From Bill Sutter’s Desk Nov/Dec 2005
Christians are bringing the Bible and Jewish values to the world in a way we as Jews couldn’t on our own. We need each other.
So said Dr. Yuri Shtern, cochairman of the Israeli Knesset’s Christian Allies Caucus, an organization of historic proportions that underscores the growing friendship between the Jewish and evangelical communities.
And Dr. Shtern is not alone in his feelings. In July a guest at our Friends of Israel prophecy conference in Winona Lake, Indiana, handed me a copy of an informational letter released by the Jewish organization FLAME—Facts and Logic About the Middle East (www.factsandlogic.org). It discussed Israel’s enemies’ single-minded dedication to her destruction and explained that many of Israel’s supporters are found in the United States. Said FLAME President Gerardo Joffe, “This is especially true of the evangelical Christians, who are Israel’s best friends. To some degree this reflects the people’s strong Christian faith and their belief in the Bible and in God’s covenant with the Jewish people.”
This is yet another illustration that Jewish people are better understanding the biblical basis for our Christian support of the Jewish state and our opposition to anti-Semitism.
The Christian Allies Caucus, an official link between the Israeli government and evangelical Christians, is a momentous development. Twelve elected members, or 10 percent of this legislative body, from six Israeli political parties across the political spectrum, meet monthly to respond to Christian support for Israel. Members hail the Caucus as the “personification of a new relationship between Christians and Jews.”
Several of us from The Friends of Israel attended a meeting recently with Dr. Shtern and Caucus General Director Josh Reinstein. It was striking to hear Shtern declare, “We realize that Christian support is a core value.. . . We understand the existence of the Jewish state is a confirmation of evangelical Christian belief.”
Given Christendom’s sordid treatment of Jewish people over the centuries, we should not be surprised that many of them have viewed our support of Israel skeptically, suspecting ulterior motives. Fortunately, this opinion is changing. Increasingly, our Christian support is understood to be unconditional—based on the Bible, God’s everlasting covenant with Abraham (Gen. 17:7–8), and His unqualified love for His People (Dt. 7:7–8).
Even as Israel’s legislators are reaching out to us, we are also hearing from the nations’ executive branch. When Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Daniel Ayalon, invited a group of Christian leaders to an hour-long private meeting recently with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, his choice of participants was revealing. All 18 of us were evangelical Christians. A smiling Sharon quipped, “You don’t need a guidebook when you come to Israel. You have the Bible in your hands. Your knowledge of the Bible is very great—with you I have to be very careful.”
One of the most amazing developments within the American Jewish community is the formation of a Jewish organization dedicated to fighting anti-Christian bias in our culture. Known as Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation (JAACD), its members include David Horowitz, president of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture; Morton Klein, national president of the Zionist Organization of America; Michael Medved, syndicated talk-show host; Mona Cheren, syndicated columnist; and comedian Jackie Mason.
JAACD’s president is well-known syndicated columnist Don Feder, a former writer for The Boston Herald, who said the organization is dedicated to fighting “what I consider an epidemic of anti-Christian bigotry and persecution.” Said Feder,
The fate of America hinges on whether or not Christians—I mean authentic Christians—succeed in the political arena. You can say that my politics are based on the views of Karl Marx, Ayn Rand, or Jane Fonda…and that’s okay, but as soon as you say your worldview is based on the Bible, that’s considered an illegitimate basis for embracing certain political views.
These people understand that our Christian morality comes from the Bible, given by God through the Jewish people; and they stand side-by-side with us on behalf of our Judeo-Christian values.
JAACD members said they are united in their determination to support “our beleaguered brothers and sisters in the Christian community.” At a press conference Feder said,
We understand that Christians are the last remaining obstacle to the moral deconstruction of America….By maintaining their loyalty to the eternal values revealed at Sinai, Christians have become pariahs in the eyes of the establishment, but heroes in our eyes.
We at The Friends of Israel believe that these movements, so counter to history, cannot be explained apart from the Lord. We are witnessing the stage being set for that future time when God will carry out His plan through Israel as described by the prophets in Isaiah 62, Ezekiel 36, and Zechariah 8.