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Dr. Pat Roberstson, Chair man, Christian Broadcasting Network

“Why Evangelical Christians Support Israel"

I have a personal word before I bring an address. One year ago this December I had the shocking news from my urologist that I had a cancerous prostate which has gotten to a Glisson 7, and as I was looking for solutions I was fortunate enough to find an Israeli urologist who had pioneered laparoscopic radical surgery on prostate and I went to see a man named Arnon Congred, found that his wife used to be the administrative assistant for the Chief of Staff of the IDF so I felt I was in good hands as I entrusted my body to them and I am pleased to report that after that surgery within seven days I was back on television and within ten days after surgery I was riding my horse.

I hope Secretary Powell who had conventional surgery won't be quite as, well, he'll come out a little better than that. But Dr. Congrad's father, his distinguished father is also a physician and a teacher at Columbia University, he is here, I want to give my stand up, I am just so glad to see you and a very distinguished physician, and when I met him at breakfast he said: "we need a good dose of love", and so that's why I am here, to bring you just that.

According to the records one day in the late 19th century Queen Victoria of England reportedly asked her Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli this question: "Mr. Prime Minister, what evidence can you give me of the existence of God?" Disraeli thought for a moment and he said: "the Jew, Your Majesty".

Just think that according to Disraeli the primary evidence that God exists is the existence of the Jewish people, a people who in 586 were deported to Babylon yet returned after 70 years to rebuild a nation, who were again brutally massacred and dispersed by the Romans in 70 AD and of course again in 1035, yet after countless centuries of Diaspora, expulsions, pogroms, ghettos and attempts at genocidal extermination have clung to their faith, their customs and now after some 2,500 years of wandering have returned to the land promised by God to their ancestors. A new nation begun in that land in 1948 named after their ancestor Jacob, who’s divinely appointed name Israel means … with God. And to fulfill another ancient prophecy, God moved on the heart of Eliezer Ben Yehuda whose son Ehud told me some years ago that while his father was living in Eastern Europe he heard a voice and he saw a light directing him to bring forth for the Jewish people a pure language, modern Hebrew, the language of the Torah and the ancient prophets. Yes, the survival of the Jewish people is a miracle of God.

The return of the Jewish people to the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a miracle of God. The remarkable victories of Jewish armies against overwhelming odds and successive conflicts in 1948, in 1967, in 1973 are clearly miracles of God! The technological marvels of Israeli industry, the military prowess, the bounty of Israeli agriculture, the fruits and flowers and abundance of the land are a testimony to God's watchful care over the new nation and the genius of this people. Yet what has happened was clearly foretold by the ancient prophet Ezekiel, who writing centuries ago, at the time of the Babylonian captivity declared this message, and I quote: "for I will take you out of the nations, I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back to your own land. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you, to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. You will live on the land I gave your forefathers, you will be my people and I will be your God. I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful. I will increase the food of the trees and the crops of the field so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine". This is what the Sovereign Jehovah says: "on the day I cleanse you from all your sins I will resettle your towns and the ruins will be rebuilt. The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the site of all who pass through it. They will say: this land that was laid waste has become like the Garden of Eden. The cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed are now fortified and inhabited. Then the nations around you that remain will know that I Jehovah have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I Jehovah have spoken and I will do it". It’s the 36th chapter of the book of the prophet Ezekiel. Ladies and gentlemen, Evangelical Christians support Israel because we believe that the words of Moses and the ancient prophets of Israel were inspired by God. We believe that the emergence of a Jewish state in the land promised by God to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was ordained by God. We believe that God h as a plan for this nation, that he intends to be a blessing to all the nations of the earth, and of course we like all right thinking people support Israel because Israel is an island of democracy, an island of individual freedom, an island of the rule of law, and an island of modernity in the midst of a sea of dictatorial regimes, the suppression of individual liberty and a fanatical religion intent on returning to the feudalism of 8th century Arabia. These facts about modern day Israel are all true, but mere political rhetoric does not account for the profound devotion to Israel that exists in the hearts of tens of millions of evangelical Christians. You must realize that the God who spoke to Moses on Mt. Sinai is our God. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were our spiritual patriarchs. Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Denial, Isaiah are our prophets. King David, a man after God's own heart is our hero. The holy city of Jerusalem is our spiritual capital, and the continuation of Jewish sovereignty over the holy land is a further bulwark that God and the Bible exist, and that His word is true. And we should clearly take note that evangelical Christians serve a Jews that we believe was the divine Messiah of Israel, spoken of by the ancient prophets to whom he entrusted the worldwide dissemination His message to twelve Jewish apostles. It should be noted that today Christianity, with well over 2.2 billion adherence is by far the fastest growing religion in the world. Within 20 years that number will swell to 3 billion. Of these at least 600 million are Bible believing Evangelicals and charismatics who are ardent supporters of the nation of Israel. In 20 years that number will reach 1 billion. Israel has millions of Christian friends in China, in India, in Indonesia, throughout Africa and South America as well as in the United States and other parts of North America. We are with you in your struggle. We are with you as a wave of anti-Semitism is engulfing the earth. We are with you despite the pressure of the Quartet and the incredibly hostile resolutions of the United Nations. We are with you despite the threats and ravings of Wahabi Jihadists, Hezbollah thugs and Hamas assassins. We are with you despite all embargoes, loss of allies and terrorist attacks on our cities. We Evangelical Christians merely say to our Israeli friends: "let us serve our God together by opposing the virulent poison of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism that is rapidly engulfing the world. And having affirmed our support, to day I would humbly make two requests of our Israeli friends. First – please don’t commit national suicide. It is very hard for your friends to support you if you make a conscience decision to destroy yourself. I find it hardly necessary to remind this audience of the stated objectives of Yasser Arafat, the PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah and the Islamic Jihad. Their goal is not peace but the final destruction of the state of Israel. At no time do they or their allies in the Muslim world acknowledged the sovereignty of Israel of even 1 square inch of territory in the Middle East. If a Palestinian State is created in the heart of Israel, with sovereign power to deploy troops, import modern weapons, even weapons of mass destruction, and operate with full secrecy and diplomatic immunity, the ability of the state of Israel to defend itself will be fatally compromised. The slogan "land for peace" is a cruel caymera(?). The Sinai was given up, did that bring peace? No. Southern Lebanon was given up, did that bring lasting peace? No. Instead, the Hezbollah road tanks to the border of Israel shouting: "on to Jerusalem". And now as many as 10,000 rockets are aimed at Metula, Kiryat Shmona, northern Israel, even as far away as Haifa, and these have been put in place all over southern Lebanon. Arafat was brought up on the knees of a man who yearned to finish the work of Adolph Hitler. How can any realist truly believe that this killer and his associates can become trusted partners for peace? I am aware of the deep feelings of many Israelis who yearn for peace. I was yesterday in Ariel, I spoke to two people who were the victims of terrorist bombings and someone else from Shiloh who had been shot, he and his son, by terrorists. I understand the feeling of these people to be free from this kind of terror, but I would draw your attention to the fact that during the cold war the American people yearned to be free from the constant threat of a nuclear holocaust, and then in Reykjavik, Island, on the occasion of a summit between President Ronald Reagan and the United States and Premier Mikhail Gurbachev of the Soviet Union, what seemed like an incredible opportunity for peace was presented to President Reagan by Mr. Gurbachev. An offer was made for hitherto undreamed of reduction in nuclear weapons. Gurbachev's offer included everything the US arms negotiators had wanted except one thing: the condition for the Russian offer was to be the agreement by the United States to abandon the so-called Star Wars of the strategic defense initiative. President Reagan carefully considered the offer then reluctantly said "no". Without the strategic defense initiative they would be no deal. Gurbachev was stunned. Then both leaders with sadness in their heart adjourned the meeting and departed Reykjavik. Once again the world was hovering on the brink of nuclear annihilation, the American liberal press was apoplectic at Reagan's decision, but he held firm, and now we all know that he was right, the Russians could not compete with the United States in a nuclear arms race and Gurbachev knew it. The bluster was now over. The threats were over. Reagan had won by standing firm, and soon freedom broke out in Poland, in Hungary, in East Germany, the Berlin wall came down, the barbed wire fences came down, and then Soviet communism came down. The world is safe from super power and nuclear terror but terror is no more because one strong leader stood against public opinion, against the advice of many of his own counselors and said "no!" May the leaders of Israel in 2004 have the courage to look the nations of the world in the eye and when your national interest demand it, say "no". Second – the world's Christians ask that you do not give away the treasured symbols of your spiritual patrimony. I recently read in the Wall Street Journal an article by an American Jewish commentator who remarked that the Temple Mount and what is termed The Wailing Wall are "sacred stones and sites that hardly worth bloodshed". Just think, the place where the Patriarch Abraham took Isaac to offer him to God, the place bought by King David from Arauna where the angel of the Lord with drawn sword, the place of Solomon's temple, the place of the holy of holies, the place where Jesus Christ walked and talked, the very spiritual center of the Jewish worship of the one true God – nothing but a pile of sacred stones unworthy of sacrifice? What an incredible assertion. Ladies and gentlemen make no mistake about it, the entire world is being convulsed by a religious struggle, the fight is not about money or territory, it is not about poverty versus wealth, it is not about ancient customs versus modernity, the struggle is where the who ball, the moon-God of Mecca known as Allah is supreme over the Judeo- Christian Jehovah God of the Bible is supreme. If God's chosen people turn over to Allah control of their most sacred sites, it they surrender to Muslim vandals the tombs of Rachel, of Joseph, of the Patriarchs, or the 7 ancient prophets, if they believe their claim to the holy land comes only from Lord Balfour of England and the ever fickle United Nations rather than the promises of almighty God, than in that event Islam will have won the battle. Throughout the Muslim world the message will go forth: "Allah is greater than Jehovah, the promises of Jehovah to the Jews are meaningless, we can now in the name of Allah move to crush the Jews and drive them out of the land that belongs to Allah. In short, those political initiatives that some have asserted will guarantee peace would in truth guarantee unending struggle and ultimate failure. Those political leaders who only understand the secular dimension of Israel's existence and who cavalierly dismiss the spiritual dimension will find that they receive the massive potage of Esau rather than inheritance of Jacob. In closing, I would like to relate a personal experience. On Christmas day 1974 I had the privilege of interviewing Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin for my television program The 700 Club. As we discussed his problems he said the major problem confronting Israel was the fact that they could never make a peace treaty, it didn’t matter how many victories were won on the battlefield, they were always stopped from a peace treaty. And that evening I went to meet with a group of people who had come with me, we were in the Intercontinental hotel on the Mt. of Olives and those big picture glass windows and I was looking down over the illuminated Temple Mount and I shared the interview and there was one thing else that Prime Minister Rabin said to me in my last question, I said: what would you like to ask the United States to do? And he looked at me and he thought for a minute and he said: "be strong, be strong". All that evening when I thought of the sadness in his eyes and the isolation of this nation, much like it is today, I made a solemn vow to almighty God that whatever happened and however painful it might be, that I was going to stand with Israel and with the Jewish people and I am pleased to report today that each year for those last 30 years I have 8 kept that vow. And so today I would deliver to Israel in 2003 and 2004 the same message Yitzhak Rabin delivered to the United States on Christmas day in 1974: be strong. Be strong. The sovereign God will be with you and so will you Evangelical friends. Thank you and God bless you.

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