Sunday, February 17, 2013

Defense Dragging Their Feet in Jack Tytell's Sentencing

Messianic ministers David and Leah Ortiz write about the sentencing court date last week of Jack Teitel, a religious Jewish terrorist who planted a bomb disguised as a Purim basket at their doorstep in hopes of murdering the family.  Their 15-year old son Ami almost lost his life in 2008 when he opened the gift basket and it exploded in his hands.  Finally in 2013, Jack Teitel has been convicted, but as David and Leah report, Teitel's attorneys continue to delay sentencing and hope to get him off by claiming his murderous acts were caused by mental instability.

On February 13, 2013 we were in court again to hear the sentencing of Jack Teitel. For the past several years, however, in every court session and without fail, his defense lawyers have stood up and made a motion that is so preposterous it wastes at least 1/2 hour to an hour of valuable court time. In the last hearing in January, they claimed that the session was supposed to be behind closed doors, and that there was a former protocol where the judges had made a decision to that affect. No such decision had been made, and of course the defense couldn't produce the piece of paper to substantiate their claim.  

This time, the defense opened up by saying that a mistake in some facts had been made on the last court record and before sentencing could take place, it had to be corrected. The judges asked why they hadn't taken care of it a month ago, because if there had been a mistake (which they didn't believe was true) there was a process to follow, and they would have to follow that process. Of course the defense lawyers knew that, but used this as an excuse to delay the sentencing. I personally believe that they simply don't want to give the prosecution and us, the victims that show up to every hearing, any satisfaction! Whether its pride or evil intent, only The Lord knows.

I wish you all could sit in the court room and behold what we see, how the defense constantly  tries to manipulate the law in order to get a self-confessed, guilty man off the hook of true justice as much as lies in their power to do so. It is frustrating but so obvious how the enemy is using them to try to pervert justice.  Another fact to consider is that they are not defense attorneys assigned by the State of Israel, but privately hired, and we and others from the legal team and the media are wondering who is financing this!  We know from our own experience how expensive lawyers are.

The hearing began at 3:30 PM and it was already at least 5PM when things got down to the nitty gritty and all the technicalities were over, and the prosecution and the defense were able to present their claims for sentencing. The State Prosecutor is Sagi Ophir.  As I have said before, he is a very nice man, who is relatively young and inexperienced (I am guessing he is in his late 30's) and has been no match for the calculated evil of the defense lawyers.  Sometimes he actually trembles when he has to confront them. However, on Wednesday, all of sudden something clicked in this man and he absolutely shone.

 The State Prosecutor prefaced his demands by saying that Teitel, "by his acts of incitement and calls to replace the State of Israel with a totalitarian Jewish monarchy, along with his calls for and encouragement of violence against those who didn't share his views, carried out acts that 'undermine the foundations of a democratic society,' In his acts of murder, attempted murder and violence, Teitel 'scorned the sanctity of life,' Ofir added. Teitel's actions warranted that 'his freedom be taken until the end of his days,' just as he took away the freedom of his victims and tried to take it from others." (quoted from a very good article - State seeks to make example of US-born 'Jewish Terrorist' from the online paper - The Times of Israel. 

Ophir made it clear that the State of Israel considered that Teitel's crimes were motivated by hatred against people whose nationalities, views and ways of life were different than his, which is a point of view that the judges concurred with.  The judges mentioned Messianic Jews in this context several times, with much respect. 

The State then went on to ask for a sentence of two consecutive life sentences.  In addition to the life sentences (which would equal 60 years as a life sentence is 30 years in Israel), the State is asking for 70 additional years for the two attempted murders and the other six convictions, a total number of 130 years in prison.

The prosecutor included the name of (Messianic) Ami Ortiz, who had been critically injured, detailing what his injuries were, and that the maximum sentence for attempted murder was being asked for in his case.  This was admitted into the official protocol of the States' demands. The Prosecutor asked for compensation from Teitel for the victims' families as well. 

The defense then made their rebuttal, asking the court to lessen Teitel's sentence as they claim the crimes were not carried out because his hatred of others, but because of mental illness.

The next hearing, where sentencing will God willing take place, will be on March 17th, 2013 at 12 Noon. We would appreciate your prayers for this to finally happen.

Here is a link to an interesting article about a man, Asher Weisgan, who lived in the same settlement as Jack Teitel, Shvut Rachel.  There are only 100 families living there, and it is more than possible that they were acquainted; they certainly share the same convictions. In 2005 he killed 4 Arabs and wounded two others.  He was convicted of four consecutive life sentences, but committed suicide in prison.
 -end of David & Leah's prayer letter

It is important for Christian Israel-supporters to realize that some of the Jewish settlement activists are not worthy of the support received from the Christian supporters.

Too many Christians assume that our call to "bless Israel" is equal to an indiscriminate blessing to be bestowed on any Israeli, but this is not true.  We are always stewards responsible for where we are planting seed.  In Israel, it is not that easy to figure out the best places to plant our seed.

Certainly the groups who are most activist in the projects Christians are drawn to mightily - like settlement activists or third temple builders - are often behind the scenes some of the strongest opposition to the Israeli followers of Jesus and their testimony in the Land of Israel.  

It is time the Church became more discerning about these issues.

For a long time, in the United States the terror group Hamas was allowed to raise funds in the name of "charity".  To this day the Islamist network claims the charities are for blessing hungry children in Gaza or the West Bank.  They hide the true agenda of the funds they wish to raise freely in the United States to keep Hamas powerful among the Palestinians on the street.

There is a parallel here to be drawn with Christian giving to the Jewish activist groups in the settlements. The parallel is not as extreme as what Islamist networks do throughout the Western nations, but there is a valid parallel to be made and it is about time we began to get hold of that.  If you want to avoid unknowingly funding activities that God frowns on, then you need to re-direct your funding to Messianic believer ministries who actually do hold to the same biblical ethics as you.

Judea and Samaria are part of the promise of God to the Jews, but He does not sanction an anything goes ethic in trying to hold onto it as many of the settlement activists take part in.  The Temple Mount Faithful don't need to blow up the Dome on the Rock for God to transfer possession to the Jews.  It is high time Christians quit encouraging those Jews who hold the most radical and unbliblical ethics on possessing the Land.