(June 23, 2020 / JNS) Christians United for Israel (CUFI) is calling on America’s leadership to back U.S. President Donald Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to support Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s push to extend sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.
CUFI founder and chairman Pastor John Hagee published an op-ed in Haaretz on Sunday, urging “American to boldly stand with its greatest ally and go forward with the Trump Peace Proposal.”
He said the Mideast plan is the most “realistic effort” by the United States to help end the conflict, and that “this includes Israel’s exercising its sovereignty over portions of Judea and Samaria, and once again offering the Palestinians an opportunity to have a prosperous and independent existence.”
The push by Hagee, whose organization claims more than 8 million members, comes ahead of the July 1 proposed time frame when Israel could decide to move ahead with applying sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria, referred to by most media as the West Bank.
Nevertheless, the measure has received significant pushback from detractors, who contend that sovereignty could spell an end to a two-state solution and also harm Israel’s relations with its allies in Europe and the Middle East. They cautioned that it could also spark regional violence.
Sandra Parker, chairwomen of the CUFI Action Fund, dismissed these concerns. “The White House’s peace proposal is the first to ensure Israel can secure its borders and that Palestinians have the opportunity to build a real future,” she told JNS.
She noted that as Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer noted in his op-ed last week, “the principles of the peace proposal were effectively shared by the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (of blessed memory). This proposal is less about a ‘peace process’ and more about achieving actual peace.”
Hagee said the point of view of Israel’s sovereignty push—termed an “annexation” in most media coverage—ignores the biblical, historical and legal perspective that “Israel owns, and does not occupy, the Holy Land. And one cannot be an occupier on land it owns.”
“Some people would rather ignore Israel’s legitimate claims to the land in question,” added Parker. “Anti-Israel forces have tried to rewrite history and even change the meaning of words in the Bible (for example replacing ‘Israel’ with ‘the church’). But those arguments should hold no weight with the intellectually honest.”
“At CUFI, our job is to ensure our elected officials know where we stand,” said Parker. “That effort is perennial, and Pastor Hagee’s piece was published in order to ensure the consistency of our position was known throughout Washington, the U.S. and the pro-Israel community.”
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