House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) today addressed the Christians United for Life Washington Summit. She delivered a message on the importance of America’s strong relationship with Israel, and why we must stand with our most important ally in the Middle East.
Click here or the image below to watch her remarks
Posted by Christians United for Israel (CUFI) on Tuesday, July 24, 2018
The Chair’s remarks as delivered:
Thank you, it’s a blessing to be here. and thank you, Pastor and Mrs. Hagee, for your leadership and bringing us all together today.
I admire your leadership and your passion and I’m most grateful of all for your prayers. I believe little prayer, little power. More prayer, more power. Much prayer, much power. There are so many faithful people, like all of you, who have been praying and it’s amazing to me to see the impact of those prayers in my own personal life and here in our Nation’s capital too.
So more than anything, remember to keep praying! It makes a difference.
I had never been to Israel until I was elected to Congress, but I grew up loving Israel. You may not know that much about me, but I’m from Eastern Washington where people grow wheat and apples. The Israel I grew up with was the Israel of the Bible, of Abraham, Moses, David and of Jesus. It seemed like of all the places on earth, this was the place God must love the most.
There was also the Israel of the Six Day War and brave Israeli tank commanders but those were faint images. Israel was abstract and a little unreal. Now, having gone to Israel a number of times, I know a real Israel with traffic jams, and construction sites with high tech startup companies and a democratic Israel that even has politicians. But they’re going to do ok despite that, just as we have.
And I saw how real the struggle is for survival in an Israel surrounded by its enemies, enemies who think nothing of a suicide bombing killing innocent children or hundreds of rockets being launched across the border.
And I wondered – as so many of you have – how long would the United States tolerate rockets launched against Los Angeles or Detroit from Mexico or Canada? Not one day. Not one hour. And I now know the reality that Israel is a small country geographically. Just an hour’s drive from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — just minutes for a fighter jet or a missile.
Before I went to Israel, I knew it with my head—but now I know it with my heart.
Israel exists because God ordained it. It’s the promised land and when you visit Israel, that’s impressed upon your heart more than anything. The stories of the Bible come to life. They are real! Stories like Abraham and Sarah praying for a child in Hebron. Kings being anointed in the City of David or in Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed with his disciples the night before he was crucified.
Our blessings today and our Judeo-Christian values we stand for trace back to our Jewish roots. And it’s our connection to Israel that brings us God’s history and his glory. Israel is our true North. Its history and culture is at the very center of our civilization. We must work tirelessly to make sure the United States is an unequivocal, staunch, bipartisan, and steadfast friend of Israel.
That’s why President Trump and the Republican Congress have sent a clear message that the evils of terrorism don’t stand a chance against the strength of Judeo-Christian values. Today, we can celebrate that our embassy is officially located in the great holy city of Jerusalem. We’ve increased funding for the Iron Dome missile defense system. We’ve imposed stronger sanctions on Iran for the regime’s destructive activities. President Trump has ended our participation in the flawed Iran Deal and we are strengthening our pressure to make sure the Iranian regime doesn’t come any closer to developing a nuclear weapon. In addition, we’ve also kept our promise to prioritize our own security, rebuild our military and build a strong economy.
Here’s why that matters to Israel. In a delegation meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, we asked him: “What’s the most important thing the United States could do for Israel?” He said, “Build a strong economy, for America to be a diplomatic power, America must be a military power to be a military power, you have to be an economic power.” It’s all connected and he’s absolutely right.
Today, thanks to our work lift the regulatory burden and lift the tax burden, our economy is booming. As a result, America is stronger at home and abroad. Last month the unemployment rate was only 4 percent. That tied a 50 year low. Compare that to 9.9 percent in 2010. More people are coming off the sidelines and into the workforce, companies are coming home, and 3.7 million new jobs have been created since President Trump’s election. These results, coupled with Republicans’ work to rebuild our military is not only good news for Americans who are better off now, it’s good news for Israel, too.
No matter who you are, we all share a vested interest in the security of Israel. Israel is not what’s wrong with the Middle East. As the only Democracy there, Israel is what’s right. Still, it faces threats every single day.
On my last trip to Israel, I went to a Jewish-owned industrial park in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank. The Palestinians, who made up 70 percent of the employees there risked everything for the opportunity to make 3 to 4 times as much as they would anywhere else. I couldn’t help but thinking, here you have Israelis and Palestinians working side by side. Now, everything that came out that bakery was stamped with BDS because it was in the West Bank area. We went and visited JH ranch which is a leadership ranch in Arial where Israelis, Muslims and Palestinians come together and they learn about God. I thought this was a turning point and a bottom up approach to living in peace.
I’m certain – America will never abandon our values, and Israel is not going to let any other country jeopardize its survival. So we will continue to stand beside Israel with unwavering resolve and we need you to continue your critical mission to encourage millions of pro-Israel Christians to be educated, empowered, and effective forces for Israel.
So thank you for what you’ve done, and for what you will continue to do.
I would like to leave you with one last story. When Brian and I walked next to the Sea of Galilee and we saw the walls of the old city in Jerusalem, and the Jordan River, Israel changed us. From that place of Bible stories into someplace very special and personal. And the funny thing is: it wasn’t diminished by all the daily buzz of modern life.
You look around and think, these people should be listed along with Moses, David, Solomon, – fighting for the survival of their people. If we were writing the Bible today, their stories would be in it. And so would yours, and the great work you have done. Because this struggle for Israel is a great one, and it’s one that is in my heart.
Remember what God told Abraham, “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those that bless you and curse those who curse you and all the peoples of earth will be blessed through you.” May God bless Christians United for Israel and all of your work making this your number one mission.
God Bless you. God Bless America, and God Bless Israel.