From Shmulik - A Disturbing Update!

Hi everyone,

At the end of this letter you will find a link to a news clip that was shown last night on Israel Channel 10 TV news, covering the ongoing persecution of Messianic Jews in Arad, which is now reaching new peaks.

But first – an apology: Several months ago, in my second letter concerning the situation in Arad, a letter in which I asked you all to intervene and send letters and emails to our government heads and your senators and friends who may care or be in a position to help, I promised to give you more information, and somehow fell out of touch again once the high-season of tourism started again and I was guiding groups. I apologize for the lull in my communications to you, and I want to thank you for the huge response on your part, which shook the Israeli police into action.

Initially, things looked pretty good. People from all over the world continued writing letters, faxes, and even making phone calls; Israeli government offices, ministers, the Police Chief and US senators were being suddenly flooded with a tsunami of emails. Israeli ambassadors around the world were bombarded with letters and emails, as were the Israeli foreign, internal security and prime minister’s offices. This caused an almost immediate effect in which the police force in Arad suddenly jerked into action.

As long as you were all writing letters, the police started taking serious action and retaliating against the Gur Haredi Jews, who had instigated the attacks on Messianic Jews in Arad for the better part of two years by now. After several arrests were made and further actions were threatened, things started to calm down. That’s when I sent out my second letter, thanking you all and encouraging you to stay on the case, which you did, and for which we were all very grateful. About 2 or 3 weeks after my second letter, I came home and found a very excited, happy message from my sister, Debbie, who said everything had calmed down to a total quiet, with no attacks at all, quiet fellowship meetings, etc. She and Yakim even mentioned that while passing through the Market place, where they were always shouted at by the Gur Hassidim, they saw these people staring, angry, clearly dying to shout at them, sometimes clearly taking a breath to start shouting – and then mysteriously controlling themselves and refraining. This was an amazingly refreshing thing for the local Messianic Jews there, who had been verbally assaulted day in and day out for a very long time until that point.

It was clear that your letters had had a great effect, and that the police had issued some sort of order for things to calm down. At some point, Yakim, my brother in law met with some legal advisor to the police chief in the south, and the guy told him “I’ve been very busy lately answering wads of emails about you people in Arad”. Clearly, all of you who were writing letters from around the world, were waking the police up from their comfortable slumber and long turning-a-blind-eye nap. Channel 10 news, different radio stations and channel 2 news ran articles on the situation there as well. Things were finally happening, at last – now that you all showed them the world was watching and they were reminded they are, after all, supposed to enforce the law. And the law in Israel is democratic, including freedom of religion, for all citizens.

Unless you are a Messianic Jew.

For about 3 weeks this peace lasted. Then they started up again. I guess I should take partial responsibility for this – with no more reports, and the second letter sounding like things were well on their way to being resolved in Arad, people probably presumed all was well as long as you didn’t hear from me. At some point police authorized one demonstration per week, wherever the Haredim chose. Then they started coming and demonstrating outside Debbie and Yakim’s home again. Polly Sigulim started being harassed again. Rebekah Frei and her daughter Michelle started getting shouted at again whenever they were out of the house. The police once again started showing the old pattern of neglecting to fulfill their role and allowing the persecutions to go basically unrestrained. Things escalated again until there were regular demonstrations outside the homes of believers, and in the case of Debbie and Yakim, the Haredi’s are coming right up to the windows, and screaming and cursing at the top of their voices, so they would be heard inside, through the double-glazing. My sister told me she just cannot believe the amount of energy these people invest into the screaming. She is now 9 months pregnant and was recently hospitalized with early labour related to stress and fatigue. She is now required to do nothing but rest. But that is a bit difficult, considering the tension they all live under.

Picture this:

Yotam, their 7 year old, was riding his bike one evening, and went down to the nearby park, thinking he was going to find Yakim, his father, who had gone out for a walk with the two smaller kids, Yair and Liya. Yakim, however, had taken a different route and didn’t go by the park. Eventually it got dark, and Yakim came back home – with no Yotam. Debbie got worried and went out looking for him, and found him sitting all alone in the park, which was now dark. When she asked him why he was sitting there all alone, he said “I thought Daddy was coming to the park, and I waited for him. But when it got dark, I didn’t want to go back home alone, because I didn’t know if those people will be outside the house, shouting”. So my gorgeous little nephew, an innocent little 7 year-old, chose to stay alone in a dark park, rather than head home and risk facing his hateful persecutors.

Does this sound like something happening to a Jewish kid in Nazi-occupied Europe in the 1930’s? It isn’t. It happened to a Jewish kid in the Gur-occupied Jewish State of Israel, the Democratic homeland and safe-haven state for Jews, which they lobbied the United Nations for, in order for them to have a place to come to where they can live their lives and not be persecuted for their faith or ethnic belonging. This is so shameful I have no words. I was really saddened when she told me this…

And Little Yotam had good reason to be worried: Upon returning home one day, these Gur Hassidim were just a few feet away from the house, on their way to start another little demonstration outside. He and his older brother Elchai tried to hurry and make it in through their gate before the orthodox got there. Elchai got in, but just then the black-clothed men got there and started shouting at the kids about missionaries, etc. So the little 7 year old just cycled past the house, and continued to the closest place he could figure: The park. My sister caught a glimpse of what was happening through the window, and since Yakim was not home, she was forced to reach a tough decision; go and look for Yotan and escort him home, or stay and protect the other three young children inside. Eventually she left the other kids locked in the house with the Orthodox shouting outside the gate, and went looking for Yotam. It took her a few minutes to locate him but eventually, heart pounding, she found him and together they went home – through the crowd and the shouts, their return home being filmed by the orthodox. This has now been their life for almost two years. Over a third of Yotam’s young life. Liya was about 6 months old when this all started – she doesn’t even know a life other than religious nuts shouting and ranting outside their gate and pounding on the double glazed windows as they hurl curses into the house.

In a letter I received today from Rebekah Frei, she describes the situation as follows (and I’m going to copy and paste from her email):

Apart from the usual stuff... the cursing, stalking, intimidating etc., The Police have been very unhelpful. They tell the Haredim to stay away from us, but when the Haredim refuse, the Police do nothing about it. The Police even threatened to press charges against me if I call them again, after they came to the club we run and warned the Haredim to stay a certain distance from our tables, and the Haredim disobeyed the order and continued, and I called the Police back. The Police just told the Haredim AGAIN to stay away, but that's it, and told me not to call them again... How is that for justice? All the complaints we make are ignored, but the Haredim keep pressing false charges and the Police "investigate" us. We are not allowed to defend ourselves in any way.

Saturday, the Police woman who answered our call about the disturbances in the club, hung the phone up rudely! I called 100 and wasn't answered! For 2 days I felt unsafe to leave the house with Michelle!

(End of quote).

They are still constantly surrounding her in the street, with her little girl, and shouting at her that she’s a whore, a bastard, a prostitute. But Rebekah Frei is not a prostitute – and that’s the whole problem: If she had been a whore – preferably a lesbian one, she’d stand a much better chance of being protected by the authorities. Israel takes pride - no pun intended - in being pluralistic and liberal. And it is. But that all ends when it comes to the Messianic Jews. That’s what I find so offensive and irritating. It’s not right, it’s unjust, unbalanced, it’s based on acute ignorance, and like I said before – it is entirely un-democratic.

A truly democratic government system cannot chose which part of society they want to protect and which parts they want to ignore. And on their handling of the matter of the persecution of Messianic Jews in Arad, the Israeli authorities – Israel being the country I love – are sadly lacking, and that’s putting it mildly. In the fulfillment of their role - they have failed miserably and decidedly. They chose to ignore the abuse of upright citizens, people who pay taxes and serve in the army, just to placate hate-driven, non-democratic and non-Zionist religious freaks, Jewish-Nazi’s, who mostly do not pay taxes – much less abide by the law, as Messianic Jews do, blindly. These orthodox also do not serve in the army - which is just as well, and is probably one of the reasons we have so far had victory over our enemies: These people are not the most agile and athletic sort, as they spend their whole day “studying the scriptures” – so unless the enemy dies laughing when they see they are being pursued by pale-skinned men with beards and white or black tights between their trousers and shoes, they wouldn’t stand a chance as an army. That’s exactly why they need ordinary hard working Israeli’s – including Messianic Jews – to serve in the army and protect them, allowing for them to have a Jewish State, so they can abuse others now that they have the chance.

Two Saturdays ago the Messianic congregation in Beer Sheba was also stormed by hundreds of Orthodox, while they were having their services. The orthodox had found out they were about to conduct a baptism, so they stormed the building, threw things around, threw the elder into the water (!) and generally went on a total rampage, before police regained control at some point. The situation is intolerable, in my opinion. Take a moment to imagine the violence of this situation. If this too, goes by without serious reprisal to the Orthodox people who instigated the attack – a full out physical storming of the building – this will signal to Orthodox movements throughout Israel that Messianic Jews all over the country are now fair game.

This is where, once again, I would like to ask for your help. Simply put, and without trying to sound dramatic about it – they really need your help. They – and we, their relatives and friends who care about them and fear for their safety - really need for you to intervene, yet again. As long as you let them know you are watching and are outraged at what is going on, the police is forced to act. I would like to ask you, yet again, to start writing emails and faxes like you did before – to all our appropriate government offices, specifically the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Internal Security (which is in charge of the police force) The Ministry of foreign affairs, the Prime Minister’s office, and of course, Israeli embassies in your countries.

Also, please contact, yet again, any senators and other members of your own government who may be able to bring this matter to the attention of the Israeli Government and make them realize that the Christian community around the world is concerned and outraged about the absolute abuse and ongoing neglect of the Messianic Jews’ democratic rights in Israel. Remind them that if these sort of things happened to Jews in your countries, there would be an outcry of anti-Semitism, and you expect the Israeli authorities to be fair and step in – on an ongoing basis – to stop this abuse.

Europeans – you can write to the European Union appropriate offices in your countries, and describe to them the breech of democratic freedom of religious rights in Israel. Israel is currently courting the EU, seeking to be accepted as a member on some level. The EU is famous for being strict about making sure its members comply with all its regulations – and democratic rights are very high on their list. Express your concern for the Messianic Jews in Israel, and ask the EU to demand that the Israeli Government show its seriousness in protecting them and implementing their rights. Let the Israeli Government realize it is literally going to pay a price for this neglect, and suffer the consequences, unless they start taking action. The Government really wants this EU acceptance, because of the financial benefits to Israel. I’d love for Israel’s economy to improve – but we need to try and make this work for the Messianic community as well. And I believe you can make a big difference. We have all seen the huge impact your letters had a few months ago, forcing the Israeli police into action. If we can get the EU to make a muscle too – this would be great.

In the attached new News Clip, you will see more footage of the demonstrations against Messianic Jews in Arad. Right at the beginning you will hear one of them shouting – in Hebrew – “they are Christians, beware of them… He is now going to baptize Jewish children and destroy their souls… get out of here” … The narrator then explains that this is a religious war going on in Arad, and then you see one of them shouting “citizens of Arad, these people are most dangerous and they kidnap Jewish children and baptize them into Christianity” – this is a very inflammatory accusation. The narrator then says this is Absolute incitement to violence – and all under the nose of the local police.

They then show and introduce Rebekah Frei and her 6 year old daughter, Michelle, explaining that their belonging to the Messianic community has made their life intolerable. Immediately you hear the Orthodox shouting “rivkah Habayta” – Rebekah, go home!” Rebekah then says “this is incitement to violence… sanctioned by the police…” You then see a policeman shaking hands with some of the demonstrators, instead of stopping them. When you think of it – this is incredible footage. It would be a god idea to send this link to your senators and EU offices, pointing this out.

The narrator continues and says “her effort to protect her 6 year old daughter from the incitement and violence has become impossible” – and then the little girl talks: “It’s irritating when they do this all the time… they say things that are not nice…” Then Rebekah quotes them calling her a bastard, a black, a whore – and immediately the little girl interjects, saying “Mommy, don’t say these words too!”

Then they show an attack on the chess club run by Eddy and Lura one night, and Rebekah told of how they were forced to barricade themselves inside – with the children, because hundreds of Orthodox were rioting outside. It then explains that the infamous “extreme organization, Yad LeAchim, is also behind this incitement” and it interviews one of their leaders – with his face basically hidden. He says “we are for saving Jews from the paws of the World Missions. Their purpose is to baptize Jews to Christianity”. The narrator then says that whether or not the Messianic activities are indeed missionary is yet unclear, but one thing is certain: These are Israeli citizens that the Police has absolutely no interested in”. This is a very powerful observation, on the part of a secular Israeli reporter.

They then show a guy shouting “take your hands of the Jewish nation, the chosen people…” and another one shouts “you will not be resurrected with Jesus, the bastard… Bastard! Goy! (gentile)… cheats, crooks, hypocrites!”

The narrator then mentions that this, at Christmas time, shows more than anything about the inter-religious tension – as one of them lifts a piece of baby clothing and says “this is Jesus’ clothes from when he was a month old” – mocking. The following footage you will recognize from several months ago – “Jesus is here, under my feet, Jesus is in Chernobyl” etc.

It ends with the Narrator showing some scuffling, and saying that “the most disturbing thing in all this is the complete ineptitude of the authorities, in a tense situation that can easily escalate into bloodshed”

Need I say more? That closing sentence, by a secular reporter on one of Israel’s two biggest TV news programs, should tell you that things are really bad in Arad, and the outcome of what happens there will affect believers elsewhere in Israel. If this continues to escalate and goes unchecked by the Israeli Police, it will encourage Orthodox all over Israel to riot against believers. Please act. Write, call, fax, tell people, forward the news clip, and bring this issue to the attention of anyone who may be in a position to help the Israeli believers. I know you just celebrated Christmas and would like to remain in the “peace to all mankind” mode, but please remember that some of his followers back in his homeland are living a daily nightmare and have no peace at all. In fact, one of the last times that Rebekah Frei called the Police, they told her that next time she calls they will arrest her as well, because she is… bothering them. Bothering them – can you imagine something more outrageous? No? Well, listen to this: Edi, the guy who runs the chess-club outreach place called the police when they were being attacked again lately, and he was told “get yourself a private security firm, we don’t want to deal with this”.

Please, please let the Israeli Police know what you think of this absolutely outrageous behavior, which puts the entire Israeli Police Force to shame. It is their job to deal with this! Otherwise – why are we paying their salaries?

Please watch the news clip bellow, and take action.

Thanking you in advance,

Shmulik Eitan.


The new news clip: Channel 10 News

The Israeli government addresses: Israeli Government

General Government website

State Comptroller Email

Israeli Police Force
- the Police Commissioner in Israel is Moshe Karadi. He needs to understand people all over the world want to see him, as the head of police, enforcing the democratic rights of Messianic Jews in Arad. As I read the very first statement on their website about the Israeli Police seeking to implement, blab la bla, I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. Simply put, the Israeli police clearly needs to get their biblical-word-for-donkey in gear and do more than talk.