As part of the communal response to the growing assault on Israel’s legitimacy in UK Churches and the unfortuante events at a recent meeting of the Church of England General Synod, the JLC recently took a delegation of leaders from several Christian organisations and Churches to Israel and the Palestinian territories.
The group had the opportunity to meet with and question Israeli officials, citizens and clergy. There were many highlights throughout the trip, including meeting with Pastors Steven and Dr. Naim Khoury, leaders of the Holy Land Missions, the largest Christian Arab Evangelical ministry in Israel. Both spoke about the persecution of the Evangelical Christians by the Palestinian Authority, a narrative not often heard. The delegation also enjoyed a briefing by Mark Regev, spokesperson to Prime Minister Netanyahu on the current challenges facing Israel. The trip included a tour of Sderot with Rabbi Shmuel Bowman, Executive Director, Operation Lifeshield, an organisation dedicated to providing reinforced shelters to Israelis living in areas that often come under rocket fire. The tour included a visit to the world famous Sderot Media Centre and entrance to the local Police Station to view a small fraction of the Kassam rockets that have been fired into Israel. The group enjoyed a briefing with Forsan Hussein, CEO of the Jerusalem YMCA. Forsan spoke about his vision for Israeli Arabs and the challenges faced by Israeli Arab citizens. On the last day, the delegation had lunch at the Knesset followed by a briefing with Member of Knesset General Elazar Stern and Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein. The participants were overwhelmed by the top level officials that they met and are very grateful to the JLC for facilitating the trip.