Monday, April 15, 2024 -
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Messianics: not discriminating, nor discriminated against

“Discrimination” has two connotations, one positive, one negative. Positively, a person who is discriminating has good taste — in wine, in clothes, in friends and in ideas. Negatively, a policy that is discriminatory puts a particular group at an unfair disadvantage, or worse. Messianic Jews in Israel are neither discriminating nor discriminated against.

This would ordinarily be no news flash, but of late Messianics in Israel claim they are discriminated against — because they are not treated as Jewish. News flash: they aren’t Jewish.

Israel’s Law of Return guarantees automatic citizenship for Jews. Messianics want to be regarded as Jews under the Law of Return, want to enter the international Jewish Bible contest, want the material benefits of new Jewish immigrants — the list goes on. Is it discriminatory for Israel to disallow new immigrant rights to Messianics?

It is not. Whether they call themselves “Messianic Jews” or anything else, they hold non-Jewish beliefs. Not at all discriminating in which ideas are Jewish, and which are not, they believe that Jesus is a divine being and the only salvation. Jews and Judaism believe neither. Now, Jews and Judaism respect any sincerely held religious belief that differs with Judaism, provided only that it is an ethical and compassionate belief. Ethical and compassionate Christians pose no conflict for Jews, Judaism or Israel — quite the contrary.

“Messianic Jews,” however, are not ethical. They disguise their beliefs. Talk to them and they will tell you that Jesus is the messiah and omit that he is a savior, for that is not “Jewish friendly.” So-called Messianic Jews, with or without a kipah, with or without tefilin, with or without “rabbis” or Hebrew prayer books or Shabbos candles, are Christians masquerading as Jews. They pretend that there are two types of Jews — those who accept Jesus and those who do not yet accept Jesus — and we’re all one big happy family.

Such people should not be extended automatic citizenship in Israel and aliyah rights there any more than Muslims, Catholics, Druse, Bahai or Circassians. All of these religions enjoy equal rights in Israel, and so do Messianics — as members of non-Jewish religions. They may pray as they wish, practice as they wish, and they do.

Israel is a Jewish state, a Jewish refuge, harboring a Jewish culture and a Jewish religion. Messianic Judaism is neither a Jewish culture nor a Jewish religion. By definition, its treatment by Israel as a non-Jewish religion is not discriminatory. It is merely calling a spade a spade.

A Messianic Jewish attorney in Israel says: “An absurd situation is created in which Messianic Jews have to prove they are not Jewish in order to make aliyah.” Not absurd at all. Just as a gentile who is a Catholic from the US who wished to live in Israel may do so, and would never have the gall to claim a right to automatic citizenship in Israel under the Law of Return, so, too, a gentile who calls himself a Messianic Jew may live in Israel, and deserves no automatic citizenship in Israel under the Law of Return. He similarly deserves no other right accorded to Jews in Israel.

Notice: Druse and Bahai and Coptic Christians and Catholics and even countless Muslims are perfectly happy with their rights in Israel. Messianic Jews could be, too, if they stopped pretending that they are different from Christians — and if they stopped trying to subvert Judaism by missionizing Jews.

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