Having had the privilege to stand with the Jewish people of Yorkshire and show solidarity with the nation and people of Israel in a rally in Leeds, many people – the majority being Jewish – really showed their appreciation for the fact that Christians stand alongside them. Many Jewish people had no idea that Christians actually stood in support in the first place, and following my speech at the event, I was shocked at how many of them wanted to shake my hand and hug me for speaking up for them and for Israel. And so, as many wanted a copy of what I spoke on, I thought I would post my speech here.
The support was far greater than I expected, and this was really encouraging as the Dortmund Square in Leeds was packed with peaceful campaigners showing their support for Israel. A mere six days before, around 300 people marched through Leeds city centre accusing the BBC of failing to broadcast in-depth coverage of the Palestinian crisis. Understandably, those who stand with Israel would take the viewpoint that the BBC, along with the majority of the Western Media, actually do the opposite, and neglect to tell the truth by over emphasising the Palestinian slant. Last week, protesters gathered outside the BBC Leeds building in St Peter’s Square as part of a national demonstration. It followed the on-going Israeli military offensive in Gaza, after Israel had suffered thousands of rockets fired by the Hamas terrorist group from Gaza into Israel. However, the centre of Leeds this week was filled with Israeli flags and both Jews and Christians showing support for Israel.
Simon Jackson, President of Leeds’ Jewish Rep. Council spoke first from the lectern in the centre of Dortmund Square in Leeds. After I spoke, Steven Jaffe, Board of Deputies for the Belfast Jewish Community and co-chair of Northern Ireland Friends of Israel took to the ‘stage’ followed by Or Nehushtan, the Leeds’ Community Shaliach for the Jewish Agency for Israel and UJIA, who closed the section of speeches, before the British National Anthem along with Hatikvah was sung.
After the event, Or Nehushtan stated, “No words to describe the pride and gratitude both as an Israeli and as a part of this amazing community. More than 500 people from the Leeds Jewish Community and the non-Jewish supporters of Israel came out to say “Yes to Peace, No to Terror” to show their support in Israel at this FIRST EVER Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace RALLY!”
As I stated earlier, many Jewish people had no idea that Christians stood in support for Israel and following my speech at the event, I was shocked at how many of them shook my hand or hugged me, thanking me for what I shared. One stated, “I know that this is a peaceful demonstration, but it is very powerful. The order and the number of people show that Israel does not want war… I’m so proud that you spoke here.” So, as many wanted a copy of my speech, here it is:
“Shalom… shalom aleichem… Having the opportunity to work in Israel, I know what life is like out there. Having survived a terrorist attack by Hamas on a public bus in Jerusalem, I know what it is like to see fear. Having reported on many occasions from the town of Sderot – 0.6 kilometres from the Gaza Border – and heard the Red Alert or Tzeva Adom along with watching Kassam rockets flying overhead from Hamas in Gaza, I personally know the horror of war.
And having personally ministered to Terrorist victims – men, women and children – all innocent civilians – I know the pain and suffering they go through. It’s not just the physical loss either – I’ve never known a people suffer so much trauma as those Israeli’s who have suffered the rockets attacks from Hamas.
It angers me so much to see such atrocities. But perhaps what angers me even more, is the actions from the groups of people who have never been to the Middle East yet demonise the nation of Israel. People such as the Palestine Solidarity Campaigners and all those thousands of people marching on London last weekend supporting this war from Islamic extremists such as Hamas and villainizing Israel.
Where were these anti- Israel supporters and their demonstrations regarding Syria with 170,000 Muslims being killed by Muslims? Syria kills, mutilates, rapes, chemically attacks, bombs indiscriminately, and women and children are slaughtered in the hundreds of thousands – Where were their demonstrations for Syria?
Where were their demonstrations when Pro-Russian separatists shoot down a civilian plane, killing 300 innocents?
Where were their demonstrations when ISIS are massacring and slaughtering everything in their wake in Syria and Iraq with Christians being killed, extorted and ethnically cleansed?
Libya is in a desperate state of civil war. Violence and reports of atrocities on both sides abound. Muslims are being killed by Muslims; meanwhile over in Iran public hangings gathers apace with horrendous consequences for 100’s of activist bloggers and people who oppose the ‘ moderate’ Islamist regime. Then there’s Turkey, Sudan, Somalia, North Korea, China, Burma, Pakistan, Indonesia, Yemen, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, etc., etc… human rights violators all, yet accompanied by an almost deafening silence from those who demonise Israel for protecting herself against Hamas.
Hamas, who knowingly and willingly use human sacrifices to protect their command and control centres and rocket launchers and ammunition dumps – every single action of which contravenes International Law and is categorically a war crime. When you look at it rationally, it’s hard not to believe that the United Nations are biased.
I want to read you a letter which was passed on to me from someone in Israel by a trusted source. “We are deeply saddened to see the loss of life in Gaza – particularly children and civilians. This is at the top of our prayer list – that God would have mercy on the children. it is sad and tragic to see that the Hamas terrorist organisation’s strongest weapon against Israel is the suffering of their children and civilians whom they so willingly keep in harm’s way while Hamas take cover underground in their bunkers and tunnels. Be absolutely assured that the Israeli public, government and army grieve more over harmed Palestinians than Hamas…
…Here are a few facts that you may or may not hear: The UN discovered 20 missiles in a Gaza school and condemned this breach of law. NOTE: They then returned the rockets to the ‘duly elected governing authority in Gaza with the reprimand to not store them on UN property! … The tunnels and tunnel shafts which are being opened and exploded contain huge stores of weapons, sophisticated rockets and rocket materials, Israeli uniforms, false papers, anaesthesia (all used in kidnapping), and it is estimated that each tunnel is built with enough cement to build a school or hospital. You may recall the international outcry to ‘at least let these poor people have cement so that they can rebuild houses and infrastructure. Instead, international money went into building of tunnels burrowing into Israel for terror attacks and kidnappings… There is no explanation on international news that when an Israeli plane drops a bomb on a building, the REASON that there is such a huge explosion is that these were buildings containing explosives and that it is the Hamas explosives detonating that causes the huge blasts…. I would like to ask for prayers for our soldiers. So very many young soldiers, boys and girls, filled the bus and train today. Some looked confident. Some looked vulnerable and scared. They all looked so young…”
If Hamas laid down their weapons today, there would be peace. Is Israel laid down their weapons – Israel would be annihilated.
Am Yisrael Chai… Thank you for your time and support.”