The Evangelical Christians Who Support American Jews Wherever Anti-Semitism Is Found

Shortly after a gunman held congregants hostage at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, a young Christian woman visited the rabbi, bringing him flowers and expressing her sympathy and concern. The woman was a representative of the Philos Action League, which is part of a Christian organization called the Philos Project. Maggie Phillips explains its mission:

The Philos Project was founded in 2014 to increase understanding and appreciation for both Judaism and Israel. In 2021, it launched the Philos Action League (PAL), a network of on-call volunteers around the country ready to show up whenever and wherever anti-Semitic attacks occur. Their volunteers often arrive with white roses in hand to show both their Jewish neighbors and the world at large that they stand with the Jewish community. If there is vandalism at a synagogue or cemetery, they place a bouquet of white roses on the site. If there is an anti-Israel demonstration, they stand with the counter-protesters. If there is violence, they show up at the hospital (or memorial site) with a bouquet.

The Philos CEO and founder Robert Nicholson said over the phone that his aim with Philos is to help Christians understand that anti-Semitism “didn’t stop with Hitler.” He began the organization to address what he saw as the problem of American Christians’ poor understanding of (and engagement with) Judaism and Israel.

The idea for PAL was born with the staffer Hannah Garces suggesting members show up with white roses as a tribute to German anti-Nazi activists Hans and Sophie Scholl, who were guillotined by the regime in 1943 for their roles in the student-led White Rose resistance movement.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Anti-Semitism, Evangelical Christianity, Jewish-Christian relations

Ordinary Gazans Are Turning against Hamas—and Its Western Sympathizers

In the past few days, difficult-to-confirm reports have emerged of unrest in the Gaza Strip, and of civilians throwing stones at Hamas operatives. A recent video from Al Jazeera showed a Gazan declaring that “God will bring Qatar and Turkey to account” for the suffering of Palestinians in the current war. Being an agent of the Qatari government, the journalist turned away, and then pushed the interviewee with his hand to prevent him from getting near the microphone. Yet this brief exchange contributes much to the ongoing debate about Palestinian support for Hamas, and belies the frequent assertion by experts that the Israeli campaign is only “further radicalizing” the population.

For some time, Joseph Braude has worked with a number of journalists and researchers to interview ordinary Gazans under circumstances where they don’t fear reprisals. He notes that the sorts of opinions they share are rarely heard in Western media, let alone on Al Jazeera or Iran-sponsored outlets:

[A] resident of Khan Younis describes how locals in a bakery spontaneously attacked a Hamas member who had come to buy bread. The incident, hardly imaginable before the present war, reflects a widespread feeling of “disgust,” he says, after Gazan aspirations for “a dignified life and to live in peace” were set back by the Hamas atrocities of October 7.

Fears have grown that this misery will needlessly be prolonged by Westerners who strive, in effect, to perpetuate Hamas rule, according to one Gazan woman. Addressing protesters who have taken to the streets to demand a ceasefire on behalf of Palestinians, she calls on them to make a choice: “Either support the Palestinian people or the Hamas regime that oppresses them.” If protesters harbor a humanitarian motive, she asks, “Why don’t we see them demonstrating against Hamas?”

“Hamas is the destruction of the Palestinian people. We’ve had enough. They need to be wiped out—because if they remain, the people will be wiped out.”

You can watch videos of some of the interviews by clicking the link below.

Read more at Free Press

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Palestinian public opinion