So said U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R, Kansas) in the Knesset on Monday, addressing Knesset Members by invitation of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Sharon met with the Senator, who, since his election in 1996, has been one of Israel's closest friends in the Senate. Sen. Brownback, 48, serves on the Senate's Appropriations Committee, Foreign Relations Committee, and the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.
The Knesset Christian Allies Caucus was recently formed to increase communication and promote cooperation between Israel and Christians around the world. It provides Christian churches and organizations with formal and direct lines of communication with the Knesset. The 12 Knesset Members who comprise the Caucus come from six different parties in the Knesset: Likud, NRP, Labor, Shinui, National Union and Shas.
Among the issues raised by the Senator in his remarks were the dangers posed by U.S. military aid to Egypt - aid, he said, that should be totally cut off. He also spoke of the necessity of moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, Israel's right of self-defense in the face of Palestinian terror, and the global war against terrorism.
Excerpts from Sen. Brownback's Knesset speech:
"You cannot know the honor this is for me to be here addressing you. Since my earliest memories growing up on a farm in Kansas in the heartland of America, I have read and studied and been taught about you, the people of Israel. I was raised and steeped in the Bible while growing up. Ancient Israel was, and is, a living reality in my home. Its spirituality, wisdom, poetry, its majesty inspired and encouraged me all my life. You have helped form my soul and I thank you for it.
"The bedrock of support for Israel in America today is comprised of Christians, like myself, who were raised on the Bible, and who see in the Jews of Israel today the inheritors of the tradition of ancient Israel. I've had the great joy of seeing modem Israel, the living spirit of its past. Israel's chain of history and its will to survive with purpose and meaning is a true miracle.
"I have been to Israel several times. The last time I was in Israel, I looked out the window of my hotel and saw the flag of Israel with the Star of David and the thought entered my mind, 'God does keep His promises!' That flag which had been absent in this land for nearly 2,000 years was now flying again. What an awesome God we serve...
"As a member of the United States Senate, my message to you today is to be encouraged. We are with you. We are with you as your allies in this war against terrorism. We are with you in the United Nations. We are with you as your friends as a wave of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric is once again on the rise...
"Our past and our present and our futures are intertwined together. So, in my parting, I pray for Israel. That in this season of ingathering you will be a blessing to all nations. That you will be a Holy Nation. A nation of the righteous leading the world in righteousness. It is your duty and destiny. And when you do your duty, the rest of us will be blessed and able to do ours. Thank you and God bless you."