Netanyahu lauds Christian media: ‘Champions of Truth’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke Sunday at a conference geared to strengthening Israel’s cooperation with Christians around the world.

By Joseph Wolkin, World Israel News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to members of the international media on Sunday at the second annual Christian Media Summit.

During his speech at the opening gala, the prime minister praised the Christian media.

“People have to say the truth,” Netanyahu said. “You are ambassadors of truth. You’re not merely the greatest ambassadors that Israel has around the world – you’re champions of truth.

“And if there’s one thing that I can ask you to do is to tell the truth. Tell the truth about our history, tell the truth about our present, tell the truth about who wants peace and who doesn’t want peace.”

Held in Jerusalem, the conference includes more than 150 Christian broadcasters from across the globe. Some have traveled to Israel’s capital from as far as the United States, Russia, Germany, West Africa, Australia and South America for this unique event.

The objective of the conference is to strengthen Israel’s cooperation with Christians around the world, specifically through the media.

Netanyahu identified common ground with his Christian audience, noting that Israel wants to protect the diverse heritage of the land. Not only did he say that Israel will continue to protect the rights of Jews, Christians and Muslims, but he noted that Christianity’s holy sites will remain unharmed.

“Israel is the one country that protects the human rights of all,” Netanyahu said. “We protect the religious rights of all. We don’t just protect Christian religious sites – we protect Christian people. Christians should enjoy all the freedom to worship as they please in the Middle East and anywhere else and the only place in the Middle East where they can do so is Israel.”

During the gala, Netanyahu also announced he supports the appointment of an Israeli envoy to the Christian world.

This year’s summit shows Israel’s strengthening relationship with evangelical Christians. The goal for Netanyahu is to have them return to their respective countries and preach the truth about the Jewish state.

Netanyahu said, “We have no better friends in the world than our Christian friends and I take this opportunity to thank you for your steadfast support. You are standing up for Israel and you are standing up for the truth and we stand up for you.”

During Netanyahu’s speech, he shared an important message with his Christian audience: “You know the town of Bethlehem? Yes. You have a connection to it. We all do. Now, Bethlehem had when we handed it over to the Palestinian Authority a Christian population of roughly 80 percent. Now, it’s about 20 percent.”

The Christian Media Summit runs through Wednesday.