Charlie Daniels, steadfast Israel supporter and country music legend, dead at 83

“I just want the world to know that I love my Jewish brothers and sisters and pray daily for the peace of Jerusalem and detest the anti-Semitism abroad in the world today,” said Charlie Daniels.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

Charlie Daniels died Monday morning at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tennessee, of a hemorrhagic stroke. The steadfast Israel supporter and country music legend was 83.

An accomplished fiddler, guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter, Daniels is probably best known for The Charlie Daniels Band’s 1979 hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” Early in his career, Daniels played backup to music greats like Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen.

“Well, you know what’s wrong with the world today? People done gone and put their Bibles away, and they’re living by the law of the jungle, not the law of the land,” Daniels wrote in his 1989 hit “Simple Man.” American patriotism and Christian values were a common theme in Daniels’ music.

Daniels shared his views on politics, religion, and life in the “Soap Box” blog on his website. He frequently warned of media bias against Israel and urged his readers to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, which he called Israel’s “traditional capital for over two millennia and a part of the territory given to the Jews by God thousands of years ago.”

In May 2018, Daniels said, “If you look at the early history of the rebirth of Israel, you have to come to the conclusion that the hand of God was involved in the fray, considering the numbers and the amount and condition of the few weapons Israel had to fight with.”

He said, “They can exist only by eternal vigilance and the grace of God, and their motto, which is not merely rhetoric, but heartfelt truth, is never again.”

Daniels visited Israel several times. During an October 2013 visit, he performed Israel’s national anthem, “Hatikvah.”

In July 2014, Daniels said that Israel’s “enemies live in their back yard and will settle for nothing less than wiping them off the face of the earth.”

He said, “I have been to Israel three times and I can tell you emphatically that they are not going to let that happen, nor are they going to yield to the irrational demands of the Western nations who seem to think the only way to achieve peace in the Middle East is for Israel to give up even more of the precious little territory they have now.”

In March 2014, he said, “I just want the world to know that I love my Jewish brothers and sisters and pray daily for the peace of Jerusalem and detest the anti-Semitism abroad in the world today and there’s one thing I know. There will always be an Israel, maybe battled scarred and war weary, but there will always be an Israel.”

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Daniels expressed his admiration for Israeli ingenuity in October 2013, saying, “When it comes to making do with what you have, I think Israel is the most aggressive nation I’ve ever been to. When there’s a need, there’s a concerted effort to meet it; if there is a problem, somebody is working hard to solve it; if there is an opportunity to improve on an existing system, they’re on it.”

He said that “if any country is prepared, if any country is not only capable but willing to take on all comers when it comes to protecting itself, it’s that little sliver of land on the Mediterranean Sea known as Israel. Ever vigilant, but moving on.”

In a song on Daniels’ “Simple Man” album, he wrote, “What this world needs is a few more rednecks, some people ain’t afraid to take a stand.” Daniels was not afraid to stand for what he felt was right. When it came to Israel, he had no doubts about where he stood.

Writing about “Israel and her enemies” in 2014, Daniels said, “I know which side I’m on. I only wish I could say the same about my country.”