Religious persecution of believing Jews doesn't just happen in Israel. I know of a young man - a virtuoso pianist - who was targeted after participating in the Dallas COUNTER-protest of the "Free Gaza" Flotilla supporters.
It wasn't the Hamas supporters that targeted him, but the guy who is supposed to be the voice of the anti-defamation of Jews. Word has it this Jewish leader took it upon himself to go after the young man's Jewish connections at college - 'reporting' him for not being a 'real' Jew because he was Messianic. So much for anti-defamation.
This kind of stuff happens all the time. The same man, whenever there is an anti-Semitic hate crime against the Messianic synagogues, invests his efforts in making a point to the press that the persecutors made a big mistake, because Messianic Jews are not "real" Jews.
When a crowd was whipped up in Beer Sheva to invade, disrupt, damage property, cause harm to several individuals and generally intimidate the Messianic congregation, the courts refused to hold the rabble rousers accountable.
In Israel, of course, the persecution intensity is much worse because law enforcement and the courts do not enforce the protections afforded to every other group. When there is not legal accountability, persecution increasingly spirals out of control.
As someone well versed in how Islamic terrorists are making such gains globally by presenting themselves as victims fighting oppressors, I can't tell you how it grieves me to watch the same dynamics occurring in religious persecution against Jewish believers in Jesus. Like the Peacenik Left sides with Hamas & Friends, many Christians can't face up to the truth in their alliances.
Many of my Messianic friends don't like the story told, but I consider it enabling the persecutors not to speak out. After a decade of speaking out it is personally frustrating, even disillusioning, to try to tell the truth about these things to Christians who just are unwilling to accept it...or even hear it.
Those Jewish believers who don't want the story told are afraid it will cause Christians to turn on Israel. They also worry it will create a rise in anti-Semitism. So they steel themselves to take it on the chin while the majority of Israel-supporting Christians remain in a fantasy world about the persecution Jewish believers are enduring.
I have two major focuses: the Israeli Body of Messiah and Islamist terrorism. It is really a sad revelation to me how often the persecution of the believers in Israel parallels with the same dynamics surrounding Islamist persecution.
For example, how the strangest bedfellows are formed between the persecutors and their supporters.
In Islamist terrorism, their supporters are peaceniks and other Leftist radicals who are anti-war, big on freedom of speech trumping national security, anti-immigration controls or securing our borders. These folks never saw an Islamist terrorist they didn't think was innocent.
In religious persecution of Jews who believe in Jesus, this is more the reluctance of Christians to understand that the same spirit that opposed Jesus and His disciples in the first century, are still in full operation today. Instead of listening to ANYONE that tries to tell them the truth, they cling to a fantasy view - 'Persecution may be happening, but NOT from the Jews I'm dealing with." Yeah right.
In terrorist circles, the public image is everything. That is why at the "Free Gaza" rally in Dallas the Hamas supporters were shouting slogans like, "Stop the Hate" or "One, two, three, four! We don't want your bloody war!" or "Free Palestine!"
It is all about making the aggressors look like the victims. That message plays well with people who are willing to stay on the surface emotional response level.
I could say the same about Christians who refuse to listen, year after year and approach after approach from different leaders in the Messianic community attempting to educate Israel-supporting Christian leaders about what is really happening to Messianic Jews. These Christians believe that what they are doing in Israel is so 'valuable' to the Lord they will not listen to the Jews the Lord has already saved!
What that speaks to unsaved Jews is that we Christians don't really value Jews, even when they are our spiritual brothers and sisters. This is NEVER going to make unsaved Israel jealous, fellow Christians. Not ever. How we treat the Jews who believe speaks more loudly than how we treat unsaved Israel. You better believe it!
I know of countless Messianic leaders who have been shunned, ignored, accused of just being jealous or even publicly and ferociously attacked by Christian leaders who did not want to hear the truth about who they were supporting in the traditional Jewish community.
It would be easy to name names. But the Lord rebuke them. There is such a thing as WILLFUL ignorance.
If those in the Israel-supporting community don't think it is a test how long The Church staves off coming to grips with the truth and throwing our support behind our spiritual brothers and sisters in Israel, I believe you are mistaken. It is a test we have been failing miserably.
One of the favorite quotes of Israel-supporting Christians is how God is going to judge the nations by how they treated Israel. So what do you think that means for Christians who supported the Israelis who persecuted the Body of the LORD? Think God doesn't care about that?
Okay one already-public example (only one of several I'm aware of) David Brickner of Jews for Jesus put out a letter to JFJ supporters around 2004/5, about how many top Christian leaders were supporting Rabbi Eckstein's Fellowship of Christians and Jews. Rabbi Eckstein who opposes Jewish evangelism.
In a Washington Times article:
"There are those who have worked both overtly and subtly to demonize Jewish believers in Jesus and to make the work of Jewish evangelism seem unacceptable," David Brickner, president of Jews for Jesus, wrote in a six-page letter titled "The War on Jewish Evangelism" sent to 110,000 donors.
"If you press [certain evangelicals], they will say, 'We believe everyone needs Jesus to be saved, but we don't want to be offending people,' " Mr. Brickner said in an interview.
FOR HIS TROUBLE, Brickner was accused at the end of the article by Rabbi Eckstein of only being envious of the money involved. Brickner was also ferociously attacked at the time by Jerry Falwall and Gary Bauer.
They are by far not the only Christian leaders to respond to Messianic concerns in this way, nor was David Brickner the only believing Jew to be harshly dismissed for relating our concerns. Many have been accused of jealousy and worse when raising the legitimate concerns about Christians circumventing the Jewish vision for Jewish salvation.
Rabbi Eckstein is not the only person to accuse Messianic Jews or Jews for Jesus of "just being jealous". Far from it. The same accusation has been leveled against any believing Jew who tries to educate the major Israel-supporting Christian leaders about groups that are in hostile to Jews bringing the Good News to other Jews. Leaders of mega-ministries, heads of Christian TV. Many of these leaders court some of the most gospel-hostile Israeli religious crowd on their TV sets while calling our spiritual Jewish brothers and sisters "just jealous." It is the scandal of our times.
"Some well-known pastors and Christian leaders have either endorsed those who oppose Jewish evangelism or have CAREFULLY AVOIDED endorsing anyone who DOES engage in effective gospel outreach to Jewish people," wrote Jews for Jesus president David Brickner. Because of such endorsements, he added, "the cause of Christ among Jewish people is being hurt." source
It is not just about the money, but let's face it, money is the necessary fuel for almost all spiritual vision.
The $84,281,498 that Rabbi Eckstein collected in 2008 did a lot of good things in Israel. What it did not do is fuel a single vision from God for the salvation of Israel.
The most well-funded believing ministry in Israel, by comparison, was $2,547,354. The majority of Israeli ministries receive far less in donations.
That is an inkling of how much in dollar terms the Church is ignoring the vision of Jesus for the salvation of Israel.
Wake up Church. If you want to make Israel jealous of our faith, just try blessing the Body of Messiah in Israel with your donations to bless the people of Israel. They do every single outreach ministry that you have ever been prompted to give to do to help Israel - from tree planting, to feeding the hungry, and from helping Jews make aliyah to taking care of Holocaust survivors and terror victims.
There is not a single good project you could donate to help Israel that could not be channeled through the believing ministries of Israel.
Except maybe paying the salaries of anti-missionaries paid to persecute believers...and this is what is happening way more often than you can fathom.
For an example of my PARALLEL activism on the Islamist Terrorism front, here is an example last week of rebuttal to the Dallas Morning News Op-Ed of Mohamed Elibiary "a national security policy analyst and one of three civilian members on the Advisory Board of the Texas Department of Public Safety. He recently testified in Congress on disrupting terror plots before the Homeland Security Committee’s Intelligence subcommittee." Op-Ed
and rebutting comment.Donna Diorio 10:03 AM June 25 2010