Hundreds of Jewish and Christian supporters of Israel gathered in Miami, Florida on Sunday evening as former Governor Mike Huckabee accepted the Israel Allies Award at the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF) Gala Awards Dinner.
The Israel Allies Foundation was founded in 2007 with a mission of promoting communication between lawmaking bodies across the globe, who all share the belief that the State of Israel has the right to exist and protect itself. Today, IAF activity still continues to grow.
The 44th governor of the state of Arkansas was named second on the IAF's 2022 list of Israel's Top 50 Christian Allies. He is revered amongst many Jewish and Christian community members for firmly-rooted religious values. While he was in office and launched multiple presidential campaigns, he frequently came to Israel's defense and advocated for the Jewish state.
Florida Governor Ron Desantis, a fellow Republican, congratulated Huckabee via video and thanked him for his commitment to Israel. Desantis cited his own experiences with advancing Israel relations and combatting antisemitism while singing Huckabee's praises.
“As Governor, my first trip abroad was a trade commission to Israel, and I’ve been actively combating the antisemitic boycott divest and sanction movement… On the day of my inauguration for my second term, my office sent a note which was placed on the Western Wall with a prayer to protect all your people and give them strength to stand firm in their faith. Let’s all take that message to heart as we celebrate the power of faith-based diplomacy this evening,” Desantis said in his speech.
World leaders supporting Jewish-Christian relations
The event was attended by various prominent leaders from both the Jewish and Christian communities across the United States and Canada, along with several pro-Israel organizations. Some members of US Congress joined the event, as well as 10 different parliamentarians from across Latin America, responsible for Israel Allies Caucuses in their home countries.
Co-chair of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, MK Sharren Haskel, pressed the audience to recognize anti-zionism and antisemitism as one and the same. The caucus is one of 50 under the Israel Allies Foundation umbrella.
“To combat this attack against the only democracy in the Middle East and the only homeland of the Jewish people, it is essential that Jews unite with our Christian friends around the world along our shared Judeo-Christian values to defend the State of Israel,” Haksel said.
IAF President Josh Reinstein announced that a 51st caucus of the Israel Allies network is set to form in Dominican Republic's Congress. Reinstein also made note of the formation of the Israel Allies Foundation in Canada.
“Faith-based diplomacy continues to expand and deepen its impact around the world. It is Jews and Christians coming together at events like this which has the potential to channel faith-based support for Israel into real political action” said Reinstein.