SA Organisations

Coming to together to honour Israel in song

  • OdesDEISI 0 (1)
Hundreds of Christian Israel supporters poured into a large East Rand auditorium for DEISI’s “South African Night to Honor Israel” event.
by KELLY ODES | Sep 28, 2016

On Sunday evening, hundreds of Christian Israel supporters poured into a large East Rand auditorium for DEISI’s “South African Night to Honor Israel” event. DEISI is the acronym of Defend Embrace Invest Support Israel.

The crowd was on their feet most of the night - singing and dancing for Jerusalem. Young and old, black and white, Jew and Christian, all linking arms and swaying to the tunes of “Avinu Shebashamayim” and “Jerusalem lift up your voice”

DEISI event dancers
Photo Credit: Neville Kahn


Olga Meshoe, CEO of DEISI, opened the event with a statement that set the tone for the evening: “If you are not sure that there are people who love Israel and the Jewish people, I promise that by the end of the night all shadow of a doubt will be gone.”

The night was filled with prayers for Israel and soulful singing, followed by graceful dancers in shimmering costumes. Flags were flying high, both South African and Israeli.

Supporters heard from distinguished speakers from both the Jewish and the Christian communities, honouring Israel. While they acknowledged that SA Jewry often feel isolated and alone when trying to stand up for the Jewish state, Reverend Kenneth Meshoe, leader of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and founder of DEISI, passionately expressed DEISI’s support: “This fight is not your fight alone.”

Israel’s Deputy Ambassador to South Africa Ayelet Black and Chairman of the South African Zionist Federation Ben Swartz thanked the Christian community for its unwavering support for Israel and the community’s deep understanding of the situation there.

Keynote speaker Pastor Dumisane Washington from the US, director of Christians United for Israel, enthralled the audience with his passion and his message to speak out against the “hatred” of BDS and to support DEISI.

He stressed the importance of Christians speaking out against false accusations and negative rhetoric toward Israel.

All the speakers, including Lydia Meshoe, Pastor Olusegun Olanipekun, Pastor Chris Eden and Sifiso Ngwenya displayed an intense connection to Israel - the land where their religion was born.

As hearts warmed and tears swelled, the love and compassion in the room was tangible. Although different religions congregated, the voices harmonised in songs praising Jerusalem.

As an MP and leader of a political party, Reverent Meshoe stressed the need for a government in South Africa that would be willing to have closer co-operation with Israel. He said many of the problems we are faced with in South Africa can be solved through Israeli technology.

He added: “Israel makes deserts bloom… imagine what [Israel] could do with the Karoo!”

He hopes that in time to come Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not only visit East Africa as he did recently, but will make his way down south, too.

It was an uplifting, meaningful and inspirational evening that opened eyes to the groundswell of support for Israel that exists in Christian communities across South Africa. 

1 Comment

  1. 1 Johannes Z Eloff 29 Sep
    I attended driving to the meeting Sunday afternoon from Bloemfontein and returning again after the meeting !! I went with 3 fellow christian brothers- to express our love for Israel and ultimately for the God of Israel.  Also to stand by the SA Jewish community and to thank them for their tremendous contribution to our Beloved Country.
    They are truly a light unto this nation !! The evening was filled with exuberant joy - may that stay with you all in the year to come !! Shalom Dr JZ Eloff


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