Christians 'Unite for Israel' at Washington Summit

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WASHINGTON -- Evangelical Christians in America have become Israel's staunchest ally in a world increasingly hostile to the Jewish state.

That support was on full display this week in the nation's capital as over 4,000 Christians and Jews gathered at the Washington Convention Center for the annual Christians United for Israel summit.
CUFI is now the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States with over 400,000 members nationwide - including chapters on college campuses throughout the U.S.

"There's a passion and a heart for Israel for anyone who believes the Bible," said CUFI's founder, Pastor John Hagee.

Hagee told CBN News that he started CUFI in 2006 with a Biblical mandate in mind.

"What are the spiritual things that we as Christians have received from the Jewish people?" Hagee asked.  "We have received the word of God, we have received the patriarchs, we have received the prophets of the Old Testament, and we have received Mary, Joseph, and Jesus."

The Washington, D.C. event attracted several pro-Israel lawmakers.  And there were also tough words for the Obama administration from both sides of the aisle regarding its treatment of Israel.

"What has become painfully obvious to many Americans is that this administration has become the most anti-Israel administration in American history," Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., said. 

Rep. Shelly Berkley, D-Nev., was also critical of the administration's Israel policy.

"When the administration seized every opportunity to criticize Israel for building apartments for its people in the undisputed neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, creating a crisis that was unnecessary, unwise and bad for Israel - I spoke out and condemned the actions of administration," she said.     

The reception was different, however, for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He appeared live via satellite to a rousing standing ovation as he thanked evangelical Christians for their support. Israel's ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, also appeared, highlighting the global growth of anti-Semitism and the looming threat of a nuclear Iran.

Christian Broadcasting Network President Michael Little and CBN News Terrorism Analyst Erick Stakelbeck were featured speakers at the week-long event. The conference concluded on Thursday with delegates heading to Capitol Hill to lobby their representatives on behalf of Israel.

*Originally published July 23, 2010.

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Erick Stakelbeck

Erick Stakelbeck

CBN News Correspondent

Erick Stakelbeck is a sought after authority on terrorism and national security issues with extensive experience in television, radio, and print media. Stakelbeck is a correspondent and terrorism analyst for CBN News.  Follow Erick on Twitter @Staks33.