More than 200 evangelical leaders, organized by the Latin Coalition for Israel, gathered at the Aish Hatorah World Center in Jerusalem to celebrate the one-year anniversaries of the American and Guatemalan embassies’ moves to Jerusalem.
The meeting was attended by U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman; First Lady of Guatemala Patricia Marroquín, the wife of President Jimmy Morales; and Guatemalan Ambassador to Israel Mario Bucaro Flores.
Latin Coalition for Israel President Mario Bramnick likened President Trump to Cyrus, the Persian king who permitted the Jewish people to return to Israel to build the Second Temple. Friedman likened Trump to the prophet Daniel, and exhorted the group to do its utmost to support Israel and to spread that support to others.
“Not everyone thinks like us,” he added. “Not everybody appreciates the miracles we are living. I think people take much for granted.”
Bramnick pointed out that along with all the positive developments, Israel’s enemies are intensifying their efforts. “We see these two forces moving simultaneously,” he said. “We are seeing an unprecedented rise of anti-Semitism in the United States. We’ve never seen synagogue shootings. We’ve never seen anti-Semitic cartoons in the New York Times. We’ve never seen an anti-Semitic congressman on the Foreign Affairs Committee. We’ve never seen the Democratic Party stand silent.”
He suggested that “communities as large as the evangelical community in the United States get up and make these complaints as much as possible. There is strength in numbers. Don’t be afraid to use that strength.”
Friedman then spoke of the new forms of anti-Semitism taking hold around the world.
“We used to think of anti-Semitism in terms of Nazis and neo-Nazis,” he said. “Those are ugly and despicable people, but they’re easy to spot. The more difficult form of anti-Semitism that has emerged, not more lethal but more difficult, is anti-Zionism.” It is anti-Zionism, he said, that “accounts to some extent for rocket fire that Israelis experience.”
To fight this new anti-Semitism, the ambassador said he recently “led a delegation of ambassadors from various European countries on the March of the Living from Auschwitz to Birkenau, trying to send the signal as powerfully as we could that the disease of anti-Semitism — and it is a disease — has to be eradicated.”
On anti-Semitism in America, Friedman said “there are people who hate Israel that are given platforms all over the United States. They apply double standards to Israel that they wouldn’t think of applying to other countries in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world.”
Guatemalan First Lady Marroquín told the audience in Spanish that she had prayed at the Western Wall and “thanked G-d for the great privilege he has given us to live in these times.”
Speaking about a nearby archeological excavation at the City of David that has uncovered a pathway leading from a large pool to the Temple Mount, Friedman told the Christian leaders, “If you asked what is the probability that Jesus walked that pathway, archeologists would tell you: 100 percent.”
Friedman said he will attend an opening ceremony for this path in June together with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Citing the biblical episode of the 12 spies, in which only two of 12 spies sent to Canaan encouraged the Jews to enter the land, Bramnick said that “President Donald Trump and President Jimmy Morales are like Joshua and Caleb,” the righteous spies who urged them on.