Samaria Hotel Cancels Anti-Missionary Event

The incident shows how much power missionaries in Samaria really have, says the event's organizers.

Moshe Cohen,

Itamar Ben-Gvir
Itamar Ben-Gvir
Flash 90

The Eshel Hashomron hotel unilaterally canceled an event that was to be held by anti-missionary activists. One of the activists organizers of the event, Yekutiel Ben-Yaakov, intends to sue, said his attorney, Itamar Ben-Gvir.

In a letter issued by the hotel's management, Ben Ya'akov was told that the event, set for this Wednesday, had been canceled “because of reasons unconnected to us.”

The event, called “Jews Are Not for Sale,” was heavily promoted in communities throughout Samaria over the weekend, and intended to take aim at missionaries who preyed on poorly-educated Jews, bribing or buying their loyalty to Christianity. Missionary activity to minors under 18 is illegal under Israeli law, and heavily discouraged even for adults. 

The event was to have been attended by rabbis from throughout Judea and Samaria, most of whom signed the ads calling on the public to attend.

The hotel did not give a reason for canceling the event. Ben Yaakov and Ben Gvir believe that the reason had to do with pressures that were applied against the hotel. According to the two, missionaries or other interested parties threatened the hotel, saying that they would boycott unless management gave in groups supporting missionaries, who are steady customers of the hotel.

Ben Gvir wrote back to the hotel management and threatened to sue for NIS 200,000 if the event was canceled. The hotel signed a contract with his client, said Ben Gvir, and he intended to ensure that the contract was fulfilled.

Ben Yaakov said that the event would take place no matter what, even at a different venue. “If the hotel does not allow us to use its facilities we will hold the event at a nearby venue. The fact that the hotel is seeking the cancel this event shows just how dangerous the missionary movement is and how much power they have in Samaria.”