UPDATE: More rioting on the Temple Mount early this afternoon with Palestinian ‘worshipers’ throwing rocks at tourists and Israeli security personnel. All of this is part of the ongoing attempt of Muslims to completely Islamize the holiest place in Judaism.
Sunday was a great day. The Israel Matters Committee that your humble servant chairs while in the United States invited Randy Neal, the Western Director of Christians United For Israel (CUFI), to speak at our local synagogue. People crowded into our sanctuary from all over northern California coming from such picturesque places as Lake Tahoe, Paradise, Cool, and San Francisco.
I included the following remarks in my introduction: “At a time when countries, organizations and individuals around the world—including some organizations and individuals right here in our local area—have been using the disguise of “peace” and fraudulently using the terms “democracy” and “human rights” in an attempt to delegitimize Israel through actions such as boycotts, and have been actively working for Israel’s elimination as a Jewish state, CUFI has stood tall among Israel’s supporters—and is always on the front lines of our shared struggle.”
For the next hour, Randy enthralled the audience with the history of CUFI starting with its inception in 2006, its rapidly increasing size (almost 1,000,000 members), its humanitarian donations to Israel (approaching $100,000,000); its summits in Washington, DC which bring CUFI members from all of the U.S. to learn how to engage in pro-Israel advocacy and to meet with their legislative representatives, and its sponsoring of numerous trips to Israel for pastors and youth leaders.
Randy went on to discuss how CUFI is turning much of its emphasis now on United States campuses which have become hotbeds of anti-Israel bashing and outright anti-Semitism. He described how the number of CUFI campus chapters has increased ten fold in five years–from 10 in 2006 to over 100 in 2011. He concluded with an overview of Israeli-Palestinian history from the Balfour Declaration in 1917 to the absurdly generous Olmert offer rejected by Mahmoud Abbas in 2007–all of which showed how committed to peace Israel has been and how committed to violence the Palestinians are.
All in all, it was a stellar presentation from a remarkable speaker–and one of the most stalwart friends of Israel.
This was followed by a question and answer session facilitated by your humble servant that had many interesting questions–except for those posed by the three local members of BDS who had come to hear and try to disrupt what they are up against.
One of them tried to turn the discussion into the eschatological underpinnings Christian evangelicalism, but Randy wasn’t buying what the BDSer was selling and deftly pointed out that he couldn’t speak for God. Another BDSer tried to go off on a rant about the evil of Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli government–but before he could get too far, your humble servant cut him off at the knees.
But these were just two tiny blips in the afternoon’s steadily rising crescendo of fervent Zionism–that reached an even higher pitch in the refreshment period afterward. Everyone your humble servant talked to wanted to know what they could do to support Israel; everyone he talked to was eager to get to work at that moment; everyone he talked to signed the CUFI pledge to go back to their communities and turn talk into action.
THANK YOU CUFI!
THIS DATE IN ISRAELI HISTORY:
On February 21, 1918, the Australian mounted cavalry routed the Turks out of Jericho in Dutch Palestine.
Never heard of “Dutch Palestine”? Following its occupation by British troops in 1917–1918, Palestine was governed by the Occupied Enemy Territory Administration (primarily composed of British and French forces–the latter of which had elements of the Dutch).
As one history has put it: “The capture of Jericho proved to be an important strategic victory for the Allies, who now controlled some of the most important roads in the region, including the main road to the coast and the mountain highway leading to Jerusalem, and had reached the northern end of the Dead Sea.”
To put it a different way, even though fighting continued between the Turks and the British for some time, the battle of Jericho effectively marked the end of 400 years of Muslim Turkish occupation of the holy land of Israel.