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Christians And Jews Unite Against Hate

by | Fri, Feb 23 2024

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Around 10,000 Australians gathered at The Domain in Sydney last Sunday (February 18) to help launch a nationwide campaign against anti-Semitism. The Never Again Is Now event drew together Christians and Jews in a mark of solidarity, led by Jewish Anglican minister Mark Leach who set the agenda for the day by saying: “Every Christian person owes a debt to the Jewish people. Every spiritual blessing that any follower of Jesus has, they have because of the Jewish people. Now is the time to pay that debt. Now is the time to stand against hate and with those to whom we owe everything in terms of our faith.”

Samuel Hartwich wrote in The Daily Declaration: “Considering the backdrop of darkness that called for the event, the uplifting atmosphere immediately stood out. The crowds were both reflective and jubilant, contemplative and joyful – but overall celebration was central. Music and singing interspersed the afternoon. During one song, up to a dozen people formed a ring as they danced jubilantly to the words: Make He make peace upon us; And on all of Israel.

A display of the 134 remaining hostages with each of them represented by a cardboard silhouette was a powerful reminder that the war to free them is still going on.

Speakers included former Prime Minister Scott Morrison, indigenous campaigner Warren Mundine, Senator Jackie Lambie, Australian Christian Lobby CEO Michelle Pearse, Dean of St Andrew’s Cathedral Sandy Grant, Liberal MP Julian Leeser, Liberal Senator Hollie Hughes, former Labor NSW Treasurer Eric Roozendaal, Iranian community leader Daniel Taghaddos, and former deputy Prime Minister John Anderson.

Mr  Morrison highlighted Australia’s commitment to the Jewish people and against anti-Semitism. He called on Christians to pray for a deep and real peace. “There will be no peace in the Middle East while the Palestinian cause is championed by terrorists, by Hamas and Hezbollah, and by those who in support of this cause, are prepared to make excuses for terrorists. To engage in acts of anti-Semitism and draw an equivalence between the barbaric and calculated attacks of terrorists on October 7 and a nation-state exercising its right of self-defence.”

He added he still has hope: “I have always believed in miracles. And I will continue to always pray for an incredible miracle in the Middle East.”

Warren Mundine reminded the crowd of William Cooper the 78-year-old Aboriginal pastor and founder of Aborigines Sunday which became NAIDOC Week, who in 1938 led a delegation of the Australian Aboriginal League to the German consulate in Melbourne in response to Kristallnacht. Mr. Mundine noted: “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders bravely served in the Second World War to defeat the Nazis. Thousands of them. Standing shoulder to shoulder with the Jews in a war between civil society and Nazi savagery.”

Mr. Hartwich reports many speakers made numerous references to Australia’s Judeo–Christian values. “Hearing a public proclamation of Christianity’s immense positive role in creating and sustaining our nation was immensely refreshing. And most necessary. Anti-Semitism was the immediate and urgent concern at the event. But the larger issue of our cultural decline overshadowed it,” he wrote in The Daily Declaration.

Julian Leeser proclaimed: “Today is not about the Jewish community. It’s about the sort of Australia we want our kids to grow up and live in. What we have here is so important and so worth defending. Australia is a nation with a culture that is free, tolerant and temperate — based on the Judeo-Christian ethic — with that radical idea that whoever we are, we are all created in the image and likeness of God. And so we derive our human dignity from that very fact.”

He concluded: “If we don’t stand with each other, the fate that befalls one will befall all. Let us all keep fighting for the Australia we know and love.”

John Anderson was the final speaker. He observed: “In 2024, we find ourselves in a civilisation moment. Just as in the 1930s, the warning signs were there, but “the whole mess was made infinitely worse because people refused to take a strong stand early on. We are at another civilisational moment. And the longer we ignore it, the longer we refuse to stand against it, the more likely it will be that it will end badly.”

To great applause, Mr. Anderson concluded: “The sooner we stand up, the sooner we can restore sanity. You will never displace darkness with darkness. You will only displace darkness with light. This is only the beginning. Don’t go home and think you’ve done your bit. Let us be prepared to stay the course.”

Reverend Leach left the crowd with these words: “What we have seen here is the birth of a movement to reclaim the cultural values of Australia. This is just the start of what we are going to do in this great country of ours.”

Photo: Facebook – Never Again Is Now (SB Creatives Photography)