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Tell Prime Minister Netanyahu and Other Israeli Leaders:

Don't Shut American Christians Out of Israel!

To Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Members of the Knesset,

As an American who cares deeply about Israel, I am writing to encourage you to provide religious and medical exemptions from the COVID vaccine for travelers coming to the Holy Land.

As you know, American tourism accounts for over a fourth of Israeli tourism, bringing over $1 billion annually into Israel’s economy. Every year, millions of Christians make pilgrimages to the Holy Land to celebrate the roots of our faith.

However, many American Christians and Jews will not take a vaccine for medical and religious reasons.

If Israel implements its planned mandatory vaccinations for travelers, many religious pilgrims will not travel to the Holy Land. If forced to accept a vaccine in order to visit Israel, many American Christians will simply stay home. And an opportunity to introduce the beauty, the history, and the biblical significance of Israel to a new group of believers will be lost.

American Christians are the most ardent supporters of Israel and the Jewish people. As a leader of many groups to Israel through Christians in Defense of Israel and Covenant Journey, I know how a pilgrimage in Israel deeply impacts the Christian faith of the travelers and their support for Israel and the Jewish people. I have led many groups of pastors, churches, and Christian college-age leaders who become advocates for Israel on their college campuses, in the White House, in Congress, and in other strategic positions. One of our Covenant Journey alumni helped train IDF pilots on how to fly the F-35 jet and was present in Israel when the first jets were delivered to Israel.

I have a number of tours scheduled for 2021. We have been receiving many inquiries from our travelers expressing concern about a mandatory vaccination. Many of our travelers will refuse to come to Israel if the COVID vaccine is mandatory.

I urge you to please reconsider any plans to make vaccinations mandatory for travelers entering Israel from the United States. Of course, Americans like me encourage you to take what health and safety measures you feel necessary, but please provide medical and religious exemptions for the COVID-19 vaccine.


Mat Staver, Esq.
Chairman, Christians in Defense of Israel
Founder & Chairman, Covenant Journey

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