Source: Family Security Matters, by ALAN KORNMAN, March 17, 2015
A dozen prominent black pastors from across the country stood in support of Israel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he spoke on March 3 to a Joint session of Congress about Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
“The thing to me that makes no sense is why the Congressional Black Caucus has teamed up with this current administration against Israel,” Pastor Dexter D. Sanders of Orlando, Florida, said in an interview with the Washington Times.
“And yes, black caucus, I’m saying you have gone against Israel when you decide to protest the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, from coming and speaking on the behalf of the nation of Israel,” Sanders said. “That is a slap in the face to the people of Israel, and not only that, it’s a slap in the face to God. And not only that, it’s also a slap in the face of all Bible-believing African-American people in this country.”
Sanders has been preaching in Orlando for eleven years, and started his own church, the Rock Orlando Center for Transformation, two years ago. He has achieved much success preaching the gospel and bringing the redeemed back to God in what he proudly calls, “the Back to God Movement.” He believes in a strong America, a strong Israel, and a strong belief in God.
When asked why he is a strong supporter of Israel, Sanders responded, “How can you not and call yourself a Christian? I align myself with Israel because God says I need too, God is very clear when he says ‘I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you’ referring to the Jewish people.”
Since speaking in support of Israel in D.C. and against the black caucus, Sanders has received some vicious negative feedback from segments of the African-American community. “I have been called an Uncle Tom, sellout, and those kind of things because we 13 pastors dared to stand with Israel against the Congressional Black Caucus,” he stated.
Asked why these types of vile attacks against him seem more racial than political when coming from his fellow African-Americans, Sanders replied, “Because they would say there’s always been a segment of Uncle Tom negroes that will kind of go along with the establishment and would rather fight for Israel rather than fight for black communities across the United States of America.” Sanders received one Facebook comment that said, “You will stand up and fight for Israel while you watch black teenagers getting killed across the country and say nothing.” In response Sanders says, “The two have absolutely nothing to do with each other yet that’s the type of backlash that comes.”
How does Sanders counter that type of hateful rhetoric? “I pray a lot, but I don’t confront them because your dealing with a mentality of people that have been enslaved in their minds for so long they simply don’t know right from wrong, it’s ignorance and that’s why we pray for them because God calls us to love them … Jesus said forgive them for they know not what they do.”
During the early days of the civil rights movement the Jews, more so than any other group, were marching side by side with Martin Luther King calling for an end to segregation. Yet today party politics seems to trump past loyalties when the Congressional Black Caucus so easily discards American Jews because this president rejects Israel’s prime minister. Asked why he thinks it is this way, Sanders replied, “I think for the same reason many people and the Congressional Black Caucus supports our current president, at any cost, because he’s black. Even if that cost means not aligning ourselves with Israel, and that’s an ignorance all in itself – and that’s the Congressional Black Caucus. Then you have just normal everyday people who often forget their history. Most African-American people don’t even remember it was the Jewish people who walked side by side with Dr. Martin Luther King, if we understood our history I think our stand as a community would be different … we don’t have the preachers of old who stood up at the pulpit and told us our history and where our allegiances should be. The Bible says we perish from a lack of knowledge … and that is why our country is in the moral state of decline that it is.”
What was Netanyahu’s message to Sanders in his speech to Congress? “Netanyahu simply said that we can’t take a chance on a nation like Iran that’s been trying to wipe us off the face of the earth. You can’t sleep with the devil, United States of America … the Iranians quest for nuclear arms is not manageable … why would we have conversations with a people who not only want to wipe Israel but also America off the map as well, it doesn’t make sense why we would want to be in those conversations. Netanyahu was essentially saying that Iran is an existential threat to Israel and the United States.”
The Jewish community of Orlando is lucky to have such a strong advocate for the State of Israel in one Pastor Dexter Sanders of the Rock Orlando Center for Transformation Church.