The Jewish Eye
Texas Congressmen & "A Night to Honor Israel"
Texas Congressmen & "A Night to Honor Israel"
By Moshe Phillips - July 14, 2010
In June several Congressmen from Texas loudly declared their support for Israel at a time when few other politicians anywhere else on the planet are ready to stand with the Jewish State. It is time to take notice of their words. The mainstream news media totally missed the story. If it was not for C-Span perhaps the story of Texas Republicans speaking out for Israel in the U.S. House of Representatives would have been lost. That's where I saw it live. You did not read a word about it in The New York Times, The Washington Post or anywhere else.
Here's some plain talk from June 16, 2010 stated on the floor of the House from Representative John Carter:
…You know, it's become a strange world when our closest ally in the Middle East, Israel, sends its Prime Minister (Netanyahu) over here and (he's) taken in through the back doors of the service entrance of the White House and told no photo ops and he is basically slighted by the leader of the free world. And then fast forward to just a couple of weeks ago when the leader of the Palestinian movement comes in here and we see photo ops, meetings and a big chunk of money headed to the Palestinians promised by the President of the United States. It's embarrassing how much of a change of policy we have towards our only or our longest surviving ally in the Middle East. And I was in New York the day before yesterday and one of the people I met yesterday (said) have you thought about (that) the fact is how many Americans would have to be stationed somewhere in the Middle East to try to keep that caldron from exploding all over the world? And we don't think -- remember what the Prime Minister of England told us: The reason you have to respond is because it's your turn. You're the only real superpower left in the world. That is the responsibility we are taking and we know about it. But we have those who have stood by our side and worked to make things go, like Israel, like Great Britain. Why would a change of administration be so insulting to an ally like Israel? I was struck dumb by the whole thing and I think you have, too. And you [referring to a fellow Representative] have done an excellent job about describing the possible consequences of the position we seem to be taking in this administration against Israel. And I think all Americans, of whatever heritage, should be seriously concerned about what's going on. Thank you.
In about 330 heartfelt words Rep. John Carter stated what had to be said about President Obama and the Arab-Israel conflict.
Perhaps the July 6 visit by Prime Minister Netanyahu to the White House had such a different look and feel because of John Carter.
It should be pointed out that John Carter is not alone in Texas. Many political conservatives and Evangelical Christians in the Lone Star State have demonstrated deep concern for Israel's security.
On June 16 John Carter was joined on the House floor by Rep. Pete Olson and Rep. Louie Gohmert both from Texas. Their statements in support of Israel closely paralleled Rep. Carter's remarks.
And this was not the first time these Congressmen spoke out for Israel recently.
Rep. Olson issued a statement right after the Free Gaza Flotilla episode: "The Israeli Naval blockade is executed in accordance with international law. The blockade is necessary to prevent the flow of weapons into Gaza to be used against Israelis. The phony "peace activists" aboard the Flotilla did not want to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza, they wanted to break the blockade. The violence was instigated by the brutal terrorists aboard the ship, not the Israeli servicemen. The Israeli Naval Commandos rightly believed their lives to be in danger and responded appropriately. The international response is unfounded, misplaced, and outrageous. I join my colleagues in supporting Israel's right to defend themselves and the right of the Israeli Navy to use force when attacked."
Every supporter of Israel should reach out to Representatives Carter, Gohmert and Olson and thank them for their stance.
It should be remembered that Dick Armey, the former U.S. Representative from Texas's 26th congressional district, was heavily criticized for remarks he made in defense of Israel's exclusive right to Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) in 2002 when he was House Majority Leader. Armey stated that he was "not content to give up any part of Israel for the purpose of a Palestinian state." Further he called for the transfer of West Bank Arabs. He summed up his position on Israel as "I am perfectly content to have Israel hold and occupy the land that it has at this moment."
In addition to Texas has several wonderful organizations that concentrate on supporting Israel – Jewish and non-Jewish. Two such organizations are the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies founded in 1992 in Houston and the Battalion of Deborah in the Dallas - Fort Worth area. But no one from Texas has impacted support for Israel in the way Pastor Hagee has.
Pastor John Hagee has endured years of personal attacks from both liberal Jews and non-Jews while steadfastly growing support for Israel not just in Texas but nationwide. The founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Hagee started the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) organization in 2006 and wrote the book In Defense of Israel in 2007. CUFI has sponsored over 150 "A Night to Honor Israel" events since 2006. Their fifth annual Washington Summit is set from July 20th to 22nd. You might see John Carter there. For sure Jimmy Carter will be nowhere close.
Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg wrote the following in his introduction to In Defense of Israel: For many years, Pastor Hagee has lived and labored selfishly for the people of Israel. In 1981, when the world condemned Israel for bombing a nuclear reactor in Iraq, Pastor Hagee's response to (critics of Israel) was to start "A Night to Honor Israel." That night Pastor Hagee proclaimed, "Israel, you are not alone; Christians support you and America supports you. We love you, and we shall stand by you."
Israel should keep in mind the words of its friends from Texas as it decides how to best confront the next round of murderous challenges emanating from Iran and Gaza. Israel should ignore world opinion and keep in mind that its true friends will support decisions that keep the Jewish State secure.
Moshe Phillips is a member of the Executive Committee of the Philadelphia Chapter of Americans For a Safe Israel - AFSI. The chapter's website is at: http://www.phillyafsi.com and Moshe's blog can be found at http://phillyafsi.blogtownhall.com.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Jewish Eye.
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