A 17-year old Jerusalem girl named Bat Levy was almost unable to compete in Israel’s international youth Bible quiz last week. A chorus of rabbis and anti-missionary activists sought to throw her out. The sober-eyed, dark-haired teen girl is a “world-class Scriptural scholar,” according to the Jewish Telegraph Agency. She’s also a believer in Jesus Christ.
Yad L’Achim, the “big daddy” of Israeli anti-missionary organizations, tried to get her kicked out. Orthodox rabbis run this organization; its director said Levy could have become the “world Bible champion” and her faith in Jesus might lead to Jewish conversions. He said she shouldn’t be considered Jewish herself, or allowed to participate. Levy didn’t advance beyond the first round of the quiz, but the controversy about her participation is just one example of the anti-Christian animus that characterizes Israeli leadership.
The JTA notes, “Israel has an estimated 8,000 so-called messianic Jews. In effect they are crypto-Christians, practicing their faith discreetly for fear of stoking hostility among mainstream Jews. Reprisals can sometimes be violent.”
Unfortunately, most American evangelicals—ardently pouring financial and moral support to “God’s Chosen People”—are unaware that many Orthodox and observant Jews, particularly in Israel, are deeply hostile to their faith. If they know, they don’t seem to care that fellow believers in Christ are subject to harassment and even legal persecution in the “Holy Land.” (See, "Christians in Israel: an Endangered Species")
"Overt proselytizing" is already illegal in Israel, but Yad L’Achim wants even stiffer penalties for Christian missionary activity. It recently sought to enact a six month mandatory prison sentence for proselytizing. The organization’s founding chairman was incensed by arguments for freedom of speech. He retorted that just as Israel forms laws to protect Israelis’ physical well-being, so:
lawmakers must draft legislation against the enemies of our people, the missionaries, who want to destroy the remnant and memory of the Jewish people and convert them to Christianity. There is no doubt that if the security forces came upon people who incited to violence against the state, they would use the law to act against them and not be concerned about impinging on their freedom of expression. In our view, this must be the attitude [to] missionaries who seek the spiritual destruction of Jews and thus to harm the soul of the Jewish nation.
Rabbi Tovia Singer, a lecturer and anti-missionary activist, said Christians who evangelize try “to do to the Jews spiritually what Hamas is trying to do physically.”
This is the attitude of many Israeli and American Jews who are sincerely convinced of their religion. Jewish advocacy groups like the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith seek to silence Christian witnessing as a threat to world Jewry, likening conversion of Jews to a spiritual holocaust. They say Christians threaten the “spiritual survival” of the Jewish people, by trying to persuade them to abandon Jewish rabbinic legalism or leftist Jewish humanism for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
Many convinced Jews take it as their personal responsibility to resist Christian missionaries wherever they are—in Israel and in the USA. Israel already has a law against open proselytizing; American Jews through the ADL are untiring in efforts to pass a federal “anti-hate” law in the United States that could be used to silence Christian expressions of faith here.
Yad L’Achim proudly admits that it “targets every locale where missionaries are active, organizing demonstrations and trying to stymie missionaries…” Their tactics go even farther, to harassment at home and in the workplace.
In 2004, Haaretz wrote about the problem of persecuted Christian believers in Arad. Yad L’Achim organized harassing demonstrations outside believers’ private homes. Haaretz quoted the vitriole of the town’s Ashkenazi chief rabbi: “You disguise yourselves as sabras and smile at us, but you're just waiting for the first chance to grab us and crucify us. Get out of here, hypocrites…You are the ones whose forefathers burned Jews to death throughout all the years of history. You are an abomination in Israel, and therefore you must be spewed out of here."
The Sephardic chief rabbi was also vehement: “Every Jew is obliged to demonstrate against a phenomenon like this, against those who pass themselves off as Jews but infiltrate the weak population groups and start to influence them. And there are people who fall for it.”
These words, spoken by chief rabbis to encourage harassment of Christians, should be taken seriously. They reflect the Talmudic heart of modern observant Judaism. The Babylonian Talmud describes Christ in the foulest, most hateful language—calling him a bastard, a deceiver, an evil-doer now languishing in hell, and calling his followers “idolaters.” (See NPN articles concerning the Talmud)
If modern Judaism is true—as many powerful Jews are convinced—then Christians are dangerous deceivers; our message of peace and freedom through Christ very deeply threatens a religion venerating those who had Christ crucified--the Pharisees.
Harmony Grant writes and edits for National Prayer Network, a Christian/conservative watchdog group.
Let the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith teach you how they have saddled 45 states with hate laws capable of persecuting Christians: http://www.adl.org/99hatecrime/intro.asp.
Learn how ADL took away free speech in Canada and wants to steal it now in the U.S. Congress. Watch Rev. Ted Pike's Hate Laws: Making Criminals of Christians at video.google.com. Purchase this gripping documentary to show at church. Order online at www.truthtellers.org for $24.90, DVD or VHS, by calling 503-853-3688, or at the address below.
TALK SHOW HOSTS: Interview Rev. Ted Pike on this topic. Call (503) 631-3808.
NATIONAL PRAYER NETWORK,
P.O. Box 828, Clackamas, OR 97015