CBN: Israel's Friend to the End
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In June 1967, Israel fought for her survival as a nation for the third time in less than 20 years. It would be called the Six Day War. Israel's Arab enemies fought with hatred and ferocity toward one goal: the annihilation of Israel.
A world away from the besieged nation, God was raising up a friend.
"We dedicated the start of construction of the new phase of a building in Portsmouth, and when the ceremony was over one of the board members came up and said they had just started war in Jerusalem," Pat Robertson said. "Something just responded within me I knew this had enormous significance, that we at CBN were linked with Israel. 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 foot until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. and this was the war that liberated east Jerusalem."
After Israel's enemies were routed in the Six Day War, the peace was short lived. Israel's Arab enemies attacked again in 1973. And in 1974, a CBN special gave the Israelis a voice to the world.
"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," Yitzak Rabin said in the CBN special.
Robertson said, "Here was the general under Moshe Dyan who had captured Jerusalem and now became prime minister. I had a sense that Israel was so alone, there was a sadness in his voice."
And Robertson asked America to be strong.
"At that point I made a vow that whatever happened, however unpopular that it would be, that we and those associated with us would stand with Israel -- and over these 35 years I've kept that vow," he said.
CBN dedicated its satellite earth station in 1977. As a foreshadow of things to come, the first satellite image received was from the Mount of Olives.
In the ensuing years, the alliance between CBN and Israel grew stronger. In 2001, a news bureau was established in the heart of Jerusalem to bring prophetic understanding of end time events.
"The march of history is leading back to the city of Jerusalem, and it's vital for CBN news to be here reporting on the events before the return of Jesus Christ," CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell said.
"What comes from CBN is widely believed by those who watch it because they know that what they say is true," Ehud Olmert said.
At Robertson's 75th birthday celebration, 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 2006, at great personal risk, Robertson traveled to Israel during the war to demonstrate his support.
"I am here among other things to tell your people that the evangelical Christians are with you, we are praying for you," he said.
When other networks were refused access to Israeli leaders, Robertson was welcomed. CNN and Fox networks then sought out his assessment of the situation.
CBN's commitment to Israel remains steadfast.
"We will be there to report the prophetic events that herald the glorious day of Christ's return," Robertson said. "This is the land that the Lord is going to visit. He is coming back again to Israel."