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Aggressive Missionary Campaign in Central Israel

“Jews for Jesus” in Israel brags that it has launched an intense, first-of-its-kind missionary campaign in Tel Aviv’s satellite cities.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 5/26/2010, 12:33 PM / Last Update: 5/26/2010, 12:24 PM

Yad L'Achim

“Jews for Jesus” in Israel brags that it has launched a missionary campaign in “an area that has never had a significant evangelical activity since 1948” – namely, Tel Aviv’s satellite cities.

Residents of Ramat Gan, Petach Tikvah, Herzliya and elsewhere woke up one day this week to find groups of "Jews for Jesus" missionaries gathered on street corners, holding banners and giving out literature. Different groups spoke Hebrew, English, or Russian, providing their “services” for all sectors.

The Yad L’Achim anti-missionary group says this is a “critical and dramatic stage in the campaign announced by the missionaries three years ago and which is expected to continue for another three years.”

The missionaries' latest gimmick is the placing of thousands of “traffic tickets” on cars. Only when the worried driver turns over the "ticket" does he or she see its true message: “You can relax; someone has paid the fine in your place… He’s called Yeshua [Jesus].” The gimmick states that Yeshua was willing to pay with his life for everyone’s sins, but that after three days, God revived him from death.

The literature emphasizes that his name is Yeshua, which is close to the Hebrew world for salvation, “and not Jesus, as they always told you.” The Jews for Jesus group emphasizes the Jewish aspects of Christianity – though the recently-deceased Martin “Moshe” Rosen, who founded the organization in 1973, once said, “The fact is, we are not practicing any form of Judaism. We are practicing Christianity.”

Deceptive Tactics: "Don't Admit that We Believe Jesus is God"
Deceptive tactics of this nature have become the accepted protocol in the evangelical Christian movement, writes Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz, founder and executive director of Jews for Judaism International: “It is now second nature for church members to tell their Jewish friends that they can be Jewish and Christian at the same time. In Israel, Jews for Jesus missionaries, along with their 20,000 Israeli converts, promote Jesus exclusively as being the Jewish Messiah while intentionally avoiding mentioning their belief that he is God.”  

The internal Jews for Jesus announcement of the new campaign states: “The main cities in this region [the Sharon, which also includes Hod HaSharon, Rosh HaAyin, and other cities] has not had a significant evangelical witnessing since the State of Israel was established in 1948. This is a great privilege for us to be the pioneers to bring the word to our people in this region. The campaign headquarters is in a good location, and we will remain there throughout the duration.”

“Since not one of the large news papers in Israel, nor any billboard firm or any media channel that we checked, agrees to take our ads, we decided to run an internet campaign for the [next] four weeks, in which we will offer our books for free… Pray that no ads will be removed as a result of the hareidi organization Yad L’Achim.”

Yad L’Achim director Rabbi Shalom Lifshitz said, “Now is the time to demand a change to the missionary law, and to put a stop to this wild, criminal missionary activity that leads to tragic results.” The law currently bans only offering to pay someone to change religions and missionizing children.