ICEJ Warmly Remembers MK Rabbi Benny Elon

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8 May 2017
ICEJ Warmly Remembers MK Rabbi Benny Elon
The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem notes with sadness the passing of Rabbi Benny Elon this past Friday. He will always be remembered by the pro-Israel Christian community worldwide as one of our truest and dearest friends within Israel’s national leadership.


During his career as a spiritual leader, educator and government official, Rabbi Benny Elon was an exceptional representative of the Jewish people and a passionate defender of the entire Land of Israel. He had a special rapport with Christian audiences, weaving together Israel’s biblical and modern history in ways that few can. Rabbi Elon especially stood out for his keen insights into the Hebrew Scriptures, his warm, folksy speaking style, and his visionary pursuit of closer Jewish-Christian relations.

A leader of the national religious camp, Elon was a pioneer of the hesder yeshivas which combine army service with Torah studies. He was a Member of the Knesset from 1996 until 2009, and twice served as Minister of Tourism. It was during the height of the Second Intifada in 2002, when tourism to Israel was sharply down, that Elon noticed Evangelical Christians continued to visit the country to not only tour the biblical sites but also to stand in solidarity with the Jewish state. Moved by their genuine support for his nation, Elon spent the latter part of his professional career reaching out to Christians and forming alliances that will continue to build on his legacy in the decades to come.

While still in parliament, Rabbi Elon became the second chairman of the Knesset Christian Allies’ Caucus, which serves as the primary channel for Christian leaders and organizations to formally engage with Israel’s elected officials. He also launched the Israel Allies Foundation, a global network of Christian parliamentarians who seek to coordinate their stands in defense of Israel and to promote Judeo-Christian values. Today, the IAF has established sister caucuses in more than 30 parliaments around the world.

Rabbi Elon had been battling health concerns since he was first diagnosed with throat cancer some ten years ago, yet he courageously continued his activities to build support for Israel among Christians and others. He is survived by his wife, Emuna (a journalist and author), and their six children.

 

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