Thousands of pastors and churchgoers are meeting this week in Washington D.C. at the annual conference of Christians United for Israel (CUFI). The group, which is led by pastor John Hagee, believes in a "Bible mandate" to support Israel and the Jewish people.
Speakers at the conference are to include Hagee and Israel's Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren.
CUFI was instrumental in the founding of Israel Allies Caucus in the United States Congress in 2006.
It's executive director, David Brog, is a Jew who claims that the group does not seek to convert Jews to Christianity. Its stated goals are to “educate and build Christian support for Israel throughout America,” and to “rally evangelical Christians in support of Israel for biblical and moral reasons.”
CUFI says that it pursues its goals through the distribution of literature and DVDs, and by holding Middle East Briefings and annual Nights to Honor Israel in communities throughout the U.S.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government is well aware of the crucial importance of the evangelical Christian vote in the U.S. and has been maintaining a warm relationship with the stream. When Netanyahu addressed CUFI's Jerusalem Summit in March, he said: “Christian Zionism preceded modern Jewish Zionism, and I think enabled it.”
“Your presence here today represents a profound transformation in the relationship between Christians and Jews. This transformation has its roots in the 19th century when the early Christian Zionists came to the Land of Israel and when they began exploring the land of the Bible, when they began to yearn for the Jewish restoration in this land, the restoration of our numbers, the restoration of our sovereignty.
“Time after time, through thick and thin, you have stood shoulder to shoulder with our state, and I have come here tonight to thank you for your unwavering friendship. And today that friendship is more important than ever because Israel faces unprecedented challenges to its security and its legitimacy.”
Several weeks ago, Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon addressed 2010 Epicenter conference in Philadelphia http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/news.aspx/138288 , and said the Israeli government wants to continue to strengthen its relationship with evangelical Christians. Israelis and evangelicals are "all in the same boat," he said.