Faith leaders send letter to Congress calling for “unwavering support” for Israel and the Jews

Faith leaders send letter to Congress calling for “unwavering support” for Israel and the Jews

The  Faith and Freedom Coalition sent a letter to Congress calling on the US government to pass aid to Israel and to take action against antisemitism in the United States. The letter, signed by fifteen faith leaders, was addressed to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.). Signees included pastors from Christian churches and leaders from organizations such as John Hagee, founder and chairman of the Christian Zionist organization Christians United for Israel,  Dr. James Dobson of the Family Institute, Gordon Robertson, the President of The Christian Broadcasting Network, Jonathan Falwell, Chancellor of Liberty University, and Jordan Sekulow, president of The American Center for Law & Justice.

Rabbi Tuly Weisz, head of Israel365, was the only one of the Jewish faith who signed the letter.

“I’m grateful for the leadership of Ralph Reed and Tim Head of the Faith & Freedom Coalition for sending such a bold letter on behalf of Israel and the Jewish community to all US Senators and Congressmen,” Rabbi Weisz said. “Not only that, but by placing a full-page ad in the Jerusalem Post, they have demonstrated to all Israelis that, in our time of need, we are not alone.”

“The tidal wave of radical Islam and their antisemitic supporters, not only unmasked the depravity of antisemitism around the world, it also exposed the hearts of our allies,” Rabbi Weisz continued. “Unlike any other time in history, Christians around the world are standing in strong solidarity with the Jewish community. We can thank our evil enemies for bringing together the faith community like never before to defend the Land of Israel, the People of Israel and the God of Israel.”’

Rabbi Tuly Weisz speaking at Israel365 Joint Prayer Event, November 2023

The text is as follows:

“We the undersigned leaders of American religious communities and organizations join herein to defend the Jewish people, the State of Israel, and the values that unite us as people of faith. We represent many faith traditions and have come together, in one united voice, to defend our shared humanity against barbarism and terror. “

The letter cited the horrific October 7 Hamas attack on Israel and the ongoing wave of global antisemitism . 

“Like the signatories of this letter, the majority of Americans continue to stand by their Jewish brothers and sisters in the United States and in the Jewish homeland of Israel,” the letter continued. “As Jews remain the target of more than half of religion-motivated hate crimes in the United States and as Israel faces a fight for its survival, Americans of all faiths and backgrounds must take action now.”

“With this letter, we issue a united condemnation of antisemitism and proclaim our support for Israel’s right to self-defense. The United States government, and the people’s representatives in Congress, cannot waver both in combating antisemitism and in supporting the State of Israel. 

The letter outlined steps including passing legislation to fund Israel’s defense, It also called for passing the Countering Hate Against Israel  (CHAI) by Federal Contractors Act and passing the Anti Semitism Awareness Act. The CHAI act would remove federal funding for any efforts to boycott Israel. In addition, the letter calls for passing the Anti Semitism Awareness Act that would revoke the tax-exempt status of universities that refuse to fight antisemitism on campus. It also directs the Biden administration to use the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism while investigating hate crimes. 

Palestinian supporters rallied in New York on October 9, 2023, with a sign implying there is no violent action they wouldn’t take against Israel (Source: Shutterstock)

It also called to permanently freeze the $6 billion of Iranian funds released as part of the Biden administration’s 2023 hostage deal. The Pass the Maximum Pressure Act would require any new deal with Iran to be ratified by the U.S. Senate and restrict the President’s ability to lift sanctions on Iran.

The signers of the letter also called for the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and other relevant agencies to take all necessary measures to prevent, prosecute, and punish antisemitic hate crimes in the United States. 

Support for Israel has become a fiercely partisan issue. Earlier this month, House Republicans passed a $14.3 billion aid package for Israel’s military defense but it was voted down by Senate Democrats. The Biden administration also threatened to veto the House’s legislation. 

“As faith leaders representing many traditions, we affirm our support for the Jewish people and the State of Israel,” the letter finished. “We call on Americans of all religious backgrounds to join us in pledging our unwavering commitment to stand by our Jewish brothers and sisters.”

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