On Monday, January 19, Cairn hosted Arne Christenson, Managing Director of Policy and Politics for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). With over thirty years of experience as a public affairs professional, Christenson spoke to the Cairn community and guests on why he supports Israel and how his faith underlies his political beliefs.
Committed to preserving the American-Israeli relationship, Christenson shared how his beliefs impact his work with AIPAC. First, Christenson stated that he supports Israel as a result of his understanding of Scripture. He affirms that the Old Testament is a revelation of God’s unique role for the Jewish people and how God works His will through His chosen people. He also argued for the moral necessity for a Jewish homeland given the threats that Jews face in countries around the world, especially in light of recent events in France. Christenson finds it essential that the Jewish people, including Jews who have immigrated to other countries, have a safe haven – a place to call home.
The US has supported Israel through past issues, and Christenson emphasizes that we must continue to do so. In emphasizing the pivotal role that the United States plays in the Israeli conflicts, he quotes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” As Israel is often condemned and attacked in the world, he believes that it is America’s duty to defend an ostracized Israel.
While each of us may play a different role in supporting Israel, Christenson calls for prayer – no matter how busy we are, we as a community can unite in prayer for the peace of Jerusalem.
Arne Christenson currently serves as AIPAC’s Managing Director of Policy and Politics. Christenson previously served as the Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, head of the Washington office of American Express, and as Senior Vice President for Regulatory Policy at Fannie Mae, where he worked closely with President Obama’s former National Security Advisor Tom Donilon. He also served as Chief of Staff to then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and to former Congressman Vin Weber.