Senator Sam Brownback, Christian Zionism, Jerusalem Summit.
Senator Sam Brownback, key operative in the Jerusalem Summits (see Essay 47 in this series) is a major "intersection point" of Christian Zionism, Jerusalem Summit anti-Arab, anti-Moslem worldviews, absolute "Israel-worship," blind anti-Palestinian attitudes. This is akin to the same syndrome one also finds in such Congressmen as Tom Delay and Richard Armey.
Senator Brownback Vows Strong U.S. Support to Israel's Parliament
Tuesday July 20
Legislator's Stirring Message Evokes Rousing Ovations in Jerusalem's Knesset
JERUSALEM, July 20, 2004
U. S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) addressed a special meeting of the Israel Parliament
(Knesset) Christian Allies Caucus, bringing a message of solidarity to
Knesset Members, government officials and Christian leaders who were in attendance.
The Senator called for the immediate move of the American embassy to Jerusalem, supported Israel's right of self-defense in the face of Palestinian terror and warned of dangers posed in the region by U.S. military aid to Egypt. Senator Brownback also spoke at length about America's and Israel's shared democratic values and the rise of democracy around the world. "There are only 46 non-democratic countries remaining in the world today, and we are on the path to making that zero," the Republican leader stated.
Dmitry Radyshevsky, Executive Director of the Jerusalem Summit, arranged Senator Brownback's visit to the Caucus, which Radyshevsky attends regularly. "We must be united," said Radyshevsky. "We defeated Nazism and Communism by standing together, and now as we see the face of that same totalitarian enemy in radical Islam, we must do so again." Senator Brownback serves as international Co-President of The Jerusalem Summit, together with Knesset Member Dr. Yuri Shtern, U.S. Professor Daniel Pipes and Bar Ilan University President Prof. Moshe Kaveh.
The Knesset audience was visibly moved as Senator Brownback told them, "Be encouraged. We are with you as allies in the war on terror. We are with you at the United Nations and we are with you as friends when anti-Israel and anti-Semitic views proliferate."
"It was an honor and pleasure to have Senator Brownback as a guest of the Christian Allies Caucus," said Dr. Yuri Shtern, Chairman of the Caucus. "He has been an ally of the Israeli people throughout his career, and his commitment to Israel sets an example we hope all his colleagues on Capitol Hill will follow."
July 20, 2004 Jerusalem
"With President Bush's strong stand for Israel and presumptive Democratic
presidential candidate John Kerry competing for the Jewish vote, this could be an
opportune time for the United States to move its embassy in from Tel Aviv to
Jerusalem," a visiting U.S. Senator said.
"We have an interesting dynamic in the U.S. where Bush is gaining a lot of votes on his pro-Israel position," Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) told Israeli parliamentarians at the Knesset in Jerusalem on Monday.
Only two small Latin American countries have their embassies in Jerusalem. Most nations of the world withdrew their embassies from the city in 1980 when Israel enshrined in law its claim to united Jerusalem as its eternal capital.
Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995, obligating the U.S. to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by May 1999, but both former President Bill Clinton and President Bush have avoided the move by signing successive waivers every six months. They cite security reasons for the waivers.
The Palestinians want the eastern part of Jerusalem to become the capital of a future Palestinian state. In the past, talk of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem has sparked angry reactions in the Arab world.
But Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) said the upcoming national elections could present an opportunity to move the embassy now.
President Bush's strong pro-Israel position has forced Kerry to "compete for votes" that he normally might have taken for granted, Brownback said. "So that may push both of them to be a little more engaged," he added.
Israel is a key issue for American Jewish voters -- a majority of whom have typically voted for Democratic candidates. But Bush has been recognized during these tough years of violence as a great friend to Israel.
"I'm hopeful now is the time for that [embassy move] to occur," said Brownback. "That's been endorsed by administrations as they come into office, endorsed by the Congress. I think it's time to just do this."
Politics aside, Brownback said, the U.S. needs to follow its own foreign policy.
"Israel [is] the only place in the world where the United States does not have our embassy in the capital city, and it is time...past time for America to move our embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize by this act that Jerusalem, undivided, is the capital of Israel...
"People say, well it's going to blow up things around the world but...at a point in time you just have to say we put our embassy where the capital is. Period. It isn't about Israel. This is about U.S. policy," he added.
Brownback said that he and other congressmen have considered holding up money that funds the foreign policy apparatus in order to force the move. But the question for them is whether or not they would have enough support to make it happen.
Brownback, a devout Christian, was speaking to parliamentarians under the sponsorship of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus. The group, which formed in January, includes 12 lawmakers from six political parties who promote Israeli-Christian relations.
"I thank you for bringing the message of God to a world that did not know Him, and for continuing to carry that message in the face of thousands of years of persecution, suffering and death. As a Christian, I thank you for my faith that is rooted in yours. And as a Christian, I deeply, deeply apologize for the pain and bloodshed and deafness to suffering that we have hoisted upon you and your ancestors. May this never, ever happen again!"
So said U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R, Kansas) in the Knesset on Monday, addressing Knesset Members by invitation of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Sharon met with the Senator, who, since his election in 1996, has been one of Israel's closest friends in the Senate. Sen. Brownback, 48, serves on the Senate's Appropriations Committee, Foreign Relations Committee, and the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.
The Knesset Christian Allies Caucus was recently formed to increase communication and promote cooperation between Israel and Christians around the world. It provides Christian churches and organizations with formal and direct lines of communication with the Knesset. The 12 Knesset Members who comprise the Caucus come from six different parties in the Knesset: Likud, NRP, Labor, Shinui, National Union and Shas.
Among the issues raised by the Senator in his remarks were the dangers posed by U.S. military aid to Egypt - aid, he said, that should be totally cut off. He also spoke of the necessity of moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, Israel's right of self-defense in the face of Palestinian terror, and the global war against terrorism.
Excerpts from Sen. Brownback's Knesset speech:
"You cannot know the honor this is for me to be here addressing you. Since my earliest memories growing up on a farm in Kansas in the heartland of America, I have read and studied and been taught about you, the people of Israel. I was raised and steeped in the Bible while growing up. Ancient Israel was, and is, a living reality in my home. Its spirituality, wisdom, poetry, its majesty inspired and encouraged me all my life. You have helped form my soul and I thank you for it.
"The bedrock of support for Israel in America today is comprised of Christians, like myself, who were raised on the Bible, and who see in the Jews of Israel today the inheritors of the tradition of ancient Israel. I've had the great joy of seeing modem Israel, the living spirit of its past. Israel's chain of history and its will to survive with purpose and meaning is a true miracle.
"I have been to Israel several times. The last time I was in Israel, I looked out the window of my hotel and saw the flag of Israel with the Star of David and the thought entered my mind, 'God does keep His promises!' That flag which had been absent in this land for nearly 2,000 years was now flying again. What an awesome God we serve...
"As a member of the United States Senate, my message to you today is to be encouraged. We are with you. We are with you as your allies in this war against terrorism. We are with you in the United Nations. We are with you as your friends as a wave of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric is once again on the rise...
"Our past and our present and our futures are intertwined together. So, in my parting, I pray for Israel. That in this season of ingathering you will be a blessing to all nations. That you will be a Holy Nation. A nation of the righteous leading the world in righteousness. It is your duty and destiny. And when you do your duty, the rest of us will be blessed and able to do ours. Thank you and God bless you."