February 15 – 2000




The number of articles found in the Israeli media’s coverage of matters related to Messianic

Jews, the Mission, and other Christian matters came to a total of 135.


Of the 135 articles, 37 focused on missionary and anti missionary activity, 17 articles dealt

with Christmas and the millennium, 14 articles reported on the visit of the Orthodox

Patriarchs to Jerusalem, 11 articles dealt with Christian tourism and Christian sites in Israel.

10 articles covered the Pope’s expected visit in March, and 4 articles dealt with a nun’s visit

to a religious school. The remaining 42 articles were on miscellaneous topics dealing with

Christian. Arab or Jewish matters on their own merit.


I know Your Enemy: the Missionary (Kol Ha’aretz, Nov-Dec 1999)



This article, printed in a religious Jerusalem monthly, reveals the sly tactics of missionaries,

as a warning to anyone who might accidentally fall prey to their attempts at converting Jews

to Christianity.


According to the writer, Saturday nights is the time these missionaries operate. They sing and

dance on the streets, causing people who are passing by to stop and clap and sing along.

Some even get into discussions with these innocent looking people. But, adds the writer, you

must beware! These are missionaries. “They receive payment for every Jew they convert,

though some convert Jews voluntarily so they might gain respect in their cult or prove they

t:long to it and are working for it.”


In 1996, a guide for missionaries was published. The guide’s main goal was how to present

the Messiah to Jews. It tells of the importance of building relationships. “Do not be arrogant…

I: is very hard to build a friendship with someone if our only goal is to hunt their soul.”


Missionaries are aware of the diversity in Israeli culture, and so they adapt themselves to all

types of the community. They are very careful in the words they use, for example (from the

guide) they are not allowed to say “Christian” but rather must replace it with “Believer”, or

“converted” ought to be “fulfilled.”


The names of three Messianic Jews are mentioned in this article: Baruch Maoz, Sorko-Ram

and Ya’acov Damkani.



Messianic Leaders Hold Meeting (Israel Today, December 1999)



This short report appeared in a Tel Aviv monthly. It seems to be an objective summary of a

meeting that took place in Kiryat Yam’s Messianic congregation.


50 Messianic leaders met to “discuss Israeli prejudices against Jesus and the often hostile

attitude toward Jewish believers.” Eitan Shishkoff reportedly said that “his congregation tries

to maintain a dialogue with the people despite resistance from ultra Orthodox anti missionary




The leaders agreed that they must try to keep the gap between Messianic Jews and other Jews

as minimal as possible.


The turn of the millennium is a good time to summarize the cause of such a time – Jesus. And

this secular Israeli monthly does just that. The writer is trying to explain why certain tourist

sites in Israel are important to Christians who might make their way to Israel in the coming

year. But his expansion on the sites themselves is minimal. Instead we find him giving a

background to these particular sites, and in doing so, a short yet accurate summary of the life

and meaning of Christ.


He begins by telling the story of the angel’s visit to Mary in a somewhat humorous and not

very factual way. “But whatever the circumstances of this visit,” he says, “that moment was

of cosmic importance for many who believe in the Messiahship and deity of Jesus in this

world.” The writer then explains why this moment in time is so significant (to Christians).

“God and man were united in a unique and never to be repeated way, Immortal and mortal,

Creator and created. Mankind was in desperate need of a savior, one who would rescue it

from the dreadful abyss of sin and punishment into which Adam and Eve, by their sin, had

flung it. Not one of their descendants could atone for this sin. Only God Himself could

restore the order which had been broken. And God did so.” The writer then quotes from John

3:16, and continues “God made Himself to be a sacrifice on his own altar, not by an angel or

a messenger or by force, but by humility and affliction, through suffering and agony and

unrequited love.”


The writer goes on to describe the life of Jesus briefly, adding that “the mystics dedicate their

lives… in the hope of seeing the rim of Jesus’ robe filling the temple. But then, for 33 years,

tax collectors’and prostitutes could stretch out their hands and touch him.”


Parts of the Sermon on the Mount are quoted (“Blessed are the poor..” etc.), and the writer

makes clear that the crucifixion and resurrection are the focal point in Christianity, and not

the annunciation and birth. “On the cross he (Jesus) atoned for the sin of mankind… and

through the resurrection he conquered death so that he could give eternal life (in the spirit) to



He ends his article by saying that the Messiah will come suddenly, like a thief in the night.

But till that time, those who believe in him can enjoy tracing his life in the Holy Land.



Complaints about Missionary Activity (Israel Today, December 1999)


Police were criticized once again for their failure to put an end to missionary activity amongst

new immigrants from the FSU and Ethiopia.


According to Yad L’achim, Jewish believers often bypass the law in Israel “by offering

money to Russian and Ethiopian Jews if they accept Jesus as the Messiah.”


Lev L’achim claims that “Jews who believe in Jesus are not Jewish anymore, and the Israeli

Supreme court has basically accepted this definition. While Jewish believers consider

themselves “completed Jews”, in Israel they are considered Christians who have given up

their faith.”



A group of American Christians has decided to lobby for residents of the Golan heights, who

might need to leave their homes if a peace deal is signed, handing over that particular bit of

land to the Syrians.


Some of these Christians arrived in Israel this week in order to show their support to the

Golan residents. They claim that according to the Bible, {srael (or the Jewish people) has a

right to all parts of the land. They say that though the Bible tells them that the peacemakers

shall be blessed it also says “pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”


The Problem with the Millennium (Yom Hashishi, 31/12/99)



The paper in which this article appeared is a religious Jerusalem weekly. The writer sets out

to explain why it is a perverse thing for Jews to celebrate the millennium.


Only a stupid nation, he says, would celebrate the day which honors that very man who

caused the slaughter and persecution of millions of Jews in the past 2000 years. “If we were a

proud nation… this would be a day in which we’d remember the millions of Jews whom the

Christians persecuted throughout the world.


“Instead of protesting against such celebrations, hundreds of thousands from within us will be

out saluting the murderers, celebrating the day of That Man… We were stupid and we’ve

stayed that way.”



Ethiopian Immigrants Want Missionaries Out (Hatzofe, 04/01/00)



The Ethiopian community held a meeting in Tel Aviv, in response to recent findings which

indicated that a number of Ethiopian immigrants are working as missionaries. Over one

thousand of them demanded that the Israeli authorities deal with the problem.


These people claim that the Ethiopian missionaries hold key positions in the relief centers and

orphanages. Among other things, this missionary activity includes dental care.


A film of the missionary work was screened at the meeting, documenting the activity

amongst Ethiopian Jews.


Lev L’achim Demonstrate Against Missionaries (Yated Ne’eman, 05/01/00, Yom Hashishi,

07/01/00, Yated Ne’eman, 14/01/00)



According to this story, published in religious papers only, hundreds of residents of two

neighborhoods in central Jerusalem participated in a large demonstration against alleged

missionary activity in those neighborhoods. According to one paper the demonstration was

organized by Lev L’achim activists. The other papers claimed that the demonstration was

spontaneous and expressed the public’s disdain for missionary activity.



Earlier in the afternoon, Lev L’achim received information regarding a mecting that was to

take place that evening. “A group of 30 Jewish women were scheduled to attend their final

session with a conversion counselor in preparation for group baptism in the Jordan River. As

a result of the demonstration… the evening’s session was cancelled and the mass conversion

ceremony postponed.”


Lev L’achim announced that they will demonstrate in any place where missionary activity is

taking place. and they will continue to demand the enforcement of a law which forbids any

kind of missionary works that calls for conversion.


The police detained some of the demonstrators for questioning, but they were released by the

end of the demonstration.


Scandal Over Nun’s Visit to School (Yom Hashishi, 07/01/00, Shavu’on Yerushalaim,

07/01/00, Hatzofe, 09/01/00)


A religious school in Jerusalem caused a scandal by inviting a nun to speak at the school. She

was to give a lecture on Christianity in preparation for the millennium.


Several parents were concerned and alerted Kach activists of the planned visit. These pleaded

with the principal of the school to cancel the meeting, but he refused, saying that this mecting

has been taking place for years, and besides, the school does nothing without consulting the

Rabbinate first.


The Kach activists were not satisfied, and on the day of the visit they arrived at the school,

hoping that their physical presence might cause the meeting to be cancelled. They were not

allowed in, however, and had to content themselves with the distribution of a leaflet begging

students not to go to the lecture. “The inquisition was done in the name of Christianity.

Spanish Jews were expelled in the name of Christianity. Jews were massacred in the name of

Christianity, and by the silence of the Church, millions of Jews were destroyed during the

Holocaust. We have nothing to learn from the Christians. Students, do not go to the lecture.

Ban Christianity.”


Despite all their efforts, the meeting took place as planned, and only four of the students did

not show up for it. After the lecture, one of the students said that the nun’s visit had become

too big an issue. “The principal told us that he doesn’t agree with Christianity, but we still

need to learn about the different people who live in this country.”


A member of parliament told one reporter that he dessn’t believe the Israeli school system

has much to learn from Kahana’s ways.



Christians Helping in the Settlement of the Territories (Hatzofe, 07/01/00)


The settling of Jews in the West Bank has always been a disputed matter, even amongst

Israelis. Those who live in settlements are well aware of the difficulties they must face if they

ever want anything, especially permission to build an absorption center. These settlers, who

have already come up with a building plan, knew they would receive no financial help from

the government. So instead they turned to another source: evangelicals.


“This is one of the more amazing stories that has not yet been told,” says the writer.

“Evangelicals are a separate group in Christianity, separated even from the Protestants… A

church in their terms is not a place of prayer, but any active institution, especially radio and

television stations.”


The writer claims that the evangelicals are so supportive of Israel’s right to the land that even

the Jews could take a few lessons from them in loyalty. Israel’s right to the land is part of

their religion.


At first there were fears among the settlers, that the idea of recruiting Christians might not go

over too well, but the thought became “kosher” when a certain rabbi approved of it. He

refuses to be identified.


As the relationship with the evangelicals grew stronger, the settlers understood that they were

dealing with millions of “helpers.” To date they have come up with $100,000 – but this is just

the beginning.



Protests Prevent Distribution of Missionary Material in Newspaper (Hamodia, 14/01/00,

Hamodia, 16/01/00, Yated Ne’eman, 17/01/00)



The first article in this series of articles, reports the distribution of a missionary booklet in a

leading secular Israeli newspaper, and the intent of another secular newspaper to do the same.


The writers are outraged that anyone would support missionary activity in the land of Israel,

especially Jews. They claim that the missionaries have become original in their devious plots.

The booklet was shipped over from the States.


Lev L’achim told the writers that in the past they were able to prevent the advertisement and

promotion of a missionary book written by two missionaries belonging to the Messianic

Jewish cult, Ramon and Zippora Bennett.


As a result of this report, intensive protests took place in an effort to prevent the distribution

of the booklet again in another secular paper.


Lev L’achim let the public know, and the public, in return, began sending letters of outrage to

the main office of this newspaper. As the protests grew, the paper announced its decision to

cancel the planned distribution.



Yad L’achim Make House Calls to Inform About Missionaries (Hamodia, 13/01/00)



“It begins with a knock on your door and ends with baptism and conversion.” This is what

Yad L’achim activists are claiming about missionaries. As a counter measure, they have

begun to make their own house calls, to warn innocent people of the dangers of missionaries.


Yad L’achim claim that Israelis are far too ignorant when it comes to missionaries, and are

therefore more likely to be taken in. The missionaries will no doubt take advantage of this



Yad L’achim warns that a large percent of missionaries in this country were born Jewish and

then later on converted to Christianity. The modern missionary, therefore, will not look

unusual in his dress, and the material he distributes will have the appearance of Jewish

writings. If necessary the missionary will even present his ID card which clearly states he is a

Jew, and so will cover up the truth of his identity.