Christians United for Israel

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Christians United for Israel (CUFI) is an American Christian organization that supports actively Israel."[1] It is the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States.[2] Operating under the leadership of John Hagee, it provides a national association through which churches, parachurch organizations, ministries, and individuals in America promote support for Israel financially and politically.

ChristiansUnitedForIsraelLogo.png
Christians United for Israel logo

Foundation

"Christians United for Israel" was originally formed in 1992 by David Lewis. However, the organization later became inactive. The evangelical minister John Hagee sought and received permission from Lewis to use the title for his own organization. Hagee called upon Christian leaders in America to join him in launching his new initiative. Over 400 leaders, each representing a denomination, mega-church, media ministry, publishing company, or Protestant university voiced support and Christians United for Israel was created. Hagee would legally incorporate the revived organization on February 7, 2006. Since its reorganization it has operated out of San Antonio, Texas, where Hagee has long operated his own ministry.

The first college chapter of Christians United for Israel was established at California State University, Bakersfield.[3] At the 2011 CUFI Washington Summit, it was reported that "CUFI on Campus" chapters had been formed or were in the process of formation on over 75 college campuses and CUFI was reported to have a presence on 225 campuses.[4]

In March 2012, the number of members passed one-million, a milestone that meant CUFI was the largest US-based pro-Israel organization.[5] By January 2015, the membership passed two million.[6]

Activities

A Night to Honor Israel

CUFI host "Nights to Honor Israel" events in cities across the United States to express Christian solidarity with the State of Israel and the Jewish people.[7] Such "Night to Honor Israel" events have often sought to include members of local Jewish communities.[8] Funds raised are often given to the local Jewish federations to assist with efforts in Israel. One such "Night to Honor Israel" event was covered by Minnesota magazine TC Jewfolk in 2010.[8]

Washington/Israel Summit

CUFI holds an annual summit to enable delegates to personally speak with their representatives on behalf of Israel. In response to particular current events, CUFI also mobilizes its members through Rapid Response Alerts to raise popular support for Israel and lobby the U.S. Congress in support of Israel.

National Night to Honor Israel 2008, 2009, 2010

On July 22 CUFI held their 2008 National Night to Honor Israel. Ambassador Dan Gillerman, Pastor John Hagee and Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) spoke with live music interludes. For the first time CUFI hosted several prominent Catholic leaders in a show of unity between Pastor Hagee and the Catholic Church. CUFI held an annual Washington Summit July 20–23, 2009. The most recent CUFI annual Washington Summit took place on July 20–22, 2010. Israeli PM Netanyahu addressed the gathering by videoconference.

Positions

Support for Jewish People

At CUFI's 4th annual convention, CUFI Florida state director Scott Thomas, who is senior pastor at Without Walls Central in Lakeland, Florida, states that CUFI's support of Israel is not related to Christian eschatology (one of the features of dispensationalism, which holds that the modern state of Israel has a central role in bringing about the second coming of Jesus Christ) since Christians believe that there is nothing they can do to speed up that process. Thomas also cited Chapter 12 of Book of Genesis, which states that God will bless those who bless the Jews and curses those who curse the Jews, and said that his Christian faith couldn't exist without the foundation of Judaism.[9] CUFI partners with Jewish interfaith organizations such as the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC).

Opposition to Hamas

In November 2012, the group filed a petition calling for Twitter and the US government to "ban Hamas from Twitter."

Criticism from Jews

Rabbi Eric Yoffie, who has publicly disagreed with Hagee, wanted Jews to stop cooperating with CUFI, because Yoffie felt CUFI had an unacceptable political agenda.

Executive Board

  • Pastor John C. Hagee, Founder and National Chairman, CUFI
  • Gary Bauer, President, American Values
  • David Brog, Executive Director, CUFI
  • Shari Dollinger Magnus, Associate Director, CUFI
  • Bishop Keith A Butler, Founder and Pastor, Word of Faith International Christian Center
  • Pastors Mac & Lynne Hammond, Senior Pastors, Living Word Christian Center
  • Michael Little, President and Chief Operating Officer, The Christian Broadcasting Network
  • Pastor George Morrison, Senior Pastor, Faith Bible Chapel[10]

Prior to his death in 2007, Rev. Jerry Falwell sat on the Executive Board. In early 2008, he was replaced in his seat by his son, Jonathan Falwell.

CUFI Canada

See also

References

  1. ^ "Christians United for Israel, "Advocacy,"". Retrieved 23 May 2008.
  2. ^ "Onward, Christian Zionists", Jennifer Rubin, August 2, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 43, Weekly Standard.
  3. ^ Michael Lando (May 14, 2007). "Christians to train in Israel advocacy,". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 23 May 2008.
  4. ^ Winchester, John (2011-07-17). Establishing A CUFI Chapter on Your Campus (Speech). CUFI on Campus Student Advocacy Day. Washington, D.C.
  5. ^ Hillary Zaken (18 March 2012). "Evangelical group to welcome millionth Israel supporter". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
  6. ^ "Christians United for Israel Reaches Two Million Members - Christians United for Israel - We speak and act with one voice in support of Israel". www.cufi.org. Retrieved 2017-02-06.
  7. ^ "Christians United for Israel has hundreds of Nights to Honor Israel in cities across America". Christians United for Israel. 2010. Retrieved 26 February 2011.
  8. ^ a b Jenna Mitelman. "A Jewish Girl Walks Into a Church -- a Jewish view of a "Night to Honor Israel"". TC Jewfolk. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  9. ^ "Christian Zionist parley: Don't pressure Israel" Archived 26 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine. by Eric Fingerhut, Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), July 23, 2009.
  10. ^ CUFI official website http://www.cufi.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_executive_board

External links

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