Thousands turn out to support and honor Israel at Tulsa event
BY BILL SHERMAN World Religion Writer
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
10/16/12 at 6:04 AM
More than 2,000 Tulsans gathered at Victory Christian Center on Monday night to show their support for the nation of Israel and the Jewish people.
Three blasts on a shofar opened the night of pageantry, dance, drama, multimedia and stunning live music by violinist Maurice Sklar and an orchestra and choir.
About 40 events called "A Night to Honor Israel," sponsored by the organization Christians United for Israel, are held each month in various U.S. cities.
The Rev. Sharon Daugherty, senior pastor of Victory Christian Center, said Christians United for Israel has more than a million members who actively support Israel and Jews.
"The Jewish community has gone through a lot through history," she said. "Today, we want them to know that we love them and support them."
Victoria Bartlett, wife of Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett, said Tulsa is blessed to have a "wonderful Jewish community" that shares the city's values.
Edna Lapidot, Israeli emissary to Tulsa, told stories about some of Israel's heroes, men and women who were killed or injured in defense of Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said by video that no distortion of history can deny that the land of Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people.
The keynote speaker for the event was the Rev. John Hagee, pastor of Cornerstone megachurch in San Antonio and founder of Christians United for Israel and "A Night to Honor Israel" events.
Hagee said the world is divided into two camps: those who support Israel and those who don't.
"Supporting Israel is not a political issue; it's a Bible issue," he said.
"The people of Israel do not occupy the land of Israel; they own it."
He said the next election is the most important election in U.S. history. For the first time in history, he claimed, there is separation between Washington and Israel.
"The day that the United States turns its back on Israel, God will turn his back on the United States," he said.
Bill Sherman 918-581-8398
A troupe of dancers performs to Jewish music during "A Night To Honor Israel" at Tulsa's Victory Christian Center on Monday evening. MICHAEL WYKE / Tulsa World