Jonathan Feldstein
Husband, father, grandfather, bridge-builder, Zionist

MP Steven Swart An Anchor of Support for Israel in South Africa

MP Steven Swart (courtesy of the Genesis 123 Foundation, “Israel the Miracle”)

Steven Swart is a South African member of parliament from the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and a friend. He’s not just a personal friend, but a friend of Israel and the Jewish people. He is an anchor of support within South Africa, representing millions of people like him who love and support Israel because of their Christian faith, moral foundation, and awareness that it’s not just good politics but good values.

While MP Swart and the ACDP indeed represent millions of South Africans, because the South African government has become so hostile to Israel, his words are all the more significant. He is the recipient of lots of pressure. In this light it’s all the more important that he and his words be celebrated and publicized, and that Israelis and Jews worldwide hear and be inspired by them. It is particularly relevant now, as we celebrate Chanukah, and thank God for the miracles He performed, in those days and at this time. As Jews, we must listen, celebrate, and publicize these.

MP Swart’s words are also important for Christians, who understand that support for Israel and the Jewish people is a cornerstone of their faith, but for whom many don’t have the depth of knowledge and experience that he has. Yet his voice is clear, unwavering, and relevant to Christians of all backgrounds, on every continent.

I met and got to know Steven Swart in the context of editing and publishing my new book, “Israel Miracle.” This is an historic compilation of essays by 75 Christian leaders from around the world celebrating Israel’s 75th anniversary. Unfortunately, the anniversary celebrations have been overshadowed by the war, but the message of “Israel the Miracle” and its array of authors is no less significant today. Indeed it is more so.

When I reached out to him to invite him to be part of the book and submit his own essay, representing South Africa and the African continent, responded immediately, affirmative, without hesitation. He was grateful to be included in such a project. As grateful as he was, he is just as deserving.

In his essay for “Israel the Miracle,” MP Swart drew upon previous South African support for Israel as a foundation of how relations should be, “South Africa was one of the thirty-three countries that voted in favor of United Nations Resolution 181 in 1947, paving the way for the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.”  He juxtaposed that history with the present reality, “Sadly, on March 7, 2023, the South African Parliament adopted a resolution calling for the South African government to downgrade our embassy in Israel-while many African countries are strengthening diplomatic and trade ties with Israel.”

“Israel the Miracle” courtesy the Genesis 123 Foundation.

For Christians wondering why they should care, as Christians, MP Swart also naturally drew on his faith, quoting the legendary late Chrisitan biblical scholar, author and teacher, Derek Prince. “Without the Jews, we would have no patriarchs, no prophets, no apostles, no Bible, and no Saviour! Deprived of all these, how much salvation would we have left to us? None!  The nations of the earth owe all that is most precious in their spiritual inheritance to the Jews. This is true of all of us-whether we be Arabs, Africans, Asians, Europeans, Americans, or Chinese. We all owe a spiritual debt to the Jews that cannot be calculated…I owe my whole spiritual inheritance, and every spiritual blessing I have ever enjoyed, to the Jewish people.”

These and other theological pillars of Christian support of Israel make “Israel the Miracle” so timely, and MP Swart’s words especially so. He is clearly governed by his Christian faith, but what MP Swart demonstrates is that faith and good policies are not only not contradictory, but complementary. He strives for better, stronger, enduring relations between South Africa and Israel not just because it’s the right thing to do biblically, but because it’s good for South Africa.

Expressing his support for Israel to a recent Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast event in the Knesset, MP Swart made a powerful video which he’s allowed me to share widely.

There are many other Christian leaders around the world who could also have been featured in “Israel the Miracle,” combining their faith along with outspoken and active support for Israel. These include no shortage of current parliamentarians and other government leaders in many countries. Steven Swart has the distinction of being the only sitting member of government or parliament to be featured in the book.

MP Swart’s essay for “Israel the Miracle” and his recent video are merely two of many tangible demonstrations of support for Israel, in his personal life, through his faith, and as an anchor in the South African parliament. He is a particularly important ally in light of his government’s no less strong anti-Israel stance, one that has distinguished South Africa as one of the world’s most rabid anti-Israel non-Arab or Islamic governments.

Thanks to Steven Swart, we have many other miracles to celebrate this season.

About the Author
Jonathan Feldstein made aliyah in 2004, is married and the father of six children, two children in love, and three grandchildren (so far). He is a long time Jewish non-profit professional. As president of the Genesis 123 Foundation ( he works closely with Christians all over the world who support Israel, building bridges in ways that are new, unique and meaningful. He hosts the Inspiration from Zion podcast, and published a stunning book, "Israel the Miracle" to celebrate Israel's 75th anniversary, featuring 75 essays from Christian leaders all over the world (