One year following the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, Evangelical faith leaders from North, South and Central America gathered in Israel’s Knesset to promote dialogue and foster relations between Christians and Jews, as well as the United States, Latin America and Israel.
The group of 120 also included Pastor Jim and Rosemary Garlow (the niece of Oskar Schindler), Members of Knesset from the Likud and Blue and White parties, Rabbis and Jewish leaders. Representing the sixth Schindler Society Knesset Bible Study and co-sponsored by Israel365, Knesset Member Keren Barak (Likud) hosted the Monday session.
Barak thanked U.S. President Donald Trump for “staying next to Israel as an ally and friend,” calling the U.S.-Israel bond “strong and unbreakable.” She also thanked him for his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital and for setting the example for other countries to move their embassies, including various Latin American countries.
Ralph Reed, founder of the Christian Coalition, expressed the “strong solidarity of the evangelical Christian community in the United States with the State of Israel and the Jewish people.” He told Breaking Israel News, “We believe that exercising our own faith requires and calls us to defend the Jews and to stand with Israel and we are privileged to be here at an inflection point in the modern history of Israel,” referring to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s current task of organizing a new government. “We are meeting with Knesset members in the immediate aftermath of a highly competitive election,” he said.
“In addition,” Reed continued, “we anticipate that the U.S. will unveil a peace plan very soon, so this is an ideal and strategic time for us to express on behalf of 60 million U.S. evangelicals that we are totally and unalterably committed to the security and peace for the State of Israel.”
Michele Bachmann, former U.S. Congresswoman and co-chair of the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast, said it was an “honor” to be in the Knesset with “Rabbis who understand the profound influence of the Bible and the word of God and impact on Israel, the Jewish people and the world.” She expressed her gratitude for “sharing the truths of the Bible with us,” which she said, “brings about a greater foundation of unity.”
While Jews and Christians are theologically different, Bachmann told Breaking Israel News, “We have no divergence of ultimate interest because our shared interest is glorification and peace under a holy God. Faith transcends our political differences and if we humble ourselves to realize there that we are the living creation and likeness of the God who made us, if we have that starting point, that is our unity.”
Rosemary Schindler-Garlow referenced the Biblical prophecy of nations streaming to Jerusalem to learn Torah, saying, “Us, the nations and White house leaders, have come to be instructed by you in the Israeli Knesset. We unite in the purpose of bring Biblical principles to governance, to address rising anti-Semitism and to stand strongly with Israel and Jewish people,” she said, adding, “We are committed to being defenders of this land.”
MK Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud), who has served in the Knesset since 1996, commented on the U.S.-Israel relationship under President Trump. After Obama’s “problematic” relationship with Israel, he said, “a miracle happened and it is not less than a miracle.”
He continued, “President Trump came with your love and devotion and sacrifice and efforts. We are witnessing a leadership that is making big changes in the security of Israel – and not only Israel, but the whole world. Trump knows who is good and who is bad and makes sure Israel and the world are taken care of.”
Rabbi Tuly Weisz reflected on the significance of the number 71 for Israel’s 71st birthday. “Seventy-one is the original Biblical number of government of Israel,” he said. “The number 71 appears first in Numbers 11:16. God says to Moses to gather for me 70 of Israel’s elders and officers of the people. God’s presence came to rest upon the 71 leaders of the nation of Israel.”
Then Hashem said to Moshe, “Gather for Me seventy of Yisrael‘s elders of whom you have experience as elders and officers of the people, and bring them to the Tent of Meeting and let them take their place there with you. (Numbers 11:16)
“Moses and the 70 elders formed a council of 71 which became the basis for the Sanhedrin, the Jewish court that ruled for more than 1,000 years from the times of Moses through the first and second temple periods,” explained Weisz. “In fact, the Sanhedrin was housed on the Temple Mount. Justice and government was one of the central functions of the temple.”
Weisz maintained that like everything in the Bible, every number has infinite significance for the present and the future as well. He referred to the already-fulfilled prophecies of the ingathering of the exiles from the four corners of the world and a land transformed from a desolate wasteland to a beautiful Garden of Eden.
The next step prophecy to be fulfilled, said Weisz is to build the third temple and for an “era of peace on earth where the wolf will lie with the lamb and we will beat our plowshares into pruning hooks.”
Although we are not there yet, Weisz posed, “Today we have Jewish and Christian leaders here and although we don’t agree on everything, it’s a miracle we are all here together in the 71st year of Israel. We all can agree that we pray fervently for the day God restores our government and that this Knesset plays a significant role in bringing peace to Jerusalem the “city of righteousness,” to this vital region and to the entire world.”