Jews commit to protect Christians and I was the only Protestant Communion representative

AIC-W Primate Archbishop Clive, with FatherGabriel Nadal of the Greek Orthodox church in Israel and Momseñor Carlos Osoro, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Madrid.

AIC-W Primate Archbishop Clive, with FatherGabriel Nadal of the Greek Orthodox church in Israel and Momseñor Carlos Osoro, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Madrid.

I WITNESSED HISTORY BEING MADE I wasn’t around when UK Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain held the piece of white paper in his hand as he exited an aeroplane on 30th September 1938 (pretty close to the day of my conception), shouting “Peace for our time” but I was present as a Guest of Honour at Madrid’s Central Synagogue on 23rd June. The occasion was one on which the Synagogue was open to Jew and Gentile alike, and women were not banned to the upper gallery as observers (unless they felt happier following the usual Jewish custom) but one of solidarity, the like of which I never thought I would live to see – let alone be present to hear. It was only 16th June when we received the invitation. Driving was out of the question and the AVE fast train was too expensive. God awoke Ann at 5am with the thought that she should check ALSA coach – like the USA Greyhound service.  We chose seats 33 and 34 to watch the countryside pass us by. The price was 104€ TOTAL for BOTH of us BOTH ways. We parked about 150m from the bus station in Denia and caught the bus at 9.30am. We were in Madrid soon after 4.30, via Calpe, Benidorm, Alicante and Albacete. A taxi took us from Madrid Sur bus station to Trafalgar Hotel, and Ann went on her usual ‘reccy’ to find the nearest supermarket and the best route to the Synagogue in Calle Balmes. Security in the area around the Synagogue was frightening, with National Police in black uniform, sniffer dogs checking every parked or approaching car, and shadowy figures holding Kalashnicov assault rifles at the ‘ready’. Even asking about the venue seemed as suspicious as planting an explosive device, and Ann was told the meeting was in a rear hall. As I stepped out from the entrance hall of Trafalgar Hotel into a strong breeze, there was a huge flash of lightning, thunder clap to match as if God had struck the Synagogue, and ‘stair-rods’ of rain dropped from the sky. Was this really, ‘Showers of Blessing’? We waited for 10 minutes and I hailed a taxi. I had all my ‘vestments’ in a large suitcase and the driver made no effort to get wet by helping, so Ann opened the front passenger door and plonked the suitcase on the seat. The driver would break the law if he drove like that, so dragged out the suitcase – as Ann and I sat in the back seat – and put it in the boot, looking like a drowned rate when he returned. The driver knew where Calle Belmes was (200m away) but everytime he came close he was hampered by a NO ENTRY sign. Even I could see that he was ‘lost’ when he took me past the Erotique Massage Salon for the third time. His Satnav took us to the Synagogue, but his insistance that he knew best, cost us 15€. We had to show ID and that our names were on the list of Invitees (lots of fun in the pelting rain trying to explain why Clive does not begin with a C, but with an A for Archbishop. “You can go in but your case goes through that other door” but it contained my ‘fancy dress’ so a Conscierge opened it and punched the content with his fist (had I been a terrorist he’d have been ‘armless’) and I was told Icould ‘change’ in the ladies’ toilets. I did, and left the case beneath the washbasin. Returning two hours later my suitcase had provoked it’s own bomb alert, and had been placed in a bomb-proof cupboard. Only around 50% of the allocated seats were occupied, less intrepid travellers being put-off by the torrential rain. Many people I thought I’d meet again, like Mariano Blasco the Secretary of FEREDE, and Bishop Carlos from the Reformed Episcopal Church in Madrid were absent but I was escorted to seats, bearing our names. Many of the speeches were predictable, but the video presentation was supported by sub-titles in Spanish. I was watching and hearing TV reporters talking of the persecution of Christians (to Jews? – come on, non Messianic Jews don’t even revere Him) and I heard the request for Jews to unite in protecting Christians. It was unbelievable. One speaker summed it up so simply “Who knows more about persecution for their faith, than Jews who lost six million of our number in the Holocaust?” As requested I had prepared the following words to explain my presence:
“SHALOM
Having been born in England, I was educated with the belief that the rest of the word was learning English, so I needed to do nothing to communicate with anyone I met. I do not speak Hebrew, though it is my belief that I will in the AFTER LIFE. Today, I hope you will understand my attempt to great you in Spanish, the language of my adopted country. I bring Episcopal greetings to you from Independent Anglicans Worldwide – who maintain torah teaching on sexual behaviour and other topics with which ‘the enlightened people of 2015’ disagree. Two visits to Israel were the highlights of the lives of my wife and I. We pray daily for Peace in the Middle East, the protection of God’s chosen people, and that Jerusalem will be universally recognised as the Capital of Israel, with Temple Mount being a place of unhindered access for people of all faiths – or none. We pray for the safety – and respect of ALL life – of people of all Torah-based faiths”.