03-03-2022 CBN News Jerusalem Chris Mitchell
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JERUSALEM, Israel – The past two decades have seen a profound growth in Jewish-Christian relations. One sign of a much closer relationship is happening within Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.
Members of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus came together this week for the first time since the COVID pandemic began. The caucus began 18 years ago as a bridge between Israeli lawmakers and Christian groups.
“The Knesset Christian Allies Caucus has really been a beacon to the Christian world that the state of Israel wants to work with the Christian supporters of Israel, wants to develop cooperation; and it was really what started this whole movement of faith-based diplomacy, which is today the most important weapon we have in our diplomatic arsenal,” says Josh Reinstein, the executive director of the caucus.Related
Reinstein explains this approach, based on common biblical values, is making a global impact.
“Faith-based diplomacy is growing in leaps and bounds. We’re seeing it in Latin America. We’re seeing it in Asia. We’re seeing it in eastern Europe and, of course, in Africa, incredible support coming out of our network. We now have 50 Israel Allies Caucuses in countries around the world; 1200 legislators in our network. And that number is just going to go up and up as, as faith-based diplomacy spreads around the world,” says Reinstein.
The eight political parties making up Israel’s current coalition government as well as members of the opposition are all represented on the caucus.
“Thank God, now I think, more and more people in the parliament and in Israel, in general, realize that we have true friends of Zion all around the world,” says Yuli Edelstein, co-chair of Knesset Christian Allies Caucus. “I have to continue strengthening these relations. It’s very important for us to find even more friends like that and to fight together for the better future of this State of Israel, of the Holy Land, and of the ties between us, Jews and Israelis and Christian friends all around the world.”
Reinstein credits evangelical Christian support for leading to the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem and now the Knesset Christian Allies has a sister group in the US Congress.
“You know, in the states, AIPAC has been successful at bringing together people who would not sit down together otherwise, but they’ve sat down together, both liberal and conservative, democrats and republicans at the table at AIPAC. Well, I think that the Christian Allies Caucus is kind of trying to do the same thing but, maybe, on a different level. And so, I think it’s critically important that we support the work because that’s from Israel,” says Bishop Glenn Plummer, who was appointed the Church of God in Christ’s Bishop of Israel in 2019.
Juergen Buehler, executive director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem says, “I keep telling people around the world even the existence of the caucus is a miracle of the newborn State of Israel.”
Buehler believes the caucus can help Israel both face growing threats and take advantage of global opportunities.
“I believe there is still much more to do for the caucus. You see anti-Semitism rising all over the world. That means there needs to be a voice that challenges that. The caucus is one of those voices that can do that. And also there is a new dynamic around the world where governments are thinking of moving their embassies to Israel, to Jerusalem. Where they are thinking of changing their policies to the state of Israel and here I think the caucus is an ideal partner for governments all over the world to rethink their ties to Israel and to strengthen their ties.”
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