Evengelicals up Iran rhetoric - Israel Activism, Ynetnews

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MK David Rotem Photo: Gil Yohanan
MK David Rotem Photo: Gil Yohanan

Evengelicals up Iran rhetoric

(VIDEO) During tour of Knesset, Christian leader slams US for 'Chamberlain approach'

Yaakov Lappin
Published: 07.23.07, 16:45 / Israel Activism

VIDEO - The American Christian Evangelical movement, acting in the name of tens of millions of followers, has begun lobbying the American government to abandon its "Chamberlain approach" to the Iranian threat to Israel, an Evangelical leader told Ynetnews during a tour of the Knesset on Sunday.


Robert Stearns is executive drector of the Eagles' Wings Ministry, a Church which hosts the Israel Experience College Scholarship Program, which sends dozens of young Evangelical college students to Israel for a three-week tour. The program has been dubbed the "Christian birthright" program, after an initiative which aims to bring American Jews to visit Israel for the first time.


Video: Eli Mendelbaum

Speaking to Ynetnews, Strearns said Evangelical leaders had taken a decision to pressure the US government to adopt a more agressive policy towards Iran. "I just came back from Washington DC, where there were 4,000 Christian delegates from every state in America, and we were lobbying our government on behalf of Israel and on behalf of the future of western civilization as we know it. Yes, the Evengalical Church in the US and around the world is completely standing with Israel and the Jewish people," Stearns declared.


During a meeting between the American student delegation and Knesset Member David (Dudu) Rotem, of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, Stearns said: "If I could humbly submit to you that we are here representing a growing number of Americans, who feel that too many American politicians have the mindset of Neville Chamberlain, instead of Winston Churchill, in the days preceding World War Two. Too many Americans are not taking seriously and understanding this threat (of Iran)."


Stearns was responding to comments by Knesset Member Rotem, who said that intensive prayers were needed to deal with the Iranian threat. "Unfortunately, we are too late to launch a fight against the (nuclear) bombs. They exist already," Rotem said.


"Our encouragement to you is that we will join you in praying to the Almighty, but we are also here to remind you that, ultimately... your strength comes from the Almighty and not from America," Stearns replied.


Josh Reinstein, director of the Christian Allies Caucus, which hosted the delegation, told Ynetnews that the 'Christian birthright' program was badly needed to bolster the ranks of Israel's defenders on American campuses.


"This initiative was started by Robert Stearns... as a rebuff to an event that happened in Rutgers University, where flyers were being sent around saying, 'you can't kill Jews legally in America, but you can support those who do in Israel.'"


Angelina Lin, an Evangelical college student delegate, said the visit offered an alternative to the international media's portrayal of Israel. "The Western media distorts a lot of things, (and) you only hear one side of events, so it's really nice to come here and evaluate for yourself, and just get first hand experience," she said.


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