From JNS and Israel InSight reports
On Jan. 29, the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus held its 13th annual “Night to Honor Our Christian Allies” to honor Christian leaders who have been steadfast in their commitment to Israel. The event was attended by Knesset members from across the political spectrum, and was co-sponsored by Keren Hayesod-the United Israel Appeal.
The Knesset Christian Allies Caucus was founded in 2004, and is comprised of 17 Knesset members from across Israel’s political spectrum. The caucus works to strengthen relations between the Israeli government and pro-Israel Christian leaders. Aside from the caucus in Israel’s Knesset, 40 reciprocal Israel Allies Caucuses have been established in parliaments around the world, to help support Israel via legislative efforts.
Pastor Larry Huch was given the Caucus’ lifetime achievement award, for spearheading projects such as Project Aliyah, which together with Keren Hayesod provides financial support for thousands of Jews fleeing to Israel from Europe and North Africa. Huch, founder and senior pastor of New Beginnings Church in the Dallas area, has also been involved in building bomb shelters for the children at the Ahava Children’s Village in Kiryat Bialik, providing financial support to Holocaust survivors in Ma’ale Adumim, donating ambulances to Magen David Adom, and numerous other worthwhile caucuses on behalf of Israel.
Sam Grundwerg, world chairman of Keren Hayesod, said that “Pastor Huch is a true friend of Israel. He has greatly contributed to aliyah, absorption and all of Israeli society. Many new immigrants that have chosen to make their homes in Israel have benefited from Pastor Huch’s support and kind heart. He is a true example for all of us of what it means to support and stand with Israel. We thank him greatly for his friendship.”
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Together with Israel’s Tourism Ministry, the Allies Caucus also honored Jobst Bittner for bringing thousands of Christians to Israel. Bittner is the founder of the March of Life movement which coordinates pro-Israel marches throughout the world as a way to channel Holocaust remembrance into positive action, under the theme of “Remembering – Reconciliation – Making a Statement for Israel and against anti-Semitism.”
He similarly founded the March of Nations annual event in Israel which brought 6,000 people to the streets of Jerusalem in 2018 in honor of Israel’s 70th anniversary. This year they are coordinating marches in seven cities throughout Israel.
Bittner is the founder of TOS Ministries, based in Tubingen, Germany. He and his wife have started 12 churches in Germany and elsewhere. He wrote “Breaking the Veil of Silence,” as families in Germany wrestle with their Nazi past and realize the significance of the Jewish roots of Christianity.
“The honorees at this year’s event are heroic leaders who have bravely fought for and contributed to the State of Israel because of their personal convictions and faith. They have inspired like-minded Christians around the world to join in their efforts and stand together with Israel. It is an honor for the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus to partner with these great leaders in protecting our shared roots and values,” said Josh Reinstein, director of the Caucus.
Caucus chair MK Sharren Haskel addressed the guests on the importance of developing Judeo-Christian relations based on the two religions’ mutual values, noting that the United States’ willingness to allow Israel to annex territories in the Jordan Valley is in line with Israel’s biblical narrative, noting that “Joshua first led the Jewish people into Israel across the Jordan river.”
Aliyah and Integration Minister IDF Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Yoav Gallant, the evening’s keynote speaker, expressed his “appreciation for the heroic efforts which the Christian community has undertaken in support for Israel. From the thousands of tourists who visit each year to political advocacy at the highest realms of government, their efforts have contributed in countless ways. There is no question that their continued support is essential to the flourishing of the State of Israel.”