Noam Bedein 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
As director of the Sderot Media Center, I find it important to speak to
university students and other young audiences.
During my fourth visit to
the Christian Zionist communities in Norway, where I was invited by a Christian
pro-Israel advocacy group called MIFF, I took part in a media conference in
Oslo. I talked about what it is like to live under the constant threat of
missile fire from Hamas-ruled Gaza.
I defended Israel’s blockade of Gaza
as a legal and necessary measure against an entity sworn to its destruction. I
can’t begin to describe the comfort I felt at the sight of huge Israeli flags
waving from the terraces of pro-Israel Christians.
Where only moments
before I was drowning in a sea of hatred, with every headline screaming “Israel
massacres human rights activists,” these Christian Zionists unapologetically
took a stand for Israel. While European politicians were calling for a boycott,
the Christian Zionist communities made a point of purchasing products made in
Being raised in an Orthodox Jewish home, it has been somewhat of
an experience for me to feel at home with a Christian community. Only they
understand when I point out that the Middle East conflict is a religious
war. These communities support the Jewish people’s right to live in the
Land of Israel.
When I get up, Bible in hand, and say, “Here in this
Bible is the Word of God saying that the Land of Israel belongs to the People of
Israel. We have every right to live in Sderot and any other part of the Land in
peace and security,” the audience cheers and says, “Amen!”
It was New Year’s Eve
2010 when I first met the presidential candidate of Zambia, Dr. Savior
Chishimba. Savior, a devout Christian, came to take part in the Sderot Rally for
Hope – an initiative of the Sderot Media Center – commemorating one year since
Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. Dr. Savior represented the African civilians who
fell prey to acts of terror from radical Islamic forces during the past
Nowadays, most African countries do not have diplomatic relations
with Israel, having succumbed to the Arab boycott.
Traveling to Africa, I
was invited to speak at the Kenya Security Council and at two Kenyan
universities where most of the students are Christians. I was able to talk
openly about life in Sderot, plus Islamic terror and the necessity for a
security barrier between Israel and the Gaza Strip. This was mentioned in
context to the parallel threat facing Kenya and the importance of a barrier
between Muslim Somalia and Christian Kenya, where approximately 5,000 Muslims
infiltrate daily, including radical Muslims who carry out terror attacks on
Our paths crossed again in March at the Jerusalem House
of Prayer in Lusaka, capital of Zambia, where I was invited to
speak. Savior said he was planning another visit to Israel, and I invited
him to join my family for Passover Seder night.
Dr. Savior indeed joined
my family for Seder night in Efrat, Gush Etzion. He took delight in the
rituals he witnessed at our Seder table. He enjoyed the taste of his
and loved the idea of drinking four cups of fine wine! He followed the
Israel’s Exodus with rapt attention, and it was clear that he was
His parting words were a promise to renew diplomatic ties when
elected president and to set up Zambia’s embassy in Jerusalem. “I plan
the Christian majority in Zambia to the importance of having ties with
Jewish people,” he said. “Whosoever blesses the Jewish people will be
and whosoever curses the Jewish people will be cursed. You see that all
the nations are now coming out against Jerusalem and the Jewish people,
have nothing to fear!”
When he left, someone at the table declared, “Elijah the
Prophet has come!” Noam Bedein is a photojournalist,
founder/director of Sderot Media Center.