Antisemitism isn’t just ‘on the rise’. It is here. The UK faces the troubling reality that there are those in this nation who are prepared to not just conceal antisemitic thought, but are eager to flaunt it openly.
The protests against Israel, like that we’re seeing on London’s streets, are fuelled by hate. They are not rooted in compassion for the Palestinian people, because if they were, their voices would be brazen against Hamas. Instead, a compassionate Christian response hates evil, defends the truth and prays for peace.
The war between Israel and Hamas has exposed the problem of antisemitism in the UK that actually pre-existed. As Christians, we must call out this evil for what it is and pray for the Jewish community. Pray for God’s protection over synagogues, Jewish schools, community centres, Jewish businesses, Israeli-linked businesses, Jewish-majority neighbourhoods, Jewish students at universities, the Israeli ambassador and embassy, Israeli tourists, Israeli representatives speaking to the media, and members of the Jewish community attending public vigils and demos for the 7th October victims.
The Bible helps us to understand the fruits of darkness that underly the hate towards Israel and related antisemitism. As you pray, position your prayers against the following attributes and declare that the God of Israel has the victory over them.
Misinformation, either deliberate or unintended, causes many to be confused about the moral basis for standing with Israel. The Bible says, “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace,” (1 Cor 14:33). We can ask the question: “Which ‘side’ wants peace? Israel or Hamas?” The answer should leave no confusion.
Ephesians 4:31 says that “bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour and evil speaking” are in direct conflict with the Holy Spirit. The spirit behind antisemitism manifests each of these characteristics. Christians must reject these attributes completely and identify them among the actions and speech of those that hate Israel. We must pray especially for the Church in this nation, that it will rise up against the spirit of anger towards Israel, affirming Ecclesiastes 7:9, “Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, For anger rests in the bosom of fools.” This anger drives antisemites to throw red paint at Jewish properties. Anger is behind the protest chants to wipe Israel off the map. Anger is what causes antisemites to issue death threats against Jewish students. We can ask the question, “Is Israel angry at Hamas’s atrocities against it?” The answer is surely ‘Yes’. But the kind of ‘anger’ we feel against Israel’s enemies produces a different response, because it emanates from a completely different place. Israel’s response is not revenge, but justice. It is not murder, but protecting life. ‘Israel lives. Israel lives’.
Antisemitism is rooted in lies. John 8:44, describes the devil as ‘murderer from the beginning’ and the ‘father of lies’. Blood libels against Jews, justifying Hamas as having good reason to attack Israel, and other falsehoods are not based on misinformation. Let’s be absolutely clear: they are lies from Satan, murderer from the beginning. The one who the Bible describes as trying to steal, kill and destroy. Truth, on the other hand, is truly liberating!
Compare the peaceful Israeli demos in support of the victims of Hamas’s terror attack with the chaotic, hate-driven pro-Palestinian protests in London. Compare the arrest tally or police officers injured (Israeli demos registering ZERO on both counts). Notice how rebellion against truth produces a rebellion against authority. This is evident by the disrespect already shown against the national Cenotaph in London; the damage to public property, and the plan to stage anti-Israel protests on Remembrance Day. Those who stand against Israel are also in direct opposition to Britain standing with Israel. The values that our two nations share are also under attack. The Bible says in 1 Samuel 15:23, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” We must pray that the UK will stand strong in its support for Israel and the Jewish people.
The Bible says that “I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you”. Perpetrators of antisemitism are acting under a curse. As Christians, we must adopt a genuine desire for antisemites to change direction. This is because we love to bless others and want to see Israel and the Jewish people blessed. It’s the blessing of Genesis 12:3 that is part of God’s plan and purpose for His people. We must pray against the cursing that the antisemites have allegiance to and instead declare blessing upon the Jewish people, just as the Bible instructed Aaron:
“This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them:
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”
Thank you for praying with us today.