“For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain silent til her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.” –Isaiah 62:1
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Sixth Annual Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Washington Summit in Washington, D.C. July 18-20, 2011.
The annual conference drew over 5,000 attendees from all 50 U.S. states and seven countries—the largest attendance to date. 500 students from over 200 college campuses came. Moreover, Christians and Jews came together and embraced their love for Israel.
Prior to the summit, CUFI on Campus—the college arm of Christians United for Israel—hosted a series of breakout sessions and lectures for students.
Holocaust survivor Irving Roth and IDF operative Sgt. Benjamin Anthony gave resounding speeches to college students about the Holocaust and service in the Israeli Defense Forces, respectively. Both speakers equally championed the importance of Israel and her right to exist.
The Washington Summit commenced with a formal kickoff by CUFI Founder and National Chairman, Pastor John Hagee, who stressed the importance of Christian Zionism. This concept is outlined below:
Christianity was birthed by biblical Judaism. Moses prophesied of the disobedience, dispersion, return and ultimate restoration of Israel, due to the faithfulness of Jehovah. Some eighty percent of our Bible (what we call the “Old Testament”) was written in Hebrew, by Hebrews, for Hebrews; and although Gentiles could come to God, they had to come through Israel’s God-given religion. Jesus himself instructed the disciples to go only “unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel”, and reminded the Samaritan woman, and us, that “salvation is of the Jews”. (John 4: 22)
Throughout the event, summit attendees listened to renowned religious and political figures.
Breakout sessions included the following: Israel 101: The Basics of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, Myths and Facts: Refuting the Negative Myths About Israel, Christian Zionism: Its History and Importance, Israel 201: How to be an effective Israel Advocate, The U.S. Israel Relationship—Past, Present and Future, and The Looming Threats: Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas.
Furthermore, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the conference’s Middle East Briefing via satellite and offered his support for Christians United for Israel’s efforts. He further emphasized the importance of maintaining a healthy U.S.–Israel relationship:
“We need to defend the truth that Israel is the only reliable ally the U.S. has in the Middle East,” said Netanyahu via satellite. “When you support Israel, you don’t have to choose between your interests and your values; you get both … Our enemies think that we are you, and that you are us: and you know something? They are absolutely right!”
Moreover, summit attendees marveled at Glenn Beck’s “Night to Honor Israel” keynote speech. Beck pledged $10,000 dollars to CUFI on Campus, expressed his unwavering support for Israel, and proclaimed his love for the Jewish people:
Beck also noted Israel’s importance as the cornerstone of Western Civilization:
“Israel is the canary in the coal mine,” said Beck. “If Israel goes away, so does our Western way of life. We have to stand up for Israel. This is a test of our lives and of our civilization. We must do it not because it will bring in the Messiah, or give us more baptisms, but because we love our fellow man and because it defends our way of life.”
The conference culminated with a visit to Capitol Hill, where CUFI delegates met with their elected officials and petitioned them to support Israel.
Christians United for Israel is the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States. It was established in 2006, and currently boasts 720,000 members. To learn more about CUFI, be sure to look here and get involved.
“We stand with Israel unapologetically today, tomorrow, and forever.” – Pastor John Hagee