(Photo: Wharton Photography)
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee was the keynote speaker at the Night to Honor Israel event at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, this past Sunday night, with Senior Pastor John Hagee calling for fresh U.S. sanctions on Iran for its nuclear weapons program.
"If you wonder why this land of ours exists, it exists for liberty, it exists for freedom, it exists for the right of people to exercise their faith. There is only one country on earth that so mirrors that – it is Israel," Huckabee said at the event, which marked the closing of Cornerstone's three-day Feast of Tabernacles celebration.
Huckabee was joined on stage by Hagee, who is also founder and Chairman of Christians United for Israel, and Maya Kadosh, deputy consul General of Israel to the American Southwest, a press release noted.
Hagee spoke about the many threats Israel currently faces, in particular Iran's nuclear weapons program.
"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.
New Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been described as a "moderate" in some media reports, and his visit to the U.N. in New York in September was highlighted by a number of interviews where he answered questions about Iran and the Islamic country's beliefs.
In one interview with CNN, however, Iran media claimed Rouhani had been mistranslated as implying that the Holocaust happened, while Iran officially disputes the extent to which Jewish people were persecuted during World War II.
Persecution watchdog groups like Open Doors have also questioned how much change Rouhani really can bring, and if his efforts will ease Iran-U.S. relations. The Islamic country was ranked at number 8 on the World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians around the world
The Night to Honor Israel event at Cornerstone Church ended with John Hagee Ministries donating $2.7 million to various Israeli and Jewish charities, including Afikim Family Enrichment Association, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Avukat Or, Bikur V'Ezras Cholim, Eretz Nehederet, Friends of the IDF, Hadadi Center for Breast Cancer, Heart of Benjamin, Herzl Institute, International Council of Young Israel, Israel Help and Education Center at Kiryat Gat, Jewish Agency for Israel, Just One Life, Koby Mandell Foundation, Meir Panim, Migdal Ohr, Nahal Haredi, Nefesh B'Nefesh, Netanya College, Ohr Torah Stone, Or L'Doron, Save a Child's Heart, Shurat Hadin, Women's International Zionist Organization, World ORT, and Yad Vashem.