Jewish and Christian communities unite to demand release of hostages held by Hamas

Around 7,000 people sang, prayed and chanted together opposite Downing Street


The Jewish and Christian communities came out in force on Sunday to call for the release of the hostages, held in Gaza.

Around 7,000 people sang, prayed and chanted together opposite Downing Street.

Organised by Christian Action Against Antisemitism together with Kidnapped From Israel Human Chain group, the rally was addressed by several speakers, including relatives of some of the hostages. It was also supported by a number of Iranians.

Tom Hand, father of hostage Emily Hand, who turned nine on Friday, told the crowd: “You don’t have to get involved with politics. This has nothing to do with politics. This is purely a humanitarian issue.”

Noam Sagi , whose mother Ada Sagi, 75, was kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Oz, reminded the rally that Hamas was holding both babies and elderly people. “The youngest is 10-months old and the oldest is 84. The elderly are all retired. They all need medical attention. They worked hard all their lives to slow down and spend time with their grandchildren. Now, they find themselves in tunnels with no air, no daylight, no medicine.”

Jacob Vince from Christian Friends of Israel said:  “We mourn the past when there was a lot of antisemitism going under the banner of the cross. […] We mourn the past when, during the Holocaust, 70 per cent of Germany was Protestant Christian and the rest were mainly Catholic. So, many were silent and only a small percentage spoke out.

“Our message to you today is that we will not be silent today. We stand with you, the Jewish community, shoulder to shoulder […] Never again is now.”

At the end of the rally, Elai Sagi, grandson of hostage Ada Sagi, held up a torch – the Torch of Life – which was first lit by the Kotel on November 7, marking one month since the terrorist atrocities. It has since been to America, France, Italy and Switzerland before coming to London. The torch will return to Israel after all the hostages come home, said rally organisers.

Addressing the rally, Gary Mond, chairman of the National Jewish Assembly,  said: “Hamas is not just a terrorist organisation, it’s a genocidal terrorist organisation, which wants to murder every Jew in Israel and every Jew in the world….We are all in this together and we must all fight together against the evil that Hamas represents. “

Sister Glory, who had come on behalf of the Evangelical Sisters of Mary Radlett branch, told the JC: “We love the Jewish people and we wanted to stand with the Jewish people after this dreadful horrific massacre.”

James Patrick, secretary of Love Never fails, an alliance of about 20 pro-Israel Christian organisations, said to the JC afterwards: “Many people in this country are upset and angry about the hatred. This is a time to speak out and many people are. It’s not reaching the newspapers yet, but there is a lot of support throughout the country for the Jewish people.”

Orit Eyal-Fibeesh said that as a British-Israeli citizen, “it felt that for the first time in weeks we were not alone. The rise in antisemitism in the streets has made it feel more hostile, and the collaboration with CAAA and the Iranians felt like we were supported not by few, but by many.

“The love for Israel and the joint call to bring the kidnapped home was overwhelmingly powerful and strong.”

For all the latest from Israel, click here to see all our coverage.

To sign up to our daily war briefing, click here. 

To listen to our new Israel podcast, click here.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive