Opposition head: Messianic atmosphere at US Embassy ceremony ‘disturbing’

The messianic Christian atmosphere at the Jerusalem US Embassy dedication was ‘disturbing,’ says Zionist Union Chairman Avi Gabbay.

By: World Israel News Staff  

Avi Gabbay, who heads the Zionist Union, Israel’s largest opposition party, said Tuesday that the “messianic Christian atmosphere” during Monday’s US Embassy dedication in Jerusalem was “disturbing.”

“It was a joyous day of celebration for our Jerusalem,” Gabbay told Army Radio. “But the messianism of the two pastors who spoke was not for me.”

Pastor John Hagee, founder of Christians United for Israel, delivered the benediction at the ceremony.

“We thank you, O Lord, for President Donald Trump’s courage in acknowledging to the world a truth that was established 3,000 years ago — that Jerusalem is and always shall be the eternal capital of the Jewish people,” Hagee said.

Robert Jeffress, a Southern Baptist, said a prayer at the embassy opening.

“We come before you, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, thanking you for bringing us to this momentous occasion in the life of your people and in the history of our world,” Jeffress said on Monday.

Jeffress went on to praise the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Trump.

“We want to thank you for the tremendous leadership of our great president, Donald J. Trump. Without President Trump’s determination, resolve and courage we would not be here today,” he said.

“And I believe I speak for everyone of us when I say I thank you every day that you have given us a president who boldly stands on the right side of history but more importantly stands on the right side of you, O God, when it comes to Israel,” Jeffress added.

Minister Elkin: ‘Nothing disturbing’

In contrast to Gabbay, Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Minister Ze’ev Elkin said there was nothing disturbing or undue about Hagee’s and Jeffress’s speeches.

“It was an American ceremony and the US is a very Christian nation,” Elkin, an Orthodox Jew, said.

“The evangelicals are very important to Israel. They make up a big group among the Republicans who are very influential on the positive outlook toward support for Israel.

“Judaism is not a religion that tries to proselytize,” Elkin explained. “The people who were at the ceremony were Christians, and the fact that they brought pastors is understandable.”

Both Hagee and Jeffress have in the past made controversial statements about Jews. An audio from one of Hagee’s sermons in the 1990s – which seemed to suggest that Adolf Hitler had been fulfilling God’s will by aiding the desire of Jews to return to Israel in accordance with biblical prophecy – was leaked a few years ago.

In response to a tweet by former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney blaming Jeffress for saying that “you can’t be saved by being a Jew,” Jeffress tweeted, “Historic Christianity has taught for 2,000 years that salvation is through faith in Christ alone. The fact that I, along with tens of millions of evangelical Christians around the world, continue to espouse that belief is neither bigoted nor newsworthy.”