CBN and Israel: A Friendship That's Strong and Steadfast
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In June of 1967, Israel found itself fighting for survival for the third time in less than 20 years. In what's now known as the Six-Day War, Israel's Arab enemies fought with one purpose: the destruction of the Jewish state.
Half a world away from the besieged nation, God raised up a friend.
Linked to Israel "In a Prophetic Way"
When CBN's founder, Pat Robertson, heard the news, he said he knew that CBN was linked to Israel in a prophetic way.
"It had to do with the last times, and it had to do with the fulfillment of the prophecy that Jesus made when he said Jerusalem will be trodden under the foot of the Gentiles until the last times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And this was the war that liberated east Jerusalem," Robertson said in a 2007 interview.
The peace did not last, however. In 1973, Egypt and Syria attacked again, this time on Yom Kippur, Israel's holiest day of the year. An unprepared Israel almost lost that war. The high casualty rate left many in the country disillusioned.
A CBN special program in 1974 brought a message of hope to the war-weary nation.
A Vow to Stand with Israel
Pat Robertson interviewed then-prime minister Yitzak Rabin for that program. He talked about the impact of the Yom Kippur War.
"It became so obvious to every one of us in the country that the threat was to the very existence of the newly born Israeli state," Rabin said
"Here was the general actually under Moshe Dyan who had captured Jerusalem, now he'd become prime minister," Robertson recalled. "I had a sense that Israel was so alone, there was a sadness in his voice. He asked America to be strong. And at that point, I made a vow that whatever happened, however unpopular it would be, that we and those associated with us would stand with Israel and we would be a friend of Israel, regardless," he said.
Three years later, CBN dedicated its satellite earth station. As a preview of things to come, the first satellite image received came from the Mount of Olives.
The Alliance Grows Ever Stronger
Since then, the alliance between CBN and Israel has only grown stronger.
In 2001, a news bureau opened in the heart of Jerusalem to bring prophetic understanding of end-time events.
At Pat Robertson's 75th birthday celebration in 2005, Benjamin Netanyahu sent a stirring thank you to Pat for his friendship to Israel.
"Pat Robertson has been a tremendous friend of Israel, and a tremendous friend of mine," Netanyahu said. "I mean that we have no greater friend in the whole world than Pat Robertson."
In August of 2006, during Israel's war with Hezbollah, Robertson traveled to Israel to demonstrate his support.
"Christians Are with You"
"I am here, among other things, to tell your people that the evangelical Christians are with you, we are praying for you," he said.
CBN has also show its humanitarian commitment to those living in Israel. Through Operation Blessing and Ely-Israel, CBN has helped Israelis in need, including Holocaust survivors.
CBN News now sends Jerusalem Dateline, an award-winning, half-hour weekly program around the world through broadcast and the internet, where it is translated into languages such as Korean and Finnish.
And "In Our Hands: The Battle for Jerusalem" is the most ambitious project of CBN's Middle East documentary team, with more specials on the way.
CBN's ties to Israel remain strong and steadfast, and the ministry will be there to report the prophetic events that herald the day of the Messiah's return.
As Pat Robertson put it, "This is the land that the Lord is going to visit. He is coming back again to Israel."
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