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Below are adapted remarks from my address at a “Memphis Stands with Israel” prayer rally hosted by KWAM in May.
My name is Caleb Parke and I work with Todd Starnes at KWAM as the senior correspondent for the Todd Starnes Radio Show and the managing editor of ToddStarnes.com. I am also a former Fox News reporter.
I graduated from Grove City College in Pennsylvania, where I started a pro-Israel club. But my love of Israel began where I was born and raised in Findlay, Ohio.
I speak to you as a concerned American and a hopeful Christian who wants to say, I stand with Israel in the face of hatred and violence.
Last week, I posted support for Israel on Instagram. It was a simple, positive, peaceful message. I stand with Israel. I received a barrage of anti-Israel messages – no surprise – then the death threats came. And I won’t mention the nasty anti-Semitic ones, even though I’m not Jewish.
We reported them to Instagram – still haven’t heard anything on that – and we reported them to authorities.
Taking a stand for Israel comes with a price, but Scripture reminds us: For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent. I’m reminded of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — Esther and Mordechai – if I perish, I perish. The many heroes of our faith.
I’ve been to Israel twice.
Just like Jesus, I was baptized in the Jordan River by a man named John, not the Baptist. I’ve prayed at the Western Wall. I’ve celebrated Shabbat with a Jewish family in Jerusalem.
This isn’t just some cause I picked up on social media because it was popular. Israel is in my heart. It’s a part of my soul.
I went to Israel for the first time as a college student with Christians United for Israel. It changed my life forever. The entire Bible came to life in a new way for me. Reading the Psalms where David actually penned them and walking where my Savior walked on earth – there is nothing like it.
My favorite part of Israel, beyond the incredible food, iced coffee, and breathtaking holy sites, was the people. Israelis are pretty awesome. They celebrate life. I remember on Shabbat everything shut down and on Saturday night, there was dancing in the streets and kids and teenagers would invite us to join them dancing and singing. Life and family is celebrated in Israel.
But I know Israel is surrounded by hostile enemies. But, you know what? Israel lives!
As a Christian, there is no other land I am more connected to than the Holy Land. Without Israel, there would be no Christianity. God chose Israel, and tonight, I’m asking you to choose Israel as well.
One thing I noticed after getting death threats from a few anti-Israel haters. First anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism, but second, there is far more hope for Israel. Hundreds reached out to me, saying they were praying for me, praying for Israel, and that lifts my spirit.
And I’m here to tell you — more than 10 million Christians are standing up for Israel, pledging our support as Christians United for Israel and in so many other prayer groups across the world.
When you stand with Israel, we stand for peace in the Middle East.
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