By Charles Gardner —
With Israel facing another potential Holocaust, you might have hoped we’d learned our lessons and were making every effort to stand with them this time.
But, instead, an estimated 100,000 protestors took to the streets of London to stand with the perpetrators of the violence as hatred for the Jewish people was allowed to erupt across the one-time capital of the civilized world.
They were calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, comparing the British and Israeli Prime Ministers to Hitler, reportedly scaling a government building and attacking an emergency worker. But few arrests were made.
Meanwhile a peaceful ‘prayer walk’ through Jewish areas of north London was cancelled after organizers came under pressure from police concerned about safety and intimidation. Some 30,000 were expected to join a show of support for Israel organized by Christian Action Against Antisemitism who said they felt “silenced” by the police who had allowed a much bigger pro-Palestinian rally to go ahead in central London on the same day.
Hate speech is now a crime in the UK. Yet what did the police do with 100,000 protestors supporting the genocidal madness of an organization committed to the destruction of the Jewish people? They simply looked on and arrested a few people for issues unrelated to speech. But shouting ‘jihad’ (holy war), for example, is surely a clear incitement to terrorist violence, specifically aimed at Jews.
So hate speech is permissible, as long as it does not come under the headings of Islamophobia, homophobia or transphobia, which leaves open season for baiting Jews and Christians.
This in a country once treasured for the freedom it affords to speak one’s mind on virtually anything under the sun.
As for South Africa, and as a loyal citizen of that country, I am appalled by their response to this crisis. Naledi Pandor, a convert to Islam who is Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, reportedly phoned Hamas to encourage them, even after knowing about the atrocities committed by the initial invaders on October 7th.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, draped in a Palestinian scarf, predictably laid all the blame at Israel’s door, like so much of the world.
Even worse, just days before the attack Anglican bishops, along with the South African Council of Churches, issued communiques labelling Israel an apartheid state, demonizing Christian Zionists and Zionist Jews and blatantly lying about the rights of Israeli Arabs.
After the attacks, there was no word of condemnation against Hamas.
So once more the Jewish community feels betrayed by the Church. All of which makes reaching them with the gospel that much harder, because they are being presented with a complete distortion of the true Jesus.
A colleague in Cape Town fears for the safety of the Jewish community in South Africa.
Bearing in mind that it was Jewish politicians and entrepreneurs who made a huge contribution to the dismantling of apartheid (the real kind practised in South Africa from 1948-1990), this antisemitic stance is a shocking betrayal of God’s chosen people, who have given the world the precious Scriptures, providing the foundation stones for Western civilization, along with our matchless Savior, Jesus Christ, who has been good news to the poor ever since.
It really is time the Church, both in South Africa and here in the UK, woke up to their responsibilities. We betrayed the Jews by remaining silent during the Holocaust. Now, amidst a similar pogrom, we must stand with them, firmly and fearlessly.
For if you truly love Jesus, you will love the Jews!