Freya Leach

‘Brave Australian Christian Activist’ Freya Leach: An Interview With Avi Yemini

16 February 2024

4.9 MINS

Freya Leach is an articulate, passionate spokesperson against antisemitism with courage beyond her years. She revealed what drives her passion in a recent interview with Avi Yemini.

Freya Leach is the daughter of Mark Leach, who famously waved the Israel flag at the October 9 riots in Sydney. And in the footsteps of her father, she is helping lead the Never Again is Now events that are rolling out across Australia.

This week Avi Yemini from Rebel News sat down to ask her why she is doing what she is doing. The interview makes for a fascinating watch.

The Catalyst: October 9 Riots

While on campus at Sydney University, where she studies law, Freya saw posters promoting the “pro-Palestine” protest. The protest (read “celebration”) was organised immediately after the Hamas invasion of Israel on 7 October — while Israel was attempting to recover, and before a single shot was fired in Gaza.

Having convinced her father Mark to join her down at the Town Hall where the protest was to begin, they were shocked at what was being spoken by the crowd.

That event became the catalyst for the movement they have since founded, Never Again is Now.

“Seeing how full of hate these people are — for Jews, for Christians, for the West, for Israel — that’s what made us go, ‘We cannot be silent now’.”

“This is actually deeper and bigger than what we thought it was.”

Freya then offers this challenge: “You love Australia? You love tolerance? You love peace? You love cohesion? Well, we have to stand for it.”

“Because right now there are people on our streets every single week at these ‘pro-Palestine’ protests that stand against all of those things.”

“So it’s time for Christians to step up and say, ‘We are with the Jewish community and we are standing against hate.’”

The Question from a Jew: Why?

Part inquisitive, part sceptical and part mystified as to why a Christian would stand with Jews in this way, Avi, who is himself Jewish, asked, “Why would you subject yourself to this?”

Freya offered two reasons.

“We owe so much of our faith to the Jewish people. The Jewish people are God’s chosen people. It’s very clear. You just need to read the Old Testament for that. God is the God of Israel. And we owe a debt to the Jewish people.”

“And secondly, it’s the right thing to do. You can’t claim to be for justice and then walk past injustice.”

“You are the standard you walk past. And so if Christians are silent on this when our Jewish community is being attacked, I question how Christian they really are.”

The State of Israel

Avi pushed Freya on how she would respond to those Christians who are making the same arguments, but from the anti-Israel side. Because they too will claim it is the right thing to do to stand up for Palestinians.

“There are a lot of Christians with good intentions”, she responds. “But they’ve been fooled. They’ve been fooled by Iranian [and] Hamas propaganda.”

“And perhaps they don’t understand the true history of Israel. Why we need a Jewish state. Why it is important that there is a place in the world where Jews are safe. And why, as you said, the best thing we can do for Palestinians is eradicating Hamas.”

In addition, Freya points to the living conditions in Gaza despite all the money flowing in. Sadly, Hamas spends much of it on tunnels underneath its buildings, instead of on addressing the real needs of the Palestinian people.

“You just have to compare the living standards between the West Bank to Gaza. The West Bank is not perfect, either, but it’s not run by out-and-out jihadists, whereas Gaza is.”

“Hamas isn’t protecting civilians. They want to maximise civilian casualties for their own cause.”

“Because we love the Palestinian people, we need to get rid of Hamas.”

“All these things that we stand for as Christians — love tolerance, justice — Hamas is the antithesis of this.”

“Israel is actually destroying Hamas. And that is good for the Palestinian people.”

But Israel Hates Christians

Some Christians who do not support Israel raise the objection that Christians are treated badly there. And instances — such as Christians being spat on — do occur.

Does this mean Christians shouldn’t support Israel?

Freya responded to this objection by saying, “I think that’s wrong. That would be like saying, ‘Australians hate all Jews’ because at the Opera House they were saying, ‘Where’s the Jews? F the Jews. Gas the Jews.’”

“It’s not true. There’s a minority of people in Australia that do hate the Jewish people. But the majority of us love them.”

“I think it’s the exact same thing with Israel. I have been so fortunate to meet some amazing Israeli people… and they are beautiful, warm people.”

“You can find and nit-pick things about any country, any culture.”

“You can’t let a few unfortunate incidents taint an entire country… It’s lazy, lazy. So get over it and use your brain.”

Yemini brought up the point that Israel is the only place in the Middle East where the Christian population has grown. And indeed, the statistics are dire for Christianity elsewhere in the Middle East.

One World Watch Research analyst stated that Israel is one of only a few, “if not the only country in the Middle East where the number of Christians has grown over recent years.”

Religion News Service reports a similar, and more concerning, trend about the “Christian exodus” reaching “alarming proportions”. It warns that “Christianity may disappear from Syria and Iraq” if these trends aren’t reversed.

Whatever the challenges for Christianity in Israel — and they are real — they are far, far more severe in surrounding countries.

‘Gas the Jews’ Versus ‘Where’s the Jews?’

Avi asked about the recent NSW Police statement claiming that the chants at the Opera House were not “Gas the Jews” but “Where’s the Jews?”

Her response was that on one level, it doesn’t overly matter what the phrase was. Either way, it was sinister and just as evil.

Avi placed these events in helpful historical context. “In Nazi Germany, when the SS were kicking in doors, they weren’t saying ‘Gas the Jews’, they were saying ‘Where’s the Jews?’.”

Freya agreed, and added, pointedly, “And you know what? On October 7, they found the Jews.”

“When these people go, ‘Where’s the Jews’ and they find the Jews” what happens is “going into homes, burning people alive in their cars, going into pre-schools looking for children. That is what happens when ‘Where’s the Jews’ is successful and you find the Jews.”

“So anybody who thinks ‘Where’s the Jews?’ is somehow better and there’s no antisemitism, [that] this is just Jewish people trying to play the victim: check yourself because you are probably the antisemite.”

Fear Versus Fearlessness

Avi asked one final but vital question: “Are you not scared? You’re putting a big target on your back by leading all of this. I think most Jews are scared.”

In reply, Freya said, “Honestly, no. The true answer is no, I’m not scared.”

“This is… one of the advantages of a Christian. I just go, ‘Well, what is the worst they can do, right? Kill me? Okay, I get to go and be with Jesus.’” (Matthew 10:28).

“I understand why the Jewish community is scared. Because these people, some of them, are really dangerous.”

“But I just go, ‘Well, that’s why we’re here.’”

Find out the dates and register for a Never Again is Now event here.

___

Image via YouTube/Rebel News.

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10 Comments

  1. Jim Twelves 16 February 2024 at 8:47 am - Reply

    Sam, brilliant! Thank you so much for this. Freya’s entry into the debate s so welcome. Her tenacity and courage so contagious! Brilliant!

    • Samuel Hartwich 20 February 2024 at 2:17 pm - Reply

      Thanks again Jim! Contagious – YES!

  2. Helen Gormlie 16 February 2024 at 9:32 am - Reply

    Wow!! What an incredibly courageous, articulate brave young woman. God Bless her and Protect her and her family. And God Bless the Jewish people.

    • Samuel Hartwich 20 February 2024 at 2:18 pm - Reply

      Amen Helen, on all counts!

  3. BB 16 February 2024 at 10:46 am - Reply

    Frankly, for someone who says their a christian and supports the pro-Hamas rallies, I’d ask if they read their Bible, if they even really are a christian. A real christian would know the Jews are Gods people and support them, not to mention supporting anyone who has been attacked by a terrorist attack.

    • Samuel Hartwich 20 February 2024 at 2:21 pm - Reply

      Indeed, and while I was on my journey, I am grateful God opened my eyes through the Scripture.

  4. Kim Beazley 16 February 2024 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    Thanks for highlighting this, Samuel. Young people like Freya, confident and mature beyond their years, have always been deeply impressive to me. I cannot wait to see her in about ten years when she has that wisdom that only life experience can produce, to go with her obvious keen intelligence. She reminds me of Martyn Iles. Both of them will ultimately make a significant positive impact on this nation.

    • Samuel Hartwich 20 February 2024 at 2:22 pm - Reply

      Yes, absolutely Kim. I look forward to God working through both of them for His glory in the years to come!

  5. Kym in Adelaide 18 February 2024 at 8:32 pm - Reply

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