Israel Always: Relations between Israel's Jews and Christians improving?

Interestingly, Israel's largest annual tourism event is the Feast of Tabernacles, sponsored by the International Christian Embassy each September.

earl cox (photo credit: )
earl cox
(photo credit: )
Sadly, many in Israel continue to think of Christians as people who in the past, unmercifully mistreated, persecuted and killed Jews. They still associate the cruel Crusades and the horrifying Holocaust with Christians, and tar all Christians with the same brush. Most Jews do not recognize that it was not true Christians who were responsible for those devastating actions against the Jewish people. Recognition of the truth is what caused the late Member of the Israeli Knesset, Yuri Shtern, to launch the Christian Allies Caucus a few years ago. He explained that the government of Israel needed to recognize and appreciate the many contributions that Christian organizations were making to help Israeli people, and that the government should also assist these helpful Christians as much as possible. MK Rabbi Benny Elon, another member of the Christian Allies Caucus, told the Knesset that it is evangelical Christians who provide so much valuable help and are Israel's generous, dependable and loyal friends. While he was Israeli Prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu was chided by President Clinton for meeting with 300 American conservative Christian leaders in Washington, because Clinton did not consider them to be his supporters. But Netanyahu boldly told Clinton that among Israel's few friends, conservative Christians are the best. The negative image of Christians has undergone a remarkable change through the faithful and fervent efforts of numerous conservative/evangelical Christians. Some of these organizations serving Jewish people in Israel include the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, Bridges for Peace, and Christian Friends of Israel. They provide bountiful help to immigrants from Europe and Russia who are making aliyah to Israel. They give them food, blankets and kitchen supplies to help them get off to a good start in their new homeland. These same Christian groups also promote and provide a great percentage of the annual tourism to Israel, encouraging and assisting Christians from many nations to visit the biblical Holy Land. Interestingly, Israel's largest annual tourism event is the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles, sponsored by the International Christian Embassy each September. This year(2007), a record 7,000 Christian visitors made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the celebration. Most of them marched in the massive annual parade with colorful national flags and banners proclaiming their love and support for Israel. The Israeli people, media and leadership cannot help but notice this great demonstration of Christian love and support. One Israeli parade watcher expressed the thinking of many when she commented, "These Christians seem to love us even more than we love ourselves." Another wonderful organization, Christians United for Israel(CUFI), was founded a year ago by my friend and Texas pastor, Dr. John Hagee to serve as the lobbying voice of pro-Israel Christians to the US government. Hagee and other evangelical leaders have also been conducting massive 'Support for Israel' rallies in cities across America. The primary basis of support for Israel by conservative, evangelical Christians is, of course, the Bible. We Christians respect and honor the Jewish people and the nation of Israel as the source of our spiritual heritage. The Bible was written by, for and about Jewish people. Our civilized laws, ethics and values are Judeo-Christian in nature. The Bible also tells us that the Jewish people are the natural branches of the olive tree while Christians are the grafted-in branches. Improving relationships between Christian and Jews will benefit all of us as we work together to promote and protect the values and freedoms we hold dear. It is the right thing to do as people who share a common spiritual heritage and connection to Almighty G-d.  Earl Cox, International Christian Broadcaster, known as 'the voice of Israel to the world.' He is also the founder of Israel Always Previous entries Do the Palestinians deserve their own state