I just got home from attending "A Night To Honor ISRAEL" held at the New Hope Community Church near the Clackamas Promenade on Stevens Road in Portland. It brought tears to my eyes several times. I saw a huge church full of people that were praying for Israel, and doing more than praying. They also raised a lot of money for the people in Sderot who are being rocketed every day by the terrorists.
Pastor Brian Cuff, CUFI's State Director welcomed us from a dias that was in the middle of a three way screen that blew his image up so that no matter where you sat, you could see the speaker. Then an group on stage played Hevenu Shalom, and the words were blown up on this 3 way screen. For Christians, they played our music awfully well. I was so impressed. The invocation was done by Rabbi Shlomo Truzman, who also is a marvelous Cantor, or could be.
Then the musical group played Havah Nagila, and everyone was standing. Baruch Adonai was played after that. I was amazed to see these people knew our songs and prayers!
A greeting was given by Israeli Deputy Consul General Ismail Khaldi. He is a Muslim, citizen of Israel, major in the IDF, and fantastic supporter of Israel. He gave an outstanding speech in support of Israel. His family had been in Israel for at least three generations as he spoke about his grandmother being there in about 1945.
Music was played and we all sang "Star Spangled Banner led by Jennifer Thatcher. I was so impressed with her voice. She should be on American Idol. Then we sang Hatikvah, Israel's National Anthem. It always brings tears to my eyes. Rhoda Schultz led that for us. She is a beautiful mother of five, Lebanese Christian living in the states who is also a wonderful supporter of Israel. She spoke as to why she supports us, and I could have just kissed her. She not only has a gorgeous voice and would be another winner on American Idol, but wrote a song she sang as well. I wondered if she were a part of Major Hadad's family in Lebanon, the major who helped protect Israel while I lived in Safed.
A greeting was given by Pastor Sharon Miller who spoke about Daughters of Zion, a group of women praying for Israel.
An Introduction was given by Randy Neal, CUFI Western Region Director, and then a video was shown of Pastor John Hagee, CUFI Founder from San Antonio who happens to be a fantastic speaker, and after him spoke Pator Brian Cuff again.
The main speaker of the evening was the retired Ambassador Ettinger, Middle East Consultant. He said that Israel was an important connection for America. We gave Judeo-Christian values to the pilgrims and Governor Bradford, so our value goes way back to the beginnings of USA. Today, Israel has developed technical things used in war that are used by the soldiers in Iraq. In 2007 our air force demolished a nuclear plant in Syria. We share information and how to do things with the US. The Russian systems are used by Iran. In 1981 Iraq had a nuclear reactor. The US even put an embargo on Israel for bombing the plant. We may have saved a lot of lives doing what we did. America is Israel's backbone. Israel is giving USA the highest return in the money it has spent on us. Hatred created Israel. It forced us to create the state of Israel. During WWII people did not help the Jews. These people have sworn, Never Again will they be quiet and not come to our aid. We are not alone.
The evening continued with passing a plate for a donation to Israel, singing Henei Ma Tov, and finally another fantastic person spoke. This was Walid Shoebat, a former PLO terrorist who is now a great supporter of Israel and he has converted to Christianity. He is one fantastic speaker. I wish he could speak in Washington DC and have all the presidential candidates hear him as well as Condoleeza Rice and President Bush. He has a most marvelous way of speaking and putting across the truth and telling why he changed over to be for Israel and not against anymore. He cannot return to live in Israel ever again because of his past, but he still continues to speak for us. He was a man who read, searched and questioned what he was fed as a religion and a philosophy. I wish there were more like him. I just wish him all the best. If I could, I'd take him back to Israel and give him a pardon. He's one in a million and I'm so happy to have heard him speak.
The evening was not over. There were refreshments in a dining area of delicious petit fours and an assortment of finger fruits. I sat down and met some lovely people who were interested in our Portland-Ashkelon Sister City Association. I'm glad I wore our tee-shirt. It starts a conversation.
Three fantastic speakers, Muslim, Jewish and Christian, all speaking in Israel's behalf. What a wonderful remembrance on Israel's 60th birthday. I've learned that there are people who truly care about Israel's existence and are knowledgable about it's history, of fighting to be born, and fighting to survive even after 60 years.