Helping Israel to survive

The current dismal war in Gaza reveals some learnings about life in Israel, about Israeli society and about the people around the world who support both Israel and oppose antisemitism.

While the hateful rhetoric from many Capetonians and from our own government has left us feeling abandoned, it’s been encouraging to see the extent of Christian support for Israel. The views expressed fly in the face of some South African Christian leaders, but the commitment to the survival of Israel among these people remains resolute.  

One recent incident particularly touched me: three elderly women arrived at our campus in Hatfield Street, hoping to find a way to donate money for Israel. The three – all pensioners – hail from Bonteheuwel and Steenberg, and all are committed to the cause of supporting their Jewish brothers and sisters.

According to one of these women, “I think that the nation of Israel is amazing. Even though they are advanced in so many ways, be it in medical science or agriculture, they are prepared to share their knowledge with whoever wants and needs it.” She went on to say, “We pray for the IDF and the hostages that are being held under appalling conditions. We hope that they will soon be rescued.”

Similar support has been demonstrated regularly by various organisations, such as the SA International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and the South African chapter of Bridges for Peace. The National Director of Bridges for Peace, Chris Eden, made some strong points at a recent function at which an Israeli visitor was hosted. Chris indicated that, while the current conflict is a battle for the survival of Israel, it’s something even bigger: it’s also a fight for the culture and future of the world.

As regards the current situation in Israel, one significant insight relates to the amazing unity within the country – considering the deep divisions in Israeli society prior to October 7th, the transformation into a united society around the single focus of the state’s survival is significant. This is clear from the new face of the army, which today has soldiers from a particularly wide range of backgrounds, beliefs, and types of religious observance. This unity is also evident among Jews from other countries, who are providing support for the country in numerous ways, such as volunteering in agriculture. 

Through togetherness, we can survive the current horrendous assault on our national state and on our people.

In recent months, the community’s focus has been dominated by support for Israel, as well as the rise in antisemitism. This month’s Chronicle continues this focus – with a disturbing editorial from Erin Dodo; a story about volunteering in Israel; and regular columnist Julian Resnick sharing the content of the talk he gave to readers during his recent Cape Town visit.

During March we celebrate Purim. Considering the festival’s history – the foiling of a plot by the Persians to kill the Jews – it will be a particularly symbolic commemoration this year. The players remain similar, especially with Hamas being supported by Iran (which was previously Persia). We hope for the downfall of today’s Persians and their allies!

A Funny By the Editor
I recently listened to a webinar about the Jewish community of Mexico. In a throw-away line the presenter mentioned that the community had a mohel for many years with a name most appropriate to the job. 
The name –  Mr Klip!

• Published in the March 2024 issue – Click here to start reading.

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