The one issue that transcends party lines, brings Jews and Christians together, and unites Americans like few other issues can—is America’s support for Israel.
Those who crave bi-partisanship should rejoice in the fact that Congress, the Senate—and now even the White House—have come together to support Israel.
The U.S. Congress is staunchly pro-Israel. As former Democratic President Bill Clinton said in September, “I think that everybody knows the U.S. Congress is the most pro-Israel parliamentary body in the world.” Even The Jewish Daily Forward observed that Congressional “lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle are falling over one another to show their support for Israel.”
In the U.S. Senate, support for Israel is now a tri-partisan issue. Democratic firebrand Senator Charles Schumer, Republican Tea Party darling Marco Rubio, and Independent Senator Joseph Lieberman were among the fourteen Senators who crossed party lines in September to sign an open letter to President Obama, urging him to stand with Israel. They wrote, “We therefore urge you to utilize the opportunity offered by your address at the United Nations next week to reaffirm and explain America’s determination to stand by Israel at this difficult hour. The world needs to hear unequivocally from you that Israel—our friend, ally, and strategic partner—is not alone in facing these threats.”
President Obama then stood before the United Nations and stood up for Israel. He gave voice to the tri-partisan opinion of the U.S. Senate, the bi-partisan opinion of the U.S. Congress, and the overwhelming majority of American citizens who stand firmly on the side of Israel, when he declared to the world body that, “America’s commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable. Our friendship with Israel is deep and enduring.”
Israel does more than bring political parties together. It also brings together different religions.
America’s support for Israel is now healing generations of distrust between Christians and Jews. Thanks to the pioneering work of Christian Pastor John Hagee, and Jewish leaders like Senator Lieberman and Dennis Prager, the largest pro-Israel group in America today is a Christian group called Christians United For Israel (CUFI). I was at the CUFI conference in Washington, DC this summer, with thousands of Christians, young and old, dancing with Jews to traditional Jewish songs—in between speeches by Christians and Jews, whites and blacks, and even a Mormon. As my friend Rabbi Shmuley Boteach wrote of the experience, “I was, surrounded by Christians from all over the nation waving Israeli and American flags, pledging eternal love and support to the most vilified country on earth.”