Christians United for Israel (CUFI)
is the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States. Its primary objective is to build Christian support for Israel throughout the country. It has many education programs including special programs for college students and elected officials. Local chapters across the country hold events.
On Tuesday, April 28, the Tucson chapter hosted a “Night to Honor Israel”
at the Fox Theater. The CUFI website describes the “Night to Honor Israel” events as “an expression of Christian solidarity with the State of Israel and the Jewish people.” The event was free and open to all.
Pastor John Hagee
is the founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church located in San Antonio, Texas. He holds a bachelor's degree from Trinity University, a master's degree from North Texas University, and studied theology at Southwestern Bible Institute. He also is the founder and National Chairman of CUFI, and creator of the “Night to Honor Israel” events.
The Tucson event began with an introduction by John Winchester,
Outreach Director at The Arizona Center For Judaic Studies. After the introduction and opening prayer, Juan Ciscomani read a proclamation by Governor Ducey in support of the event. Presentations were made by both Jewish and Christian groups, and many songs were sung in both English and Hebrew by a group called the Gatekeepers (yes, they sang the theme from “Exodus”).
The main event, however, was the keynote address by Dennis Prager,
a nationally syndicated radio talk show host, columnist, author, and public speaker. He can be heard locally on KVOI 1030 AM from 9 a.m. to noon on weekdays.
Prager is a top tier speaker. He captivated the crowd. He expressed his heartfelt admiration for CUFI and Pastor Hagee. He took time to explain the motivation of Christian support for Israel and the Jewish people (it’s based in scripture), and with a little humor debunked two common myths: 1, that Christians want the Jews to go to Israel so that an apocalypse will occur and hasten the second coming; 2, that Christians use support for Israel as a ploy to convert Jews to Christianity. Prager concluded his talk expressing his belief that the Jewish People are the “canary in the coal mine”
for civilization. He suggested that the reason that America has flourished over the last one hundred years is because it has been a good place for Jews, and that other cultures who treat the Jewish People poorly suffer for it. He closed by saying that when America abandons Israel, it will begin a decline.
He received a standing ovation.