Gardener's worldThe hot potato that is Israel now quite literally affects what we can buy in our shops.

High-quality Israeli potatoes can no longer be purchased in certain Swiss supermarkets after a major chain caved in to demands for a ban on produce from the Jewish state.

The so-called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement arose as Israel was accused of being an ‘apartheid’ state, spreading rapidly through university and college campuses where gullible young students have taken it up.

Unlike the South Africa of my youth, in Israel Arabs and Jews have equal rights, travel on the same buses and debate with each other in parliament.

Israel is not perfect, but we – as followers of the Jewish Messiah – are called to pray for them (Psalm 122:6), bless them (Genesis 12:3) and proclaim the good news of the one who came “first for the Jew, then for the Gentile” (Romans 1:16). If we are concerned over their unrighteous behaviour, have we prayed? Have we been quick to defend them against growing hate crime? Have we taken opportunities to share the life-transforming message of Jesus with them? They need him as much as we do.

Charles Gardner

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