About 300 attended an August 14 rally at the Wright Center at Samford University in Birmingham, showing their support for Israel in its fight against Hezbollah. Among those in attendance were representatives of the local Lebanese Christian community.
Richard Friedman, executive director of the Birmingham Jewish Federation, announced that the Stand With Israel emergency campaign had reached $925,000 and the Federation now has a goal of at least $1 million.
The Federation sponsored the evening, with State of Israel Bonds and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.
Yossi Olmert, brother of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, discussed the current situation in the first day of the cease fire. Noting that Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, was claiming victory, Olmert said Nasrallah was in hiding – that victors do not need to hide.
He said Hezbollah paid a tremendous price for starting a war with Israel, and will pay an even greater price if they try to start anything again.
He said Iran is a year from the point of no return in its nuclear program. While he hopes the international community will deal with the issue, if it does not, then “the correct decision” will be made in Jerusalem.
George Mamo, executive vice president of IFCJ, reiterated the support for Israel of 70 million evangelical Christians. He said it is important that the Jewish community realize that they are not alone. He added that Israel is not a Jewish issue, but an American one.
Though many perceive Christian support of Israel as being biblically based, the rationale used most often by evangelicals for their support is shared values, democracy, and Israel being a close strategic ally of the United States.
He said Christian support for Israel is unconditional and “a great mitzvah.”
Former gubernatorial candidate Lenora Pate presented a proclamation on behalf of Governor Bob Riley declaring August 14 as “Stand with Israel Day in Alabama.” She asked the crowd to stand and read the resolution in unison.