“‘And what,’ I asked him, ‘are those two olive trees, one on the right and one on the left of the menorah?’” Zechariah 4:11 (The Israel Bible™)
The Balfour Declaration, a document that led to the establishment of the state of Israel, was the result of Biblically-based miracles, said a political expert on Thursday at a conference focused on continuing the path of Christian-Jewish cooperation begun by Balfour.
Speaking at a panel named for the conference, “From Balfour to Nikki Haley: 100 Years of Christian Zionist Diplomacy”, Barry Shaw, Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies, noted that the Balfour Declaration was not simply a political move.
“The declaration was part of a series of modern miracles leading up to Messiah,” Shaw said. “A miracle is not a magic trick. It is something we can’t comprehend. When Allenby marched into Jerusalem one hundred years ago, he walked in on foot because, as a devout Christian, he believed that only the Messiah rides into Jerusalem on horseback. The motivations and energy behind the creation of Israel was a Biblically-based miracle.”
Co-sponsored by Israel365 and Bridges for Peace, the conference, which covered topics from politics to prophecy, was held to celebrate the birth and evolution of Christian Zionist diplomacy, dated from the signing of the Balfour Declaration exactly 100 years ago on November 2, 1917.
It began with a moving rendition of Israel’s national anthem: Hatikvah (“The Hope”). Jews and Christians joined together in a heartfelt tribute to the fulfillment of 2,000 years of longing for the fulfillment of God’s covenant with Abraham.
“The Balfour Declaration was the first real initiative for Christian Zionism, and it was based in the Bible,” Rabbi Tuly Weisz, director of Israel365, told Breaking Israel News. “It set the stage for Jewish and Christian partnership, and the future of that relationship has to continue in precisely that way: based in Israel and the Bible. This conference was meant to reinforce that connection.”
The basis of the growing Christian-Jewish relationship has always been the Hebrew Bible, the shared heritage of the two faiths. The Christian initiators of the Balfour Declaration were known to have been inspired by their Biblical beliefs, making Balfour the first significant diplomatic Christian act entwining modern Israel with its Biblical destiny.
Abra Forman, editor-in-chief of Breaking Israel News, noted that world events like the Balfour Declaration are meaningless without the framework of the Bible
“Nothing about our world makes sense without the lens of Torah, without the acknowledgement of God’s blessing,” Forman said in her speech, which focused on reporting the news from a Biblical perspective.
“Time after time, we have seen the words of the Torah come to life,” she continued. “It doesn’t take any stretch of the imagination to see that prophecy is being fulfilled today. You can’t take a step in the holy land without seeing it.”
She noted that Christians have played their part in the prophesied revival of Israel, pointing to the phenomenon of Christian volunteers who come to Israel to help Israeli farmers in Samaria harvest their grapes.
Gidon Ariel, founder and CEO of Root Source, an organization that enables and encourages dialogue and relationships between Christians and Jews, gave a unique perspective on the Jewish side of the equation.
“Christians aren’t the only ones who need to rethink Replacement Theology,” Ariel said. “Jews need to replace the way we think about Christians and recognize the new generation of Christian Zionists.”