A group of approximately 120 people—composed of Christians, Druze and Jews—gathered at the Knesset on Monday to mark the one-year anniversary of the dedication of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.
While the participants were laymen and others were politicians—Americans and Israelis—they all had one thing in common binding them together: a love of Israel that filled their hearts.
Hosted by newly-elected Knesset Member Keren Barak, the gathering was co-sponsored by the Knesset Caucus for the Encouragement of Bible Study, the Schindler Society and Israel365. Many of the clergy at the Knesset event are part of President Donald Trump's Faith advisory council, holding similar meetings in the Congress, White House and the United Nations.
Former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann attended the event. Bachmann is active in advocating for Israel in U.S. politics, which she sees as a personal spiritual mission. At the event held one year ago, Bachmann asked for "repentance from the Jewish people for the horrible and arrogant way Christians—myself included—treated and regarded the Jewish people."
In a candid discussion with Breaking Israel News, Bachmann explained that this statement came from her heart as a personal service. Even though Bachmann's work for Israel is in the political realm, her connection with Israel is deeply personal.
"This has been my guiding principle since I was a young girl," Bachmann told Breaking Israel News. "At the end of the day, even for the most powerful politician or public figure, this is all you have: your relationship with God."
Pastor Becky Keenan, president and founder of One With Israel and a member of the Latino Coalition for Israel, emphasized that even though her church in Texas is on the other side of the world, the connection with Israel is "unbreakable."
Keenan related how a group of disaster relief workers from ZAKA came to her church after Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
"When they first contacted me from Israel to ask if I needed help, I said, 'Sure, go pray at the Western Wall', Pastor Keenan told Breaking Israel News. "But then a group of Orthodox Jewish Israelis showed up to help an evangelical female pastor rebuild her church."
Pastor Keenan emphasized that all of the evangelical participants recognized that by attending the event, they were taking part in realizing prophecy:
And the many peoples shall go and say: "Come, Let us go up to the Mount of Hashem, To the House of the God of Yaakov; That He may instruct us in His ways, And that we may walk in His paths." For instruction shall come forth from Tzion, The word of Hashem from Yerushalayim (Isa. 2:3).
"Every time I come to Israel, I know that I am coming home and tears fill my eyes," Pastor Keenan said. "There is a special presence in the land and any person of faith can feel that. We receive so much from you, from Israel, in a completely disproportionate manner, spiritual and material."
The personal nature of the event was underscored by the presence of Rabbi Yehudah Glick who, as a member of Knesset, worked to create the joint Bible studies in the Knesset. Glick's term as a representative of the Likud Party recently ended; however, the next stage of his "career" was evident as he was accompanied by his wife, Hadas, whom he married three months ago.
The gathering was also deeply personal for Amitai Elon, a young farmer. Amitai is the son of Rabbi Binyamin "Benny" Elon who, as the minister of tourism, reached out to the Christian world when Jewish-Christian relations were still very strained. He served as the chairman of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus. Rabbi Elon passed away two years ago, but Amitai came to thank the Christians for helping bring about Trump's recent decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty in the Golan.
Elon described how he was about to plant an orchard of olive trees.
"Olive trees are special," he explained to the people gathered. "You have to take care of them at first, watering them for two years. But after that, if you give them a good beginning, they require very little care, and they can last for hundreds of years just as they are."
He explained to Breaking Israel News that his father had used this aspect of olive trees as an allegory for raising children.
"This is also true of relationships," he said. "My father planted relationships with many Christians, and we are seeing the fruit today, even after he is gone."
Breaking Israel News offers a fresh and biblical perspective on the latest news from Israel and the Middle East. Our bias is not liberal nor conservative—just biblical.
This article originally appeared at breakingisraelnews.com.
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