This year, the Menachem Begin Heritage Center is marking the 100th Anniversary since the birth of this remarkable Jewish leader. Part of these observances included an event this week honoring Menachem Begin as the first Israeli prime minister to openly embrace the support of Christians worldwide. Co-hosted by the Begin Center and the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, the evening featured an address by Dr. Daniel Gordis of the Shalem College, who has just published an absorbing biography entitled Menachem Begin: The Struggle for Israel’s Soul.
Indeed, of all the successive prime ministers of Israel following the nation’s re-birth in 1948, Begin stands out as the first premier to publicly welcome Christian Zionist support and to seek to harness it in defense of the Jewish state. Others before him may have had connections to individual Christian figures, but the story of the Israel-Evangelical partnership as we know it today starts with Begin.