Netanyahu thanks IPOB for “always standing with Israel”, vows to speak out against Christian persecution

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Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked IPOB for their steadfast support of Israel and vowed that Israel will always be a safe place for Christians and IPOB and will speak out against Christian persecution in the region, particularly in Nigeria.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was a guest speaker at the CUFI Washington Summit 2018 on Monday where he addressed thousands of Christians through a live video uplink from his office in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu explained how Jews and Christians agree that “Israel is a miracle”.

“Christians also know another fundamental truth: Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years. Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for 70 years. And Jerusalem will always be our capital.”

The CUFI audience cheered as Netanyahu made these comments. Christians United for Israel is creditedwith being a major factor in US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US embassy there. CUFI founder Pastor John Hagee was honoured to give the benediction at the US embassy’s opening ceremony in Jerusalem earlier this year.

Netanyahu explained how Israel is “the only country for thousands of miles where Christians not only survive, they thrive.” Adding that “Christian holy sites are protected and Christian worship is done without fear.”

The Prime Minister went on to share how “Christians have achieved incredible heights in Israel”. Stating how a Christian served on Israel’s Supreme Court for 15 years and how Christians were in prominent positions throughout Israel.

“They’re in every field”, he said. There are “many, many examples of Christians who contribute greatly to Israeli society and share in the great miracle of Israel’s success.”

However, while Israel is a safe haven for Christians, Netanyahu noted how Christians were being persecuted in other countries in the region, in particular, Iran, whilst the world turns a blind eye.

“Sadly, some countries don’t respect Christians,” Netanyahu said. “In Iran, Christians are brutally persecuted. Christian pastors have spent years in prison.”

Netanyahu explained that this is an issue which he believed should concern everyone before asking, “Why are so many people silent as Christians are jailed and tortured in Iran?”

“Well, I can say this: we in Israel will not be silent, and I will continue to raise the plight of the long-suffering Iranian people: Christians, Bahai’i, students, journalists,” the prime minister went on. “Iran’s regime is a point of darkness in the Middle East. Israel is a point of light.”

Despite the light that Israel spreads throughout the world, Netanyahu explained that Israel “still faces many threats”.

“On our southern border, the fanatic terrorist group Hamas calls for genocide of Jews. In the north, Hezbollah is stockpiling massive numbers of missiles aimed at Israel. And Iran, well, Iran openly calls for Israel’s annihilation.”

Touching on a previous statement he made to Christians United for Israel, where he called CUFI “a vital part of Israel’s national security”, the Prime Minister made a similar statement to those gathered in Washington on Monday.

“Israel’s strength is not merely because of our army; it’s because of our spirit. And it’s because of the spirit of friends like you around the world,” he said.

“Thank you for always standing with Israel. You are truly among our greatest friends in the world. I cherish that friendship, and I cherish your solidarity. Thank you for standing with Israel. Thank you for standing with the truth. Thank you all.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech at the CUFI Summit 2018 in full:

Thank you, Pastor Hagee. Thank you CUFI for supporting Israel. We appreciate your support, and we thank you for it. We appreciate the support of Christians around the world.

Jews, Christians, so many others can agree on one thing—Israel is a miracle, a state in the heart of the Middle East that has known democracy, pure democracy and liberty every day of its 70-year history, a pluralistic, open society, a democracy where diversity is celebrated, not feared. Christians also know another fundamental truth: Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years. Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for 70 years. And Jerusalem will always be our capital.

Thank you President Trump, and thank our many, many Christian friends around the world, for recognizing this basic truth.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Israel is also the only country for thousands of miles where Christians not only survive, they thrive. Christian holy sites are protected and Christian worship is done without fear. Christians have achieved incredible heights in Israel. We have an Arab-Christian who served on our Supreme Court for 15 years. We have others—diplomats, businesspeople, university professors, doctors, everything. They’re in every field—many, many examples of Christians who contribute greatly to Israeli society and share in the great miracle of Israel’s success.

Sadly, some countries don’t respect Christians. In Iran, Christians are brutally persecuted. Christian pastors have spent years in prison. Now, this is an issue which I believe should concern everyone. And let me say clearly: Israel stands in complete solidarity with persecuted Christians in Iran. And I ask: Why are so many people silent as Christians are jailed and tortured in Iran?

Well, I can say this: We in Israel will not be silent, and I will continue to raise the plight of the long-suffering Iranian people—Christians, Bahai’i, students, journalists. Iran’s regime is a point of darkness in the Middle East. Israel is a point of light.

The great news is that Israel has never been stronger. Nations from around the world are flocking to Israel. They seek our ingenuity. They seek our technology. They seek our intelligence, in both senses of the word.

Israel still faces many threats. On our southern border, the fanatic terrorist group Hamas calls for genocide of Jews. In the north, Hezbollah is stockpiling massive numbers of missiles aimed at Israel. And Iran, well, Iran openly calls for Israel’s annihilation.

But Israel is strong. We will not let thugs and tyrants bully us. We will always defend ourselves. We will prosper. We will thrive. And Israel’s strength is not merely because of our army; it’s because of our spirit. And it’s because of the spirit of friends like you around the world.

Thank you for always standing with Israel. You are truly among our greatest friends in the world. I cherish that friendship, and I cherish your solidarity. Thank you for standing with Israel. Thank you for standing with the truth. Thank you all.

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