A Rebellious Nation

A Rebellious Nation

A Rebellious Nation

Israel’s growing anti-Christian stand

May 8 2008 marking Israel’s
anniversary as a nation has come and gone. Sixty years on, and
the nation of Israel has changed tremendously and still clings
doggedly to two things – (1) Its tenuous foothold on the
land, and (2) Its spiritual blindness concerning its true
Messiah, Jesus Christ.

The prophetic clock is ticking
toward the time when "all Israel shall be saved" but
the cost of this blessing will be overshadowed by the fact that
only a remnant will see the Messiah’s return. Today,
despite the love and tangible support of Christians and certain
sympathetic nations, Israel is showing not just a passiveness
brought on by spiritual blindness, but a militant resistance to
Christianity that is remarkable similar in intensity to that
experienced in strong Muslim communities.

Roy Eitan, of JTA Jewish Global
News Service reports that a 17-year old Jerusalem girl named Bat
El Levy was almost unable to compete in Israel’s
international youth Bible quiz last week. Rabbis and
anti-missionary activists sought to throw her out because she is
a messianic Jew - a believer in Jesus Christ.  Yad L’Achim
director, Shlomo Dov Lipschitz, circulated a letter to
Israel's top rabbis calling for pressure on the Education
Ministry to disqualify Levy from the quiz, which takes place
annually on May 8, Israeli Independence Day.

Lipschitz argued that Levy, who
comes from a family of messianic Jews should not be considered
Jewish. He also included an apparent appeal to prestige - the
fear of traditional Jews being shown up in Bible knowledge by
someone who has mastered the New Testament as well. In his
letter, which was leaked to the Israeli daily Ma’ariv,
Lipschitz said Levy "Has a chance of becoming the world
Bible champion," and this could "greatly
encourage" the spread of Christianity among Jews.

Reprisals against Christians in
Israel can sometimes be violent. Unfortunately, many American
evangelicals who give huge financial support to Israel, seem to
be unaware that many Orthodox and observant Jews, particularly in
Israel, are deeply hostile to their faith. What would be their
response if they knew that many fellow believers in Christ are
subject to harassment and even legal persecution in the
"Holy Land." Witnessing in public 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 against
Christians who witness. When the organization’s Chairman
was challenged by arguments for freedom of speech, he became
angry, replying that just as Israel forms laws to protect
Israelis’ physical well-being, so lawmakers must draft
legislation against the enemies of our people, the
, 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 are
trying "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

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." 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. 

With thanks to