Christians and Jews united can change how the world views Israel - opinion

Jews and Christians come together to change the media’s narrative on Israel in Orlando, Florida, this May 22-25.

 AN NRB breakfast honoring Israel takes place, last year.  (photo credit: Courtesy NRB)
AN NRB breakfast honoring Israel takes place, last year.
(photo credit: Courtesy NRB)

Typically, the media response to Operation Shield and Arrow was to blame Israel as the aggressor for the massive terrorist rocket attacks on the Jewish state last week. Once again, prominent global media outlets whitewashed Islamic Jihad’s extremism while creating an appalling moral equivalence with the IDF’s defensive actions.

With this past week’s Nakba Day receiving more favorable coverage this year than ever before, Israel finds itself playing defense against a growing chorus of media critics. In order to go on the offensive in the battle over Israel’s narrative, my organization, Israel365, will be leading an influential delegation of Israeli leaders to the National Religious Broadcasters Conference (NRB) in Orlando, Florida, this May 22-25.

For decades, NRB has been the hub for thousands of Conservative and Christian media leaders to gather together for high-level meetings and networking. This year, NRB has partnered with Israel365 to celebrate Israel’s 75th anniversary and together we have planned a number of important events for the faith community’s leading communicators.

Defending democracy against radicalism

Media personalities Dennis Prager, Eric Metaxes and Erick Stakelback will be speaking about why America and Israel must unite to defend democracy and fight against radicalism at our “Night to Celebrate Israel.” Religious leaders Rabbi Doron Perez of World Mizrachi, Pastor Tommy Waller of HaYovel and Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference will speak about Jews and Christians, changing the world together.

Israel365 News and The Jerusalem Post will be conducting interviews from the exhibition hall for two days. Israeli companies such as MyHeritage and Holy Gems, along with organizations such as Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund, Israel Defense and Security Forum and Yad L’Olim will have representatives in Orlando to meet with their Christian customers and donors.

Rabbi Tuly Weisz, editor of ‘The Israel Bible’ (credit: Courtesy)Rabbi Tuly Weisz, editor of ‘The Israel Bible’ (credit: Courtesy)

A new documentary, Confront Radicals: What America Can Learn from Israel based on the book of the same name by David Rubin, will debut in front of distributors and broadcast partners in its worldwide premiere. Additionally, the Guardian of Israel Award will be presented to Sheriff Michael Chitwood for his role in combating antisemitism in Florida.

“Both Israel and the Jewish people are near and dear to the hearts of Evangelicals, and we are honored to have the opportunity to celebrate the miracle of Israel with our Israeli brothers and sisters at this special event this year,” said Troy Miller, president and CEO of NRB. “In partnering with Israel365, we have one clear message: we want Christians and Jews to do life together. We are eager to create a space where leaders from both faiths can spark relationships, do business and ministry together, and be an active part of each other’s lives. This is the vision God gives us through His word, and we want to be a part of that promise.”

Despite the increase in antisemitism and the decline in traditional backing for Israel, faith-based support for Israel has remained rock solid, thanks largely to the role of religious media. Christian networks including CBN, TBN, and Daystar all have television bureaus in Jerusalem keeping their massive audiences informed and engaged. By placing Israel at the forefront, the NRB, whose member organizations reach tens of millions of homes all over the world, contributes directly to stronger political backing for an increasingly marginalized State of Israel.

Christian support for Israel

The religious community’s positive news coverage about Israel has led to practical support in various arenas. Thanks to increased media visibility, philanthropic backing from Christian donors has increased significantly in recent years, as has the number of incoming Christian tourists. After centuries of hostility, we are thankfully in a new era of Jewish-Christian relations, and after seventy-five years of statehood, we are poised to embark upon a future of faith-based support for Israel that has massive potential.

The founding of the state in 1948 has led to new and significant religious trends. Secular Israelis have become less hostile towards religion than in previous decades while soaring birthrates in the religious community have caused a demographic shift resulting in a much more traditional Jewish State.

Around the world, Christians have rejected Replacement Theology and antisemitism in large numbers and have become Israel’s greatest supporters. These developments have created a historically unprecedented opportunity to nurture meaningful and healthy relationships between Christians and Jews.

Out of all the anniversary milestones, Jewish and Christian leaders celebrating Israel’s 75th anniversary together at the largest faith-based media gathering is a hopeful sign for all those who care about Israel. By uniting together, we can rewrite the narrative and change the way people around the world view Israel and the Jewish people.

The writer, a rabbi, is the founder of Israel365 and the editor of The Israel Bible, which are both dedicated to strengthening relationships between Jews and Christians in support of Israel. He can be reached at