Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to a virtual conference of Evangelical Christian leaders over the weekend, assuring them, “You are the greatest friends the Jewish state has.”
The premier did not directly refer to harassment of Christians in the Old City nor the ongoing visa problems of certain organizations, such as the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem (ICEJ), during the online gathering. However, he said: “Our Christian friends, when they come here, they’re really embraced.”
Netanyahu also acknowledged the presence of opposition to Christians in the Jewish state, but called it “a minority” and said the government is “taking very strong action against them,” without providing detail.
During the call, Netanyahu addressed a variety of topics, and spoke about the history of his family and its connection to the United States.
Netanyahu’s father, Benzion Netanyahu, spent many years in the U.S., both as an advocate for the formation of the State of Israel before World War II, and following its establishment, as history professor at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
Netanyahu also noted his own efforts to change the economy of Israel to strengthen the country, saying, “strength attracts, weakness repels.”
The prime minister acknowledged his recent efforts to broaden the Abraham Accords to include Saudi Arabia, admitting that, while it might not bear fruit, “We are giving it a good try, and I hope we succeed.”
Netanyahu referred to the judicial reforms of his coalition government as an attempt to balance the current government.
“Israel will be a better and stronger democracy,” he stated.
Near the end of the conference, Netanyahu addressed the situation with Iran, claiming that Israel has “slowed Iran down” from achieving their nuclear ambitions.
He stated that the only way to stop Iran's nuclear program is to establish a “strong, credible military threat."
“If Iran is not stopped,” Netanyahu said, “then Iran will be able to threaten ‘the Great Satan’ with nuclear weapons.” He noted the “common interest” of Israel and the U.S. in stopping Iran’s nuclear interests.
Netanyahu talked about the need to support the Iranian people against the ayatollah regime, saying it is as important as a “credible military threat” against the government.
He called on Evangelical leaders to educate the younger generation about “our common heritage” and the Judeo-Christian tradition, urging the participants to “pass the torch.”
The call was organized by Friends of Zion Founder and Director Mike Evans.
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The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.