The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart. A wicked person listens to deceitful lips; a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue… Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues. (Proverbs [Mishlei] 17: 3,4,28)
The Lord will march out like a champion, like a warrior he will stir up His zeal; with a shout He will raise the battle cry and will triumph over His enemies. (Or as the Complete Jewish Bible states: Adonai will go out like a soldier, like a soldier roused to the fury of battle; He will shout, yes, He raises the battle cry; as He triumphs over his foes.) “For a long time I have kept silent, I have been quiet and held myself back. But now, like a woman in childbirth, I cry out… (Isaiah 42:13,14)
Pointers for prayer: Please continue to pray that the Church world-wide would recognise the spiritual and eternal significance of the nation of Israel, and pray regarding those who oppose Israel and the Jewish people.
This week we are looking at the issue of the upcoming demonstration/rally against the Jewish people at Golders Green in London by neo-Nazi supporters. George Santayana once stated, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” Pray that even now this hideous demonstration would be forced to cancel.
Shall We Now Remain Silent?
During our house church meeting in our home, one of the ladies had a ‘word’ that kept coming back to her. That word was ‘indifference’. I may be at risk of taking what she felt was a ‘word from the Lord’ out of context, but this word has also been ‘dropping into my spirit’ and keeps coming back to me. But I also keep reflecting on another word that keeps ‘dropping into my spirit’ and that word is ‘indignation’. What is the difference with these words? Indifference means a lack of interest or concern (i.e. we were shocked by their indifference toward poverty.) also, unimportance; little or no concern. This is a word that we could apply to the church regarding God’s relation and covenantal promises to Israel. Indignation means, ‘anger or annoyance provoked by what is perceived as unfair treatment’ – this is how I see the world, the media and sadly even parts of the church in how they behave against Israel.
As I mentioned in last week’s report, we have recently been back in Israel celebrating Christian Friends of Israel’s 30th anniversary with a conference and tour. At the conference I had been asked to speak on “Christian Anti-Semitism: Shall We Now Remain Silent?” The subject title itself was tough enough, after all, ‘Christian Anti-Semitism?’ Is it possible for someone to be truly born-again and be anti-Semitic?
Shall We Now Remain Silent? Can we remain silent?
I also asked what was the difference between anti-Semitism and replacement theology? You see, sadly, many Christians will openly and rightly express horror at what happened in Nazi Europe during the Holocaust. They will see the attempted annihilation of 11 million Jews, and the eventual murder of 6 million Jews as being an evil act on humanity. Yet many of these same Christians will either turn a blind eye to events happening in Israel today, or worse, will speak out against the Jewish State and demand justice for the Palestinian Arabs – even though they don’t fully understand the facts behind the headlines.
As I mentioned in my talk, if there was an award for hypocrisy, anti-Israel activists would win it every year. On the question of Palestinian suffering, anti-Israel activists apparently only care some of the time. If you’re an Arab Palestinian whose life is made harder by Israeli forces, they’ll demand justice; they’ll wave their banners in the streets of London, Paris and New York; They’ll share pictures of what they believe is ‘inhumane behaviour’; they’ll demand action from their Politicians. But if you’re a Palestinian under threat from a non-Israeli force, forget about it – you’re on your own. These groups such as the Palestine Solidarity Movement don’t appear to care one iota if Israel is not involved. What explains this double standard? I believe it is because, today, what gets dressed up as “Palestinian solidarity” is nothing of the sort. This is not a movement devoted in any serious way to assisting the Palestinians; Indeed, as I challenged one of these protesters at their stand, I stated that it is actually those who stand with Israel that actually roll up their sleeves and help the Palestinian Arabs. Jewish groups such as ‘Save a Child’s Heart’ or Christian groups like Shevet Achim and CFI, who help raise the awareness and get Arab children with heart defects into Israeli hospitals.
And by the way, if anyone asks you about BDS – Tell them about Omar Barghouti, the founding committee member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Mr. Barghouti wasn’t born in Gaza; he wasn’t born in the misnamed ‘West Bank’ but was actually born in Qatar. He grew up in Egypt and later moved to Ramallah in the so-called West Bank as an adult – does this make him an Arab settler? But worse… although Omar Barghouti actively lobbies for worldwide economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel, Barghouti himself is currently studying in ISRAEL at the Tel Aviv University!
The Palestinian solidarity movements are finely oiled machines, but sadly do very little in helping the Arab Palestinians, rather, it’s become all about demonizing Israel. And demonizing Israel is coming from many areas these days – take for example the upcoming rally by neo-Nazi’s in London.
Golders Green is an area in the London Borough of Barnet in England. It is essentially a 19th-century suburban development situated approximately 5 miles north west of Charing Cross and centred on the intersection of Golders Green Road and Finchley Road. The area has a wide variety of housing and a busy main shopping street, and is known for its large Jewish population as well as for being home to the largest Jewish Kosher hub in the United Kingdom, which attracts many Jewish tourists. Here also stands the Golders Green Synagogue – a modern orthodox synagogue which is part of the United Synagogue. The community has a long history, going back before the First World War. The first recorded communal services took place in 1913. The current synagogue, which is now a Grade II listed building, opened in 1922 and currently serves about 500 member families. Golders Green Synagogue is a warm and welcoming community, and yet dark clouds are looming upon this community.
There is a prayer today for the congregation of Golders Green Synagogue which reads, “May He who blessed our ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, bless this holy congregation – Kehillat Kennesset Yisrael Golders Green – as it completes 100 years from its founding. May He also bless all those who visit it to pray, all its leaders from the day of its inception until now, all its supporters and all those who are occupied with its needs. May the merit of its founders and their aspirations stand for us today and for the generations that will follow us. May the Holy One, may He be blessed, send blessing and success upon all the works of our hands and may He grant length of days to this holy congregation with peace and insight until the coming of the redeemer. Let us say: Amen.” As neo-Nazi protesters plan to burn the Israeli flag in Golders Green on 4th May, may we pray our blessing and protection on all the Jewish community in this area.
According to reports, Scotland Yard has said it cannot prevent the neo-Nazi protest taking place in one of London’s biggest Jewish areas, as community leaders and the local Conservative MP called on the Home Office to ban the rally. The timing is particularly provocative as it takes place on Shabbat (Saturday, the Jewish day of rest when most observant Jews will be walking to synagogue). Police apparently have stated that they have no powers to ban a ‘static demonstration and must safeguard the right to protest’, a Met police spokesman said. But what of the rights of the Jewish community? Chief Supt. Adrian Usher, the officer in charge of policing in this area, said a plan for the policing operation was being formulated. “Officers are speaking to the organiser of the protest to understand what their plans are,” he said. However, the Finchley and Golders Green MP, Mike Freer, told reporters that he had asked the Home Office to ban the protest. “The rally is not about free speech but a deliberate attempt to provoke tension and antisemitism,” he said.
Jewish community groups, including the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Community Security Trust and the London Jewish Forum, have also called for a ban, and well over 1000 people have signed a Change.org petition to that effect. A group of MPs has called for “every measure” to be taken to protect the Golders Green community ahead of the planned neo-Nazi demonstration. Led by Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq, they have signed an early day motion in Parliament praising the efforts of campaigners to ban the 4th July protest. Ms Siddiq’s motion is sponsored by fellow Labour MPs Sadiq Khan, Wes Streeting and Ruth Smeeth. They have also called on Home Secretary Theresa May to take further action to stop offensive protests and demonstrations.
The motion states: “That this house notes with concern the planned neo-Nazi demonstration in Golders Green on 4th July; highlights that this rally is due to take place on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, in an area in which 40% of the population is Jewish; praises the public activism in opposition to the rally – and particularly the change.org petition to ban it, and the work of Hope Not Hate and the London Jewish Forum, under the umbrella of the Golders Green Together campaign, to promote solidarity and celebrate diversity in the local area; believes that every measure should be taken to protect Golders Green’s vibrant community from provocation and abuse, and calls on the Home Secretary to consider what further actions the government could take to isolate the politics of hate and division on our streets.”
One of my Facebook friends, Susan Kone, who heads up various groups on the social network site Facebook such as ‘Holding hands for Israel – Online rally to show support for Israel states, “As anti-Semitism (often cloaked as anti-Zionism) is rampant once again – as Israel and the Jewish people once again face an existential threat – as Western leaders appear to be in the process of enabling Iran to make a nuclear bomb – We will keep this page alive; the memories alive; the critical lessons of the Holocaust alive, today and every day. Liberty must prevail over tyranny, Civility must prevail over savagery. Love must prevail over hate, and good must prevail over evil. Let us work together to serve as a beacon of light amid the darkness. Anne Frank said “in spite of everything I still believe people are good at heart”. Let ours be the generation that proves her right.” [Online commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp.].
We need to be careful of how we interpret ‘indignation’ – meaning ‘anger or annoyance provoked by what is perceived as unfair treatment’, as it can lead us into sin – unless we have a righteous anger of course, but even then, as frail humans, we need to be careful with our inner thoughts. Indifference however is a different subject and must be cast out of the church and even society. It is a word that I use in one of my ‘songs/poems’ from my book Crimes Against Humanity in which I use and rearrange a famous ‘poem’ or rather statement from Holocaust Survivor Elie Wiesel in his ‘Never Shall I forget’. Verse two of my poem states, “Six million Jews in gas chambers, or murdered by starvation. And a world stood by through indifference, a world that watched in silence. I survived to see someone stare at me, from the depths of a mirror I stood. A corpse gazed back, was it really me? Barely alive, yet free? But what is freedom, if memories are always trapped with flames? I left the camp, but it, not me, Nothing can erase the pain.”
Let us indeed work together to serve as a beacon of light amid the darkness and pray against this neo-Nazi march in Golders Green and indeed unite together – both Jew and Christian – to stamp out this evil that still prevails within our land.
Hamas indiscriminately bomb Israel – while Israel is condemned for war crimes?
According to various Twitter feeds this past week, various Jewish groups have condemned a U.N. report that accuses both Israel and Hamas of committing possible war crimes during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge.
Again, as we were meeting last night, the Tzeva Adom (Red Alert) warning on my cell phone interrupted the meeting as the early-warning radar system installed by the Israel Defence Forces warned of further rocket attacks from Hamas in Gaza on Ashkelon. After the rocket attack, Israel on Wednesday decided to cancel the Friday entry permits for 500 Gazans to Jerusalem that had been given as part of unprecedented “gestures” for the Muslim fast month of Ramadan. A spokeswoman for COGAT, the defence ministry unit which coordinates with Gaza, told reporters the move to cancel the concessions applied to this week only, and was “because of the rocket” which hit southern Israel on Tuesday night. The rocket was launched just after 10 p.m. (Israeli time) on Tuesday. But sadly this is a regular occurrence and innocent civilians suffer great trauma due to these frequent attacks. Yet, when Israel finally give in and respond – such as in last year’s war – the Jewish nation are condemned by the media, the BDS campaigners and the U.N.
World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer “strongly criticized” the latest report from the U.N., saying, “It is most unfortunate that here is yet another UN Human Rights Council report that puts the democratic State of Israel and the terror group Hamas on the same level… If further proof was still needed that the United Nations is biased against Israel, this is it.” Robert Singer stated. He placed the blame for last summer’s violence on Hamas. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) meanwhile called the report “deeply unfair, inaccurate and misleading.” AIPAC stated, “Hamas indiscriminately waged a war of aggression against Israeli civilians while inhumanely exploiting Gaza residents as human shields. Any suggestion of moral symmetry between the actions of Israel and those of the terrorist organization Hamas is a malicious affront to the truth.” They went on to state, “Israel deserves praise rather than criticism. During the conflict, Israel risked the lives of its own soldiers to spare civilian lives by providing Gaza residents with advance warning of impending attacks.”
It has also been revealed, that the nongovernmental organizations that fed the U.N. Human Rights Council with information leading to its allegations of Israeli war crimes during Operation Protective Edge last summer, have shown a lack of financial accountability and therefore transparency, according to a prominent watchdog group report on Tuesday. Specifically, NGO Monitor indicated three NGOs that do not “publish financial information, reflecting a lack of transparency and accountability.” Among those groups reported by NGO Monitor are the Gaza-based Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, which was cited 21 times in the U.N. findings, including providing photographs of a home bombed by Israeli jets. Another of the groups was Al-Haq, a Palestinian rights group that calls for the Palestinian ‘Right of Return’ to be implemented for the refugees of the 1948 Israeli War of Independence and their descendants.
Though the images of the moment may have reflected massive damage in Gaza during the 2014 war, the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, announced on 6th November 2014, that Israel had gone to “extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and prevent civilian casualties in the Gaza conflict.” An analysis of U.N. satellite photos taken during the war shows that 72% of all damaged areas in Gaza were “within two miles of the Israeli border.”
While this was a war Israel did not want, it was a war that inadvertently pre-empted a terrorist massacre inside Israel’s heartland, principally through a network of sophisticated tunnels built deep under the border – tunnels of which are already being rebuilt by Hamas by bringing in cement from Egypt – and intended to get thousands of dedicated terrorists, many on suicide missions, in the quiet of night, to destinations where they could kill as many innocent Israeli’s as possible and leave Israel in turmoil as never before. This was potentially Hamas’ terrorist version of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, when Egypt and Syria launched a joint surprise attack on Israeli forces in Sinai and the Golan Heights.
Once again, I find indignation – there’s that word again – rising up in my spirit as the media and the U.N. use this war as a ‘numbers game’, suggesting that because more Arab ‘Palestinians’ died than Israeli’s, somehow Israel should be held accountable. Yes Israel suffered 74 deaths in the war – and even this is far too high – however, think about it – had the Iron Dome system not intercepted 735 rockets fired from Gaza, the Israeli casualty count would have been incalculably higher. Had Hamas accepted the Egyptian ceasefire proposal of July 15, as Israel did, the Arab ‘Palestinian’ fatalities would have numbered less than 200, as opposed to more than 2,100 who died by the time Hamas agreed to a final ceasefire on 27th of August. Thus, Hamas was fully responsible for more than 1,800 Palestinian deaths. Oh and by the way, Hamas are No2 in the world’s richest terrorists list according to this report.
(Middle East News Correspondent)
Sources: Unless stated, personal sources throughout Israel, Israeli Embassy London, The Jerusalem Post, i24news.tv/en/ & Israel National Radio