ICEJ reiterates support for Israel at Knesset Christian Allies Caucus relaunch

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10 Sep 2015
ICEJ reiterates support for Israel at Knesset Christian Allies Caucus relaunch

In Budapest on Friday, Israel’s Knesset Christian Allies Caucus will celebrate its sixth birthday, marking a rare bright spot in Israel’s relations with the rest of the world.

Founded by the late MK Yuri Shtern, the Caucus will celebrate in Budapest by inaugurating its 16th sister caucus in the Hungarian parliament, with hopes to reach 30 by the end of the year.

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem joined the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus in late July to launch the initiative in the current 20th Knesset of Israel. Founded by the late MK Yuri Shtern 11 years ago, the Caucus has to be re-launched in each new government.

The event was attended by 25 Israeli parliamentarians, including three ministers, Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein, former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman and Michael Oren, former ambassador to the US. A special welcome was given to Rabbi Benny Elon, a former head of the caucus, who has been recovering from cancer.

The Executive Director of ICEJ Juergen Buehler had the honor to address the audience, quoting former president Shimon Peres saying Jewish-Christian relations were the best they have been in 2000 years.

“Nowhere in the world do we have a parliament with a caucus that reaches out specifically to Evangelical Christians,” Buehler said. “Our support for Israel is strategic at this time!”

The KCAC underlines the historical development of Jewish-Christian relations and it was established to build direct lines of communication, cooperation and coordination between the Knesset and Christian leaders around the world. Sister caucuses have been launched in the parliaments of some 32 countries.

In the new Knesset, the caucus will be chaired by Yisrael Beytenu faction chairman Robert Ilatov, assisted by his deputy from the Zionist Union, Deputy Knesset Speaker Yoel Hasson.

In his address, Ilatov said the caucus would focus on four main areas in the 20th Knesset: strengthening KCAC's 32 sister caucuses worldwide, combatting the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement, working against the nuclearization of Iran, and striving for recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's eternal capital by countries around the world.

KCAC director Josh Reinstein acknowledged that Israel is dependent on Christian support, while Former KCAC chairperson, Minister Gila Gamliel, pointed to the Bible saying that God will bless the Christian supporters of Israel for their devoted work.