Israel uses ultra-Orthodox group against Messianic Jews
Israel is using an ultra-Orthodox group to crack down on Messianic Jews — who believe that Jesus is the Messiah — and prevent them from staying in the country, officials have told The Times.
The Messianic Jews have been accused of Christian missionary activities and complain of harassment and intimidation by the state.
An official at the Interior Ministry said that an anti-assimilation group called Yad L’Achim was working with the ministry to prevent Messianic Jews — known as Jews for Jesus — from being allowed to live in Israel, which they consider their spiritual home.
“There is a known history of Yad L’Achim working directly with the ministry. They play a distinct role in the ministry’s decision about citizenry,” the official said.
The case of Messianic Jews has raised doubts in the minds of some ultra-Orthodox, who see them as a threat to the Jewish identity.
The US State Department has accused Yad L’Achim of using violence against those who go to Israel seeking to persuade Jews to abandon Judaism. Yad L’Achim accused the State Department of publishing the report without a proper investigation of the claims.