CUFI’s Coffee Break
The Jewish Connection to Israel
April 4th, Jews in Israel celebrated the national holiday Yom Haaliyah (day of ascension or day of “going up”). The day coincides each year with the Torah portion Parshat Lech Lecha–Genesis 12–which records God’s call to Abram to leave his home country and family and go to the land which God would show him.
On this day, Israelis celebrate returning home after over 2,000 years of dispersion and exile and being reconnected with Eretz Israel, the Land of Israel. The connection to Israel is indeed woven into the fabric of Jewish life. It is foundational to how the Jewish people express not only their devotion to God, but their very identity as a people.
Israel is the only nation in the history of the world that was created by a sovereign act of God and has its borders recorded in the sacred text of Scripture. Most importantly—the Jewish people are the only people that have been given a specific piece of real estate as an eternal and everlasting possession through a blood covenant with God Almighty. Simply stated, God gave to Israel the title deed to the land (Genesis 17:7-8, see also Genesis 13:14-18).
In just a few hours, Jews all over the world will celebrate Passover, one of three ancient festivals in which Jews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in commemoration of the Lord’s mercy over the Jewish people during the Egyptian plagues. This holiday also centers on the land of Israel. We will explore it more in-depth in our next lesson. For now…
Happy (Belated) Aliyah Day!
No people on earth is as connected to their land as the Jewish people. Yet Christians also feel connected to Israel–the place where our Savior lived, did ministry, died, and resurrected. A pilgrimage to Israel is life-changing. Explore Israel through virtual tours of Israel on CUFI’s Virtual Experience.
To learn more about the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel and their continuous presence in the Land despite centuries of dispersion, exile, and occupation, read CUFI’s Primer: “The Continuous Jewish Presence in the Land of Israel.”
Israel-Egypt (Peace with Egypt)
During the Six Day War of 1967, Egyptian President Nasser lost sovereignty over the Sinai Peninsula. His successor, President Anwar Sadat, was determined to regain it. In an effort to negotiate with Israel, he flew to Jerusalem and met with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. The negotiations looked promising, but fizzled out due to outstanding issues. US President Jimmy Carter wrote to Prime Minister Begin and encouraged him to continue pursuing peace with Sadat, whom he also believed to truly desire peace. President Carter invited both leaders to Camp David, a presidential retreat in Maryland, in September 1978.
After the US, Egyptian, and Israeli delegations arrived, Sadat provided Carter with a list of extensive and extreme demands which he expected Begin to reject outright. Three days into negotiations, due to increased tension, both Sadat and Begin allowed Carter to control the flow of information and did not meet together again until the last day of Camp David.
Finally, after 22 revisions of an initial US draft, two documents were drafted, one dealing with the West Bank/Gaza and Palestinian rights, and the other dealing with an Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty. Thirteen days later, both parties signed the Camp David agreement. Prime Minister Begin and President Sadat won the Nobel Peace Prize as a result. Six months later, on March 26th, both sides signed the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty of 1979.
Both countries “won.” Egypt regained the Sinai Peninsula, while Israel normalized diplomatic relations with an Arab country, a significant and historic breakthrough.
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While Israel achieved peace with Egypt, other Arab countries refused this as a possibility. To learn more about Arab-rejectionism,watch CUFI’s Micro History: “The Three No’s of Khartoum.”
Marking Two Years Since the US Recognized Israeli Sovereignty Over the Golan Heights
Today, March 25th, 2020 is the one-year anniversary of US recognition of Isaeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which followed just one week after CUFI released a statement backing associated legislation and after a month-long advocacy campaign. This courageous and historic proclamation has significant implications for Israel’s security and safety of her citizens.
In 1967 during the defensive Six-Day War, Israel gained control of the Golan Heights, thus obtaining the strategic high ground–and achieving relative peace and security for its citizens in northern Israel previously under constant threat of attack from Syria. This was possible largely due to the invaluable intelligence gleaned by Israeli spy Eli Cohen, an Egyptian-born Israeli spy who for years assumed the identity of wealthy Syrian businessman.
Today, Israel remains sovereign over the Golan Heights, protecting innocent Israelis from hostile forces bent on Israel’s destruction.
To learn more about the historical and geopolitical significance of the Golan Heights, read CUFI’s primer: “The Golan Heights.”
You can dig even deeper and learn the fascinating role played by a famous Israeli spy by watching CUFI’s microhistory video “Eli Cohen (1924-1965).”
ICYMI: In 2016, Israel launched Operation: Good Neighbor to provide aid to needy Syrians. Learn more by watching CUFI’s Micro History video “Operation Good Neighbor.”
Celebrating 2 Years since the Taylor Force Act
For decades, the Palestinian Authority has offered a “Pay for Slay” pension fund program for anyone killed or captured by the IDF for terrorism that results in the murder of Israeli citizens. The life-long salary is paid to the terrorist if he or she goes to prison, or to their surviving family if the terrorist is killed. This monthly stipend far exceeds the amount of money an average Palestinian could hope to earn with a legitimate job, and thus creates a highly appealing incentive for murder.
From this culture we have seen a dramatic rise in random, spontaneous attacks against Israelis by Palestinians with no formal affiliation with a known terror cell. Beginning with Rosh Hashanah in September 2015, Israel began experiencing what has become known as the “Stabbing Intifada” in which average Palestinians – around 50% of them teenagers and even some pre-adolescent children – have launched kamikaze attacks on nearby Israelis with whatever weapon is at hand.
One of the victims of this violence was Taylor Force, a young American citizen on a study abroad trip in Israel. Taylor, who had served his country in Iraq and Afghanistan, was stabbed and killed by a Palestinian terrorist near Tel Aviv on March 8, 2016.
His death led to the Taylor Force Act in the United States, a piece of legislation designed to cut off the flow of American tax dollars to the Palestinian Authority until the PA stopped all payments to terrorists.
On March 23rd, 2020, CUFI will celebrate the two-year anniversary since we helped to pass the Taylor Force Act into law.
To learn more about the Palestinian leadership’s incentivizing of terror and abuse of their people’s rights, read CUFI’s Primer: “The Palestinians’ Plight: Their True Oppressors.”
You can also watch Israel Collective’s video, “The core of the Holy Land conflict.”
Story of Purim
The evil darkness of anti-Semitism existed long before the present evil regime in Tehran has sponsored terror against Israel or Palestinian radical groups have shot rockets into Israel. Even prior to the evil and murderous regime under Hitler, evil individuals and empires sought to destroy God’s Chosen People.
After Israel had been exiled from their land and many Jews were taken to Persia, a Jewess was chosen to become Queen (see Esther 2:17). However, a man named Haman–the right hand to the King, Xerxes–disdained Mordechai, Esther’s cousin, because Mordechai, a Jew, refused to bow to him out of fear and reverence for the Lord–the God of Israel. In rage and retaliation, Haman convinced the King to order the extermination of all the Jews in Persia.
You may know how the story ended: Esther realized she could save the Jews from death and that perhaps she was made Queen “for such a time as this.” The King, though unable to reverse his initial decree, decreed that Jews would be given the right to defend themselves from the upcoming attack.
Jews celebrate these divinely orchestrated events in the holiday Purim. Each year, Jews gather together and prepare pastries, give each other gifts, and give liberally to the poor. As the story of Esther is read in synagogues, though God is not mentioned within the book, it’s clear that He was acting through human means to preserve and protect His people.
At CUFI, we believe our movement has been divinely orchestrated “for such a time as this.” Click here to learn how you can be more involved in standing with Israel and the Jewish people.
To learn more about the Importance of Standing with Israel in the face of many enemies which seek her destruction today, read CUFI’s e-book “The War Against the Jews: Haman to Hitler to Hezbollah.”
International Day of Prayer – Pray for Peace of Jerusalem – Ways to Bless Israel
On March 6th, millions of Christians will gather together for an international day of prayer. We will approach the throne of grace with thanksgiving, supplications, and entreaties, on a range of issues–our families, our health, our finances, our futures, and the list goes on. But just as we are commanded in the Bible to seek God in prayer and to sing, so too we are commanded to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
Psalm 122:6 says, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; may they prosper who love you.” Praying for Israel is an effective way to bless Israel–which is also commanded in Scripture (see Genesis 12:3). While prayer is effective, speaking up on Israel’s behalf is another way to follow God’s mandate to bless Israel.
How will you bless Israel this week?
Make plans to gather with thousands of Christian Zionists in Washington, DC for our annual CUFI Summit. Our unity will send a clear message to our Jewish friends everywhere that we stand with them in the fight none of us can afford to lose. Register today.
To learn more about our biblical mandate to pray for and bless Israel, read CUFI’s Primer: The Biblical Foundation of Christian Zionism.
You can also check out CUFI’s Presentation “How to Pray for and Bless Israel.”
Finally, watch this episode from CUFI’s hit show The Watchman hosted by Erick Stakelbeck to learn about our biblical mandate to support Israel.
The Dangers of Replacement Theology
In Romans 9-11, Paul tells a group of Gentiles that God is not done with the Jewish people. He explains that Gentile believers have become branches in a tree which was originally only made up of Jewish believers. God has not moved on from the Jewish people to the Gentiles, replacing Israel as His special people. Instead, God is sovereignly and graciously providing Gentiles with the opportunity to be included in God’s covenants with Israel.
Even though God’s promises to the Jewish people are very clear in Scripture, there are still some who reject this teaching. They believe that the Church has replaced Israel as those who will inherit God’s promises, instead of what we read in Romans 11, that the Church has been grafted in. Called replacement theology, this teaching is not biblical and is, in fact, extremely harmful.
This dangerously flawed teaching played an important role in the persecution of Jews in The Crusades as well as in the Holocaust. Hitler himself claimed to be a Christian and justified his crazed mass murder of the Jews with a distorted, twisted form of Christianity.
Today, many Christians will begin observance of Lent–a prayerful time of repentance, as well as self-denial through fasting, in preparation for Easter. As we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, let us mourn over and repent of the sins of the past—including the shocking and deadly results of replacement theology. And let us commit to the promise Never Again by standing with our Jewish brothers and sisters.
SHARE the trailer for CUFI’s upcoming film with your friends and make plans to see this dynamic documentary in October!
You can also sign up to stay informed about getting tickets as the debut draws nearer at: Neveragainthemovie.org/tickets
To learn more about the flawed doctrine of replacement theology, read CUFI’s Primer: “The Dangerous Doctrine of Replacement Theology.”
You can also read CUFI’s e-book “The Sin of Silence” to learn about the sinister propaganda movement to deny the Holocaust and diminish its consequences, and to equip yourself with the truth about this dark period in history so you can speak up about the sins of the past.
Tikkun olam lies at the very heart of Israel. Though Israel is a tiny country, it does a tremendous amount of good in the world. From being one of the first responders whenever a natural disaster strikes across the globe to sharing life-saving medical technologies with communities all over the world, the Jewish principle of tikkun olam has developed in Israel into a practice of doing good through manifold technological and medical innovations that are repairing the world.
The Hebrew phrase tikkun olam developed over time but has its roots in the Bible (where it is used to mean “to make straight, establish, arrange or repair”). It literally means “repairing the world” and is often used to describe social justice and improving society.
In practice, modern Israel’s medical and technological breakthroughs are an expression of this important principle–a blessing to all humanity, fulfilling ancient prophecies. One way Israel, described in the Bible as a light unto the nations (Isaiah 42:6), demonstrated tikkun olam was through Operation Good Neighbor. Begun in 2016 as an endeavor to aid Syrians affected by the civil war raging in their country, Operation Good Neighbor powerfully showcased Israel’s heart of compassion and acts of good in the world, even toward an enemy state.
SHARE this video with your friends so that they can see Israel’s heart for the nations, too!
You can also read CUFI’s Primer, “Tikkun Olam.”
The Palestinians’ Plight:
Their True Oppressors
We are calling on the Palestinian Leadership to STOP their abuses of their own people. The Palestinian people are indeed oppressed but not by Israel as the media and those who hate the Jewish state would like you to believe.
Rather, the Palestinians are subject to tragic living conditions, their basic human rights often denied, and their children indoctrinated to terror by their own leadership: Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.
CUFI on Campus students are speaking out about these abuses in a campaign asking the Palestinian Leadership to STOP. In Hamas-run Gaza, women are at best second-class citizens, and converts to Christianity face the death penalty. Meanwhile, in the West Bank, Christians are treated as second-class citizens and women’s and minority rights are almost nonexistent.
The Palestinian Authority’s regular TV programming for children incites them to terror, praising terrorists as “martyrs,” demonizing Jews, and encouraging children to become terrorists. Children’s school textbooks curated by the PA are no better.
Overwhelmingly, the evidence reveals that there is no real freedom of the press in Palestinian-controlled territories where journalists are regularly detained, imprisoned, and tortured for their writing. These abuses and many more are inflicted on the Palestinian people by their own leadership.