The moral backbone of the UK Government is once more being tested – this time on the crucial issue of whether or not we will stand with Israel in her time of need.
Stalked by terror and threats on every side, the Jewish state is potentially in as great a peril now as its people were under the Nazis, with an estimated 120,000 missiles pointed at Israeli cities by the Iran-sponsored, Lebanese-based terror group Hezbollah.
And supporters of this vile enemy of democracy have been allowed to march through the streets of London waving an intimidating flag featuring an assault rifle, and calling for the destruction of Israel!
In the wake of a petition signed by over 10,000 people calling upon the UK Government to ban Hezbollah which Home Secretary Amber Rudd has promised to consider, a House of Commons debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was called on Wednesday.
It was perhaps aptly summed up by the sense of de ja vu expressed by one participant as ‘two-state solution’ mantra once more echoed through the chamber.
But Israel clearly still has friends in the UK who understand their predicament. Conservative member John Howell made the point that no lasting peace was possible if Palestinians continue to be indoctrinated to hate Jews and Scottish Conservative Ross Thomson called for a full ban on Hezbollah, adding that Israel was “truly a beacon of democracy in a troubled region”.
Fellow Conservative Theresa Villiers said that glorifying terrorists was part of the problem, mentioning how 25 Palestinian schools had been named after them, and quoting PA leader Mahmoud Abbas as saying, “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem.”
Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt commended Labour’s new MP for Peterborough, Fiona Onasanya, for blaming man’s frailties rather than religion for causing these problems after she had referred to the UK Parliament’s motto, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain” (Psalm 127.1) – inscribed into the stone floor of the central lobby and written in Latin.
Unfortunately, the general misunderstanding of Israel being the ‘occupying power’ skews the narrative in favour of the Palestinians, whereas in truth the Jews are entitled to every square inch of Judea and Samaria – and much more – according to the terms of the international treaty signed at San Remo in Italy in 1920.
The aforesaid petition, launched by Christians United for Israel (CUFI), follows the June 18 Al Quds march through central London during which anti-Israel protestors carried Hezbollah flags.
The terror organization is banned throughout the world – including by the Arab League – but only its military wing is proscribed in the UK. This provided the legal loophole allowing marchers to show their support for its political wing. Yet, by its own admission, Hezbollah does not differentiate between its political and military wings.
“If Britain is to genuinely say ‘no to terror’ then all terrorist organizations must be banned without compromise,” says CUFI UK executive director Des Starritt. “Following the Arab League and the United States in proscribing Hezbollah is one simple step that the UK Government can take in ensuring that extremism will not be tolerated in this country.”
Indeed, what is so complicated about that?
The organization shamelessly calls for the destruction of Israel and now has “more missiles below ground in Lebanon than the European NATO allies have above ground,” according to Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon.
“Hezbollah has placed these positions next to schools and other public institutions, putting innocent civilians in great danger,” he said.
In fact, Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot says “every third or fourth house” of southern Lebanon’s civilian population is being used as human shields for terror activities.
Meanwhile mortar shells have been fired across the Israeli border from the Tehran-backed Syrian army, increasing the prospect of global conflict possibly also involving Russia. And Iran’s long-held aim of wiping Israel off the map was graphically demonstrated at the UN where a photo was shared showing their use of a Jewish ‘Star of David’ symbol as a target for a ballistic missile test.
It’s time our politicians faced up to the fact that the terror tactics we have recently witnessed in Manchester and London were first used on the streets of Israel. Now even Muslim London Mayor Sadiq Khan has reportedly sought help from Israel on security matters.
The Bible says very clearly that if you bless the seed of Abraham, you will be blessed; but that cursing will bring judgment. (Genesis 12.3) In the days leading up to the Balfour Declaration of 1917, Britain ruled the waves and it was said that the sun never set on our empire. But in the last 100 years, during which we have repeatedly betrayed Israel, we have not only lost our empire, but have fallen into decadence and confusion.
Surely we are not suggesting that Israel deserves terror, but we don’t?
Speaking of the future glory of Zion, the prophet Isaiah wrote: “For the nation or kingdom that will not serve you will perish; it will be utterly ruined.” (Isa 60.12)
And it’s also worth noting that former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar has urged support for Israel on the basis that “if it goes down, we all go down”.
He argues that the Jewish state is at the cutting edge in the battle between militant Islam and the West and, in a Times article, concludes: “Israel is a fundamental part of the West which is what it is thanks to its Judeo-Christian roots. If the Jewish element of those roots is upturned and Israel lost, then we are lost too. Whether we like it or not our fate is inextricably intertwined.”
Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon, and Peace in Jerusalem, available from olivepresspublisher.com