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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

October 30, 2002

A friend in need - Revised

The following is quoted from the Jerusalem Post, 27 October, 2002:
The leadership of the US Christian Coalition is heading to Israel for its first-ever solidarity mission at the invitation of the Tourism Ministry, the group announced over the weekend.

The five-day mission will be headed by Christian Coalition president Roberta Combs. According to Combs, the group decided to schedule the mission after thousands of supporters turned out for a pro-Israel rally in Washington on October 11.

"We urge all friends of Israel to visit and stand with Israel during these difficult times," she said.

The group plans to meet Israeli officials and terror victims and visit holy sites and Jewish communities in the West Bank.
But, of course, support for Israel among North American non-Jews is not confined to “the Christian Right”. Jean Kirkpatrick is another staunch supporter of democratic Israel. (For four years, 1981-85, Jean Kirkpatrick was US Ambassador to the UN under Ronald Reagan.)

The Jerusalem Post, October 28, 2002,reports:
"The United Nations hasn't really improved much in the years since I was there, and it hasn't really improved much at all with respect to Israel," said Kirkpatrick. She said that when she first began attending Security Council and General Assembly sessions as America's ambassador, "I was very deeply shocked by the simple anti-Semitism that pervaded the place." The anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment she was exposed to at the world body was "mysterious," and "very, very strange," she said.

"We need to speak out about the calumny spoken at the UN," she said, noting that in addition to condemning anti-Jewish hatred emanating from Arab countries, Western European nations, such as France, should be taken to task for failing to halt anti-Semitism at home.

"We must tell the truth. We must tell the world about what happens that is dangerous to the people of Israel and the Jews of the world." Kirkpatrick praised Israel for taking risks for peace numerous times during its half-century history. "The state of Israel has taken more risks for peace than any state in the world, and has received very few rewards for those risks for peace," she said.
...
Kirkpatrick noted that she had doubted the effectiveness of the Oslo Accords in bringing peace to Israel from the time of their singing, in 1993. Oslo, she said, entailed "large risks from the people of Israel and little promise. Really, nothing occurred to make Israel stronger or better situated to face the future," she said.

She urged the hundreds of guests who turned out for the dinner to continue their support for Israel.

"With peace, the whole area could enjoy a better life. That should be our hope, that should be our prayer, and that should be our American policy wherever we can make that our policy."
Many non-Jewish organizations support Israel, and the web sites of these organizations are loaded with vital information relevant to pro-Israel advocacy. Examples include:

Christian Action For Israel (CAFI), Ayn Rand Institute (ARI), Empower America (whose board includes Jean Kirkpatrick, Jack Kemp and Bill Bennett), and the International Christian Zionist Center (ICZC), located in Jerusalem.

Israel also enjoys the support of certain non-Jewish web-based news outlets, a category in which WorldNetDaily , and particularly Joseph Farah’s articles, are conspicuous.

Similarly, there are many non-Jewish bloggers who support Israel. Noteworthy in this category is my colleague Dawson Jackson, A BISI member, who not only runs a pro-Israel web site, but who also opened his site to me for posting before the creation of IsraPundit.

Why do all these non-Jewish individuals and organizations rush to support Israel? There may be, of course, reasons specific to each individual and organization, including religious reasons. But polls indicate that the overarching consideration is solidarity with a republic whose values of democracy and freedom are identical with ours. In fact, after July 2000 (when Arafat walked away from Barak’s peace proposal), as I first got involved in a close examination of the Israel-Arab conflict, this was the principal consideration that ultimately led me to support pro-Israel advocacy.

May Israel flourish.

Addendum, 11:00 am, EST:

Subsequent to posting the article above earlier today, I came across a Jerusalem Post article by Yechiel Eckstein, dated 29 October, 2002, and bearing the title Friends in Deed. Eckstein, founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews and Stand for Israel, writes, inter alia:

On October 20, more than five million people across America stood in solidarity with the beleaguered State of Israel and prayed for peace in the Holy Land. Most remarkably, this massive show of support was made not by Jews, but by Christians.

I led prayers for Israel at Mount Paran church in suburban Atlanta, together with thousands of Christians who chose to dedicate their Sunday prayers to this lofty - and I believe, most noble - cause.

The good people of Mount Paran were far from alone. Theirs was one of nearly 20,000 churches across the United States that joined in this very special Day of Prayer and Solidarity with Israel, sponsored by the Stand for Israel project of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.
...
This remarkable national effort, slated to be an annual event on the American Christian calendar, came on the heels of a new poll we commissioned that sought to understand Evangelicals' motivation for supporting Israel...

Among Evangelicals who expressed support for Israel, well over half attributed their support to non-theological factors such as Israel's democratic system of government and the value it places on freedom, the country's status as a long-standing ally of the US in the war against terror, or the fact that Jews have been persecuted for centuries and need a homeland.
...
Far more Evangelicals support Israel because of its role in advancing freedom and democracy in the world today than because of any theological reasons. And even when they cite the chief theological basis for supporting Israel, nearly twice as many cited the book of Genesis as opposed to the book of Revelation.
Heartening news indeed.

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland