CUFI: Where Israel Isn't Just a Tightrope Act
From Monday to Wednesday this past week, five thousand Christians, representing over one million members of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), left their jobs and families, paid their own way, and braved the unbearable heat and humidity of D.C. in July to stand up for and speak out for Israel. They were loud and clear, for all of Congress and America to hear.
It was CUFI's eighth and largest summit, with representatives from every state in the Union, every ethnic group, dozens of denominations, all ages, all with a single message: show the U.S. government and the world that Christians wholeheartedly and unequivocally support a strong, safe Jewish state of Israel.
For two days, some of the greatest Middle East authorities and political analysts, such as Major Elliot Chodoff, IDF; Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; Colonel Richard Kemp, U.K.; Ambassador Ron Prosser; Senator Lindsey Graham; House Majority Leader Eric Cantor; Dan Senor, former White House Press Secretary; Govenor Mike Huckabee; Erick Stakelbeck, CBN News; and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu briefed the attendees on history of the land, the situation on the ground, the threats and the opportunities. Before 5,000 went to Capitol Hill to lobby their senators and representatives, they were going to be well-informed as well as passionate.
One speaker, Senator Ted Cruz, told a story that captured the essence of the CUFI mission. It is one he heard often from his father, Pastor Rafael Cruz, who had escaped the tyranny and persecution of Castro's Cuba to find liberty and opportunity in the United States. The pastor's tale is the parable of a tightrope-walker who deftly balanced between death on one side and death on the other. The spectators below sometimes cheered his daring feats and often criticized a slight misstep the artist made, but they always demanded increasingly perilous acts as they sat in the comfort of their own safe seats. Cruz drove home the point that Christian United for Israel refuse to be passive observers as Israel is forced into ever greater danger from enemies on all sides. Rather than watch from afar and critique, CUFI walks with Israel and assures that the only true democracy in the Middle East is provided a secure safety net by the world's greatest democracy.
CUFI members are not spectators of Israel; they are family. The relationship between the U.S. and Israel is not only biblical, but economic, political, and military. Both nations hold true the same values, face the same enemies, and will ultimately share a common destiny. If we in the U.S. let Israel fall, it will be our fall as well.