Hundreds of 'Messianic Jewish' missionaries raided Jerusalem during the Sukkot holiday, where masses of Israelis were taking advantage of the holiday vacation. The missionaries tried to lure in innocent Jews, claims the organization Yad L'Achim.
Members of Yad L'Achim said that some missionaries stood on Mamila Avenue, in Jerusalem, which leads to the Old City. They accosted Jews headed to the Western Wall and offered them material. The missionaries also raided the city's central bus station, Safra Square, Sacher Park, and a Jerusalem march attended by thousands of people.
"Not enough has been said about the audacity of the missionaries. Yad L'Achim activists were shocked to see a Sukkah booth set up by missionaries from abroad at the intersection of Jaffa and Haturim Streets. The missionaries invited passersby to enter the sukkah, where they gave out materials."
Zion Cohen, a Yad L'Achim activist from Jerusalem who was dispatched to the scene, was surprised to find that the missionaries had coerced his 12-year-old nephew who lives in the area, to enter the sukkah, by giving him candy. Police, called to the scene for the crime of preaching to children, threatened the missionaries with arrest if they continued, prompting them to close up shop.
The height of the missionaries' scams was performed by foreign missionaries on the surrounding streets of Jerusalem. They wore yarmulkes on their heads, and held the four species in their hands which they offered to passersby while preaching Christianity.
"More complaints about proselytizing came from major festivals and events in the cities of Haifa, Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv and Netanya, where mass events were held," Yad L'Achim reported.
Missionary activity was also in the news several months ago when it was reported that Christian missionaries were harassing IDF soldiers at the site of the Iron Dome installation during Operation Protective Edge. Yad L'Achim received complaints that the missionaries were seeking to convert the soldiers and were preventing them from concentrating on their mission.
"Yad L'Achim, who know from experience that missionaries come out in droves during this time of year, prepared teams in advance, who were ready for action and rushed immediately wherever they were called. Upon reaching the centers the missionaries were preaching at, activists caught the attention of bystanders when they called the missionaries 'soul hunters' interested in converting as many Jews as possible. Yad L'Achim activists also worked to collect that missionary material from the passersby."
Yad L'Achim concluded with much satisfaction the success of stopping the spread of missionaries and stated with excitement the broad, spontaneous expressions of public opposition to the missionaries.
"You can see clearly that Israel's heart is alive," said Benjamin Wolkan, who coordinated the propaganda preventive activities. "The nation of Israel said no to the missionaries, and the missionaries felt it well."