Braving the hailstorm of Gazan rocket fire, Dr. Mike Evans leads delegation of pro-Israel Christian supporters to demonstrate their solidarity with Israel
The delegation led by Dr. Mike Evans, best-selling author, award-winning journalist and American commentator, who founded the Jerusalem Prayer Team in 2002 and Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem in 2015 with the goal of highlighting religious tolerance and investing in dialogue between Christian Zionism, the State of Israel and the Jewish people. Evans has also written a number of books and has provided analysis and commentary on Middle East affairs for a variety of media.
Yesterday Tuesday, Evans and his team toured capital Jerusalem, and then proceeded to Ashkelon and Sderot, both of which have been battered throughout the past week by Hamas rocket fire and suffered heavy damage. Early in the morning, the delegation met with a number of families who were evacuated from their homes in Israel’s south and took refuge over the weekend in new apartments recently added to the Holocaust Survivor Guest House, a 10 million NIS project initiated by Evans that includes 7 apartments adapted and accessible to survivors with facilities and features resembling those of a five-star hotel.
One of the families they met and spoke to were the Senders*. Danny Sender, 12, who was evacuated from his home along with his parents and three siblings ages 9, 5 and 2 and offered temporary lodgings in the Guest House after their apartment building was hit by a rocket, shares, “It was terrifying hearing the sirens all the time. We could be anywhere, but we’d have to drop everything and just run. The last time was a blur. I barely remember grabbing Ofer’s hand. He was playing with his train set and didn’t want to let go. But I just yanked him and pulled him inside. Mom slammed the door behind us, and seconds later, we heard the loudest noise I ever imagined. I can still hear it. The building shook like it was going to fall; we were all screaming. And then, it was eerily quiet for a minute.”
“It’s tough. It’s really, really tough,” expresses Danny’s mom, Adi. “Our apartment was damaged, and the kids are traumatized—but thank G-d, we’re all alive and well and safe here. The opportunity to stay in these apartments after all we endured was a lifesaver. It’s so comforting to know that there are people out there—not just in Israel, but also around the world—who care and want to help.”
From Jerusalem, the delegation proceeded to Ashkelon, Israel’s largest city on the Gazan border, which has been pelted by rocket fire and suffered several casualties since the beginning of this mini-war. They met with police officers who patrolled with them around the city. The visit continued with a tour of Sderot and a meeting with residents in the shelters who were deeply moved by the show of American support of Israel, and culminated with a meeting with Sderot’s mayor Mr. Alon Davidi.
In the course of the visit, Evans repeatedly offered his encouragement to Israeli citizens and expressed his disappointment and appall by the skewed media presentation of the true state of affairs. “The media portrays Israel to look like the aggressor and Hamas like the victim, when the opposite is true,” he said. “It’s a media war and a physical war.”
Evans’ relates that his pro-Israel prayer page, which boasts some 78 million followers, was pulled from Facebook after radical Islamists flooded it with extreme anti-Semitic hate speech. Evans had been hosting a daily global prayer event to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. On Thursday, May 13th alone he had one million engagements and 43 million impressions along with a huge number of people posting anti-Israel statements and anti-Semitic pictures and attacking the site, which caused Facebook to close the page.
He explains that Iran is fueling the conflagration, using the Hamas terrorist group as a proxy to fight its war against Israel and the West. “The media throughout the world is buying into the lie, publishing stories that equate Hamas and Israel with moral equivalency, claiming that Hamas is the victim, beaten up by Israeli storm troopers, but it’s a lie.”
Evans shares that he’s planning a Facebook event that will connect world leaders with 78 million followers in the Jerusalem Prayer Team, “But it’s difficult because these devils are trying to win many wars—media war, social network war and a physical war—all with lies.”
Photos & Video credit Perry Mandelbaum