Jewish activists 'assaulted by missionaries'

Yad L'Achim files complaint to police, after one of its activists was hospitalized due to brutal assault.

Yedidya Ben-Or,

Yad L'Achim faces off against missionaries
Yad L'Achim faces off against missionaries
Yad L'Achim

The Jewish anti-missionary group Yad L'Achim on Monday submitted a complaint to the police, charging Christian missionaries as being behind an "assault causing actual wounds" against its activists.

The incident occurred during the weekend at a missionary event in Jerusalem. Every day teams of Yad L'Achim activists conduct outreach activities for Jews who visit the missionary centers located around Israel.

Last weekend a team of three activists were sent to stand at the entrance of the center of the largest missionary community in Jerusalem, located at the Clal Center in the heart of the capital. The activists were present so as to pass out publicity materials to Jews trying to enter the missionary center, warning them of the danger.

Binyamin Walken, the Yad L'Achim field coordinator, was one of the three members of the group. They started to pass out anti-missionary publicity materials to those entering the center, some of whom began to talk with the Yad L'Achim activists.

Then, they say, out of nowhere they were violently assaulted by security guards.

"Suddenly several of the site's guards pounced on me and my friend Yisrael Bokshfen, and they surprised us with their blows as they shattered my glasses," testified Walken.

"A split second before I fell on the floor I succeeded in pulling out my phone, dialing the police and informing them that I and my friends were subject to a violent assault at the Clal Center. At that moment the guards stole my phone and continued to hit us with all their strength and great cruelty."

Even though the phone call was cut off in the middle, police dispatchers managed to send large forces as well as ambulances to the scene within minutes.

Missionaries "under pressure"

Later on it became clear that one of the senior missionaries who saw the activists speaking with Jews arriving to enter the missionary center called up the security company of the Clal Center, and asked them to immediately kick out the Yad L'Achim activists.

The security guards only stopped beating the activists when they heard the sirens of the rescue forces approaching the site.

Magen David Adom (MDA) medics who arrived on scene evacuated Walken to the emergency room of Shaare Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem, as he suffered the brunt of the blows.

In response, Yad L'Achim submitted a complaint of severe violence to the police station in the Russian Compound, and hopes that police will take action over the incident.

"The missionaries' loss of their senses and their violence testifies that the missionaries are under pressure due to the diverse activities of Yad L'Achim, which is expressed in the fact that more and more Jews are leaving the cults of the mission and returning to the embrace of Judaism," said the organization in a statement.

"The violence will not deter us, we will continue and even increase our publicity activities and exposure of the truth through paths of pleasantness for all those Jews who have been exposed to the tractate of fraud and deception of the Christian missionary cults."