Standing in the gap for Israel report 02/23

The Word:  “Then Haman said to King Xerxes, “There is a certain people dispersed and scattered among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom whose customs are different from those of all other people and who do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will put ten thousand talents of silver into the royal treasury for the men who carry out this business.”  So the king took his signet ring from his finger and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. (Esther 3:8-11)

Then Mordecai send back his answer to Esther… “Do not think to yourself that you shall escape in the king`s house, more than all the Jews. For if you altogether hold your peace at this time, then will relief and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place, but you and your father`s house will perish: and who knows whether you haven`t come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (Esther 4: 13,14)

israel-flagmovingPointers for prayer: In two weeks’ time, we will be starting the festival of Purim once again. Purim 2017 begins in the evening of Saturday, March 11 and ends in the evening of Sunday, March 12. Purim is the most festive of Jewish holidays, a time of prizes, costumes and treats. It commemorates a major victory over oppression and is recounted in the story of Esther.  As we approach these festive days may we pray that Israel would know God’s protection over them once again.  As this report was being put together, news was breaking that an Arab-Israeli citizen who was planning a major Tel Aviv bus terrorist attack on behalf of ISIS had been arrested by Israeli security.  Over this festive and joyous time may we rejoice in our King of Kings that He has preserved and blessed the nation of Israel, but may this also be a time of breakthrough when we see curses turned to blessings.

israel-flagmovingPlease pray for Nikki Haley, the new United States Ambassador to the United Nations. She might not be a Jewish Esther, but she has certainly stood up for the nation of Israel after emerging from her first Security Council monthly meeting devoted to the Middle East. Pray that she will make a mighty difference in the United Nations.

israel-flagmovingPlease also pray for the Arab world. While tens of millions of Arabs have been suffering for decades from brutal oppression from their own Arab leaders, and many have been tortured and imprisoned and women humiliated and dissidents killed, the world has become obsessed with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as if the Arab Palestinians (who have rejected one peace offer after another) were the only victims in the Middle East (See CFI’s open letter to the Iona Community). Please cry out for the Arab people struggling under the heavy restraints of Islamic Pray that they may find freedom in following the Lord God.

Today’s Esther?

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[Above photo created by D Soakell with the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley in traditional Indian dress]

The holiday of Purim, which begins on the evening of Saturday, March 11, 2017 commemorates the survival of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from the threat of annihilation at the hand of the powerful and evil ‘political leader’ Haman.  According to the Scriptures, Haman plotted to kill the Jews on the 13th of Adar (the month of Adar starts this year on February 27), but his plan was foiled and he ended up being hung from the gallows. And so, instead of being murdered, the Jews actually celebrated their freedom and victory the following day, the 14th of Adar.  Today’s countries that include the ancient land of Persia are not only Iran but also the Persian empire which ruled central Asia including: Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, parts of Pakistan, India, Iraq, Northern Saudi Arabia and more.  To celebrate this joyous holiday, the Book of Esther is read, which tells the whole story of the events relating to the holiday.

As mentioned, according to the book of Esther, the Persian Haman planned genocide against the Jews.  This is a story that has been repeated throughout the centuries again and again. Where the Persian Haman failed, Iranian sponsored Hamas would love to fulfil Haman’s plans today.  Where Hitler’s Nazi party failed in the 1940s, any of the other Islamic terrorist groups such as Hezbollah or Isis would love to succeed.  However one organisation which might not seem an obvious threat to the Jewish nation appears to be the United Nations.  Speaking on this threat, one ‘member’ of the U.N. stated last year, “Israel has suffered from bias and even discrimination at the United Nations.”  But can you guess who stated this? It was none other than the U.N.’s highest official, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, speaking in Jerusalem in August 2016. Back at headquarters a week later, Ban Ki-moon withdrew the substance of the comment without denying he had made it. The retraction was less surprising than the original assertion, which was remarkable because of the identity of the speaker.

Martin Luther King, Jr. once stated, “When people criticise Zionists, they mean Jews.”  This appears to be true; in fact we could take it a step further today.  When people criticise the Jews without any substantial meaning, they are not only being anti-Semitic, but anti-Israel. In our world of cultural relativism, calling someone anti-Semitic is usually dismissed as outside the bounds of acceptable behaviour. The usual retort is that legitimate criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism.  At the U.N., it goes much further. Israel is a nation designated for ‘special treatment’; much like South Africa was years ago. Critics use the template of apartheid South Africa for the Jewish state. Because apartheid is beyond the pale of civilised norms, they argue, Israel deserves special treatment. This allows the U.N. to bypass any legitimate defence of Israel and Zionism. No one can defend apartheid, so it must be destroyed.  And with so much criticism against the Jewish State of Israel by the U.N., and even blatant resolutions passed by UNESCO to erase Jewish history as in the Temple Mount and Western Wall etc., we need to pray that changes will be seen and honest upright politicians would intervene.  Well… have our prayers been partially answered?  Enter Nikki Haley.

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[Above photo: Nikki Haley, United States Ambassador to the United Nations from Facebook]

I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Nikki Haley is a modern day ‘Queen Esther’, but she is certainly a breath of fresh air.  Nikki Haley is the United States Ambassador to the United Nations appointed by President Donald Trump. She was governor of South Carolina from 2011 to 2017, and was the first female and Indian-American to serve in this office.  Nikki Haley was born on January 20, 1972 in South Carolina, to Sikh immigrants. The Republican entered politics at a young age, and served in the South Carolina House of Representatives for several years before becoming governor of the state. In 2016, president-elect Donald Trump picked Haley to become the United States ambassador to the United Nations, and she was confirmed for the position in January 2017.

And so, Nikki Haley had just come from the regular monthly Security Council on Middle East issues and stated, “it was a bit strange.” The Security Council, she said, is [quote] “supposed to discuss how to maintain international peace and security. But the meeting was not about Hezbollah’s illegal build-up of rockets in Lebanon, it was not about the money and weapons Iran provides to terrorists, it was not how we defeat ISIS, it was not how we hold Bashar al-Assad accountable for the slaughter of thousands of civilians.  No,” she said, “instead, the meeting focused on criticizing Israel, the one true democracy in the Middle East”. The Ambassador went on to state, “I am new around here, but I understand that’s how the Council has operated month after month for decades. I am here to say the United States will not turn a blind eye to this anymore. I am here to underscore to the ironclad support of the United States for Israel. I am here to emphasize that the United States is determined to stand up to the U.N.’s anti-Israel bias.”

Nikki Haley went on to say, “Incredibly, the U.N. department of political affairs has an entire division devoted entirely to Palestinian affairs. Imagine that. There is no division devoted to illegal missile launches from North Korea. There is no division devoted to the world’s number one state sponsor of terror, Iran. The prejudiced approach to Israeli-Palestinian issues does the peace process no favours, and it bears no relationship to the reality of the world around us. The double standards are breath-taking.”  The ambassador then went on to criticise the UN for how it dismisses terrorism against Israel and she also spoke of many of the positives Israel bring to the world.  Nikki Haley also warned that it is “the U.N.’s anti-Israel bias that is long overdue for change,” and said America will not hesitate to speak out in defence of its friend in Israel.  The 4 minute 17 second video of this speech is well worth watching and can be found on YouTube here:

In the Purim story, laying the scene at Susa, a residential city of the Persian kings, the book of Esther narrates that Haman, the vizier and favourite of King Ahasuerus (Xerxes I; reigned 486–465 BC), was determined that the Jews living in the Persian Empire were to be slain. Esther, a beautiful Jewish woman whom the King had chosen as queen, was the Lord’s chosen to bring redemption at this moment in Jewish history.  It all sounds like a Hollywood blockbuster, only this is a remarkable true story ~ sadly one that has been repeated on many occasions by evil men attempting to rid the world of God’s people and nation ~ Israel.  The end result is that Haman spitefully tried, and failed, to destroy all Jews within the kingdom.  As we read the story however, Mordecai speaks a message to Esther that we could and should take on board today… “Think not that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”  Well, could it be that the LORD has raised up Nikki Haley, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations for such a time as this?

Ignoring legal historical documents?

Towards the end of January 2017, many supporters of Israel were active at the Westminster Lobby Day for Israel 2017, encouraging politicians to back a ‘Pledge for Peace,’ consisting of three principles that would ‘better facilitate positive, pragmatic and pro-active engagement in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict’.  The three principles of the pledge were: 1) Direct Negotiations, 2) Dialogue Not Boycotts, and 3) Support Coexistence.  The Zionist Federation stated, “Endorsing the principles would be an opportunity for politicians to display a balanced and realistic approach to the conflict.” On the afternoon we heard many politicians from various parties sharing their support for Israel.  Even the Prime Minister Theresa May, a member of the Conservative Friends of Israel, has spoken out regarding her support for Israel.  And yet at Parliament, a week last Thursday, MPs unanimously passed a motion to condemn Israeli “settlement” buildings.  By this action, are the UK government along with the United Nations ignoring legal historical documents?

In the light of the fact that 2017 is the 100th year of the Balfour Declaration; the fact that we also have the San Remo agreement; along with the Court of Appeal of Versailles who ruled that ‘West Bank settlements’ and occupation of Judea and Samaria by Israel is unequivocally legal under international law (Click here to read), how is it that not one MP is bringing these legal documents to the attention of the house?   The vote by UK MPs against Israel was unanimous and also included support for the UN Security Council Resolution 2334 which called on the Israeli government to halt all planned “settlement” activity.

As British MPs debated Israeli settlements or rather housing projects as the main barrier to peace, Israel was once again rocked by terrorism; a Palestinian terrorist shot and stabbed six Israeli civilians before being arrested in Petah Tikva. Despite terrorism (a legitimate barrier to peace) being mentioned in the debate, it was Israeli “settlements” that took centre stage and Israel shouldered the majority of the blame for the ongoing conflict.  Is this really acceptable?  To see the other side of the picture from what the political world are demanding, view an Honest Reporting video here:

If we really want to facilitate positive, pragmatic and pro-active engagement in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict then surely we should start with the facts and the historical documents in countering bias and misinformation about the Arab-Israel conflict.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, it is impossible to understand the complex legal implications of the Arab-Israel conflict without an acquaintance with the basics of context of the 1920 San Remo Resolution. Both the San Remo Resolution and the Balfour Declaration charged Britain with the duty to facilitate Jewish immigration and settlement by Jews in the territory which then included Transjordan, which had already been adopted by the other Allied Powers. Furthermore, as the San Remo resolution has never been abrogated (repealed, revoked) it was and continues to be legally binding between the several parties who signed it. It is therefore obvious that the legitimacy of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and the Jewish state of Israel all derive from the same international agreement at San Remo. So if the British Members of Parliament, along with the United Nations are reneging on their part to Israel, then they must do likewise to Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.

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It is also worth pointing out that one of the so-called ‘settlements’ is actually the city of Ma’ale Adumim (pictured above), located along Highway 1, which connects it to Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area.  This so-called ‘settlement’ has hundreds of homes, medical centres, 21 schools, 80 kindergartens, and shopping centres.

Confusion over House of Commons UNESCO exhibition

There was further confusion this week on where the UK Government stood regarding Israel by reports in the JewishNews.com that the UK Parliament is to host an exhibition on the Jews’ 3,500-year-old ties to the Holy Land.  According to a report in the JewishNews.com, the House of Commons will run a UNESCO exhibition looking at “Jewish links to the land of Israel ahead of the centenary of the Balfour Declaration.”  The travelling exhibit, created by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, is called: ‘People, Book, Land: The 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People with the Holy Land.’  It has already toured Paris, New York, Israel, India, the Vatican and several smaller European states, such as Montenegro and Albania.  The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, is the exhibition’s patron, but the creator was the late Hebrew University Professor Robert Wistrich, the award-winning author and former chair of Jewish Studies at University College London.

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So… the House of Commons will run a UNESCO exhibition looking at “Jewish links to the land of Israel?” But hang on, isn’t this the same United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) who voted to approve a resolution tabled by no other than Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority, declaring that the Temple Mount and Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City has no historic ties to Judaism?  Isn’t this the same people who state that other areas such as Rachael’s Tomb in Bethlehem and the Tomb of the Patriarch’s in Hebron are also ‘irrelevant to Jewish history’?  Indeed it is.  In fact, UNESCO originally cancelled the exhibition about the Jewish people’s connection to the Land of Israel just before its scheduled opening in 2014. The cancellation followed Arab pressure.  However, following this, the situation did improve slightly as the exhibition opened at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris.  Naturally things had changed – including the name.  Gone was the word “Israel”.  This was deleted from the exhibition’s title and replaced by “Holy Land.”  The exhibition that was initially called “The 3,500 year relationship of the Jewish People to the Land of Israel” is now entitled “The 3,500 year relationship of the Jewish People with the Holy Land.”  But by erasing the word ‘Israel’, one might as well also erase the word ‘Jew or Jewish.’  For where does the term Jew come from?  It comes from Judah!  Where is Judah?  Oh yes… Judea – the area UNESCO insist on calling ‘The West Bank’.

CFI’s Open letter to the Iona Community

Earlier this year the Iona Community released its ‘Position Statement on Israel/Palestine’ which can be read by clicking here.   I personally have been to the Scottish island of Iona as it was always a desire of mine having heard of the history of the gospel arriving there.  It’s a beautiful peaceful island.  As we crossed the short stretch of water to the island, dolphins were leaping out of the sea.  The sand is beautifully white and it was a place I had always hoped to go to for a retreat – at least that’s what I thought until I learned of the Iona Community.  How sad this alleged ‘Christian’ community takes this strong stance of being so opposed to the Jewish nation of Israel.

The following is an Open Letter by Christian Friends of Israel UK, written in response to the position statement of the Iona Community.  Simply click here to read it: http://www.cfi.org.uk/news.php?article=192

David Soakell

(Middle East News Correspondent)

Sources: Unless stated, personal sources throughout Israel, Christian Friends of Israel UK, Israeli Embassy London, The Jerusalem Post, i24news.tv/en/ & Israel National Radio

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Israel cannot remain both a Jewish state and a democratic nation?

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President Trump appears to be getting slammed by the British press at the moment. So how is it that the former US President – Mr Barack Hussein Obama – didn’t get the same criticism? Was he just “too nice” or too “politically correct” or just not controversial – unlike Trump? Not controversial??? Really??? Remember, this is the same Barack Obama who told reporters in his final press conference as president that Israel cannot remain both a Jewish state and a democratic nation. Isn’t that statement anti-Semitic? Why can’t Israel remain both a Jewish state and a democratic nation?
If they didn’t allow nearly two million Arabs to live in their Jewish State of Israel I would understand. If Israel didn’t allow Arabs to be politicians in the Government; or allow Arabs to work with Jews in their hospitals; or didn’t allow Arabs and Christians to serve in the Israel Defence Force; or allow women to drive; or allow Arabs to play in the Israel national football team etc. etc. I could understand it… Yet in every one of these issues – and many more left out here – Israel does allow. Unlike Iran, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Sudan and 11 more Muslim countries who ban Jews – Israelis – and have done so for years from ever entering their countries, Israel allows Arabs to work, drive, and live their lives in this Jewish State. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia not only ban all Jews from entering the country, one is not even allowed to enter with any clothing made by a Jewish firm. Yet Obama was loved by the Media and the United Nations! And you wonder why Trump states that the media are full of “fake news” and can’t be trusted? Lord come quickly.

David Soakell

(Middle East News Correspondent)

Sources: Unless stated, personal sources throughout Israel.

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Arab Palestinian lives matter

I support Israel 100%, but that doesn’t mean I hate Arabs. I have many Arab friends and Arab Palestinian lives matter!

 

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Ignoring legal historical documents?

At the British Parliament last Thursday, MPs unanimously passed a motion to condemn Israeli “settlement” buildings. So how is it that the UK government and the United Nations ignore legal historical documents?

In the light of the fact that 2017 is the 100th year of the Balfour Declaration; the fact that we also have the San Remo agreement; along with the Court of Appeal of Versailles who ruled that ‘West Bank settlements’ and occupation of Judea Samaria by Israel is unequivocally legal under international law (https://www.dreuz.info/2017/01/13/israel-is-the-legal-occupant-of-the-west-bank-says-the-court-of-appeal-of-versailles-france/ ), how is it that not one MP is bringing these legal documents to the attention of the house? The vote by UK MPs against Israel was unanimous and also included support for the UN Security Council Resolution 2334 which called on the Israeli government to halt all planned “settlement” activity.

As British MPs debated Israeli settlements or rather housing projects as the main barrier to peace, Israel was once again rocked by terrorism; a Palestinian terrorist shot and stabbed six Israeli civilians before being arrested in Petah Tikva. Despite terrorism (a legitimate barrier to peace) being mentioned in the debate, it was Israeli “settlements” that took centre stage and Israel shouldered the majority of the blame for the ongoing conflict. Is this really acceptable? Click here to view the full transcript of the debate.  To see the other side of the picture from what the political world are demanding, view an Honest Reporting video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrQXPEbDPDg&feature=youtu.be

In countering bias and misinformation about the Arab-Israel conflict, it is impossible to understand the complex legal implications of the Arab-Israel conflict without an acquaintance with the basics of context of the 1920 San Remo Resolution. Both the San Remo Resolution and the Balfour Declaration charged Britain with the duty to facilitate Jewish immigration and settlement by Jews in the territory which then included Transjordan, which had already been adopted by the other Allied Powers. As a trustee, Britain had a fiduciary duty (the highest standard of care) to act in good faith in carrying out the duties imposed by the Mandate. Furthermore, as the San Remo resolution has never been abrogated (repealed, revoked or do away) it was and continues to be legally binding between the several parties who signed it. It is therefore obvious that the legitimacy of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and the Jewish state all derive from the same international agreement at San Remo. So if the British Members of Parliament, along with the United Nations are reneging on their part to Israel, then they must do likewise to Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.

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[The photo above is of an alleged ‘settlement’. This is actually the city of Ma’ale Adumim which is located along Highway 1, which connects it to Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area. This ‘settlement’ has hundreds of homes, medical centres, 21 schools, 80 kindergartens, and shopping centres.]

David Soakell

(Middle East News Correspondent)

 

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Standing in the gap for Israel report (02/09)

The Word:  If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, and the Lord will reward you… Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls. (Proverbs 25:21,22 & 28)

He who hardens his neck and refuses instruction after being often reproved (corrected, criticized), will suddenly be broken beyond repair… Where there is no vision [no revelation of God and His word], the people are unrestrained; But happy and blessed is he who keeps the law [of God]. (Proverbs 29:1,18 Amp.)

israel-flagmovingPointers for prayer: As we look into the events bringing chaos and instability not only within the Middle East but also in the US and the UK, please pray for discernment and spiritual guidance as to how we should be interceding over these issues.

israel-flagmovingDo continue to pray for protection around the borders of Israel, and pray for the current leaders in Israel, including the Prime Minister Netanyahu. I firmly believe God is calling Christians to come alongside Israel and cry out to God on Israel’s behalf, to take the deep heart cry of the nation into our own hearts; to intercede against her enemies, and to believe in the promises of God for Israel. Please continue to pray that the Lord God would indeed shelter Israel in the shadow of His wings.  (“Show Your loving-kindness to Your people Israel… Hide them under the shadow of Your wings, from the wicked who oppress them, from their deadly enemies who surround them.” Psalm 17:7–9)

israel-flagmovingPray too for the Arab people throughout the Middle East and those within the nation of Israel. Cause them Lord to be blessed, and to be a blessing to their ancient cousin. May they desire to dwell peacefully with the Jewish nation and in reconciliation.  Please guard against human anger replacing any righteous anger.  Remember, we need to allow grace for all.

Changes to the Standing in the gap reports

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I’d like to start this report off with an apology to my regular readers worldwide.  I have been writing this weekly news report now since 2001, and I have been astounded at its growth worldwide.  I have also been immensely touched by all the readers who regularly email me with your encouragement and support, and by the fact that many people look forward to these reports.  However, due to my many other roles within my work with Israel, I’m having to change a few areas so as not to suffer any ‘burn-out’.  One of these changes is that this report will now be sent out fortnightly as from this week.   I am aware many of you will be saddened by this decision, but I’m sure you will all understand.  This decision isn’t something I’ve done lightly, and there has been much thought and prayer gone into it.  Equally, depending on how the other areas of ministry develop, it could be that in the future, I may change this back again to a weekly report.  However, for now, we will monitor how this goes, and trust the Lord for His guidance.

I’m always happy to receive your comments via email – good or bad – and I do read each one.   As I mention above in the pointers to prayer, I still very much believe God is calling Christians to come alongside Israel and cry out to God on Israel’s behalf, to take the deep heart cry of the nation into our own hearts; to intercede against her enemies, and to believe in the promises of God for Israel. This inarticulate heart cry of the nation of Israel is something that was birthed within me 33 years ago, and it still burns strong.  So please know we rely upon you all to keep standing with Israel and in your intercession.

Protests, world condemnation and hypocrisy

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At the start of this year, I remember writing that 2016 had been a year of great uncertainty, to say the least: the Syrian conflict saw the historic city of Aleppo slip further into peril, the Brexit vote initiated the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union and Donald Trump was elected the next president of the United States, leading many to wonder what comes next for international alliances, diplomacy and peace.  All the while, the United Nations through UNESCO attempted to erase Jewish history in Jerusalem.  To say the world’s leading forces are closer to a global war than ever in the past decade wouldn’t be a far reach.

As you know, throughout 2016, there was and still is, genocide going on, which has been going on for years and years in the Islamic Middle East in general and Syria in particular. It involved ISIS targeting Yazidis and Christians for extermination, and, in Syria, Shia Muslims joining Alawites to exterminate Sunnis (basically, Muslims murdering Muslims). This is the classic definition of genocide where an ethnic group is target for annihilation.  This genocide reached fever pitch towards the end of December 2016, just as the Obama administration, which didn’t lifted a finger to protect 500,000 Arabs from being slaughtered, was winding down.

I have been reporting on this genocide in Syria for the past five years and of course it has been on our TV screens most days, yet the United Nations have taken no action.  But worse… with the United Nations scheming against Israel, the UN not only ignored Syria, but focused on the condemnation of the world’s only Jewish state – Israel.   500,000 Arabs are murdered in Syria and yet the UN thinks the problem to peace within the Middle East is caused by Jews building houses in communities in Judea.   At the same time, the United Nations couldn’t even pass one UN Security Council Resolution condemning Russia, Syria, and Iran for the slaughter in Syria; however they have passed many motions condemning Jews who live in the ancient Biblical lands of Judea and Samaria.  I’ve pondered many time in the past few months, is the prophesy in Zechariah 12 coming to pass?  So no condemnation on Syria, but the world has exploded into condemnation of a certain president in America.

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[Above picture created by D Soakell]

In one of my recent posts on my personal blog page, I asked the question, “Has Trump overstepped the mark? Will the Muslim world protest?”  This followed the decision that Islamic passengers would be barred from flights into the USA and visa holders refused entry after Donald Trump imposed strict new controls on travellers from seven Muslim-majority nations.  The US President, who had promised the measures – called “extreme vetting” – during last year’s election campaign, said he was making America safe from “radical Islamic terrorists” as he signed the executive order. The decree meant that no visas would be issued for 90 days to migrants or visitors from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.  Since then, the ban has been overturned, and President Donald Trump has declared that the judge who blocked his travel ban will be responsible if America is attacked.  Mr Trump said Judge James Robart had placed America in “peril”, by allowing citizens of seven Muslim majority countries that had been barred from entering the US to come “pouring in” to the country.  Meanwhile the Trump administration says it will use “every legal means” to reinstate Mr Trump’s executive order on refugees and immigration, but will comply with the judge’s order as the legal battle continues.  This though hasn’t stopped world condemnation, and I have been surprised at the volume of protests around the world, specifically in the US, but also in the UK.

At the time I was writing this report, Mr Trump was Tweeting, “The threat from radical Islamic terrorism is very real, just look at what is happening in Europe and the Middle-East. Courts must act fast!”  In the UK, Downing Street rejected calls to axe the state visit planned for Donald Trump following widespread outrage over his travel ban on people from certain countries. Anger with the UK’s decision to hold a state visit for America’s new president Donald Trump has sparked protests across the country including Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and just outside Downing Street.  More than one million people have signed a petition stating Mr Trump should not be given a state visit.  The immigration curbs have sparked chaos across the US as travellers were detained at airports and thousands of protesters gathered to campaign against the policy.  Boris Johnson claimed President Trump’s immigration policy as “divisive… discriminatory and wrong”, but dismissed claims the US is “hostile” towards foreigners.

So was Mr Trump’s decision divisive, discriminatory and wrong?  Well it has certainly been divisive.  But is it discriminatory and wrong?  I believe it was, and certainly feel the decision lacked wisdom.  After all, with all the issues of inhumane brutality and murders in the Muslim Middle East countries, surely we must allow true refugees to enter our nations and to care for them?  Surely the nations must have learnt from the history books?  After all, the US certainly got it wrong before.  On May 13, 1939, the German transatlantic liner St. Louis sailed from Hamburg, Germany, for Havana, Cuba. On the voyage were 937 passengers – Jews fleeing from the Third Reich. Most were German citizens, some were from Eastern Europe, and a few were officially “stateless.”  The majority of the Jewish passengers had applied for US visas, and had planned to stay in Cuba only until they could enter the United States. But by the time the St. Louis sailed, there were signs that political conditions in Cuba might keep the passengers from landing there. The US State Department in Washington turned away the ship and compelled the Jews to return to Europe.

After the decision of curtailing certain travel by President Trump, Col. Richard Kemp tweeted on January 30, “All Germans were not Nazis, but in WW2 Britain stopped all Germans from entering the UK.”  Well that is correct, but is America really in the same position that Britain was in during WW2?  As I’ve stated, surely we must allow true refugees to enter our nations and to care for them?  The big problem however is knowing who the genuine refugees are, and who are disguising their potential terrorist acts as refugees. However, what I would really like to know is, no matter whether you agree with President Trump, or strongly disagree, can all these protestors really make such an outcry against one decision, when they completely ignore another?

The fact is Iran, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Sudan and eleven more Muslim countries banned Israeli Jews long ago from ever entering their countries. Saudi Arabia also banned all Jews a long time ago. In fact, you are not even allowed to enter Saudi Arabia with any clothing made by a Jewish firm.  Has anyone asked the question why, especially as there never was, and never will be, any threat of terrorism (perceived or otherwise) coming from Israelis or Jewish people?

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So six nations listed on Trump’s controversial executive order also impose travel bans of their own.  According to information supplied by the International Air Transport Association, 16 countries – Syria, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Algeria, Bangladesh, Brunei, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates all forbid Israeli passport holders from entering their countries.  Furthermore, eight of those counties – Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Libya – do not accept passports that contain Israeli visas/stamps, therefore I personally cannot travel to these countries – not that I’d want to.

Now of course, Britain, like America is a democracy.  If people feel it right to protest against Trump stopping Islamists entering America, then they have liberty to protest.  But shouldn’t this be consistent? How is it that these same people have double-standards when it comes to Israel?  After all, just look what Abbas promises!  If he ever got a ‘State of Palestine’ he would not allow one single Jew to live in or enter his country!  But there’s even more controversy when we dig deeper.  Did you know Libya also enforces a separate ban on Iranian, Syrian and Arab Palestinian visitors?  And so, the executive order signed by President Trump, which temporarily halted nationals of seven Muslim countries from entering the United States, has generated an uproar by many people in many nations. Yet, why are these same people silent about travel bans imposed by these and other Muslim countries against Jews who hold Israeli passports?  Where is the outrage over travel bans for Jews to Islamic countries?  On top of this, there is the hideous boycott, divest and sanctions (BDS) movement which seeks to ban Israeli products and people from institutions in the West.   So the Muslim world and the liberal western world have exploded with protests against Trump – and I certainly understand the reasons why, but hang on… who has ever protested regarding all these Islamic countries for banning Jewish people into their countries? The silence is deafening!

Benjamin Netanyahu at Number 10

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[Above photo courtesy of The Prime Minister of Israel Facebook page.                              Photo: Kobi Gideon, GPO]

Well Theresa May’s first meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu didn’t get off to the best of starts as the Israeli Prime Minister arrived two minutes early and was left standing outside the famous black door of Number 10 – oh dear!  Theresa May didn’t greet her Israeli counterpart and he was left to enter alone.  However they emerged two minutes later and shook hands in front of the assembled media.  Downing Street sources said a mix-up inside Number 10 meant the photo opportunity did not go according to plan.   Theresa May said the UK was a “close friend of Israel” as she met Netanyahu for the first time.  The British Prime Minster highlighted their joint co-operation in science, trade and technology and said there was “much more we can do” to deepen ties.  In her opening remarks, she said it was important to look at how “we can build that relationship”, but added “We remain committed to a two-state solution as the best way of brokering stability and peace.

However, Netanyahu has called on the leaders of both the United Kingdom and Belgium this week to stop funding left-wing NGOs that “slander” the Jewish state. Netanyahu vowed in a Facebook post on Tuesday that he would “continue to fight the lies and do everything to protect our soldiers”.  Earlier on Tuesday, the Israeli leader met in Jerusalem with visiting Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel – this only one day after meeting Theresa May at 10 Downing Street in London.  In a Facebook video he filmed while in the UK, Netanyahu said, “I asked the British prime minister today: How would you feel if I was funding with Israeli government money organizations that call British soldiers ‘war criminals’? Or called for independence for Wales or independence for Scotland with Israeli government funding?”  “Well, unfortunately,” he continued, “this is what many governments do when they fund groups like Breaking the Silence, B’Tselem, Adalah, etc. So I asked that the British government cease funding these groups. I think the time has come.”  To view a short clip of Netanyahu meeting May click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZ4-ytZnlKQ.  You can see the full text of Netanyahu’s remarks HERE.

The bubbles that connect Arabs and Jews

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The Israel-based SodaStream Company has decided to feature an Israeli flag on all its products, which are sold in 45 countries.  In a statement from the company, SodaStream said, “The company management wants to send a message of national pride, particularly in days when many of us hide our Israeli identity from the world.”  The Israeli flag is accompanied by the English message reading, ‘This product is made by Arabs and Jews working side by side in peace and harmony.’ SodaStream, which manufactures sparkling water makers for home use has been a target of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement over its former headquarters in the industrial park of Mishor Adumim.  Mishor Adumim is located in the industrial zone of the Israeli community of Ma’ale Adumim, about 10 minutes’ drive from Jerusalem.  Sadly, due to the BDS campaigners – who allegedly are supposed to help the Palestinians – that facility’s closure had forced SodaStream to lay off most of its 500 Arab Palestinian employees. SodaStream then relocated to the Negev desert region.

SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum said that “as a proud Israeli company, we have always taken care to keep our Israeli profile high, even if that means fighting for our place in the face of the European Union and economic terrorism from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement….In recent years, we Israelis have found ourselves under attack, apologizing and boycotted all over the world. We may not be perfect, but we have a lot to be proud of, and we decided to show that to ourselves and to the world.”   In the world of the Middle East where Israeli Jews are banned from entering Islamic countries, the very fact that this product states that it is made by Arabs and Jews working side by side in peace and harmony, once again proves Israel is the only true democracy within the Middle East.  To view a short film of SodaStream click here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYEio8CAk2k

David Soakell

(Middle East News Correspondent)

Sources: Unless stated, personal sources throughout Israel, Israeli Embassy, The Jerusalem Post, i24news.tv/en/ & Israel National Radio

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Muslim World in uproar?

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Has TRUMP overstepped the mark? Will the Muslim world protest?

According to media sources this afternoon, Islamic passengers have been barred from flights into the USA and visa holders refused entry after Donald Trump imposed strict new controls on travellers from seven Muslim-majority nations.

The US President who had promised the measures – called “extreme vetting” – during last year’s election campaign, said he was making America safe from “radical Islamic terrorists” as he signed the executive order on Friday. The decree means no visas will be issued for 90 days to migrants or visitors from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

HOWEVER… Iran, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Sudan and 11 more Muslim countries banned Jews – Israelis – long ago from ever entering their countries. Saudi Arabia also banned all Jews a long time ago. In fact, you are not even allowed to enter with any clothing made by a Jewish firm.

Has anyone asked the question why?  There never was, and never will be, any threat of terrorism (perceived or otherwise) coming from Israelis or Jewish people.

On top of this, there is the hideous boycott, divest and sanctions (BDS) movement which seeks to ban Israeli products and people from institutions in the West.   No doubt the Muslim world and the liberal western world will protest against Trump, but hang on… who has ever protested regarding all these Islamic countries for banning Jewish people into their countries?

Do you feel it’s right that people protest against Trump stopping Islamists entering America? Well if you do, then you should protest…  However, be consistent.  There is no room for double-standards when it comes to Israel.   After all, just look what Abbas promises!

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David Soakell

(Middle East News Correspondent)

Sources: Personal sources throughout Israel, Sky News, i24news.tv & Israel National Radio

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Standing in the gap for Israel report (26/01)

Please note: Due to meetings at CFI UK, there will be no report next week.

 The Word:  LORD, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me, “There is no help for him in God.” Selah.  But You, O LORD, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the LORD with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill. Selah. I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around. Arise, O LORD; Save me, O my God… Your blessing is upon Your people. (Psalm 3)

…For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by. I will cry out to God Most High, to God who performs all things for me. He shall send from heaven and save me; He reproaches the one who would swallow me up. Selah.  (Psalm 57:1-3)

israel flagmovingPointers for prayer: This week’s report comes from Westminster at Lobby Day. Even though this day will be finished by the time you read this report, there is still so much to pray into here.  2017 is already bringing great challenges not only to the nation of Israel itself but also to those who stand with her.  With Jerusalem celebrating her 50th anniversary of reunification, and the Belfour 100, we can only wonder at what the rest of this year will bring.  Pray that we would see much fruit for all the discussions held with our Members of Parliament.  Pray that more UK MPs would come to an understanding of the truth regarding Israel, and pray for those MPs who already support the nation of Israel would be encouraged and strengthened in their stand.

israel flagmovingThe 27th January is Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK. We must never be allowed to forget the evil of the Holocaust. Please bring all the events happening over the next few weeks before the LORD in prayer. Pray events will be well supported – especially where schools and youth are involved.

israel flagmovingRemember too, the thousands of Holocaust Survivors still alive today. May those Survivors, even now, find comfort, strength, and the LORD’s blessing on their lives. Do uphold in your prayers and support all of the work CFI do with Holocaust survivors in Israel. To bless this work, click  here.

israel flagmovingWe believe God is calling Christians to come alongside Israel and cry out to God on Israel’s behalf, to take the deep heart cry of the nation into our own hearts; to intercede against her enemies, and to believe in the promises of God for Israel. The inarticulate heart cry of the nation of Israel may well be that of David in Psalm 57 (part included above), and we need to be able to express that cry to God with her. Please continue to pray that the Lord God would indeed shelter Israel in the shadow of His wings. Pray for protection over the borders around Israel! (Psalm 121:3-4)

You are called Zion for whom no one cares

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[Above photo taken from David Soakell’s book ‘Crimes Against Humanity’]

A powerful word from the Scriptures really hit home recently.  It is taken from Jeremiah 30:17 where we read, ‘But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the LORD, ‘because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares.’  Seventy two years might seem a very long time, yet seventy two years after the liberation of Bergen-Belsen by the British, attitudes towards the Jewish people – and in particular to Israel as a nation – have taken on yet again a dark and ugly shadow.  Sometimes that shadow is unseen, and sometime the hostility against Zion is very subtle, yet the shadow remains.  Seventy two years after the liberation of another concentration camp – Auschwitz – this time liberated by the Russians – the soil surrounding the former Nazi death camp remains so polluted by the ashes of those who were murdered and burned there that little will grow in that area.  Some even say that birds don’t sing in that place – even today.  On January 27, 1945, Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated by the Soviets, nearly eight months before the war officially ended. By the time they arrived though, many of the inhabitants had been sent out on a death march. When the Soviets arrived at the camp, around 7,000 people, all sick and dying, remained. In the five years it was open, an estimated 1.1 million* people were murdered at the concentration camp, around 90 per cent of whom were Jewish.  Sadly, it is often heard in today’s Middle East that the Islamic hatred that terrorises Israel will finish what Hitler started.

*In the late 1980s the Auschwitz Museum calculated that at least 1.1 million prisoners were killed at the Auschwitz group of camps and that 90% of these were Jews.  However, this is a deliberately cautious figure. Most modern Holocaust scholarship suggests figures in the range 1.1 to 1.5 million, with over 1 million being Jewish men, women and children.  Much of the difficulty arises from the fact that before the Soviet troops arrived, the SS destroyed most of the records at Auschwitz.  Rudolf Hoess, the first commandant of Auschwitz, stated that the number was ‘up to 3 million’.

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[Above photo taken from David Soakell’s book ‘Crimes Against Humanity’]

The Holocaust was of course a systematic, state-sponsored murder of six million Jews and many other victims (another five million) by the Nazi-Germans and their collaborators during World War II.  However did you know – the Holocaust is one of the most thoroughly researched periods of history?  When my wife and I first set up the Christian Friends of Israel Holocaust Exhibition (which currently can been seen in Hawick in the Scottish Borders), the head Librarian was thrilled to have the photographic exhibition in her Library, and commented on how much it angered her that people could actually deny the Holocaust took place.  The amount of existing research is enormous and growing constantly as historians pour through archives full of surviving documents and artefacts. While important questions remain to be researched, nearly all trained historians who have studied this period agree on the basic facts: The Nazi’s ‘Final Solution’ was an official, systematic program of extermination of the Jewish race involving mass murder on an industrial scale which ‘succeeded’ in killing around six million Jews, or approximately half of the Jewish population of Europe, before it was ended by the Allies’ victory over Germany in 1945.  It is indeed therefore a mystery as to how anyone could even suggest that the Holocaust never happened.  So with this in mind, why on earth during Obama’s final three days as President of the USA name an aide who bragged of whitewashing Iran’s Holocaust-denying regime to the Holocaust memorial council?

Indeed, in the last three days of Barack Obama’s presidency, it would appear that Obama wanted his legacy to be seen as some form of ‘distaste’ against Israel and the Jews.  Obama declared that before he left the Whitehouse that he would be remembered for being the President who created the ‘two state solution’ and who brought peace to the Middle East between Jew and Arab – this of course he failed spectacularly at and ended his presidency a million miles away from any peace agreement.  Was this the reason he spent his final three days in office making many cynically bad decisions?  His final appointments to administration positions, including adding 10 members to the Holocaust Memorial Council including the one and only Ben Rhodes, whose role as Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications came to an end last Friday with the inauguration of President Donald Trump.  Rhodes was a leading advocate of the Iran nuclear deal and a vocal critic of Israeli settlement policies, declaring the Israel settlements as “illegal” (even though they are clearly not illegal).  In response, American Spectator Managing Editor Melissa Mackenzie tweeted: “So Ben Rhodes, who is a veritable enemy of Israel, Obama appoints to Holocaust Memorial Council.  The man is a spite machine.”  U.N. Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer tweeted, “No joke: Obama names aide who bragged of whitewashing Iran’s Holocaust-denying regime to Holocaust memorial council.”

But it didn’t end there.  Even as the ceremony of inauguration for Donald Trump as President was about to begin on Friday, Barack Obama handed the Arab Palestinians $221 million (£177 million) literally hours before he left office.  The U.S. State Department under Obama released the funds to Mahmoud Abbas, who still allows his PA authority to teach hatred towards Israel in his schools, on PA controlled TV, and who gives money as rewards to families of suicide bombers, and blesses Islamic terrorist in jails with a life time supply of cash.  So even as President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were walking through the Crypt of the Capital for Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony, in Washington on January 20, 2017, the State Department was handing over to the Palestinians 221 million dollars.   However, the payment itself has been frozen by the State Department under President Trump.  The money came from federal aid the US provides to the so-called ‘West Bank’ and Gaza, aid that totalled about $355 million in 2015. The sum released by Obama during his last hours in office had been held up by a group in Congress that included Reps. Ed Royce of California and Kay Granger of Texas.  Dr. Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defence of Democracies stated, “The easiest way to sum it up is that Congress had been looking at various behaviours from Palestine — unilateral attempts at statehood, corruption, incitement of violence, and paying salaries to people in jail for terrorism — and that’s why the hold has been there.”  Schanzer characterized the move by Obama as both shocking and “a strange message to send.”  Schanzer stated, “I was tracking President Obama’s 11th-hour moves on the Palestinians, and this issue never came up once … Most analysts and observers didn’t think Obama would or could do this.”

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When we consider the above, along with what we have witnessed recently with the UNESCO votes and the plans of the Paris UN conference, it’s almost as if the Word of God above in Psalm 3 and Psalm 57 was written solely with today in mind.  The Word of God is a living Word of course and certainly can speak into our lives today, and I’m aware we need to be careful of taking sections of Scripture out of context; however these two Psalms really spoke to me regarding the battles Israel is facing today.  The nation of Israel is surrounded by Islamic countries, indeed the Middle East is made up of 99.9% Arab/Muslim countries, leaving Israel with 0.1% of land mass, and even this tiny amount is being fought over by both the Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, who has repeatedly spoken of the importance of ‘implementing the principles of Yasser Arafat’ (to wipe Israel off the map) and the Islamic militant Hamas group.  So why is it that the majority of British MPs want a ‘Two-State solution’, and completely ignore or deny the laws which have already been decreed regarding Israel?

As I mentioned last week, in countering bias and misinformation about the Arab-Israel conflict, it is impossible to understand the complex legal implications of the Arab-Israel conflict without an acquaintance with the basics of context of the 1920 San Remo Resolution.  Both the San Remo Resolution and the Balfour Declaration charged Britain with the duty to facilitate Jewish immigration and settlement by Jews in the territory which then included Transjordan, which had already been adopted by the other Allied Powers. As a trustee, Britain had a fiduciary duty (the highest standard of care) to act in good faith in carrying out the duties imposed by the Mandate.  Furthermore, as the San Remo resolution has never been abrogated (repealed, revoked or do away) it was and continues to be legally binding between the several parties who signed it. It is therefore obvious that the legitimacy of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and the Jewish state all derive from the same international agreement at San Remo.  So if the British Members of Parliament, along with the United Nations are reneging on their part to Israel, then they must do likewise to Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.  For details on the San Remo resolution, check out an interesting link here.

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Apart from all that is written above, if the United Nations, along with Britain did succeed in creating an Arab Palestinian State in the heartland of Israel (Judea and Samaria), did you know that a Islamic Palestinian state would be just 70 metres from the main road artery running through Central Israel?  This photo was send to me form Barry Shaw in Israel – picture taken from his drone. With Abbas in charge of a potential State of Palestine, it would be bad enough. But imagine if Abbas was kicked out and Hamas took over – as happened in Gaza?  Is it not time to scrap all talk or plans of a Two State Solution?  Yes, we would like our government to make a ‘pledge for peace (#Pledge4Peace) but seeing as the Palestinians have refused negotiations and refused dialogue and co-existence, can we really see peace anytime soon?

Lobby and Briefing day at Westminster

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The Lobby and Briefing day – jointly hosted by CFI UK and the Zionist Federation – took place on 25th January and was once again led by ZF’s Eric Moonman and CFI’s Jacob Vince.  Without doubt, this is a unique occasion as many people met together to be better informed about how to challenge concerns and specific issues to the UK government.  We were really encouraged by the large turnout of supporters – both Christians and Jews – in fact on the afternoon in the committee rooms in the Houses of Parliament, some 30 supporters couldn’t access the room due to being over capacity, and we kept having to ask people who had heard many MPs to leave the room to allow other the chance to listen.   Apart from our CFI Office being represented with Jacob Vince, Robin Lane and Julia and myself – we also had some of our Area Reps come along.  As happened last year, we also had a large group of about 30 people (including our Norfolk Reps) come on a coach from Norwich that had been organised especially for the occasion.  Many supporters and advocates of Christian Friends of Israel had also travelled the length and breadth of the UK.  As much of the day for me was taken up with taking the photos for CFI and passing the microphone around to the audience wanting to ask questions, along with trying to record certain areas, I left CFI’s Julia Soakell to take the notes throughout the day.  We are hoping for a full report to be featured in the second addition of the CFI ‘In Touch’ magazine.

On the morning at the Briefing at Marsham Street, Westminster, we were thrilled to have Israel’s Ambassador to the UK, Mark Regev speak.  Regev, who has been in post in the UK since March 2016, has hit the ground running since his arrival, making a point of speaking at challenging venues and engaging with the unexpected, including having a head-to-head debate with the PLO representative in Britain, Manuel Hassassian.  Mark Regev previously served in Israel’s embassies in Beijing and Washington, and most recently as international spokesperson for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  The Lobby Day followed in the wake of UN Resolution 2334, which was widely regarded in Israel as a harmful attempt to impose final status conditions, as well as disincentivising the Palestinian Authority from returning to the negotiating table.  Regev stated, “The International community must demand the Palestinians return to peace talks without preconditions.”

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We also heard from Bassem Eid, founder and director of the Jerusalem-based Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group.  Eid commented on the attempt by Obama in his last hours of office to send millions of dollars of aid to the PA – and questioned whether the PA will be ever held accountable to for funds sent to them.  CFI’s Chief Executive Jacob Vince stated that, “Obviously as Christians we have to believe in God’s timing and that the promises made to Israel about the land and people are all written for us in the Bible.”  He said that in the political sphere these things are not always in a straight line – and responsibility also rests on the government of Israel – as they are accountable.  We are friends of Israel – friends with views –but regards the issues, we must try to do what we believe but also allow God to work it out.

The ZF’s Lobby Day for Israel, run every year in partnership with Christian Friends of Israel UK, brings activists from across the political and religious spectrum into parliament, where they speak directly with their elected representatives.  Lobby Day for Israel 2017 encouraged politicians to back a ‘Pledge for Peace,’ consisting of three principles that they stated would ‘better facilitate positive, pragmatic and pro-active engagement in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict’.  The three principles of the pledge were: 1) Direct Negotiations, 2) Dialogue Not Boycotts, and 3) Support Coexistence.  The ZF stated, “Endorsing the principles would be an opportunity for politicians to display a balanced and realistic approach to the conflict.” A social media campaign (#Pledge4Peace) on the day encouraged people to share photos of themselves with the pledge card.  Tweets and Facebook posts were also made on the CFI social media.

The various speakers invited at the Lobby day included MPs from most parties.  The list included Lord Stuart Polak CBE (Conservative); Bob Blackman (Conservative, Harrow East); David Burrowes (Conservative, Enfield, Southgate); Joan Ryan (Labour, Enfield North); Louise Ellman (Labour, Liverpool, Riverside); Theresa Villiers (Conservative, Chipping Barnet); Baroness Ruth Deech (Independent Peer); Ian Austin (Labour, Dudley North), Matthew Offord (Conservative, Hendon Central), and Caroline Ansell (Conservative, Eastbourne).  In addition to those listed above, there were also speeches by Jerry Lewis, UK Correspondent for Israel Radio, and Arieh Miller, Chief Executive of the Zionist Federation.

David Soakell

(Middle East News Correspondent)

Sources: Unless stated, personal sources throughout Israel, The Zionist Federation, Israeli Embassy London, The Jerusalem Post, i24news.tv/en/ & Israel National Radio

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