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‘Right of return’


Supporters gathered in OKC to affirm Israel’s religious and political status.

Clifton Adcock August 31st, 2011

The bearded man in the overalls and red shirt stood before the crowd, dwarfed by the large stairway and stone columns behind him.

“Today, I’m hearing the term ‘the right of return,’ and it’s in reference to the right of the Palestinian people to return to that land,” the man, Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee Chairman Charlie Meadows, said to the crowd gathered before him. “I want to tell you something: I believe in the right of return for the nation of Israel to be able to be returned to their land, which occurred in 1948.”

right OKC resident Joe Miner waves the Israeli flag Aug. 24 at a state Capitol rally.

The crowd cheered and clapped as Meadows continued, voicing his unconditional support for Israel, as well as his displeasure at those he said were undermining the country.

The Stand with Israel Oklahoma rally, held Aug. 24 on the south steps of the state Capitol, drew roughly 200 to 250 attendees, organizers said.

The event, which was organized by a group called Oklahoma United, was held to coincide with conservative talk radio host Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Courage” rally in Jerusalem, which was broadcast live at the Oklahoma rally and was promoted by the host as a “planet course-altering event.”

Speakers at the event included state Reps. Paul Wesselhöft and Charles Key, Meadows and 2nd Congressional District Republican candidate George Faught, who is currently a state representative from Muskogee.

It’s because of our nation’s support of God’s people that he has blessed us.
—George Faught

The event opened with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the singing of the Israeli and United States national anthems, with the Israeli anthem sung in Hebrew.

The event was an amalgam of religion and geopolitics, with requests for prayer on behalf of Israel and the U.S. and urging political leaders to support the country, which was referred to as the only true democracy in the Middle East, as well as home to God’s chosen people.

“We’ve come here this evening for one purpose, and that’s to stand with Israel against overwhelming opposition in the international community,” Faught told the crowd.

“Why is it important for Americans as individuals and the United States as a nation to stand with Israel? Well, for me it’s very simple: It’s because of obedience. In Acts 5:29, Scripture reminds us that we must obey God rather than men. Israel is God’s land, and the Jews are God’s people. Therefore with clarity and biblical conviction, I stand with you today to honor Israel.”

right Charlie Meadows addresses the crowd at the Stand with Israel Oklahoma rally.

Faught said it was God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis and the pledge that he would bless those who bless Israel that have made America great.

“Our Judeo-Christian values from the Old Testament provided the Founding Fathers with the inspiration for our republic,” Faught said.

Faught and others also lauded the contributions to society and civilization by Jews and said the only other free society prior to the founding of the U.S. was Israel under Mosaic law.

“Up until this point in history, the concept of liberty and freedom were only known by the Jewish people under God’s law,” Faught said.

Scholars generally agree that ancient Israel, during its Golden Age, was a united monarchy.

Chris Phillips, of Oklahoma City, said he chose to attend the rally to show his support for Israel, something he considered his duty as a Christian.

“It’s a cause we all believe in. We’re all Christians, we all believe in Christ,” Phillips said. “To not support this is to support the other side. I think it’s important for us at this moment in time to stand up and say something because our liberties as Christians are slowly disappearing and dying in this world.”

Phillips said, as a Christian, it’s important to support Israel because, he believes, they are God’s chosen people.

“As a Christian, of course, we believe in Jesus Christ, who was a Jew. In the Bible, they’re God’s chosen people, as we all are,” Phillips said. “If we don’t stand up for them, who will? There’s not that much difference between us.”

Phillips said he enjoyed the event, but wished more young people would have attended.

“We’re the ones who are going to inherit this world,” he said. “We’re the ones going to have to deal with the choices and make all those decisions. If we’re not paying attention and standing up now, who is going to? I’m glad we’re doing this, but I’m sad at the same time there’s not more young people here.”

Photos by Mark Hancock

 
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