By United Kingdom correspondent, Charles Gardner
Britain toughens up over Iran-backed group threatening Israel
Amidst the ongoing shame of anti-Semitic revelations surrounding the Labour Party, it is no small comfort to hear of positive moves in the opposite direction from Theresa May’s Tory government.
Following an apology of sorts from Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt over Britain’s disgraceful treatment of Jews during their charge of Palestine, Home Secretary Sajid Javid this week announced the full banning of terror group Hezbollah, who have long been committed to wiping Israel off the map. The government have finally accepted that there is no distinction, as previously claimed, between the group’s political and military wings.
At long last we are seeing a clear dividing line between the two main parties, who for the past two decades have become more or less indistinguishable from one another on many important issues including the dreadful social engineering which has seen the Judeo-Christian values of our society progressively replaced by those of aggressive minorities.
But now – over Israel – a gaping chasm has opened up, and Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn had better watch out. A supporter over the years of the IRA, North Korea, Eastern European and other socialist dictatorships, he has also famously referred to Hezbollah, along with equally frightening neighbours Hamas, as “friends”. This certainly suggests that he shares their vision for Israel’s destruction, as apparently does Seumas Milne, Labour’s head of strategy and communications who is considered so influential that he has been referred to as ‘Corbyn’s brain’.
According to The Mail on Sunday1, Milne’s links with terrorist groups dedicated to destroying the Jewish state are decades old. A party staff member, speaking anonymously, said: “Seumas has been supporting groups that deny Israel’s right to exist for many years.”2 Javid said: “My priority as Home Secretary is to protect the British people. As part of this, we identify and ban any terrorist organisation which threatens our safety and security…” It will now be a criminal offence to be a member, or to invite support for Hezbollah, carrying a sentence of up to ten years’ imprisonment.3
Much of what goes on within the ranks of today’s Labour Party could surely be interpreted as “inviting support for Hezbollah”. Only last Sunday Labour deputy leader Tom Watson revealed he had received 50 new complaints relating to Jew-hatred in the previous week! Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show, Watson urged his boss to address “a crisis for the soul of the Labour Party”.
As I’ve said before, the position taken on Israel by nations, governments and even individuals or church denominations will inevitably have a bearing on their respective fortunes. This is based on a crucial verse in the early pages of the Bible (Genesis 12.3) – that if you bless the seed of Abraham, you, in turn, will be blessed, but that if you curse them, you will come under judgement.
Britain has been under a curse since the time immediately before, during and after World War II when we refused entry to their ancient homeland for many of those trying to flee Nazi Europe while at the same time betraying our pledge to resettle them there through repeated appeasement of Arab demands.
But a light has dawned at the Foreign Office, and we pray it will grow ever brighter. However, this is not just a political issue; it is intensely spiritual. And it is thanks in large measure to the efforts of Christians United for Israel UK (CUFI) that we have got this far. Their current campaign, Operation Mordecai, is aimed at alerting government to the grave threat posed to Israel and the West by Iran – supporters of Hezbollah, who have thousands of rockets on Israel’s northern border ready to fire at the Jewish state. It was Mordecai who heard of a plot to destroy the Jews of ancient Persia and successfully persuaded his niece, Queen Esther, to intervene.
CUFI know full well the importance for Christians of standing with Israel. But there is a deafening silence from the church in Britain as a whole. Israel Today journalist Ryan Jones told me: “It always amazes me how even many Christians still don’t grasp Israel’s importance when they can see how much impact policies and positions regarding the Jewish people have on the politics of the world’s greatest powers. How else can one explain the fact that tiny Israel and the Jews are consistently major election issues in the US, UK and other powerful nations?”
Clearly today’s Jews are also under threat from hard-left politicians gaining momentum in our country. Their repeated predicament in past centuries of poverty and persecution in Eastern Europe was brought home this week in a moving personal documentary on the Jews of Leeds by Simon Glass4, some of whose Lithuanian ancestors were taken out and shot, along with the rest of their community, by invading Nazi soldiers. CUFI and others have helped to unveil a modern plot against the Jews. But this isn’t just about preserving freedom, fairness or even lives. We need to clear the obstacles to the preaching of the Gospel – to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile (Romans 1.16).
When Rees Howells and his Bible College students fought the great battles of World War II on their knees in Wales, they were mindful that Hitler’s regime blocked the path to fulfilling Christ’s Great Commission. The Marxist, atheist agenda of the rising tide of hard-left MPs is a demonic distraction from our chief calling. And we desperately need to lance this poisonous boil – not as an end in itself, but so that we can concentrate on focusing the attention of both Jew and Gentile on the destiny of their souls. The Gospel is the absolute priority for our nation. As St Paul wrote: “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” — 1 Corinthians 9.16)
1 The Mail on Sunday, 24th February 2019
2 Quoted by United with Israel, 25th February 2019
3 Christians United for Israel UK, 25th February 2019
4 A Very British History, February 25th 2019, BBC4