Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Monday, 23 July 2018), addressed the 13th Annual Christians United for Israel Summit in Washington DC by video link. Following are his remarks:
"Thank you, Pastor Hagee. Thank you CUFI for supporting Israel. We appreciate your support, and we thank you for it. We appreciate the support of Christians around the world.
Jews, Christians, so many others can agree on one thing—Israel is a miracle, a state in the heart of the Middle East that has known democracy, pure democracy and liberty every day of its 70-year history, a pluralistic, open society, a democracy where diversity is celebrated, not feared. Christians also know another fundamental truth: Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years. Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for 70 years. And Jerusalem will always be our capital.
Thank you President Trump, and thank our many, many Christian friends around the world, for recognizing this basic truth.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Israel is also the only country for thousands of miles where Christians not only survive, they thrive. Christian holy sites are protected and Christian worship is done without fear. Christians have achieved incredible heights in Israel. We have an Arab-Christian who served on our Supreme Court for 15 years. We have others – diplomats, businesspeople, university professors, doctors, everything. They’re in every field – many, many examples of Christians who contribute greatly to Israeli society and share in the great miracle of Israel’s success.
Sadly, some countries don’t respect Christians. In Iran, Christians are brutally persecuted. Christian pastors have spent years in prison. Now, this is an issue which I believe should concern everyone. And let me say clearly: Israel stands in complete solidarity with persecuted Christians in Iran. And I ask: Why are so many people silent as Christians are jailed and tortured in Iran?
Well, I can say this: We in Israel will not be silent, and I will continue to raise the plight of the long-suffering Iranian people – Christians, Bahai’s, students, journalists. Iran’s regime is a point of darkness in the Middle East. Israel is a point of light.
The great news is that Israel has never been stronger. Nations from around the world are flocking to Israel. They seek our ingenuity. They seek our technology. They seek our intelligence, in both senses of the word.
Israel still faces many threats. On our southern border, the fanatic terrorist group Hamas calls for genocide of Jews. In the north, Hezbollah is stockpiling massive numbers of missiles aimed at Israel. And Iran, well, Iran openly calls for Israel’s annihilation.
But Israel is strong. We will not let thugs and tyrants bully us. We will always defend ourselves. We will prosper. We will thrive. And Israel’s strength is not merely because of our army; it’s because of our spirit. And it’s because of the spirit of friends like you around the world.
Thank you for always standing with Israel. You are truly among our greatest friends in the world. I cherish that friendship, and I cherish your solidarity. Thank you for standing with Israel. Thank you for standing with the truth. Thank you all."