The Bible commands us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6), to speak out for Zion's sake (Isaiah 62:1), to be watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem (Isaiah 62:6) and to bless the Jewish people (Genesis 12:3). These and so many other verses of the Bible that have one overriding message-- as Christians we have a Biblical obligation to defend Israel and the Jewish people in their time of need.
Israel’s time of need is now. There is a new Hitler in the Middle East --President Ahmadinejad of Iran -- who has threatened to wipe out Israel and America and is rapidly acquiring the nuclear technology to make good on his threat. If we learned anything from the Holocaust, it is that when a madman threatens genocide we must take him seriously.
Right-wing Christian Evangelicals
by JewsOnFirst, July 31, 2006
UPDATE August 18, 2006: JewsOnFirst leads discussion on CUFI's Nights to Honor Israel.
Christian Zionists -- Christian evangelicals who avow support of Israel based on a belief in Biblical end-times scenarios -- are whipping their followers into a fervor in favor of an attack on Iran. In a related development, conservative commentators like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich have been beating the drum for a US attack on Iran, characterizing the current conflict in Lebanon as the start of “World War Three."
The calls for aggressive action against Iran wouldn’t amount to much more than laugh lines for Comedy Channel newscasts, were it not for the involvement of some highly influential, right-wing Christian evangelical leaders in a new Christian Zionist organization, Christians United for Israel, or CUFI.
Religious right groups typically support aggressive foreign policies because of their identification with the Republican Party and their interest in missionizing where the US intervenes. But CUFI, which recently brought 3,500 citizen-lobbyists to Washington, is advocating confrontation with Iran based on "cherry-picked" Biblical interpretations.
CUFI's founder, Rev. John Hagee, is leading this push for aggressive US action, purportedly based on Biblical principles. Hagee heads the Cornerstone megachurch in San Antonio and a big evangelical television operation. He founded CUFI in February and packed its leadership with luminaries of the religious right.
A Christian lobby for Israel
Hagee established CUFI as a Christian congressional lobby in support of Israel, modeled on the pro-Israel congressional lobby AIPAC (the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee), according to news reports. (However, for unknown reasons, he disclaims similarity in an opinion article for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA).)
While AIPAC generally supports current Israeli government policy, Hagee and CUFI board members, including Rev. Jerry Falwell, make clear that they do not support Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories, based on their Biblical interpretations. (For more on Christian Zionism, see the sidebar at right.)
Hagee has been promoting war with Iran since February. His book on the subject, Jerusalem Countdown: A warning to the world, has sold 700,000 copies, the Wall Street Journal reports. Speakers at CUFI's July 18th kickoff banquet hurled imprecations at Iran.