Netanyahu's Speech to Congress a 'Churchill Moment,' Says Pro-Israel Christian Group

( [email protected] ) Mar 04, 2015 12:11 PM EST
Netanyahu in U.S. Congress
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) acknowledges applause at the end of his speech to a joint meeting of Congress in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 3, 2015. U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner (C) (R-OH) and President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate Orrin Hatch (R-UT) applaud behind Netanyahu. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The largest Christian pro-Israel group in the U.S. has voiced its support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after he warned Congress about the Iranian nuclear threat and called for a united front against Islamic extremism.

On Wednesday, Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Executive Director David Brog told the AFP, "Prime Minister Netanyahu is confirming something that we in CUFI have long believed. The fact is that we are all in this together.  Radical Islam -- both in its Shiite and Sunni forms -- targets America and Israel, Christians and Jews."

He added, "This is not a Jewish problem that the rest of the world can afford to ignore. Israel is not the cause of this evil. Quite to the contrary, Israel is our first line of defense against this evil."

Mr. Brog's comments were made in response to the Israeli PM's speech on Tuesday, in which he warned that the U.S. should be careful about making any deals with Iran, as the country has not only funded aggression against Israel, but has proven it cannot be trusted in any sort of alliance of nations with the U.S. and Israel.

"So at a time when many hope that Iran will join the community of nations, Iran is busy gobbling up the nations," he told Congress. "We must all stand together to stop Iran's march of conquest, subjugation and terror."

Mr. Netanyahu also addressed the threat global terrorism poses to Christians, Jews and Muslims in the Middle East, specifically referencing the persecution religious minorities have faced at the hands of the Iranian government.  

"Iran and ISIS are competing for the crown of militant Islam," he said. "In this deadly game of thrones, there's no place for America or for Israel, no peace for Christians, Jews or Muslims who don't share the Islamist medieval creed, no rights for women, no freedom for anyone."

He added, "So when it comes to ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy." 

Founder of Christians United for Israel, Pastor John Hagee called Mr. Netanyahu's speech a "Churchill moment" and urged the United States government to take his words seriously and respond with "meaningful legislation" to guarantee liberty for both Israel and America.

"Today America and the world had the opportunity to experience a Churchill moment with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel," he said. "In the dark days of World War II, when Hitler and the Nazis were destroying Europe, Winston Churchill addressed the British making this statement 'You ask what is our aim. I can answer in one word: It is victory... for without victory, there is no survival.'"

A few hours after the PM's address, U.S. President Obama, who admitted he did not watch the address, responded, saying, "As far as I can tell, there was nothing new" in Netanyahu's speech, and insisted "the prime minister didn't offer any viable alternatives."

However, Mr. Brog told the Jerusalem Post that CUFI believes that moving forward, the United States must help defeat ISIS on the battlefield, refrain from easing sanctions on Iran, and ensure that "radical Islam controls as little territory and as few weapons as possible."

"An emboldened Iran safe under its own nuclear umbrella would be a disaster for America, Israel and our Arab allies, as well as for the region's Jews, Christians and other religious minorities," Brog said. "No one would be safe.  No one should operate under the naive illusion that Iran is someone else's problem."