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Monday, May 16, 2011

Friends of Israel: CUFI in Eugene

Nadene Goldfoot
Israel need not feel isolated and alone, for they have 625,000 friends throughout the USA who are members of CUFI (Christians United For Israel).  This number is special as there were 600,000 Israelites who left Egypt and  wandered in the desert for 40 years before entering the land of Canaan which became Israel.  There were 600,000 Jews in "Palestine" at the time Israel was declared a state once again in 1948. 

Last night the CUFI group in Eugene, Oregon recognized Israel's 63 birthday with a wonderful program containing profound speakers.  They started by telling the 750 some attendees that G-d mattered to them and so did Israel.  Rabbi Moshe Derfler  from Eugene spoke first for the Invocation and related that $250 million dollars had been invested in Iran by the USA.  We know that Iran's goal is to destroy Israel.  For the sake of morality we can't be silent anymore.  As Jeremiah had taught, we were told to Wake Up.  The audience was given the assignment to help Israel and that it was their moral duty.  This help was not in the form of destructive demonstrations such as was going on throughout Israel by the Arab rebellion during Nakba Day which resulted in about 13 deaths and many injured but by contacting their congressmen to let them know how they feel and why. The audience was reminded about PAL to find out what is going on.  The rabbi brought out that there was immorality in the world.  In order to experience true happiness in the world, we need to speak up and take action.

Charlie Kirchner, Deputy Regional Director  from AIPAC, a young and  extremely well informed representative spoke and mentioned that Israel had had peace pacts with Egypt and Jordan  that are now slipping away with the rebellion taking place in the Middle East.  Israel has real threats to its survival.  We are the watchmen spoken of that need to help.  Sanctions on Iran must happen  for all to survive. 

Charlie Schiffman spoke with Pastor Dave McGarrah.  This orthodox Jewish retired executive VP of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland  and Pastor of the Salem First Church of Nazarene had met at a meeting and were now best friends, forming a radio program on KDPQ 93.9 on 6:30pm on Sunday evenings discussing different religious and secular subjects from their two different viewpoints.  The program is called "The teacher and the Preacher."  We're finding more points of agreement with Christians than differences today and that we do indeed need each other.

Michael Medved was the keynote speaker and the pull that got me to want to attend.  I'd followed his radio show when I found it on my radio for several years.  He is a great supporter and historian of Israel.  Though he lives here, he was in Israel as an infant and still has family there.  This man takes tours to Israel for a well informed trip.  He mentioned a problem that I have; to stay calm when asked ubiquitous questions and all the lies about Israel that people have swallowed.  He gave us some very interesting facts.  In 1840 the Jewish population was greater than the Muslim or Christians in Palestine. By 1880  the first aliyahs were going on (Russian Jews returning to Palestine to drain swamps, build, live)  Many Jews were returning then escaping the pogroms.  Hertzl encouraged returning after the Dryfuss affair in France.  In 1909 Tel Aviv was a city.  A wife of one of Michael's friends married a 7th generation Jerusalemite.  Jews had never left Palestine.  By the time of 1948 there was a population of 600,000 Jews.  The point he made was that Israel wasn't just created on May 14, 1948.  It had come into existence long before.  There never had been a nation of Palestine.  Judea was a living government up to 70AD.  According to British census of 1914, the Arab population counted 220,000 but by 1924 it more than doubled because many had come from surrounding nations to work for the Jews who were in the act of creating and building.  Arabs in the Judea/Samaria or West Bank area live longer than Arabs in surrounding nations.  No country in the world has ever experienced a conflict settled in negotiation which is expected of Israel.  Reagan's comment about war was, "We win; they lose"  There was no discussion here. 

Charles Schiffman leaves us with many points to remember, but one I like is: "Realize that a strong Israel will be a force for peace in the region, while a weak or compromised Israel will encourage terrorism and give comfort to those who believe that soon Israel will disappear like the Crusader kingdoms.  That strength was tested this weekend by Palestinians and their cohorts who came to overwhelm Israel causing havoc and death.  Israel needs us and we need Israel. 

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