also to be pro-active
in developing legislation that would support and embolden the Jewish
With all other advocacy and diplomacy efforts garnering only
marginal success, the faith-based diplomacy initiated by the KCAC through the
activities of its umbrella organization, the Israel Allies Foundation, has
become the most influential weapon in Israel’s foreign affairs arsenal. These
political efforts have been supported by the interfaith activities of the World
Jewish Congress, which has allowed for Jewish and Christian grassroots to
cooperate in an unprecedented way. While geopolitical and economic factors can
change, parliamentary support based on biblical values is unbreakable and will
endure no matter what befalls the Jewish state.
TODAY, THERE are roughly
20 Israel Allies Caucuses around the world which support Israel in parliaments
and legislatures on five continents. Their number is only expected to grow, with
new nations joining the IAF every year.
Not surprisingly, the fastest
growing group within pro-Israeli Christian parliamentarians is Evangelical. As a
result, the State of Israel now enjoys official support in the corridors of
government in Latin America, where local regimes have often treated Israel with
contempt, as well as Africa and Asia, where Jewish communities are scarce and
local politicians have no reason but common Judeo-Christian values to support
the Jewish state.
At the IAF’s last gathering in Jerusalem in October
2012, Christian parliamentarians from 18 countries embraced and passed
resolutions on some of the key issues championed by the WJC, which officially
represents Jewish communities in 100 countries.
The parliamentarians, who
came from around the world, affirmed their commitment to Jerusalem as the
eternal and undivided capital of Israel and the Jewish people. They also
proclaimed their most fierce opposition to the murderous regime in Teheran and
its nefarious nuclear weapons development program. They went on to demand that
the Jewish refugees from Arab countries, who were forcefully chased out of their
ancestral lands, their possessions confiscated, around the time of the
establishment of the State of Israel, be recognized by the international
community and compensated on equal terms with the Arab refugees.
EFFORTS of the State of Israel and non-governmental organizations to defend and
support the Jewish state are admirable. However, we must acknowledge the fact we
cannot succeed on our own. We require the support of our Christian allies to
thrive and prosper.
To that end, on January 28 the KCAC together with the
WJC will be holding the seventh annual “Night to Honor our Christian Allies.” It
is a time when members of the Israel’s government and Jewish leaders have a
chance to reach out to their Christian counterparts and say thank
Thank you for your steadfast support and unwavering commitment to
the security of the State of Israel and the well-being of its people. We are
truly not alone.
Josh Reinstein is the director of the Knesset Christian
Allies Caucus. MK Shai Hermesh is a member of the KCAC and the chairman of World