The Feast of Tabernacles has become a magnet in Jerusalem, drawing tens of thousands of Evangelical ‘Friends of Zion’ from every continent. They come to express their love for and solidarity with the Jewish people. The pilgrims come to pray for peace in Jerusalem and extend their blessings to Israel. They also celebrate the joy of Sukkot by marching in the streets of Jerusalem. They come from China, Germany, Russia, South Africa, Austria, Brazil, the United States and more.
Indeed, the nations of the world were out in force this year in Jerusalem during the festival, known also as the Feast of Tabernacles. There were Jews and Christians, locals and visitors, the latter hailing from the four corners of the earth – the Americas, Asia, Africa and the Far East.
The Friends of Zion Museum (FOZ) led the way in educating and welcoming thousands of visitors during the seven-day period. Jerusalem was filled pilgrims from some 80 nations who came for the Feast of the Tabernacles celebration that is sponsored annually by the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem. These true and enthusiastic Christian friends of Israel flock to Israel to bask in the joyous atmosphere of the feast and to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
To help acquaint Christian visitors to the museum, FOZ set up a large, colorful display inside the main venue for the Feast of Tabernacles events. Guides at the museum welcomed the many eager groups to take the special tour beginning every 15 minutes and operating until past 10:00 p.m. daily to accommodate the pilgrims.
These pilgrims are unapologetically pro-Israel Christian Zionists. Evangelicals have become a dominant force of support globally for Israel. Recently, when President Donald Trump visited Israel, 47 billboards greeted him in the city of Jerusalem. They were sponsored by me, the founder of the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem, and a member of the Trump Founding Faith Board. The originating chairman of the museum was the late President Shimon Peres.
In December 2017, I presented the Friends of Zion award to President Trump. The event was attended by Vice President Mike Pence, senior advisers Jared and Ivanka Trump Kushner, as well as faith leaders representing over 150 million Christians globally. The award has also been presented to US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Jared Kushner, and special representative for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt.
Other distinguished recipients of the Friends of Zion Award are 43rd president of the United States George W. Bush, Crown Prince Albert II of Monaco, former president of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev, President Jimmy Morales of Guatemala, and President Horacio Cartes of Paraguay.
In May 2018, the United States officially opened its new embassy in Jerusalem. The Friends of Zion Museum launched a massive campaign commemorating President Trump and the State of Israel, with 150 bus billboards. Similar campaigns welcomed the president and vice president when they each visited the State of Israel.
I hosted a gala dinner commemorating the historic embassy move. The event featured Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Friedman, Kushner and Ivanka Trump Kushner.
The Friends of Zion Museum is enjoying capacity crowds; so much so that its doors are now open an hour earlier and remain open five hours later – from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. In two short years, this initiative has mobilized 28 million friends on social network globally. One of their enterprises is the Jerusalem Prayer Team which has almost 50 million friends worldwide and is the top Facebook site in Israel.
Israel has always had these amazing friends. The only thing that has not happened in the past is that no one has taken time to activate and educate them. We are utilizing the social network to do so.
That is the reason we created Israel’s first smart museum that uses videomapping and rotoscoping technology. It is connected to social networks.
The Friends of Zion Museum reveals fascinating stories emphasizing the support and heroism of the many friends of the Jewish People and the State of Israel. It serves as a portal to fight global antisemitism and to stand strong against the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. The governing board is honored to include Dan Halutz former IDF Chief of Staff, General Yossi Peled, and many more noted Israelis.
The writer is the founder of the Friends of Zion Museum and a #1 New York Times bestseller with 81 published books.