Original UCI Article by UCI Representative in Jerusalem, Chana Givon, May 17, 2018 –
This week, May 14th, 2018, marks a date of historic importance for Israel and the world. The United States of America has become the first country to move its Embassy to its rightful place – Jerusalem – the capital of the State of Israel and the seat of its government. Excitement had been building for several weeks following President Donald Trump’s announcement to keep his campaign promise. Since the Jerusalem Embassy Act was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1995, past American presidents have continuously signed a 6-month waiver to delay the move but it took the courage and determination of President Trump to carry out the will of the American Congress. The president, who was unable to attend in person, addressed the gathering via a moving video message.
History has recorded that more than 3,000 years ago King David established Jerusalem as the capital of Judea, the only historically legitimate and recognized country on the site of modern Israel. King David’s son, King Solomon, had built the first of the two Temples there – both destroyed by conquerors. For 3,000 years Jews around the world have turned in prayer to Jerusalem – their holiest city and the heart of Judaism. Their faith in a return to their homeland never faltered.
Josh Reinstein, Director of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus (KCAC) and the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF) very capably moderated the event. He paid tribute to the late Rabbi Benny Elon, who had succeeded Dr. Yuri Shtern founder of the organization in 2004, to initiate and strengthen cooperation between the Knesset (Israeli Parliament), world organizations, and their representatives. Its faith-based diplomacy maintains that historical and religious truth are the values that can lead to peace. At present, the KCAC has 38 member caucuses worldwide that are supported by the AIF.
Since the formal inauguration of the Embassy had limited seating for dignitaries from Israel and abroad, Josh Reinstein, took the initiative to arrange a meeting at the Knesset on May 16th to acknowledge appreciation to Christian supporters from many countries around the world. So appropriate was the meeting place – the Jerusalem Hall – where Christian and Jewish leaders sat with some members of different Israeli political parties and others who had been invited.
The Knesset celebration also hailed the establishment of a second embassy in Jerusalem, that of Guatemala. As they entered the Jerusalem Hall the panel of Guatemalans was greeted joyously with a standing ovation. Speaking for his country, the Chairman of the Guatemalan Israel Allies Caucus, Congressman Juan Manuel Diaz Duran, spoke about the long friendship between Guatemala and Israel. In 1947 his country had cast the second UN vote to recognize the Jewish State. He added that just one month ago the Guatemalan Congress had enacted a law establishing May 14th as “The Day of Friendship” between his country and Israel.
Among those who spoke were KCAC Chairman and MK Robert Ilatov who hailed the two Jerusalem Embassies as a historic milestone. He brought attention to the present terrorist activity at the Gaza/Israel border and urged everyone to speak the truth about this to counter the deceptive media that blames Israel for the casualties. Other speakers included IAF Executive Director Daniel Williams and MK Yehuda Glick who praised President Trump, Pres. Morales, and PM Netanyahu for standing together and quipped that ‘one needs a lot of faith to be an atheist’.
Deputy Minister Michael Oren praised the millions of American Christians whose faith had encouraged President Trump’s brave decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. He stressed the requirement of maintaining promised red lines in various conflicts throughout the Middle East in order for leadership to maintain credibility and noted that the Iran and North Korea are taking notice of the president’s keeping his word regarding the U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem.
US Representative Alan Clemmons, a legislator in the South Carolina House of Representatives, spoke on behalf of the U.S. government. As author of the Israel Plank of the Republican Platform his efforts were instrumental in preparation for President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Jerusalem and moving the Embassy to the city. Rep. Clemmons has also been active in fighting anti-Semitism on American campuses. He denounced the accusation that Israel is an ‘occupier’ and insisted that the country had the legal right to determine its own future.
Those were the main highlights of the memorable Knesset celebration; however, it is nearly impossible to describe the palpable joy and excitement we experienced sitting with a family of friends – most of whom had traveled from afar to share an extraordinary historical faith-based event that binds us together.
I had the honor of attending as one of the Israeli co-chairpersons of the Unity Coalition for Israel (UCI), founded and directed with such dedication in the U.S. by Esther Levens and her staff. I want to also acknowledge Judith Nusbaum who deserves the credit for inspiring me to join UCI as her co-chairperson and Dr. Beverly Boulware, author of the children’s book, Harry & Eddie – The Friendship that Changed the World, and another long-time associate of UCI, who traveled from the States to attend and film this important event. Her coverage of the event can be seen below.
In beloved Jerusalem the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel
for the Unity Coalition for Israel
Video published on May 17, 2018 by the UC4I YouTube channel – Photography and Video by Beverly Boulware. Video production and editing by Tom Chaffer.
Also visit our “MOVE” video channel chronicling the nations now moving their Israeli embassies to Jerusalem – following the United States’ precipitous lead – uc4i.org/move
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