Anti-Israel sentiment and antisemitism are on the rise in the United States, the one country Israel and the Jewish people have always been able to count on.
Anti-Israel sentiment and antisemitism are on the rise in the United States, the one country Israel and the Jewish people have always been able to count on. It’s hard to listen to the words coming out of the mouths of some members of Congress, troubling to hear the rhetoric on college campuses, and painful to see Jews suffering.
But having spent two full days with Pastor John Hagee and a few thousand of the seven million members of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), I am convinced there is hope.
• Seven million people for whom Israel is their passion.
• Seven million people who pray for Israel, lobby for Israel, visit Israel and send money to Israel.
• Seven million people who recognize Israel’s right to its biblical and ancestral homeland and can see through the smokescreen of the Palestinian Authority’s conditions for “peace.”
• Seven million people who see the IDF for what is: the most moral army in the world.
• Seven million people who are electing legislators who will support anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) legislation on the national, state and local levels.
• Seven million people who believe in Genesis 12:3– that if they and their country bless Israel, they themselves will be blessed.
Among the thousands of Christian supporters of Israel at the CUFI Summit in Washington last week were representatives from 300 college campuses, members of a program called CUFI on Campus. Thousands of Christian college students are receiving training and then establishing pro-Israel groups on their college campuses. Armed with facts, figures and the skills to articulate them, they are pushing back against anti-Israel groups and anti-Israel professors. This is a game-changer. The college students of today are the member of Congress of tomorrow. Without them, there is no way for the small number of pro-Israel Jewish students to win the ideological war on campus for Israel. But the addition of non-Jewish “soldiers” makes this a winnable fight.
Israel is not the only battle that CUFI is fighting. The focus of this year’s summit was on combating antisemitism. As CUFI founder and spiritual leader Hagee told the gathering, “Antisemitism is a global cancer. You either get the cancer or the cancer gets you. Antisemitism is not a JEWISH problem. Antisemitism is EVERYONE’S problem… Christians and Jews need to wage war together against this evil. Let’s call it what it is. Antisemitism is Jew-hatred and it has no place in the United States of America. We need to fight this evil darkness until it is destroyed – in our Congress, churches, colleges and universities across our nation.”
NO ONE at the summit hid from the dark history of Christian antisemitism. On the contrary, it was acknowledged, and the CUFI members were told that now is the time to make things right. As Hagee told the audience: “We could not stop the Crusades because we were not there. We could not stop the Spanish Inquisition because we were not there. But we ARE here now!”
Lest one think those are merely words, an entire morning was spent teaching the thousands of delegates about specific legislation that CUFI hopes to get Congress to pass. Then, in the afternoon, shuttle buses took them to Capitol Hill, where thousands of CUFI Summit delegates armed with their talking points lobbied their representatives to fight antisemitism. Specifically, by voting for bipartisan legislation called The Antisemitism Awareness of Act of 2019, sponsored by Sen. Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania).
In 2016, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance adopted this working definition of antisemitism: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
The US State Department adopted this definition, and now this law would direct the Department of Education to use that definition when investigating allegations of unlawful harassment against Jewish students.
While on Capitol Hill, they also lobbied for the passage of the bipartisan Countering Hezbollah in Lebanon’s Military Act, which would withhold 20% of US military assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces – intended to help curtail Hezbollah’s power along Israel’s border – unless it can be certified that they are not collaborating with the terrorist organization in any manner, and that they are taking steps to end Hezbollah and Iran’s influence in the area.
The Zionism and love for the Jewish people that permeated the CUFI Summit was inspiring. It should warm the hearts of all Jews to know that we have such good and supportive friends who have our backs.
CUFI is a well-planned, well-structured, well-funded organization that will, no doubt, continue to grow. Thanks to them and the tens of millions of Christians who love Israel and the Jewish people, there is real hope for preserving the strong and special Israel-US relationship, and fighting antisemitism in the United States.
The writer served as a member of the 19th Knesset.
(c) All rights reserved The Jerusalem Post 1995 – 2019 Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.