Faced with the increasingly difficult task of ‘selling’ Israeli policies to the UK public, Israel’s supporters in this country are cementing relationships with some strange bed-fellows.
Israeli embassy officials are happy working with groups like ‘Mordechai Voice’, a new addition to the Christian Zionist scene in the UK. Apart from helping with local presentations, staff from Israel’s embassy spoke at a July “prayer meeting” organised by people who look forward to the day “all Israel is saved”. It seems the Embassy has no problem collaborating with Christians whose motivation for supporting Israel is the belief that such advocacy is the “key to UK revival”.
Where Israel’s government representatives go, the advocacy groups follow. In October, the UK’s Zionist Federation will host David Dolan, billed as a “Broadcast Journalist and Author”, to speak on “Turmoil in the Middle East: What comes next?” Well for Dolan, the answer is the Second Coming. In his book ‘Holy War for the Promised Land’, Dolan shares his own unique ‘analysis’:
I am personally convinced that there are strong supernatural forces at work behind the Arab-Israeli dispute. I cannot help mentioning that I often perceive a certain glowing, otherworldly light behind the conflict…
His website has details of the speaking tour that includes the Zionist Federation date, an event Dolan describes as a meeting with “members of the Jewish community”. Perhaps he’ll share with them his belief in “the only peace process that will ultimately succeed”, namely for “Arab and Jew” to receive “God’s gift of eternal life, offered in his chosen Messiah, Jesus”.
Then there’s Israel lobby outfit StandWithUs, notorious in the US for their ties to Islamophobic right-wing donors and aggressive tactics. A more recent presence in the UK, though already embraced by some student groups, they helped Mordecai Voice arrange a recent rally where signs were held saying “God warns: The nations that refuse to be Israel’s allies will be utterly destroyed”.
Their UK coordinator Gili Brenner will be a guest speaker at a November conference (PDF) called ‘Israel’s Future & Ours’, billed as “a unique, not-to-be-missed Christian conference that will educate, inspire and move you to intercede for the Jewish people”. The conference is being promoted by the likes of ‘The Time is Now’, a site that believes that God will “curse those who curse Israel”.
Alongside the StandWithUs UK coordinator will be speakers from Christian Friends of Israel (CFI), who believe that “God’s time to ‘favour Zion’ has begun”, and Nathan Barnard, whose website ‘The Last Trumpet’ aims to inform Christians “about current events in relation to biblical prophecy”. Another speaker is David Pawson, a pastor who has warned that Britain is on its way to becoming an Islamic state.
Despite discomfort in Israel about such alliances, Israel’s advocates in UK seem glad to get any support they can.
5 thoughts on “Israel’s advocates in the UK cosy up to Christian Right”
Ben, thanks for this excellent exposure of Israel’s dubious allies on the Christian loony-right. They have become a prominent presence in the sea of Israeli flags, with the Union Jacks and St. George’s cross, welcomed with open arms by the Zionist Federation, in their attempts to counteract the Palestine solidarity demos. It is clear where true justice lies, and these Christian Zionists highlight the absurdity and desperation in trying to stem the tide of support for Palestinian rights.
Hmmm… It’s interesting, Ben, that you can understand why some people are antisemitic (even though you are not yourself an antisemite) but you can’t seem to be able to get your head round why others actually love the Jewish people and their state.
Loving the Jewish people and their state… doesn’t give me the right to hate Palestine. The New Covenant does not allow for that. I’m a Christian- I want to live like one. Zionism began as a political movement and remains one today. I see brothers and sisters join this movement without understanding where it came from, or what it’s made of. And rather than search the scriptures to weigh Zionist teachings against the teachings of Christ- they are buckling under the weight of an expectation to conform- showing more reverence to an ideology that to God Himself.
Any movement in the Church that dismisses the teachings of Jesus, justice/mercy, reconciliation, healing, loving your enemy, etc… and favors one people-group over another, needs to be rejected.
I am convinced that if people in the movement were more educated about what Christian Zionism is doing to all the people who live there… they’d stop…and rethink how they can show their love to and for the Jewish people in a ‘Jesus’ way.