Josh Reinstein from the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus talks about his work building relationships between Jews and Christians direct from Parliament; and the effects the BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) is having on the people of Israel.
(Credits on all photos: The Jerusalem Channel)
Paul: First of all Josh what is the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus?
Josh: The Knesset Christian Allies Caucus is a group in the Israeli Parliament. It’s members range from left to right, religious and secular who work together to mobilize direct lines of communication, co-operation and co-ordination with Christian leaders around the world. Whether it be political leaders, leaders for organisations or churches. We realise that in the 21st Century there needs to be a new relationship between Jews and Christians in support of Israel who work to develop what we call faith based diplomacy.
Paul: Is that relationship good at the moment?
Josh: Absolutely. I think that this year is probably the most successful year for faith based diplomacy. A lot of things that we are seeing around the world; from the Tel Aviv embassy move to Jerusalem, the US embassy to the Guatemalan embassy to a lot of the anti-BDS legislation are happening because of grass roots Christians making a stand and demanding their parliaments and their governments to stand with the state of Israel.
Paul: You just came back from the UK and spoke in the British Parliament. What were you speaking about inside Parliament?
Josh: We met with our sister caucus, the British Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucus. It is headed up and chaired by a member of Parliament, Mark Pritchard. He hosted an event to discuss BDS, the newest form of Anti Semitism and EU regulations on labelling goods from Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem, and the Golan heights. We see this as a revitalisation of the Nuremburg laws of the 30’s where they are once again labelling Jewish goods unfortunately in Europe.
Paul: So this was members of the Knesset and British parliament meeting together. Which MK’s from Israel went and which MP’s did you meet in the UK?
Josh: We came with two members of the Knesset and we met with several MP’s and a couple of Cabinet ministers as well. I don’t remember all their names as I said it was hosted by Mark Prichard. We always try to do everything bipartisan here. Someone from the Likud Sharren Haskel, who is the acting chair person of the Knesset Christians Allies Caucus, as well as Orit Farkash-Hacohen, who is from the blue and white opposition party. These issues like BDS and anti-Semitism are not partisan politics here, both the right and the left stand together against this new form of anti-Semitism.
Paul: How dangerous is the BDS movement and are they powerful and are they winning the boycott of Israel race?
Josh: I think they are losing the boycott of Israel race. We can see this in trade all over the world. The anti-BDS legislation is in 27 states, which kind of took three and a half trillion dollars off the table for any company that wants to be involved in BDS, so it’s really been effective. We saw this with the case of AirBnB where they had to retract their boycott of Judea and Samaria. The problem with the BDS is that it’s becoming something that is seen as normal and mainstream. Anti-Semitism have basically taken the idea of boycotting Jews in the 30’s and they have just replaced the word Jew with Israel, so instead of boycotting Jewish professors they say boycott Israeli professors. Instead of saying don’t do business with Jewish businesses, they say don’t do business with Israeli businesses and it is a very scary thing to see this become talked about in the main stream. We have members of Parliament in the UK who are supporting the BDS and to be anti-Semitic like that is a dangerous policy.