- (Photo: CUFI via The Christian Post)
Pastor John Hagee of Christians United For Israel (CUFI) has said that despite some people remaining skeptical about Evangelical support for Israel, the Christian Zionism movement is growing.
"Before CUFI there was nothing to give American Evangelicals a national voice for Israel," Hagee shared with JNS.org.
"Our main and initial objective was to get thousands of leaders to go each year to Washington, D.C. to engage every senator and congressperson as to why we as Evangelicals support Israel."
The organization, founded in 2006, has reached 1.6 million members, serving as a pro-Israel voice in U.S. politics, and has raised more than $80 million in donations for Israeli charities.
Hagee donated $2.7 million during The Night to Honor Israel event at Cornerstone Church last month, where he shared the stage with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. The pastor spoke out for the need to defend Israel from hostile forces, calling for increased sanctions for Iran.
"Iran's charm offensive is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to buy more time for their nuclear weapons program. The Senate must pass a new round of sanctions against Iran without delay. This week, CUFI will move forward with an action alert asking the Senate to do just that," Hagee said.
Despite CUFI's strong support for Israel, however, JNS pointed out that many Jewish people remain skeptical of Evangelicals' support for Israel.
Hagee, his family and Cornerstone Church in San Antonio have also been targeted by Christians because of his ministry's support for Israel, and have even received bomb threats.
"Israel has always had its enemies. When I first started supporting Israel over 30 years ago, I was using the TV platform to preach against the doctrine of replacement theology, which was all the rage then," the senior pastor added.
"From time to time, groups organize for purposes that are anti-Semitic and anti-Israel. You can't divorce the two. You can call it your theology, but it's anti-Semitism within a theological umbrella. I place all these people in the category of anti-Semites with a new flag to fly," he said.
A number of Jewish U.S. politicians have praised CUFI's efforts, however, including former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who addressed the crowd at a dinner in Hagee's honor on Nov. 7 in New York.
Hagee remarked that that he has had a good relationship with many Jewish leaders throughout the years, including every single Israeli prime minister since Menachem Begin.
"I hope that the next generation [of CUFI advocates] will rise up to be aggressive and intelligent leaders that will continue its work until all the enemies of Israel are defeated," the pastor said.