“No single American is more responsible for the US Embassy move to Jerusalem than Pastor John Hagee” said Senator Lindsey Graham by satellite last week at a dinner held on Pastor Hagee’s behalf.
John Hagee’s support for Israel has always inspired me. Not only has he been a generous supporter of Leket Israel’s work, he has been a steadfast supporter of Israel amidst a growing climate of antisemitism. I have had the privilege to participate in his joyous Night to Honour Israel four times in the past, and last week I had the opportunity to honour him in person.
The purpose of the evening was for the Jewish community to express appreciation for Pastor Hagee. Held in Congregation Rodfei Sholom in San Antonio, Texas, this is probably the first time many of the several hundred from the Jewish community had gathered to express true respect and appreciation for a Christian leader. A growing number of Jews are overcoming their fears about Christians and more and more Christians are awakening to the important connection between our two faiths and extending the hand of friendship.
I had the honour of being seated next to Charles Kaufman, President of B’nai Brith International; Dr. LaSalle Vaughn, a prominent pastor; Suzanne Jacobson, a Vice President of Jewish Federation of Greater Houston; and Rabbi Pesach Wolicki, Associate Director and Lecturer at the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation.
Jews and Christians coming together to honour Israel clearly demonstrates that God is at work building bridges today.
John Hagee has been persecuted for his love of Israel and the Jewish People, even by members of the Christian community. Throughout his ministry, Hagee has maintained that the people of Israel possess a unique and special relationship with the God of Israel and that nothing in the New Testament changed that. When Pastor Hagee was called upon to speak, he spoke of his persecution. He recounted being called a heretic which, he said, “is the accusation of teaching people things that will damn them to hell. It’s like being told to go to hell in a special way!” Despite this, his support for Israel has only grown over the years. He recalled a memory of his father telling him that Israel’s rebirth under Jewish sovereignty “proves that the Bible is true,” and shared that “the return of the Jewish people to Israel was the greatest miracle in the 20th century.”
It’s an honour to be associated with Pastor Hagee, and I wish him many more years of ministry and support of the people of Israel!