CBN: Twenty Years after Founding, Knesset Christian Allies Caucus Wields Global Influence for Israel

THE KNESSET, JERUSALEM, Israel – Twenty years ago, Israeli Knesset Member Yuri Stern began a one-of-a-kind caucus within Israel's parliament. What began as a small group bridging the gap between Christians and Jews has grown into a global movement.

Josh Reinstein currently directs the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, now commemorating its 20th anniversary.

It brings Knesset members and Christian leaders together to support the Jewish state.

"It's a commemoration of probably the most significant political development in Israel in the past 20 years, and that is the creation of faith-based diplomacy," Reinstein stated. "When people take their biblical support and turn into real political action, and that started in this building, 20 years ago today – and to have people come from all over the world during wartime to commemorate that and talk about how we can use that to advance the cause of Israel is really a blessing."

Caucus Co-Chair Sharren Haskel noted, "For the first time in Jewish history, the Jewish people are not alone. We have our Christian allies and they're standing with us like never before."

Haskel said that while Israel is fighting a war for its survival, the anniversary is a reminder of the importance of Israel's friends.

But during this difficult time of emergency, we see how the whole world is turning against us, how they are spreading lies and propaganda, how they support a murderous, radical Islamist terrorist organization; and people, many people, are scared to support Israel," she observed.

Haskel added, "And so, this event today of 20 years of the bonds and the friendship between the Jewish and the Christian community is so important because there were so many people coming here, saying out loud, 'We're with you. We're your friend. We're still a bridge and we will make sure that never again means never again.'"

Twenty years ago, many Knesset members shied away from working with Christians.

Allies Caucus Co-Chair Yuli Edelstein recalled to CBN News, "I can tell you, I was a member of Knesset then, that the idea was not very popular in the beginning. We can say with a lot of (contentment) that after 20 years, we nearly don't hear these voices anymore because you've proven in the best possible way what true friendship is, what true support is – what mutual love for the Bible is, what mutual goals mean, and the goals are mutual."

Knesset member Ohad Tal says Christians and Jews are locked in a battle for Western civilization. "We have to win, he insisted, "for the entire Western civilization, for the entire free world. Because, if God forbid, we will not win this war, it will not end here. Radical Islam all over the world will feel that they have prevailed. And we can already see what is happening in the capitals of Europe, and in America, and so many other places. So together, with God's help, we will win."

Scott Phillips, executive director of the Christian group Passages, explained, "It's important to be here at the 20th anniversary of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus because it's important to turn biblical support for Israel, Christian support for Israel, into action. And that's what the members of this caucus do all the time. It's important for members of the Knesset to understand the importance of Christians all over the world supporting Israel. And so, that coming together in the great work of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus is, it's historic and I pray that it only strengthens."

Reinstein cited the dramatic growth of the caucus, which has spawned caucuses around the world.

"We have 53 Israel Allies caucuses now, just like we have in the Knesset, 1,500 legislators in our network," he said. "There would not be an embassy in Jerusalem if it wasn't for faith-based diplomacy. There would not be anti-Semitism and anti-BDS legislation around the world. We wouldn't even have observer status at the African Union if it wasn't for our Christian supporters who got involved in the political process. Faith-based diplomacy today, after 20 years, is the most important diplomatic weapon we have in our diplomatic arsenal."

Reinstein says the caucus hopes to double its membership in the next 20 years.

As these caucuses grow, the influence of its members grow as well, and we see that all over the world. Our network is becoming incredibly powerful and are speaking in ways and acting for Israel like never before," he asserted. "And I think the best of faith-based diplomacy is yet to come."

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