More than 500 evangelical Christians and Jews from across North America gathered at Mar-a-Lago on March 25 for the “Together in Fellowship” gala. (Credit: Capehart Photography)
As many as 500 evangelical Christians and Jews from around the world gathered on Sunday night at U.S. President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla.—otherwise known as the “Winter White House”—for a one-of-a-kind event celebrating Israel’s upcoming 70th anniversary, as well as the unity of Christians and Jews supporting the Jewish state.
Hosted by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (also known as “The Fellowship”), the “Together In Fellowship” gala on Palm Sunday raised $1.67 million that will be put towards two causes: a new educational campaign for the next generation of Christians and Jews to help deepen their bonds with Israel and the Jewish people; and helping elderly Holocaust survivors living in poverty by providing them with food, medicine, heating fuel and personal visits they desperately need in their final years. The latter is already one of the more than 400 global initiatives undertaken by The Fellowship.
“It’s a great honor to have everybody at Mar-a-Lago, a special place for a special group of people,” Trump told the gathering in a video message recorded shortly before the gala. The president left his weekend retreat several hours before the start of the event to head back to Washington, D.C. “I wanted to be there so badly. I had to leave—we have some pretty big things going on with our country, but our country is doing really well. Your taxes are down, your regulations are down, a lot of good things are happening, we’re appointing a lot of fantastic federal judges, and I think you are all very happy with the results. So I’ll see you next time. I hope you have a fantastic evening.”
Guests hailed from throughout the United States, Canada, Israel, the Netherlands, Jamaica and Brazil. Half were Christian, half were Jewish. The evening began with a VIP poolside reception, with hors d’oeuvres and drinks, followed by a general sit-down reception and three-course meal inside Mar-a-Lago’s exquisite ballroom.
The Fellowship’s founder and president, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, started off the evening speaking about the gala’s distinctiveness. He told the crowd: “Tonight is the first time I believe in history where Christians together with Jews are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the state of Israel. It’s not Christians inviting Jews and Jews inviting Christians; it’s Christians and Jews, and that is the theme for us tonight . . . there were those who were dubious, there was those who said no it cannot be done, and here we are together.”
Eckstein also talked about the organization’s new headquarters, “The Fellowship House,” which will be, as he said, a “home away from home” for the 1.5 million Christians who visit Israel each year. The rabbi said it will be located “right next door” to the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem—an announcement that drew loud applause from the crowd. He noted that Israeli American billionaire Haim Saban is one of the Fellowship’s “greatest supporters,” who has contributed $1 million towards the new headquarters.
The decision to hold the event at Trump’s South Florida property was likely a strategic decision by Eckstein. His organization draws heavily from support by evangelical Christians, who also overwhelmingly support Trump and have applauded his policies towards Israel, such as his recognition of Jerusalem as its capital. It also comes as last year many charities and other organized canceled event plans at Mar-a-Lago following Trump’s controversial remarks after a white-supremacist rally that turned violent in Charlottesville, Va.
‘A new era where Israel wins’
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon received The Fellowship’s “Defender of Israel Award” at the gala and told JNS that in representing Israel at the United Nations, “sometimes I feel that I am alone, but I know that I am not. I know that we have millions of Christians and Jews who support Israel. And tonight is a sign of the great support that we have from different countries around the world.”
The ambassador also talked about Israel’s upcoming seven-decade anniversary, saying he believes it’s a “miracle” that Israel has come so far and accomplished so much in such a short period of time. He told JNS.org “we are very proud of what we have achieved in the short 70 years,” adding that he will be celebrating the landmark by taking 70 ambassadors from the world body on a trip to Israel.
On stage at the gala, Danon talked about U.S.-Israel relations, especially at the United Nations. He said U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley once told him that as long as she is around, America “will always have Israel’s back.”
“[It’s] the strongest alley we have,” said Danon. “Seventy years later, the U.S. remains the first country to stand by Israel through thick and thin, and there is nowhere I feel that more than what I feel at the U.N. … Me and Ambassador Haley, we play defense and offense.”
(From left) Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon and The Fellowship Founder and President Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein at the “Together in Fellowship” gala. (Credit: Capehart Photography)
He also addressed the five resolutions against Israel passed at the United Nations on Friday, saying, “I’m telling you now, [the] U.S. will take action and Israel will take action [against them].”
Danon’s late father taught him about speaking up and “standing strong” in support of Israel, he told the audience. He said, “Nowhere have I felt the importance of my father’s words more than at the U.N. It’s why I came to the U.N. I heard stories about this place. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I arrived, but let me tell you, today we are shaking things up at the U.N. We are bringing a new future for Israel at the U.N. A new era where Israel wins.”
The Fellowship also honored Museum of the Bible Chairman and Hobby Lobby President Steve Green, and VitaQuest Founder Edward Frankel with a Bridge Builder Award. The event’s keynote speaker was former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
‘Where religious freedom and religious tolerance flourishes’
During his speech, Harper said Trump “deserves enormous credit and congratulations” for recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. “That was one of the rare times I actually wish I was back in office, and I could’ve stood and done that with President Trump,” he said.
The former premier additionally spoke of his “clear” and “very consistent” defense of Israel, and his “special admiration” for the Jewish state. He said his ancestors have always been pro-Jewish, and told the audience that his father was a “life-longer admirer of the Jewish people,” and a “strong and vocal opponent” of anti-Semitism in Canada.
Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaking at the “Together in Fellowship” gala at Mar-a-Lago. (Credit: Capehart Photography)
Harper discussed radical Islam and the Iranian regime, particularly the Iranian nuclear program that threatens both Israel and Western nations. He then talked about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and urged pro-Israel supporters that “whenever we encounter [BDS], we should denounce it vocally, loudly and with every fiber of our being.”
He concluded his speech by insisting that Israel is not at fault for the lack of peace in the Middle East. “It is not because of anything Israel had done or not done,” he said in his final remarks. “It is not because of Israel’s failures or imperfections, Israel’s existence or policies. … In too many countries, it is still easier to scapegoat Israel then copy its success, and it’s only in Israel where religious freedom and religious toleration flourishes in the Middle East.
“I tell my friends in politics around the world, never be afraid to take the right position on Israel. And I also tell organizations like this, never be reluctant to be proud of Israel. … [It is] an oasis of wealth, freedom, culture, technology and security in the most dangerous and troubled part of the world. I think Israel may be the most remarkable country that has ever been created.”
Read more at https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/105030/christians-and-jews-celebrate-israels-upcoming-70th-anniversary-at-trumps-mar-a-lago/#LzZxIFAud6v0D9cm.99
The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration — which seeks to criminalize criticism of migration — is nothing more or less than a dangerous effort to weaken national borders, to normalize mass migration, to blur the line between legal and illegal immigration, and to bolster the idea that people claiming to be refugees enjoy a panoply of rights in countries where they have never before set foot.
One thing about the agreement, in any event, is irrefutable: almost nobody in the Western world has been clamoring for this. It is, quite simply, a project of the globalist elites. It is a UN power-grab.
The waterfront in the Chilean city of Valdivia. Photo: Arvid Puschnig via Wikimedia Commons.
Top Jewish groups have welcomed a Chilean government decision made earlier this week to ban municipalities across the country from boycotting Israel.
The ruling — issued by the Comptroller General of Chile – stemmed from a complaint filed by the Chilean Jewish community over a move of the Valdivia municipality to ban the city from signing contracts with Israel-linked companies.
Spurred by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s resignation and the realization that elections will likely be moved to early 2019, the leaders of the Druze community are determined to fight against the Nationality Law.
Leaders from the Druze minority and others take part in a rally to protest the Jewish nation-state law in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, Israel, Aug. 4, 2018
It certainly seems like Israel is headed toward early elections. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who resigned Nov. 14, and Education Minister Naftali Bennett were both part of the current right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu, competing over which of them was its most right-wing member
Israel has started uncovering and destroying Hezbollah’s attack tunnels under the Lebanese border, but destroying the group’s ambitious precision missile project will be much more difficult.
The Israel Defense Forces placed a camera into Hezbollah’s secret cross-border attack tunnel before sunrise on Dec. 4. They pushed it into the Lebanese side, under the Blue Line that separates the two countries. At dawn, two Hezbollah operatives reached the spot on their morning rounds. In the video disseminated by the IDF on Tuesday evening, one of the operatives is seen approaching the camera with suspicion. He stuck his nose in its direction and started to sniff around until something exploded in his face and he ran back the way he’d comVisibilitye.
The timing of Operation Northern Shield, to destroy Hezbollah tunnels leading from Lebanon into Israel, suggests that considerations other than security were behind the decision to launch it.
An Israeli commando from Yahalom, an engineering unit, takes part in a tunnel-hunting drill near Tel Aviv, March 7, 2012.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a speech to Likud activists on Dec. 2 that was both defensive and combative toward law enforcement authorities. He complained about the supposedly suspicious timing of the police announcement recommending his indictment for taking bribes in Case 4000, coming as it did one day before Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh concluded his term in office.
This week, for the first time, Israel made public its discovery of the tunnel constructed by Hezbollah and reaching into Israel’s sovereign territory. This brought to an end a long period during which a large number of Israelis living in communities adjacent to the Lebanese border reported hearing sounds of digging as well as feeling tremors in the walls of their homes.
Attack tunnels are intended to allow for significant numbers of armed infantry bearing weapons, artillery and supplies, to traverse them within a minimal time span, avoiding Israeli lookouts and thereby gaining the element of surprise.
Last Saturday, Iran’s “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani called Israel “a cancerous tumor” in a speech at the regime’s annual Islamic Unity Conference.
Rouhani’s fellow speakers included deputy Hezbollah chief Naim Qassem and Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh. Both terror bosses called for the destruction of the “cancerous tumor.”
With the predictability of a Swiss clock, the Europeans rushed to condemn Rouhani. The EU in Brussels condemned Rouhani. The German Foreign Ministry condemned Rouhani. And so on and so forth.
We could have done without their statements.
It was clear that with the onset of Operation Northern Shield—meant to neutralize terror tunnels Hezbollah has constructed along the Israel-Lebanon border—some would call it a public relations stunt by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Those who believe the timing of the police’s recommendations in Case 4000—announced on the last day of Roni Alsheikh’s tenure as the police commissioner—was reasonable, somehow complain about the timing of the operation.
On Sunday evening, December 2, the people of Sderot, Israel – a town located a mere kilometer from the Gaza border – gathered to light the first candle of the town’s menorah to commemorate the first day of Hanukkah. Jews around the world celebrate this holiday, which marks the time some two millennia ago when the Jews regained control of Jerusalem and rededicated the Second Temple.
What makes the candle lighting in Sderot worth mentioning is the fact that it is particularly symbolic of how the Jewish spirit looks for ways to turn tragedy into triumph.
This is obviously a short-lived honeymoon that will end the day after the UN General Assembly vote on the anti-Hamas resolution. The morning after the vote, Abbas will wake up to the realization that Hamas was a strange bedfellow indeed.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s hatred of Hamas is far from secret. But Abbas is now defending Hamas because he despises the Trump administration, which has sponsored a UN draft resolution that condemns Hamas. Pictured: Abbas (right) meets with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on May 30, 2007 in the Gaza Strip. (Photo by Abu Askar/PPO via Getty Images)