As British Christians prepare to celebrate a famous milestone in Jewish history, battle lines are being drawn up and some shots have already been fired in anger.
Passions of indignation from left-wing politicians and others are being stirred in response to plans for marking the centenary next year of the so-called Balfour Declaration, through which the British Government promised to do all in its power to facilitate the return to their ancient homeland of the Jewish people.
Lord Arthur Balfour was British Foreign Secretary at the time, the government having over the previous century been influenced by a succession of anointed Christian leaders – such as William Wilberforce, Charles Spurgeon, Lord Shaftesbury and Bishop J C Ryle – along with the fledgling Zionist movement among the Jews themselves.
As it happened, Britain was in Position A to fulfill the pledge she had made within weeks of this announcement when General Edmund Allenby and his forces marched into Jerusalem to end 400 years of Turkish rule over the region.
It should not of course have taken another 31 years for the Jewish state to be re-born, but this extraordinary political act clearly paved the way for such an outcome. And it is something for which British people can be justly proud in spite of the unnecessary delays caused by appeasement in the face of Arab opposition.
But the tide of world opinion has once more turned against God’s chosen people. In 2017 we will also be marking the 70th anniversary of the United Nations vote recognizing Israel to which Britain shamefully abstained. But it was carried by the required two-thirds majority to the great jubilation of world Jewry along with Bible-believing Christians across the globe who were excited by the imminent fulfillment of many ancient prophecies about the return of exiled Jews from the four corners of the earth.
But now this same body has denied historic Jewish ties to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, recognizing them only as Muslim holy sites. Since Islam only emerged in the 7th century AD, and mountains of archaeological and biblical evidence point to Jewish existence there for thousands of years, how absurd is that?
As Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu put it, “To declare that Israel has no connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall is like saying that China has no connection to the Great Wall of China or that Egypt has no connection to the Pyramids.”
Meanwhile Palestinian Authority leaders have – not for the first time – threatened to sue the British Government over Balfour! Perhaps this is what encouraged the outrageous meeting held in the British House of Lords – called to launch a campaign to apologize for Balfour – in which Jews were blamed for the Holocaust.
Hosted by Baroness Tonge, a former Liberal Democrat MP who sits as an independent, the meeting provoked concern about the level of anti-Semitic discourse in mainstream politics and sparked off the subsequent resignation from the party of the baroness. An Israeli Embassy spokesman described the gathering as “a shameful event”.
Participants at the event said that some in attendance made anti-Semitic statements, including blaming Jews or Zionists for the Holocaust. Participants also reportedly drew comparisons between Israel and Islamic terrorists.
This is just the latest in a series of such occurrences involving Tonge, who recently blamed Israel’s treatment of Palestinian Arabs for the rise of anti-Semitism in Britain. In July this year she said that “the treatment of the Palestinians by Israel is a major cause of the rise of extreme Islamism and ISIS.”
Back in 2004, she said she would consider becoming a suicide bomber if she were an Arab living in the Palestinian Authority.
Also in London last week, police were called to the University College after anti-Israel protesters stormed an event organized by pro-Israel advocacy groups. Things were said to have “got out of hand” and officers apparently warned attendees to stay inside for their own protection.
A similar event took place at King’s College, also in London, earlier this year when protesters violently disrupted a talk by Ami Ayalon, ex-Commander of the Israeli Navy and former head of the Shin Bet internal security operation.
But attempts by the UN and others to rewrite history will ultimately fail because God will have the last word. In Zechariah 12.3, the Bible warns that a day will come when the nations will attempt to wrestle Jerusalem from the Jewish people. But they will only ‘injure’ themselves.
Better to give up opposing Israel now than face the fury of the Lord when he comes in his glory round about the time this prophesied event occurs. (Read Zechariah 12–14)
Jesus, the Jew, is coming back to reign on earth. Make sure you are on his side!
Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon, and Peace in Jerusalem, available from olivepresspublisher.com