Zion Oil & Gas Backs John Hagee

From a press release:

Zion Oil & Gas, Inc. (Amex: ZN) of Dallas, TX and Caesarea, Israel announced today that it will sponsor the “Night to Honor Israel” banquet at the Third Annual Washington-Israel Summit of Christians United for Israel (CUFI)…It is expected that John Brown, Zion’s Founder and Chairman, will be interviewed by Pastor John Hagee during the Summit and that the interview will be broadcast on the Daystar Television Network during the “Night to Honor Israel.” In addition, CUFI will broadcast a video about Zion at the banquet’s pre-event, and the banquet’s proceedings will be telecast by live-feed over the Daystar Television network.

John Brown, Zion’s Founder and Chairman, commented today, “Zion is proud to be a part of the CUFI Washington-Israel Summit and to support CUFI’s educational and public policy work in support of Israel.”

I’ve been following the fortunes of Zion Oil for some time now – although perhaps “fortunes” is not the right word. This appeared in May:

Zion Oil & Gas, Inc. (AMEX: ZN) of Dallas, Texas and Caesarea, Israel, today reported its results for the quarter ended March 31, 2008. The company reported a net loss of $1,039 thousand or $(0.10) per share for the first quarter of 2008 compared to a net loss of $667 thousand or $(0.07) per share for the same quarter a year earlier. The company has no revenues as it is still an exploration stage company.

On release of the first quarter results, Zion’s Chief Executive Officer, Richard Rinberg, commented: “Zion’s most recent financials show that we are implementing our business plan. We have in secure storage, in Israel, the pipe and other equipment necessary for our planned next well, the Ma’anit-Rehoboth #2, on the Ma’anit structure in the Joseph License area. Also, Zion’s follow-on offering has just been declared effective and we have started to raise funds for our planned multi-well drilling program.”

The latest “public offering” of shares was announced just the day before, and the CUFI summit is doubtless the perfect environment for raising further funds. Back in 2004 the company was tipped on WorldNetDaily by Hal Lindsey, whose cousin, Ralph DeVore, at that time had a major stake in it (he later fell out with Brown).

Zion’s chairman John Brown believes that the Bible not only gives clues to the location of oil in Israel, but also prophesizes that he will be the man to find it. The Zion Oil website gives the exegesis:

…ONE … The Prayer

“Moreover concerning a stranger [John Brown], that is not of thy people Israel, but cometh out of a far country [U.S.A.] for thy name’s sake: (for they shall hear of thy great name, and of thy strong hand, and of thy stretched out arm); when he shall come and pray towards this house; hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and do according to ALL that the stranger calleth to thee for [Oil for Israel]: that all the people of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee, as do thy people Israel and that they may know that this house, which I have builded, is called by thy name.” (I Kings 8:41-43).

I have more background on Brown here. However, while this kind of thing will go down well with the likes of Hagee and CUFI, Zion Oil is also mindful of being taken seriously by the wider world, and the company has brought on board a number of respected industry professionals who are happy to explore Israel as a “wildcat” operation. Rinberg in particular is good at following-up Brown’s fund-raising prophecy spiels with legalese caveats about the company not making “forward-looking statements” about actually finding any oil.

But is it really possible to have it both ways like this? Brown’s eccentric Biblical exegesis is bad enough, but Zion Oil is now making an alliance with a man who warns that the anti-Christ will be Jewish and gay, who believes that Satan was able to use Marx and Hitler because both were (supposedly) partly Jewish, and who believes that “the Rothchilds” are part of a Satanic conspiracy running the world economy.

(Christian attempts to find oil in Israel were recently the subject of an article by Mariah Blake for Mother Jones.)