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.