ISRAEL - Ultra-Orthodox Vandalize Messianic Jewish Center

Arno Froese

The messianic Jewish community in Ashdod has suffered two acts of vandalism, which it says was perpetrated by two ultra-Orthodox men. The perpetrators sprayed painted graffiti on the Beit Hallel Congregation’s new building with the words, “The mission is a national danger,” and “not to the mission” sprayed repeatedly on various parts of the building.

Founder and Senior Pastor of the Voice of Judah Israel and Beit Hallel Congregation Israel Pochtar noted the building is private property, surrounded by a fence.

“Several ultra-Orthodox [people] entered illegally into our property and decided to vandalize private property in broad daylight,” he wrote in a Facebook post, accompanied by pictures of two ultra-Orthodox men who appear to be spraying the graffiti.

“They sprayed all over the property graffiti making [it] clear it is an act of hatred against Messianic Jews,” Pochtar said. He added that they returned the following day to continue spraying more graffiti. According to Pochtar, the perpetrators vandalized steel doors, walls, marble and windows, causing the congregation financial damage.

The congregation comprises some 300 people, and since 2011, Pochtar says they have faced systematic harassment, bullying, shaming and threats from ultra-Orthodox residents of the city.

“We live in a democratic country with freedom of religion for all, and it cannot be that they harass us for years every week, threaten our lives and the police ignores it. There are members of the community who fear for their lives and fear that they will be physically harmed,” he continued, issuing a call to police to put a stop to harassment of the community.

Messianic Jews are continuously ostracized both by mainstream world Jewry and by Israel with an almost blanket rejection of Messianic Jews, or Jews who believe in Jesus., 17 September 2018

Arno's commentary

It is with some reservation that we publish excerpts from this article originating with the Jerusalem Post. Yet it seems to be within our calling to, not only publish positive pictures of Israel, but also those that are unpleasant for us Christians.

The degree of persecution Jewish believers in Jesus experience in Israel is not surprising, particularly when it comes from the Ultra-Orthodox—those who vehemently defend the Old Testament Scripture and attempt to do everything in their power to reject the New Testament, identifying the Jewish Messiah, Jesus Christ. We recall that Jesus’ greatest enemies were the most Orthodox Jews during that time. Here we are reminded of Matthew 11:19: “The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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