On May 23 -- which just so happens to be the day of the Salute to Israel Parade, a day that most Jews don't give a damn about and never have, except for primarily the Modern Orthodox and Conservative Zionists -- in more than 1,500 churches, most of them evangelical, the spiritual leaders will be speaking about their love for Israel, and their support for the Jewish State. That support is based on the verse in Genesis where God promises to bless those who bless the Jews.
I recently got a letter from a Jewish reader in Texas explaining a YouTube video of the 2008 Night To Honor Israel in Pastor John Hagee's church.
Here's an excerpt from the letter:
"I attended the 2009 event (for Israel). Hagee gave out $9 million dollars that night, to high quality organizations in Israel. For example: Nefesh B'Nefesh, which is the main organization supporting aliyah from North America and western Europe. Or, Shurat HaDin, which sues terrorist groups in international courts for damages.
"Last fall's event was the 22nd annual Night to Honor Israel. It was the biggest event nationally, but not the only one. Christians United for Israel (CUFI) held about a dozen smaller Nights just last year across the US. At the big event I attended, Elie Wiesel (not a right-winger, as far as I know), was the keynote speaker. There were 5000 people in that church (San Antonio's biggest church) singing and praying on behalf of Israel. As Elie Wiesel said, where he grew up you crossed the street if you walked by a church to avoid getting beaten, so it's really amazing to see such strong support for Israel in a church.
"Hagee is very close with the Jewish Federation in Houston. I'm on the board of Federation, so I hope to go back again this year to support the 2010 Night. Just one cause that Houston and Hagee support together involves rocket-proofing the cardiac care of Barzelai Hospital in Ashkelon, a major Israeli city on the edge of Gaza. I was there in November with the Texas legislative mission to Israel...
"My understanding is that when Hagee first went to Jewish communities in Texas about supporting Israel three decades ago, the only ones who would work with him were the Orthodox rabbi in San Antonio and Lee Wunsch, the CEO of Houston Jewish Federation. Lee accompanied a Hagee mission to Israel in the past month, with 500 Christians in the group."
Here's a scene from the 2008 event.
The Hagee church is clearly exuberant about Israel and the Jewish people
There is no joy on J Street. No exuberance about the land, the Jewish people, no celebrations on Yom Yerushalayim, its kids at Brandeis embarassed about the Israeli ambassador..
Just watch. If anything in the "God forbid" category were to happen to my friends and family in Israel -- in Hebron or Kedumim or the Jewish Quarter or Sderot --the first instinct of some of my leftist friends will be to blame Israel somewhere in the first sentences of their sorrow -- blaming Israel for bringing about its own sorrow by refusing to
surrender make peace according to terms dictated by Israel's colonial master, the British Mandate.the president of the United States.
The first reaction of Hagee and my Christian friends in Texas will be to cry. They will react as if something happened to someone they loved -- us.
And now, they support Israel's defense, defiance, honor and purpose. They thrill to the present and thrill to the future. Israel makes them happy. Imagine that.
Related & Recommended
The Jewish Week feels comments create a valuable conversation and wants to feature your thoughts on our website. To make everyone feel welcome, we won't publish comments that are profane, irrelevant, promotional or make personal attacks.