Tag: Christian Zionist

Onward, Christian Zionists

The fastest growing Israel support group in America.

In Washington, D.C.’s convention center they danced the horah, sang Hebrew songs, and waved American and Israeli flags. Charlie Daniels played Hatikvah on his fiddle. It wasn’t a bar mitzvah, or a gathering of the pro-Israel group AIPAC. It was the fifth annual summit of an even larger pro-Israel organization, the nation’s largest: Christians United for Israel, better known as CUFI.

A few hours before addressing the convention, its founder, Pastor John Hagee, explained how CUFI came to exist. “I went to Israel in 1978 as a tourist with a group of people from my church and I came home a Zionist,” he said. “I felt the presence of God in the city of Jerusalem like no place on earth.” Praying at the Western Wall, he realized he had to “do everything in my power to bring Christians and Jews together in an atmosphere of mutual esteem and acceptance.”

At first, he didn’t know how to begin. But in 1981, after an Israeli airstrike blew up the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak, “the American media went after Israel hammer and claw. I saw the door of opportunity open. I told my wife as we watched the television with the news anchor berating Israel and Menachem Begin, ‘We are going to have a night for Israel.’ ”