Netanyahu: ‘Devout Christians are greatest champions of the State of Israel’

For the sake of Tzion I will not be silent, For the sake of Yerushalayim I will not be still, Till her victory emerge resplendent And her triumph like a flaming torch.




(the israel bible)

September 4, 2023

4 min read

Over the weekend, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a virtual conference of approximately 400 Evangelical Christian leaders hosted by Mike Evans, the founder of Friends of Zion.

“I’m a great champion of devout Christians because devout Christians are the greatest champions of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said. 

Netanyahu addressed a range of topics during his 21-minute address, including historic Christian Zionism that led to the Balfour Declaration and the foundation of the State of Israel.

He also spoke about his family’s history of Zionism. Netanyahu’s grandfather, Rabbi Nathan Mileikowsky, was a Zionist political activist, rabbi, and writer. The Prime Minister’s father was the scholar and academic Benzion Netanyahu. Netanyahu described how President Eisenhower took inspiration from Benzion and the Jewish people. 

Netanyahu also discussed how, under his guidance, Israel has made alliances with some of its Arab neighbors.

“There’s a very cruel rule, really a physics of politics, internationally and everywhere else, and that is that strength attracts weakness because if you’re strong people will come to you,” Netanyahu said. “We had to be strong, not only in our faith and in our resolve, but we also have to be strong in the material capacities that make a nation strong. The most important thing that you need for strength is a strong military. But a strong military requires a strong economy. I devoted a good deal of my time in office, as Prime Minister of Israel, to convert Israel from a semi-socialist economy to a free market capitalist economy. And once we did that, we had all the genius that is embedded in our people, the technological and scientific prowess to meet the forces of the market.”

“And that created this great transformation of Israel into the startup nation into one of the preeminent powerhouses of technology in today’s world.”

Netanyahu explained that this was the basis for the success of the Abraham Accords.

“If you’re strong, people will make peace with you. Nobody makes peace with the weak.”

Netanyahu also explained that the success of the Abraham Accords was that it sidestepped the Palestinians.

“It took a while to persuade people, even the previous administration, that we don’t have to go through the Palestinians to get their consent to try to get peace with the broader world,” Netanyahu said. “And that’s what people were telling us for 25 years. They said, ‘You can’t go beyond the peace that we made with Egypt and with Jordan. You’re not going to get to the broader Arab world if you don’t make peace with the Palestinians.’ The problem with that is that the Palestinians don’t want peace. You know, they don’t want peace with Israel. They want peace without us. They don’t even want a state next to Israel. They want a state instead of Israel. So if we wait for them, we’ll wait another quarter of a century, and we’re still not going to get it.”

Evans asked on behalf of his Christian listeners if it was safe to come visit Israel. The interview came during a period of increased tensions between Jews and Christians in Israel. 

“I heard two  American friends talking,” Netanyahu quipped. “And one of them said, is it safe to go to Israel? And the other answered, ‘Well, you know, once you get past JFK Airport, it’s fine’.”

Netanyahu acknowledged that there were problems to be dealt with.

“But I can assure you it is safe,” he said. “Those who’ve been to Israel know that when they come here, they’re really embraced. I mean, you will find that there is a very small minority who doesn’t share that view. We take very strong action against them because you are the greatest friends that the Jewish State has. I will never forget this and the vast majority of Israelis strongly agree with me, so please come to be safe. You’ll be welcome.”

Evans asked what the Christian community in the US could do at this time for Israel.

“Right now, the most important thing that you can do is to educate your younger generation, to infuse them with your faith, with your knowledge, with your heritage, with our common heritage, to tell them how important it is for history, for humanity, and for our Judeo Christian tradition. The revival though, the return of the Jews to the Holy Land, and the reconstruction of an independent Jewish state, in the Jewish home, I think that’s important. If I had to say what is the most important thing that you can do? Pass the torch.”

Rabbi Elie Mischel,  the Director of Education at Israel365, agreed with Netanyahu’s high praise of Christian support for Israel.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu is right that Evangelical Christians are Israel’s best friends,” Rabbi Mischel said. “Many Christian groups come to Israel to selflessly and humbly support the Jewish people.”

Rabbi Mischel added a disclaimer.

“That said, the Prime Minister did not mention the elephant in the room,” Rabbi Mischel said. “The cause of the current tensions are Evangelical groups that actively engage in proselytizing Jews in Israel. Given the history of almost two millennia of Christian persecution of the Jewish people, this activity is deeply inappropriate and insulting to Jews across the spectrum, from right to left. To end Jewish-Christian tensions, the State of Israel must learn to distinguish between Christian organizations that love and respect the Jewish people, and those who are trying to convert us all to Christianity.”

Josh Reinstein, the Director of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus and President of the Israel Allies Foundation, emphasized Christians are indeed major supporters of Israel.

“It is Christians, not countries, that stand with the State of Israel, and Christians are bringing their governments with them,” Reinstein said. “If you look at a lot of the diplomatic successes that we’re seeing, most of it is due to faith-based diplomacy. It’s people of faith putting their biblical support behind Israel and turning it into real political action. All Israelis, up to the highest levels of government, understand that Christians are our dearest allies, and that faith-based diplomacy is the most important weapon we have in our diplomatic arsenal today.”

Tommy Waller, the head of Hayovel, acknowledged that  Christian support for Israel is considerable but he added that this must increase.

“After Christianity’s almost 2000-year opposition to Jewish identity and the restoration of Israel it is a blessing to see any support or trust from the Government of Israel,” Waller said. “It is important for us to understand, both Jews and Christians, that the Biblical Prophetic purpose of the Jewish people and Israel changed when the Jewish people returned to the Promised Land. The Prophet Ezekiel says clearly that God’s Name is sanctified and hallowed among the nations when His people return. It has been 75 years since the declaration of the State of Israel was made. Replacement theology should have ended then. Unfortunately, the process of Christianity understanding or waking up to this new reality has been slow and difficult. It is time for the nations to stand with Israel in a more significant way. We need to engage against the conflict now – for Zion’s sake.”

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