New Australia/Israel Parliamentary Alliance

Israel and Australia are democracies. They share the same values, including freedom of the press and freedom of religion. The rule of law ensures all are treated equally under the law and the rights of minorities are guaranteed. The principle of separation of powers between the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government prevents too much power being concentrated in one body.

In Israel, Parliament is called Knesset, and is located in its Capital, Jerusalem, which some people have a problem with! Australia’s Federal Parliament is located in its Capital, Canberra, which people have no problem with – quite right too, as a sovereign nation has the right to decide where its capital should be.

In view of their shared values, it is entirely fitting that a Pro-Israel Caucus is being formed in Australia:

A delegation from the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus (KCAC) met Australian politicians in Canberra, Friday, June 21st 2013 in an effort to form a pro-Israel caucus in the Australian parliament.
The delegation, led by KCAC co-chairman David Rotem (Yisrael Beytenu), met with top politicians in Australia’s major parties, including Tony Abbott…

The creation of an Australian Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucus will not only strengthen Australian-Israel relations but will also provide a powerful boost to the work of the over 20 governmental caucuses under the auspices of the Israel Allies Foundation” said KCAC director Josh Reinstein.

Christian Allies Caucus

Israel has few friends in the world; she certainly has no better friends than Christian Zionists, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long recognized. In a Speech to Christian Zionists in 2010, he said:

Your presence here today represents a profound transformation in the relationship between Christians and Jews. This transformation has its roots in the 19th century when the early Christian Zionists came to the Land Israel and when they began exploring the land of the Bible, when they began to yearn for the Jewish restoration in this land…the restoration of our sovereignty.

In fact, Christian Zionism preceded modern Jewish Zionism, and I think enabled it. But it received a tremendous impetus several decades ago when leading American clergymen began to say…it’s time to take a stand with Israel… the sole democracy in the Middle East. It was time to take a stand against the lies and the slander and the vilifications. It was time to defend the Jewish state’s right to defend itself.

Today, Christians by the thousands, by the tens of thousands, by the hundreds of thousands, by the millions, by the tens of millions – today they have heard this call, and they stand with Israel. I salute you, the people of Israel salute you, the Jewish people salute you.

Time after time, through thick and thin, you have stood shoulder to shoulder with our state, and I have come here tonight to thank you for your unwavering friendship.

The Jerusalem Connection

Last year he reaffirmed this bond:

“I don’t believe that the Jewish State and Modern Zionism would have been possible without Christian Zionism. I think that the many Christian supporters of the rebirth of the Jewish State and the ingathering of the Jewish people in the 19th century made possible the rise of…modern Jewish Zionism. We always had the deeply ingrained desire to come back to our land and rebuild it. …That was made possible in the 19th century, by the resurgence of Christian Zionism….”

Israel Today

In June 2013, lawmakers from Israel, the US and Europe declared their support for keeping Jerusalem united as Israel’s capital in an event organized by the KCAC and other Israel supporters in Congress and the EU Parliament.

“For historical, biblical and moral reasons, we are committed to the unity of Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital,” said Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado), who co-chairs the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus.

Benny Elon, president of the Israel Allies Foundation, said the event’s political significance cannot be underscored.

“High-profile parliamentarians and congressmen in Washington, Europe and elsewhere around the world are celebrating together the historical date of the reunification of Jerusalem…and are trying to do their best to relocate their embassies to Jerusalem through legislation. This is big encouragement for Israel and shows how important the work of the Israel Allies Foundation is as it continues to unite politicians of faith on behalf of Israel.”

Jerusalem Post

Members of the Australian Israel Allies Caucus (AIAC) include Christopher Pyne, Fred Nile, Josh Frydenberg, Mark Dreyfus, Philip Ruddock and Tony Abbott. While hailed as bi-partisan, there seem to be many more on the Liberal side of politics, with Labour’s former partners, the Greens, conspicuous by their absence. Still, it’s a positive initiative, which hopefully will help stem the tide of anti-Israel rhetoric.

KCAC director, Josh Reinstein said:

“It was very exciting to see such strong and bipartisan support of the State of Israel in Australian Parliament”.

The AIAC will join a growing international network, including five caucuses in America, seven in Europe and three in Asia. KCAC is a multi-partisan group which aims to build bridges between the Knesset and worldwide Christian -leaders.

 

 

The delegation also met with the NSW Parliament and more than 100 religious leaders at a forum organised by NSW Christian Democrat MP Fred Nile.
“People who support Israel because of values and beliefs instead of for economic and political reasons will always be friends of Israel,” Reinstein said.

Jewish News

Kudos to the religious leaders, who have put in so much effort on behalf of fostering ties with Israel, including Fred Nile, MP, and Keith Buxton, National Director of Bridges for Peace Australia
Christians United for Israel (CUFI) also offers enormous support to Israel:

Joseph Puder writes:

“On July 23, 2013, CUFI held its 8th national Night to Honor Israel at the Washington, DC Convention Center, packing 4,500 enthusiastic members and supporters from throughout America and beyond, waving American and Israeli flags, and cheering loudly at all references to Israel by an impressive array of speakers.

CUFI was founded by Pastor John Hage, whose ministry is centered on straightforward Bible teaching, and unwavering support for the Jewish State of Israel and the Jewish people.

CUFI on Campus, founded in 2009, has become a major source of advocacy for Israel on college campuses where campaigns by pro-Palestinian Muslims, leftist students and outside professional provocateurs have hitherto dominated.

…Senator Ted Cruz praised Israel for providing freedom and democracy to all its citizens, including Christians. He noted that “there is an irony that many don’t seem to understand – that weakness encourages violence and military conflict whereas clarity and deterrents are the best way to avoid conflict.”…he warned, “Do not expect the UN Security Council to pass a resolution that calls for the protection of Christians in the Middle East. Israel is the only obstacle to a Muslim Empire.”

Turning to the peace process, Hagee proposed ending US aid to the Palestinian Authority until it recognizes Israel as a Jewish State. “How can you make peace” Hagee said, “with someone who wants to kill you?” He was referring, of course, to the Palestinians.

Pastor Hagee proclaimed his heartfelt beliefs. “We Christians stand with Israel now, tomorrow, and forever,” adding that “Christians and Jews are a marriage made in Heaven.”

Front Page Magazine

Amen to that! Let Jews, Christians and all people of goodwill stand together in this great battle between good and evil.

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16 comments

  1. Pam – Excellent article.
    I suggest to you that the Christian Zionism of which you speak, which ultimately derives from Fundamentalist Evangelical Pentecostalism, is a uniquely American phenomenon, I say this as an American citizen.

  2. Thanks George. I agree with you that the Christian Zionist movement started as an American phenomenon, and is very large and influential over there. However, we do have Christian Zionist groups in Australia which are trying very hard to spread the message and counter the pro-Palestinian movement which is prevalent in many churches, propagated under the mantra of social justice. The main culprit is the Uniting Church, but other churches have been infected with this false narrative. Paul Wilkinson, a pastor from England, who recently spoke here, has an excellent DVD explaining how deep rooted what he calls Christian Palestinianism and who the main players are. You can google it and watch online.

    • Hi Pam, where can I get a copy of the DVD “Christian Palestinianism”. The reason I ask is because I was speaking with a Reverend from the Uniting Church this morning. He asked me if a pray for “Palestine”. I corrected him and said, “It is not Palestine, but Israel”.

  3. Pam, I specifically looked for the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus (KCAC) group you mentioned, that’s how come you got the photo added. I was a guest of NSW Christian Democrat MP Fred Nile. I am part of this group and attend many of his functions at the NSW Parliament.

  4. Thanks Shirlee, both for posting my aritcle and adding the photo. I’m hopeless at technology, and if you’re willing to do the hard work for me, I’m very grateful.

    Fred Nile is often vilified, especially by the far left, but he is an admirable person who sticks to his principles. By the way, are there any other Labour members of the caucus, apart from Mark Dreyfus?

    • Fred Nile is amazing and has some terrific speakers at Parliament House. I received a very good invitation today, for later this month.

      Israel, Settlements and International Law
      Presented by Andrew Tucker
      ~Hosted by Rev Hon Fred Nile MLC~

      “Andrew Tucker was born and raised in Australia. He studied law at Melbourne and Oxford Universities, and practised as an attorney in Australia, UK and Netherlands for 20 years in the fields of international and EU law.

      Since 2004 Andrew has been serving as Executive Director of Christians for Israel International and Legal Counsel to the European Coalition for Israel (a
      Brussels-based foundation dedicated to defending Israel’s rights in the EU and UN institutions).”

      I don’t get your question though. Dreyfus is Federal and Rev Nile is State

  5. Andrew Tucker is also coming down to Melbourne, which is great.
    Re my question, it seems most members are from the Liberal party or Australian Christians in the case of Rev Nile. Are there many, either Federal or State, from the Labour party? How about the Independents? When I was researching apart from the people mentioned in the article, I couldn’t find details of exactly who was in the Caucus.

    • I have no idea. At State level the Parliamentary Friends of Israel has the highest membership rate. All MPs expect one or two Greens. There is even one Green in the group. I am told that the numbers are very high too at Federal level

  6. It’s encouraging to know that despite all the anti-israel rhetoric in the media, there really is quite a lot of support for Israel.

  7. As the key facilitator of this important initiative at federal parliamentary level, I would like to add a few clarifications. Over three days in June some 20 federal parliamentarians met with a small delegation from the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus. All but three were from the Coalition side of politics, though invitations were widely extended. At this stage the Australian Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucus has yet to be formally launched, though Senator Eric Abetz is actively working on the make-up of the caucus, which will also include Senators David Fawcett, Mitch Fifield and Brett Mason, and MPs Christopher Pyne, Kevin Andrews and Ken Wyatt. Senator Abetz will be focusing on ensuring that the caucus is bi-partisan, a vitally important factor in its formation.

    It should be noted that there are several distinctives about this caucus that differentiate it from existing federal and state parliamentary friendship groups. Firstly, this caucus is unapologetically faith-based, strongly affirming the biblical grounds for Israel’s existence and presence in her God-given land. Secondly, it is one of a network of over 20 similar Israel Allies Caucuses worldwide, and so will benefit from and contribute to a valuable international relationship of Israel-supporting lawmakers. Thirdly, this caucus is intentionally focused on specific issues – such as the indivisibility of Jerusalem – and thus has the potential to contribute to the formation of Australian policy in key areas affecting Israel and the Jewish people.

    Please pray for Senator Eric Abetz as he assumes initial responsibility for ensuring the success of this historic initiative, and for those of us working with him in active support. May God’s favour be evident at every level, and may the outcome be an increasingly strong and uncompromising stand with Israel within our federal parliament in the days ahead.

    • Thank you for joining us and thank you for the clarification. I was in Parliament for Rev Nile’s presentation.

      The group has some very interesting speakers. I am especially looking forward to hearing Andrew Tucker. It will be interesting to hear his ideas, and if and or how, they differ from the Jewish point of view.

    • Thank you Keith for your clarification. I agree that it is important the Alliance is bi-partisan, and am encouraged that many MPs feel so strongly about issues concerning Israel.
      As for it being faith-based, there is no problem with that at all; after all, it was the faith of Christian Zionists that helped ensure Israel was established, and today, it is their faith that encourages and inspires many of us Jews to realise we are not alone, especially when faced with increasing levels of anti-Semitism.

    • Romans 1:16 The Apostle Paul states, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God to salvation, to the Jew first and also to the Greek…..” Does your organisation stand by this scripture in the Book of Romans, stated by the Apostle Paul. Does your organisation, whilst in Israel, including Christians For Israel, stand by preaching the Gospel to the Israeli population, and ” as faith based, affirming the biblical grounds for Israel’s existence and presence in her God-given land?” (your quote 03/08/2013), as well as sharing the very truth as to why their Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, came to the land of Israel. Was it not to tell them that their time had come. That He was their Promised Messiah. That they were not to look elsewhere.

      It is the responsibility of the Church of Jesus Christ, and all those who profess to be a part of the Body of Christ, to preach the Gospel to all creation, making disciples of every nation baptising them in the Name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19).

      In the Gospel of Matthew 15:24, Jesus told the Canaanite woman,” I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”.

      Why has the Body of Christ moved away from this responsibility and only a tiny percentage of Christians are obeying this section of the Bible, and are physically taking the Gospel to the Jew. Apart from believing Jews in Israel taking the Gospel to their own, the bible is also for Christians, those who are non Jews, to take the Gospel to the Jews of Israel, many of whom are coming back in unbelief. In the Book of Romans chapter 10:9,10 -14, is quite clear. It is all very well establishing political bonds with the State of Israel, however, what will happen when the Lord Messiah returns, and His People, the Chosen People, have not heard. That is why we read in Zechariah chapter 12:9-11.

      Creating political bonds with Israel is admirable, but obeying the Lord and taking the Gospel to every nation, including Israel has a better reward, since political bonds are a temporal thing, but salvation of the Jews is for Eternity.

  8. Dear Pam, thank you for this wonderful and heartening article. Kol ha kavod to you for your effort and kol ha kavod to all our wonderful Christian friends for their tireless efforts to promote truth and justice and for giving us Jews who love Israel a sense of not battling alone for our beloved little country.

  9. Well done! Pam.
    This is a great article.
    With the new imposed restrictions of the EU on products from Judea and Samaria which also is affecting Palestinian workers, just shows that there are people in Europe who still harbour hatred towards Israel and Jews.

  10. Thanks Mike. Yes, anti-Semitism is certainly alive and kicking in Europe, with the EU and the UN active participants in the demonisaion of Israel and Jews.