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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Looking after their own interests

I thought their big deal was how much THEY wanted to support Israel. Now we see what a smoke screen THAT was.

'Evangelicals deserve our support'

The Foreign Ministry and the Interior Ministry differed in opinions this week regarding the status of and benefits given to Evangelicals in Israel, Army Radio reported Wednesday.

The Foreign Ministry "wanted to recognize the Evangelicals as a sovereign group or an independent church, like other churches recognized by Israel,"....

..."The goal was to help them receive benefits like other churches that we recognize, among them tens of clergy churches, tax and customs breaks on cars - and that also has an effect on religious people who come here from outside the country," Matzur explained.

An Interior Ministry representative was quoted by Army Radio as saying, "If the Evangelicals are added to the list, dozens of additional streams of Christians will demand to receive similar recognition and be eligible for benefits, and the state is not able to withstand such a surge."

...Deputy Foreign Minster Danny Ayalon held a discussion on the subject this week and stressed that Israel needs to assist its friends in the world.

According to Ayalon, the Evangelicals, who donate funds and support Israeli public relations within the United States, deserve help.

...Evangelicals are among Christian groups working closely with the Knesset to promote the status of women around the world, host foreign scholars training in pro-Israel activism and building cooperation with politicians and leaders throughout the world.

Much of the cooperation results from initiatives of the Knesset Christians Allies Caucus. The caucus has included a spectrum of Israeli and Christian leaders and has been cooperating with Christian allies of Israel since its incorporation in 2004.

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