Pastor Cwierz, organizer of the rally in Warsaw, Poland (Photo courtesy of Fundacja Pojednanje)
In a small gathering with enormous significance, 130 Christians from 15 different churches braved the sub-freezing weather in Warsaw on Sunday, facing off against neo-Nazi protestors, to support Israel against the United Nations Security Council resolution declaring the Jewish presence in Judea, Samaria, and the Temple Mount illegal.
Fundacja Pojednanje, or the Reconciliation Foundation, a group of pro-Israel Polish churches, called for the rally, saying in a statement, “The passing of this resolution was made possible by the fact that the faithful ally of Israel, the USA, abstained from voting. This resolution sets a dangerous precedent. It opens the door to the enemies of Israel, to terrorist organisations. Therefore, we must not remain silent. Indifference and silence are the worst reaction.”
Pastor Edward Ćwierz, head of the foundation and pastor of the Tent of David Church in Warsaw, called those gathered to action, saying, “We’re here to make Poland resound with the voice of justice, like the sound of the shofar! The voice of dissent overt injustice! The voice of support and solidarity with the people of Israel. We must understand that this UN resolution is anti-Semitic, and we, as Polish Christians, oppose anti-Semitism!”
Pastor Ćwierz is an active pro-Israel Christian voice in Poland. He organized the foundation’s “March of Life” last March commemorating the 70th anniversary of the tragic pogrom that killed 42 Jews after the Holocaust and led to the migration of most of the Jews who remained in Poland after the war.
“We are here because we sense the atmosphere of madness and insanity, in spirit of which, for centuries, Jews were blamed for all the woes of the world,” Pastor Ćwierz declared to the crowd. “We are here because we remember the high price of silence of people of the world, when the Jews were harmed beyond measure during the dark night of the Holocaust. It still seems as if it happened yesterday, but human memory is far too short.”
Jewish leaders attended as well. At one point, Pastor Ćwierz danced with the Chief Rabbi of Poland, Michael Shudrich, to a Hebrew song. Also in attendance was vice-ambassador of Israel Ruth Cohen Dar.
However, the rally was marred by a group of neo-Nazi “ultra-Nationalists”, who showed up to protest. The far-right group waved Hezbollah and Palestinian flags and brandished signs calling for a “Greater Catholic Poland”. They denounced Israel as a terrorist state, claiming that the Islamic State (ISIS) was created by Jews in Saudi Arabia.
“It actually made our demonstration more legitimate,” Andrzej Ćwierz, the pastor’s son, told Breaking Israel News. “A lot of people passing by joined us for dancing and singing.”
Andrzej explained his reasons for attending were directly related to Scripture.
“We are, a group of Christians, who believe in the Word of God, in the truth of the Scriptures, and it seems like we are the few that still have a voice of reason,” Andrzej said. “it is easier than ever to justify standing with Israel. For my secular friends, the biblical reason for Israel’s existence does not matter. But to me, it seems like God was right all along.”
The foundation is preparing an online declaration of solidarity with Israel, which includes Israel’s right to exist “from the river Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea”, with Jerusalem as “an undivided city”.
A Sa’ar 4.5-class Corvette of the Israeli Navy fires its canons during a naval exercise off the coast of Israel.
Israel’s Defense Ministry on Sunday announced a series of deals for the purchase of combat systems from local defense industries in the amount of $420 million by the end of this year. This is part of a project to acquire warships whose mission would to protect natural gas platforms within Israel’s “economic waters” in the Mediterranean against military threats.
An Israeli soldier training in Krav Maga.
Several dozen members of the Indian military are currently learning how to protect themselves using the Israeli martial art of Krav Maga, India Today reported this weekend.
“I brought Krav Maga to India in year 2002 after intensive training in Israel,” Vikram Kapoor — the head instructor at the International Krav Maga Federation — was quoted as saying. “This is the only self-defense technique that is being evolved every moment and that is why it is the best.”
Culminating a three-year process, delegates at the Mennonite Church USA assembly in Orlando on Thursday adopted a resolution titled “Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine,” with approximately 98 percent voting in favor. The resolution calls on members to “avoid purchase of products associated with the occupation or produced in settlements in occupied territories.” It also establishes a process for the church to review its investments “for the purpose of withdrawing investments from companies that are profiting from the occupation.”
Rabbi Steven Wernick says Netanyahu recruited progressive Jews to find a compromise for the holy site; now that the PM has reneged, world Jewry won’t be silent
The fight for pluralistic prayer at the Western Wall is a battle already won by Jewry’s Conservative movement. For some 20 years, Conservative Jews have inhabited a spiritual home at Jerusalem’s contentious holy site, which they won through a series of Supreme Court cases — in a section allocated to the Davidson Archaeological
Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. (Photo credit: hebron.com)
In a secret ballot held at the World Heritage Committee’s 41st annual summit in Krakow Poland, on Friday, UNESCO voted twelve to three in favor declaring the Holy City of Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs “Palestinian world heritage sites”.
The resolution described a Muslim history of the city while blatantly ignoring the Biblical narrative describing 3,000 years of Jewish connection to the site. Six countries abstained from the controversial vote which, at the request of Poland, Croatia, and Jamaica, was a secret ballot; a first for such a vote.
During last month’s 2017 Chicago Dyke March, the true face of “inclusion” among “progressives” finally surfaced. According to the Chicago based newspaper Windy City Times, the march proceeded calmly with people “of all races, genders and gender identities” attending, until “the Dyke March Collective ejected three people carrying Jewish Pride flags (a rainbow flag with a Star of David in the center).”
Something is terribly broken in the relationship between American and Israeli Jews. I say this as an American Jew who has lived in Israel for almost half a century. But if anyone thinks this started with Women of the Wall or PM Netanyahu’s recent – and I believe unfortunate – backtracking on the agreement over egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel, he is suffering from selective memory, if not total denial.
gentleman from times gone by. He was soft-spoken, courtly, and wore his pants hoisted high and held up by suspenders; clearly, a European who had personally endured horrors in the last century.
Indeed, he had personally survived the Holocaust in Poland. Therefore, I could not immediately understand why he now attends a very left-wing synagogue—but, totally incomprehensible, was his unexpected and rather passionate defense of Poland and of the Poles. He argued on their behalf as if his very life still depended upon it.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s decision to visit Jerusalem but not Ramallah has prompted much comment.
The expectation of equal treatment goes back to the Oslo Accords’ signing in Sep. 1993, when the prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, represented his government in the handshake with Yasir Arafat, the much-despised chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. No one found it strange or inappropriate at the time but things look differently nearly a quarter century later.
Matthew Healy at the Atlantic, one of the few remaining liberal anti-censorship magazines, offers a disingenuous counterpoint to the debate over political correctness.
The attempts to silence dissenting points of view are counter-speech, according to Healy. And counter-speech is an important form of free expression.