The good news is that over the July 4th weekend the Jerusalem Post ran two honest reports by journalist Larry Derfner about the on-going persecution of believers in the Negev Desert region by the ultra-Orthodox. Praise God for Derfner’s, 'Watch out, missionaries!'
Religion can certainly get ugly and it has been this ugly many times over the past 5 and half years in Arad.
Lura and Eddie Beckford of Arad. Eddie has been under house arrest for over a year - seemingly the court's only 'solution' to the ongoing ultra-Orthodox harassment and persecution against the couple.
The bad news is that while the news article about Eddie and Lura Beckford, Christians in Arad was prominent in the online English JPost weekend magazine, Derfner’s article about the court case against the Chief Rabbi of Beer Sheva and anti-missionary activist organization Yad L’Achim by the Messianic Jewish congregation in Beer Sheva article was buried.
With an obscure title (‘Within the Law’) and Lord knows where they hid this article in the lineup of article choices – both editorial decisions not the decision of the journalist who wrote it – this article probably not seen by many English speakers at all. In fact, I have been informed that there has been NO HEBREW language coverage of this story at all!
The Jerusalem Post editors would like their English speaking Christian readers to see they are reporting on mistreatment of Christians in Israel, but they don’t want you seeing the mistreatment of our spiritual brothers and sisters, the Messianic Jews.
Heaven forbid, they don’t want the story to waft out into the Israeli public who would actually be concerned about things like injustice against Israeli Jews for their religious faith!
Howard Bass sitting outside of hospital room of Purim basket-terror bomb victim, Ami Ortiz, with dad David. The attempted murder of the Ortiz family in Ariel has not even seen an arrest in the case for almost a year and a half, despite surveillance footage of the religious perpetrator placing the shrapnel loaded package at the door. Howard Bass' Beer Sheva Congregation was the target of a religious mob invasion in December 2005. The mob was stirred by false accusations of child baptisms.
I suspect that Howard Bass’ Op-Ed, A nation under law? was also obscured in the Jerusalem Post online edition, based on the unbelievable fact that there are only 14 talkbacks attached to this major story (a trial that brings the Chief Rabbi of Beer Sheva to court for fomenting a riot against the Messianic congregation).
In contrast, talkbacks for the article on the Supreme Court declaring that the kosher certification that was pulled from Pnina Pie based on the owner’s faith in Yeshua/Jesus is not legal is registering a whopping 196 comments. Court declares Jew for Jesus ‘kosher’ There is no way this story is more controversial than the Bass Op-Ed, which means it did not see much light.
One footnote on the Derfner article on the Beer Sheva trial story about the testimony of Yad L’Achim’s Alex Artrovsky – a fact brought to my attention by Howard Bass: “Artrovsky, is not telling the truth when he says he was not at Deri's consultation with Deri the day before the riot. Deri's own affidavit says that he was!”
(Deri is the chief rabbi of Beer Sheva, and brother to Aryeh Deri, a Shas religious party politician who was imprisoned for various corruption charges. Pray that the judge presiding over this case is just and allows the truth to come to light. )
On the morning of Jul 7, as I would begin editing this Weekly Summary down into the key prayer points for Arrows of Zion, a Caspari Media Review has come in with yet another development:
The anti-missionary activists Yad L’Achim have made false accusations against the wife of Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon that Ann Ayalon is a “convert who is actively engaged in preaching Christianity.” This was reported on the popular Hebrew TV news show “Fact” (Uvda) and is further indication of the stepped up level of inflaming the public and criminalizing Jews who believe in Yeshua/Jesus in Israeli public opinion.
Anyone who reads the Israeli newspapers online can see that the ultra-Orthodox are feeling quite 'empowered' lately rioting against many issues like parking lot openings in Jerusalem on Shabbat, or the arrest of an ultra-Orthodox mother for starving her son. The riots have been ugly and covered extensively by the Israeli media and therein lies the problem. It is the same ugliness rioting in the streets that has been rioting against the believers in the Negev Desert, but the media exposure is certainly different!
If the media is not reporting the offenses of the ultra-Orthodox against Messianic Jews in Hebrew, what does that tell you? They don't want the public to know. If the Israeli newspapers are willing to publish stories about this ultra-Orthodox persecution against Christians in Israel - in English - what does that tell you? They want you to believe they are telling you everything...only they aren't because they are not telling you about the persecution of JEWISH believers in Yeshua/Jesus that is ongoing.
Ami before the blast.
When 15-year old Ami Ortiz found the Purim basket the housekeeper had brought into the family apartment and placed on the kitchen table, he was expecting candies and treats. Instead Ami was blown to bits and it is a miracle the boy survived. Doctors did not expect he would.
Bomb blast, Ami's blood on the floor where a medical passer-by saved him from dying at the scene. This healing has been nothing short of miraculous but it is an ugly story that must be told - not only to Christians but also to Israelis. Ami's story is one that Christians must sit up and take notice of and one that Israelis would sit up and take notice of if they knew ultra-Orthodox violence has crossed this line.
The perpetrators of violence against Yeshua's inhertitance in Israel must be held accountable...or their violence will continue to escalate in all Israeli society.