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Negev Missionary Leader Convicted of Attacking Jew

Edwin Beckford, leader of a Messianic cult in Arad, has been convicted of assaulting an anti-missionary activist and of trying to run down others.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 11/4/2010, 3:30 PM / Last Update: 11/4/2010, 4:56 PM

Edwin (Eddie) Beckford, leader of the Messianic, anti-Zionist cult in Arad, has been convicted of assaulting an anti-missionary activist and of trying to run down others.

The legal process took over three years, and included the flying in of an eyewitness from London. Beckford, born a Catholic in Harlem, NYC in 1947, is expected to be sentenced several weeks from now.

The incident involved Beckford’s videoed attempt to run down volunteers from the anti-missionary Yad L’Achim organization, and his subsequent punching, kicking and assaulting of one of them. Beckford attempted to deny the charges, but in mid-trial, after the eyewitness corroborated the video evidence, he pleaded guilty to the charges.

Yad L’Achim volunteers have been making the trek to Arad every week for the past six years, attempting to convince unsuspecting Jews not to make their way into one of several missionary centers in the city.

“It has now been proven once again that missionaries will even use violence to serve their own evil purposes,” said Yad L’Achim founder and director Rabbi Shalom Lifshitz. “We will continue to stand guard and frustrate their designs in every possible way in order to save innocent Jewish souls from their clutches.”