ISRAEL’S KNESSET WELCOMES ATTENDEES TO THE FIRST JERUSALEM PRAYER BREAKFAST
The first Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast attendees were hosted at the Israeli Knesset by the Speaker of the Knesset Yuli-Yoel Edelstein and MK Robert Ilatov, chairman of the Beiteinu party and MK Rabbi Yahuda Glick. More than 550 delegates from 56 countries were in attendance, among whom were politicians, pastors and leaders, together with business people from all walks of life. Inspired by the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC that is hosted by the Senate and Congressional Prayer Groups, the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast Movement has been coordinated by Albert Veksler who says he is “focused on building an atmosphere of unity and mutual understanding”. The invitation stated that the Bible’s call to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, is the cornerstone of this gathering, which carries the purpose of building bridges of blessing between Christians and Jewish leaders around the world.
At the reception in the Knesset commemorating the 50 year anniversary of the reunification of the ancient city of Jerusalem, Mr. Ilatov, who is also chairman of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, spoke of the need to stand together to promote the fulfilment of Biblical prophecy that Jerusalem is the undivided Capital and “eternal home” of the people of Israel. That is why, he emphasized, people had come from the four corners of the world to realign us to God’s Covenant and “now is the time to put prayer into action” and put pressure on our governments to relocate their Embassies to Jerusalem, he said. Michele Bachmann, former US Congresswoman, and head of the US Christian Allies Caucus, received a standing ovation as she gave her commitment on behalf of the United States to stand with Israel, reminding us that those that bless Israel will be blessed.
She explained that there is a mural in the US House of Representatives that features at the centre Moses who carried the founding Laws given to us by God. It is a mural to which all speakers, including Presidents, face when addressing Congress reminding us of our ultimate lawgiver and upon which the laws of our civil society are based. MK Rabbi Glick, Juergen Buhler head of the ICEJ (International Christian Embassy Jerusalem), Rebecca Brimmer of Bridges for Peace, Woo-Yea Hwang, former Vice-Prime Minister South Korea and Kenneth Meshoe, leader of the Christian Allies Caucus in South African Parliament also addressed the participants before Speaker of the Knesset Yule Edelstein stood to thank each person for their support.
He pointed out that despite celebrating that momentous achievement of 50 years ago when “David triumphed over Goliath, again” there are still many against Israel “Victory is not yet complete” he said; “some still doubt that Jerusalem is the eternal Capital of Israel, some think the ‘wheel can turn back’, so please don’t forget that it has only been 50 years that each and every faith has been welcome to worship at the holy sites in the city. Supporting Jerusalem is not just supporting Israel but also is supporting freedom and a better future for the world, so let’s keep our prayers united, for Israel, Jerusalem, for mankind and all of humanity.”
President Donald Trump has decided he will not be moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. During his campaign, Trump promised to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, thrilling Israelis and many pro-Israel Christian voters. But now that move has been delayed. “No one should consider this step to be in any way a retreat from the President’s strong support for Israel and for the United States-Israel alliance,” the White House said in a statement. The statement makes clear the president made the decision because he intends to push ahead with plans for peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. “President Trump made this decision to maximize the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians, fulfilling his solemn obligation to defend America’s national security interests,” the statement said.
A White House official went on to say that talks between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority appear to be promising. “But, as he has repeatedly stated his intention to move the embassy, the question is not if that move happens, but only when,” he said. Many were hoping the president would announce his decision to move the embassy during his recent visit. Now he has kicked the can down the road like his predecessors, former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, G.W. Bush and Barack Obama, postponing the decision for another six months. For more than two decades, the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, stipulating that the embassy be relocated to Jerusalem, has been pushed off. The waiver is almost always justified on the basis of further complicating the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which actively warns against such a move.
While Trump reportedly would like to fulfil his campaign promise, he appears to have opted for postponement to avoid condemnation by Arab nations and other Western allies. At a Jerusalem Day event, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said to President Trump, “we are grateful and say again that we want to see the transfer of the embassy to Jerusalem.” During a speech in March 2016, then candidate Trump said that he would move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, calling it “the eternal capital of the Jewish people.” His pledge made headlines across the globe, but he backed off once he took office. Critics say moving the embassy would incite anger from the Arab world because the Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their own. During their run for president, former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush also pledged to move the U.S. embassy but failed to do so.
CHRISTIANS ARE OUR BROTHERS SAYS ISRAELI PRESIDENT
Israel President Reuven Rivlin said during a meeting with church leaders in Jerusalem that Christians and Jews are “brothers.” Rivlin invited the heads of the various churches in Jerusalem to his official residence on the occasion of Easter. He used the opportunity to decry the rising persecution of Christians across the Middle East. “I say to you here, our Christian brothers of Jerusalem, our thoughts are with you at this difficult time,” stated Rivlin. “We have all seen the pictures from Syria; I visited some of the injured being treated in Israeli hospitals. What has happened there to the Christian community, and to the whole country, is a stain on all of humanity.” Rivlin went on to note that the Jewish people “know better than any what it means to pray in fear, and suffer from terrorism.” He vowed that Israel would continue to do its utmost to “protect your freedom of worship, your security and the security of your holy sites.”