Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, Isaiah 40

Just Being There

May 6th 2002 - Peace Rally in Trafalgar Square

The rally was organized by Israel Solidarity

We heard about it from the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem

We met up with a bus at a synagogue in Birmingham for the journey down to London.

We parked with all the other busses on The Embankment

We were asked to pick up placards when we got there rather than taking our own.

They had provided suitable slogans for the Christians who had said they were coming.

 

We shared one saying,  "We are Christians who stand with Israel"

The warmth of the Jewish people was fantastic.  A quite orthodox gentleman came up and shook my hand and thanked me for coming.  Several Jewish ladies thanked my wife, some with tears in their eyes.

The whole crowd was very polite, good natured and co-operative with the police and organizers.

The estimated number at the rally was given as fifty five thousand, but this was revised later to thirty thousand.

Three hundred Palestinian supporters were kept a short way away by the police.  They spent the duration of the rally shouting and Jeering but they failed to provoke the Israel Peace Rally crowd.

We were addressed by Peter Mandelson, Michael Ancram, the Bishop of Oxford, Binyamin Netanyahu, Jonathan Sacks and Mrs Evans (mother of a girl nearly killed in a terrorist outrage in Israel)

The rally concluded with singing of the National Anthems.   "God Save the Queen" and "Ha Tikvah" (the Hope).

(I was just sorry that I didn't know the words of Ha Tikvah)

I was interviewed by Tim Vince with a TV crew from Revelation TV as to why we were there.  The interview probably never got used but as I explained, "we Christians have Jewish roots so Jewish people and Israel are very important to us" I saw a little group of Jewish children watching with eyes like saucers.

That alone made the whole day worthwhile.

So what was so important ?

Just being there!

I believe we were privileged to be there to see part of the fulfilment of Malachi 4 v5-6,  

"See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes.   He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."

We are witnessing a coming together of "the fathers" -  ( the Jews)  and "the children"  -  (the Church)

(Sadly, one man was hospitalised with an iron bar  on his way home; apparently because of his Israel flag.)

In November 2016, the Metropolitan Police started warning organisers of pro-Israel events not to make their location known for fear of violence.

 

See also Being There 2 - Vigil for three kidnapped soldiers.

 

updated 07/11/16

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