Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday addressed a Christians United for Israel (CUFI) summit in Jerusalem and encouraged Christian Zionists around the world to stay the course in their defense of the Jewish state.
Netanyahu reiterated the amazing turn of events that the presence of Israel-loving Christians in the Jewish state represents after centuries of Christian persecution of Jewish minorities.
"Your presence here today represents a profound transformation in the relationship between Christians and Jews," said the prime minister. "This transformation has its roots in the 19th century when the early Christian Zionists came to the Land 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."
Netanyahu noted the Christian Zionism actually preceded modern Jewish Zionism, and acted as a stepping stone for the reestablishment of Israeli sovereignty. In the same spirit as those 19th century Christian Zionists, Netanyahu said leaders like CUFI Director John Hagee are continuing to hold Israel aloft in both prayer and advocacy.
"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," said Netanyahu. "I salute you, the people
of Israel salute you, the Jewish people salute you."
The summit was attended by 1,000 Christian delegates and led by Hagee, who took the opportunity to reaffirm his support and the support of tens of millions of American Christians for Israel.