More than 5,000 Christians, many evangelical, from across America have gathered in Washington D.C. for a summit designed to show support for the nation of Israel.
The annual conference of the group Christians United For Israel (CUFI) began on Monday and concluded Wednesday in Washington.
Pastor John Hagee, the founder of CUFI, was among the prominent evangelicals who spoke at the event.
The summit reached a fever pitch Tuesday night when Hagee and keynote speaker Glenn Beck addressed the audience. Hagee told delegates that the United States should not have any part in dividing Israel, or the city of Jerusalem.
“If our government forces Israel to divide Jerusalem you can mark that day as the day that God will turn his back on the United States of America,” Hagee told the crowd. “We gathered here with one message: Israel today, Israel tomorrow, and Israel forever.”
The summit comes amidst increasing criticism in some corners during recent months that President Obama's stance towards Israel has weakened relations. Particularly, Obama's call for a return to Isreal's 1967 borders as a starting point in peace negotiations angered some, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Last week, former New York Mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat, said Jews should vote for the Republican candidate in a special election to fill former Rep. Anthony Weiner's seat as a way to send “a shot across President Obama's bow” regarding his stance toward Israel.
By far drawing the most enthused reaction of the evening, Beck told the audience that “Jews have been chased out of every corner of this planet" and that any new Palestinian state that may be created should not come at the expense of Israel.
Netanyahu appeared via satellite to address the conference as well, telling attendees that the values of the United States and Israel are the same.
“Our enemies think that we are you, and that you are us,” said Netanyahu. “And you know something? They are absolutely right.”