CASPARI CENTER MEDIA REVIEW AUGUST #1 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 67.
Of these, 21 articles dealt with the Greek Patriarch’s opinion on the Camp
David peace talks, 17 articles focused on missionary and anti-missionary
activity, eight articles dealt with issues concerning the Jehovah’s Witness and
Scientology communities in Israel, six articles continued their reports on what
seems to be a land scandal involving the Greek Patriarch, and four articles
dealt with Christian tourism and Christian sites in Israel. The remaining 13
articles were on miscellaneous topics dealing with Christian, Arab, or Jewish
matters on their own merit.
“Testimony” of Yad L’achim Activist (Mishpacha Tova, July 2000)
This three page article was written for a religious monthly, and tells of Alex
Hartowski’s “road to repentance.” Born a Jew in Ukraine, Alex did not become
religious until he moved to Israel with his wife and children and came under
the influence of the religious community in this country. Their views on
Judaism changed his life. Hartowski is one of the leading activists against
Messianic Jews and other religions that “endanger” Judaism. This part of his
story is not told until the very last page of the article.
Hartowski claims that his biggest tool for fighting against the Mission is his
literary knowledge of the “outside” world. All the books he read when he was
younger together with his secular education have helped him become a
successful activist. He claims that over 20,000 Israeli Jews are part of some
cult or other. Yad L’achim works on two levels: prevention and rescue.
Hartowski claims that they have “eyes” in every cult that exist in Israel today.
He tells some of his most impressive prevention stories..
Yad L’achim got word that a group of Israelis was to be baptized on a
Saturday at the Tel Aviv beach. This posed a problem since religious Jews
are not allowed to work on the Sabbath. Thinking ahead of time, a group of
men rented an apartment on the beach. On Saturday morning these activist
dressed like Arabs and began strolling along the beach until the baptismal
ceremony began. At this point they pulled off their costumes and began
yelling the Shema (“Hear O Israel the Lord your God is one God”). The
suddenness of this action so confused the group of Messianic Jews standing
there that they immediately dispersed and the Jewish souls who were about
to be baptized were saved.
Another such story is of a young lady who got caught up in the Messianic cult.
Since the girl was secular, Hartowski figured the best way to go about saving
her was to pretend he was secular too. He dressed in a T-shirt and torn jeans,
pierced his ear and had his hair put back in a pony tail. He told the young lady
that he was a student conducting a survey on Messianic Jews, and under this
pretense she was willing to meet with him. After hours of talking, Hartowski
managed to save this girl from the Messianic Jewish cult. She eventually
repented and even became religious. She never knew that the student who
visited her that day was in fact a Yad L’achim activist.
Hartowski has many more stories of this nature. He says that Yad L’achim
tries to get in contact with every single Jew who is trapped inside the
Messianic Jewish cult.
Confrontation at Music Festival (Yomon Moreshet, Reshet Aleph,18/07/00[radio program])
A reporter at a well known Israeli music festival happened to be in the area
when a confrontation broke out between Messianic Jews and yeshiva
students. He managed to briefly ask each side why there were there.
Messianic Jew: “We’ve come here to distribute our faith, we are Messianic
Jews and we want people to know about the faith we have, that Jesus was
and is the Messiah. We want people to know that there is an alternative; that
traditional Judaism is not the only spiritual alternative in the country.”
The reporter then asks a yeshiva student for his reaction:
“We are in a Jewish nation and they don’t even have a right for part of it. And
that’s also the law with the police. They do not allow them (Messianic Jews) to
distribute material and they are breaking the law. As long as the police are not
here we’re trying to prevent them legally and make sure it doesn’t get to other
families. We do this out of pity, so that they (Israelis) wont be influenced by
the missionaries. It’s not our way, the Jewish nation’s way.”
Names of Missionaries in Absorption Ministry Revealed (B’kehila, Yom
Several months ago it was revealed by Yad L’achim that two missionary
women were working in the absorption ministry. This was considered a cause
for alarm in the religious community. Yad L’achim immediately took action
and demanded that the women be laid off. Yuli Tamir, the Absorption
Minister, would not agree to fire these women unless undeniable evidence
was presented to her. Yad L’achim took on this challenge, and after months
of observation they finally caught one woman distributing missionary material.
The video tape has been handed over to Ms. Tamir who will need to reassess
The initials of these women were released to the press as well: AS. and N.K.
A Catholic Church in Ashkelon Apartment (Scoop Hadarom, 21/07/00)
A Catholic church seems to have been set up in the apartment of a Christian
new immigrant. This lady was married to a Jew who apparently abused her.
After she refused to convert to Judaism her husband left her. Since their
divorce the neighbors claim that bi-weekly meetings are held in the lady’s
apartment. Around 30 other new immigrants show up for these meetings. The
neighbors claim that the only reason they have filed a complaint with the
police is because the noise caused by these meetings is disturbing the peace.
They claim that “people are praying there at the top of their lungs almost all
hours of the day.”
The local rabbi says he cannot do anything to prevent this from happening
since the law does not forbid religious activity if it is held inside the home.
Jehovah’s Witness *** Against Yad L’achim Activists (Hamodia, 23/07/00)
In an unprecedented event, a member of the Jehovah’s Witness community
in Israel filed a *** against three Yad L’achim activists for violation of religious
freedom. The Jehovah’s Witness member claims that for over a year these
three followed him around, insulted him in public for what he believes and
even photographed him continually.
The newspaper is obviously outraged by such an act, claiming that it is
absurd that the very people who are acting to prevent missionaries from
hunting Jewish souls are being charged by the law. “It should be the other
way around” they say. A religious member of Knesset said that this is an
unprecedented act since Israel became a state in 1948. “The implications are
horrible since it is the missionary who should stand trial because his actions
are against the law.”
Knesset Member Requests that Missionary Wont be Allowed to Enter Country
Knesset Member Yaacov Lizman has submitted a request to the Minister of
Interior asking that a well Known missionary will not be permitted to enter the
country. The missionary in question is Sundee Analga (?) who heads the
church of Word of Faith. He is known for his “work” amongst the Jews in Kiev,
for trying to covert them. He also sends many people to Israel to work in
Lizman claims he is a dangerous man and should not be permitted to enter
Israel since his work is also against the law.
Suspects in Messianic Congregation Attempted Arson Arrested (Kol Israel[news], Radio Yerushalaim, Galei Tzahal [news], 26/07/00, Haaretz, 27/07/00,
In Jerusalem, 28/07/00)
Police apprehended three suspects who set fire to a conservative synagogue
and attempted to do the same to a Messianic congregation. The break in and
theft of the Torah from the Netivia congregation can be found in a previous
media review. The three men are said to be known to police. They are from
religious Jewish background. One suspect told police that “he did not like
having the (conservative) synagogue in their neighborhood and decided to set
it on fire.