AMBASSADORS AGAINST BDS SUMMIT
For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their [Israel’s] spiritual things, their [the Christian community’s] duty is also to minister to them in material things.
Fifty years ago to the month, our family disembarked the Queen Mary at a terminal not far from where I was now walking having exited Penn Station on 7th Avenue. With the rising sun barely visible, I felt the same excitement approaching the United Nations building on the East River—it was going to be a great day!
Security and screening was what you would typically expect and lively conversation with other attendees made the two-hour wait memorable.
Once we finally entered the building, the vibe in the General Assembly stood in stark contrast to the hostile atmosphere toward Israel over the last eight years. Filled with more than 3,000 supporters of the State of Israel, the enthusiasm in the great hall reflected a new optimism at the Ambassadors Against BDS summit.
The purpose of the summit is to address the anti-Semitic tone of the United Nations while discussing practical solutions related to combating the BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanctions) movement previously promoted by the UN.
The BDS movement seeks to specifically economically cripple Israeli companies located in Judea and Samaria because they are fallaciously considered “occupied territories” while divesting from businesses that support the modern State of Israel.
Over the past year, the international body of the United Nations has enacted 20 resolutions against Israel, including infamous Resolution 2334 in December of 2016. Curiously, that number compares to only four resolutions for the rest of the 192 member countries combined.
In 2016, the UN began compiling a blacklist of corporations doing business with Israeli companies in Judea and Samaria.
Israel’s Permanent Representative, Ambassador Danny Danon, along with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, strongly assured attendees of their mutual efforts to provide an aggressive push-back against the anti-Semitic tone that has characterized the UN. Both Ambassadors Danon and Haley received resounding cheers and standing ovations for their remarks.
With the crowd exploding into thunderous applause, Nikki Haley reported her contested stance against Richard Falk’s biased “Apartheid Israel Report” resulting in the report’s withdrawal by Secretary-General António Guterres’, deletion from the UN website and the resignation of Palestinian Rima Khalaf as head of the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).
Refusenik and human rights activist Natan Sharansky followed by recounting his harrowing 9-year imprisonment in the Soviet Union stressing that people must remain engaged in the fight against injustice. He thanked all who protested and actively worked to win his release in 1986 stating that every effort no matter how seemingly small is insignificant. He closed by recapping that winning the war against Israel’s enemies and BDS requires a return to moral clarity.
Dr. Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel, for the American Center for Law and Justice—who currently represents Israel at the International Court of Justice at The Hague—struck an emotional chord with the audience saying that he and his parents regularly picketed in front of the UN in the 70s and 80s seeking Sharansky’s release. Persistence pays off!
Dr. Sekulow reiterated that every battle counts; and, as more court cases are won against anti-Semitic attacks, those incidents demonstrably begin to decrease. He encouraged Israel supporters to be vigilant and stay in the fight.
Hundreds of young adults attending the summit energized breakout sessions following the line-up of morning speakers. Presentations and panel discussions focused on empowering students to combat the BDS mentality, provided strategies for confronting discrimination, bias, and hate speech by communicating the truth about Israel and exposing the lies perpetrated through social media.
It was a stellar day interacting with people, community leaders and distinguished pro-Israel activists. Conversations with Jewish people hailing from almost every state on the eastern seaboard and across North America and Europe included expressions of gratitude for evangelical Christians who stand with Israel. I was personally thanked countless times for my demonstration of tangible support for Israel.
On my mind throughout the events of the day, however, was a single nagging question: Where are all the Christians who claim to love Israel!?
Even in a group of 3,000, it isn’t hard to spot other Christians. I bumped into plenty of friends from the Jewish community including a couple of the speakers I’d met at other events. But, in all my interactions through the day, I was unsuccessful in finding even one Christian.
Maybe it’s different in your town; but in my area, there are churches on most roads and certainly many in every borough. Yet, at the Ambassadors Against BDS summit, I kept thinking: Where are the pastors . . . Christian workers . . . pro-Israel organizations . . . church members? There was no recognizable or observable presence.
Walking two miles back to Penn Station from UN Headquarters, I was grateful for the opportunity to not only demonstrate genuine support with the State of Israel, but also for my many friends and acquaintances in the Jewish community who repeatedly acknowledged my position of solidarity with them.
Many fail to understood our Christian obligation to the Jewish community (Rm. 15:27). Unequivocally stated by the apostle Paul, our duty requires more than saying we love Israel. Talk is cheap. Genuine love for Israel requires an investment of time, energy and finances.
You may not have the ease of access that I have to go to the UN to express solidarity with Israel, but everyone has the ability to demonstrate unconditional support of Jewish people in their own community and at a minimum to stand with Israel on social media.
Don’t be a pew warmer. Be informed. Be alert. Use every opportunity to counter misinformation about Israel that will pervade our culture unless we remain vigilant. Not only will you serve the cause of justice, you will most assuredly experience God’s blessing for your solidarity with His Chosen People!
Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. With 40 plus years of ministry experience, Rev. McCracken is known for authenticity in communicating biblical truth that makes his presentations relevant for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church in Bible prophecy. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.
© Charles E. McCracken 2016, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author via Contact Form under ABOUT. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.