Typically, the media response to Operation Shield and Arrow blamed Israel as the aggressor for the massive terrorist rocket attacks on the Jewish State last week. Once again, prominent global media outlets whitewashed Islamic Jihad’s extremism while creating an appalling moral equivalence with the IDF’s defensive actions.
With this week’s Nakba Day receiving more favorable coverage this year than ever before, Israel finds itself playing defense against a growing chorus of media critics. In order to go on the offensive in the battle over Israel’s narrative, Israel365 will be leading an influential delegation of Israeli leaders to the National Religious Broadcasters Conference (NRB) in Orlando, Florida this week.
For decades, NRB has been the hub for thousands of Conservative and Christian media leaders to gather together for high-level meetings and networking. This year, NRB has partnered with Israel365 to celebrate Israel’s 75th anniversary and together we have planned a number of important events for the faith community’s leading communicators.
Media personalities Dennis Prager, Eric Metaxes, and Erick Stakelback will be speaking about why America and Israel must unite to defend democracy and fight against radicalism at our “Night to Celebrate Israel.” Religious leaders Rabbi Doron Perez of World Mizrachi, Pastor Tommy Waller of HaYovel and Nick Vujicic will speak about Jews and Christians, changing the world together.
Israel365 News and the Jerusalem Post will be conducting interviews from the exhibition hall for two days. Israeli companies such as MyHeritage and Holy Gems, along with organizations such as Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund, Israel Defense and Security Forum and Yad L’Olim will have representatives in Orlando to meet with their Christian customers and donors. A new documentary, “Confront Radicals: What America Can Learn from Israel” based on the book of the same name by David Rubin, will debut in front of distributors and broadcast partners in its worldwide premiere. Additionally, Israel365 will be presenting the “Guardian of Israel Award” to Sheriff Michael Chitwood for his role in combating antisemitism in Florida.
Despite the increase in antisemitism and the decline in traditional backing for Israel, faith-based support for Israel has remained rock solid, thanks largely to the role of religious media. Christian networks including CBN, TBN, and Daystar all have television bureaus in Jerusalem keeping their massive audiences informed and engaged. By placing Israel at the forefront, the NRB, whose member organizations reach tens of millions of homes all over the world, contributes directly to stronger political backing for an increasingly marginalized State of Israel.
The religious community’s positive news coverage about Israel has led to practical support in various arenas. Thanks to increased media visibility, philanthropic backing from Christian donors has increased significantly in recent years, as has the number of incoming Christian tourists. After centuries of hostility, we are thankfully in a new era of Jewish-Christian relations, and after seventy-five years of statehood, we are poised to embark upon a future of faith-based support for Israel that has massive potential.
The founding of the State in 1948 has led to new and significant religious trends. Secular Israelis have become less hostile towards religion than in previous decades while soaring birthrates in the religious community have caused a demographic shift resulting in a much more traditional Jewish State. Around the world, Christians have rejected Replacement Theology and antisemitism in large numbers and have become Israel’s greatest supporters. These developments have created a historically unprecedented opportunity to nurture meaningful and healthy relationships between Christians and Jews.
Out of all the anniversary milestones, Jewish and Christian leaders celebrating Israel’s 75th anniversary together at the largest faith-based media gathering is a hopeful sign for all those who care about Israel. By uniting together, we can rewrite the narrative and change the way people around the world view Israel and the Jewish people.