". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


‘A Great and Effective Door of Opportunity’: Perkins Visits Israel to Meet with Key Leaders

March 18, 2024

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins touched down in Israel on Saturday, March 9 to meet with Israeli leaders and assure them of American Christians’ support. The next day, Perkins visited Re’im, the site of the October 7 attack where, as Perkins described it, “over 300 people were brutally murdered, tortured, raped, and abducted by both members of the Hamas terrorist army and civilians from Gaza who were the second wave that came in behind the fighters.” Perkins reported that Hamas’s October 7 attack “was not designed to be terrorist strikes, but an invasion and occupation of the various kibbutz that were attacked.”

While visiting Re’im, Perkins told The Washington Stand, “We prayed and repented for America’s complicit role through the funding of Hamas through the UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency] and through the billions released to Iran, which is the puppet master behind Hamas and the other rogue actors in the region.”

Perkins and his team also visited Kibbutz Be’eri, where at least 130 people were killed by Hamas insurgents on October 7. “We walked among the bullet-pocked houses where grenades were tossed into houses by terrorists and RPGs were fired at houses in an attempt to breach the reinforced walls of the safe rooms where families were hiding,” Perkins recounted. “When they could not get the families out of the safe rooms, they set the house on fire. When the smoke forced the families to open the bulletproof windows of the safe room for air, they waited outside the widows to toss in grenades.” Hamas forces also invaded the nearby city of Ofakim, which Perkins visited. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) cleared the city of Hamas soldiers on October 8.

On Monday, Perkins stopped in Samaria, along with mayor Yossi Dagan and Israeli parliamentarian Ohad Tal. Perkins explained, “Approximately 70% of what we read in the Bible took place in Samaria and Judea. This includes Bethlehem, Hebron, Shiloh, Schechem, and so many other places. It is also what is deceptively called the West Bank, as if it were not part of Israel.” He added, “We stood on the mountains of Samaria and looked down on Tel Aviv, showing how impossible it would be to defend Israel under the ‘two-state’ solution that is being promoted that would give the heart of Israel over to the Palestinians.”

“We stood on the Mount of Blessing and prayed for God’s peace and blessing upon Israel, recognizing that the blessing comes from God when we obey His word and walk in His ways,” Perkins recalled. “We also prayed for America to walk according to His word and ways.”

Perkins also met with Israel’s former ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer, who is now serving as the country’s Minister of Strategic Affairs. Perkins recounted, “In our meeting with Dermer, his opening question posed to me, but directed at the group in a lighthearted way, was, ‘You’re not going wobbly on us, are you?’ I assured him we were not going wobbly.”

Next, Perkins sat down with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who “discussed the situation and made clear the resolve of Israel to protect itself and that victory must be complete, which is the elimination of Hamas.” Perkins said that Netanyahu “expressed appreciation for America’s support, past and present. Still, under the present political circumstances, which was not spoken about but understood, he asked for Christians in America to stand with Israel.” Afterwards, the FRC president prayed over the Israeli prime minister and attended a late-night worship service. As Perkins described it, “Everywhere we went, including at that worship service, people were so thankful for us coming to Israel at this time.”

After an interview with Dan Cohen of NewsMax, Perkins recalled that “a small crowd had gathered to watch, and one very elderly lady came up to me with tears in her eyes and said in broken English, ‘Thank you, thank you for coming to Israel,’ and she began weeping, ‘We need you to be with us.’” He continued, “There is clearly a sense that Israel, apart from America, is standing alone, and with President Biden’s statements, America looks wobbly. In one kibbutz, it was said by one person that many members of the community had come there to escape persecution elsewhere and that Israel had been the safe haven they had fled to ?" what now?”

His delegation also visited the site of the 1929 Hebron massacre, where nearly 70 Jews were killed by Palestinian Arabs before being evacuated by the British authorities. Perkins explained that the Hebron massacre, “while not in scope but in brutality, was a mirror of October 7.” He added, “Hebron, like Bethlehem, is a Palestinian area with just a small enclave of Jews living there that the media refers to as ‘settlers.’”

Perkins also met with Yossi Fuchs, Netanyahu’s chief cabinet secretary. “[A]gain,” recounted Perkins, “the focus was on Israel’s need for the church to be visible and vocal in their support of Israel because the threat is great.”

On the team’s final day in Israel, they visited with Holocaust survivors and a senior citizen choir at a Jewish Agency-sponsored retirement community. “That joy-filled event was followed by a very somber visit with families of hostages at the hostage headquarters in Tel Aviv,” Perkins recalled. “It was encouraging for both the families and for us that after hearing their ongoing grief and struggle, we prayed for them and hugged them. The impact was visible.”

Perkins concluded:

“Every generation has its test of how it will treat the Jewish people. While not all have persecuted this population, which represents less than half of a percent of the world’s population today, many remained silent. October 7 was preceded by growing antisemitism, and it has pulled back the curtain on even more, right here in America. What will our generation do? Ignore it until the horrifying evidence of the consequences of our silence can no longer be denied, or will we stand against it and heed the promise and warning of Genesis 12? There is a great and effective door of opportunity opening to the church to show love in a tangible way to the Jewish state of Israel by standing with them in their hour of need.”

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.