“I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:3)
Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the pro-Israel organization with 1.8 million members (founded by Christian pastor John Hagee), came to Israel for a three-day trip last week, with 51 pastors—one from each state and the District of Columbia.
At a time when airlines and tour agencies have cancelled flights to Israel, the pastors came to show their support for the Jewish People and to offer encouragement to Israeli soldiers fighting for the existence of Israel.
“There are still people in America who can distinguish morally between Israel and Hamas. There are still people in America who appreciate what Israel is doing—not just to protect their own citizens, but we believe deeply that when Israel battles Hamas they’re also protecting us in America,” CUFI executive director David Brog said. (CBN)
During their visit, the pastors were briefed by high Israeli government officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The pastors then visited Sderot, the southern war-weary city, which has endured around 7,000 rockets launched toward it from Beit Hanoun in Gaza since 2000. Only 1,800 yards from Beit Hanoun, a Qassam rocket travelling at 200 yards per second will take only 9 seconds to reach the people of Sderot.
Arriving 24 hours into the 72-hour ceasefire, the pastors experienced two incoming rocket red alerts, which turned out to be false alarms. They were an immersion experience in real Israeli life, nonetheless.
After lunch and a bird’s eye view of the region, they came face-to-face with the Iron Dome missile defense system and the soldiers that man it in Ashdod.
The pastors also visited the wounded, as well as the father of Gilad Shaar, one of the three teens kidnapped and killed two months ago by Hamas.
“While Israel’s been at war, our pastors and leaders have wanted to do something concrete to demonstrate their support and solidarity. So in addition to our recent DC Summit and our national advertising campaign about Hamas, we’re taking 51 pastors—one from every state in the union plus the District of Columbia—on a solidarity mission to Israel,” Brog said. (globenewswire)
Brog emphasized that the intent of the trip is to not only lend moral support to the soldiers but to show the world that not everyone agrees with those “shouting ‘death to the Jews’ on the streets of Berlin and Paris.”
The trip follows the pro-Israel organization’s ad campaign, which ran full page ads on August 1 in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Denver Post, Chicago Sun Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, and USA Today.
This came a day after similar ads ran in the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.
Banner ads on major news websites have also been running, such as on Fox News and the Christian Post.
The ad campaign had two purposes. One was to help the US media understand Hamas’ true goals, and the second was to help Secretary of State Kerry see the true nature of Israel’s situation.
The ad encouraged readers to email Kerry and tell him that “now is not the time to ease the legal and justified blockade of Gaza. Now is the time to destroy Hamas’ terror tunnels, remove Hamas’ missile stockpiles, and to demilitarize Gaza.” (Washington Post)