Photo Credit: Yaakov Naumi / Flash 90
An Israeli soldier prays at an IDF staging area near the Israeli border with Gaza, on July 31, 2014.

It’s already becoming routine in the Israel Defense Forces. Missionaries sent by evangelical churches in the United States are given free rein over IDF bases, openly preaching Christianity and seeking to convert Jews out of their religion.

The most startling recent example that came to Yad L’Achim’s attention was an evening of appreciation that was organized for soldiers who fought in Operation Protective Edge this past summer in Gaza. The evening was arranged by the International Christian Embassy, which operates in Israel. What makes it particularly severe is that the soldiers were bused directly from their bases to the missionary event.

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A more brief version of the above video can be seen here:

Some 300 soldiers from elite units, including the Paratroops’ 101 and Maglan, and officers, including a brigadier general, were subjected to a missionary pitch delivered by an American preacher, Robert Stearns. One of the translators was Doron Schneider, the head of the “Messianic Jews” congregation in Maaleh Adumim, outside of Jerusalem.

As in previous incidents involving missionary activity aimed at soldiers, Yad L’Achim immediately filed a complaint with the responsible parties in the IDF but has yet to receive a response.

Due to the severity of the incident, Yad L’Achim submitted the following urgent query to Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon:

Why is the IDF not enforcing a military ban on missionary preaching to soldiers? Who approved the busing of uniformed soldiers directly from their bases to an evening of forbidden missionary activity? Most importantly, who will ensure that it doesn’t happen again?

To make things crystal clear for our readers: Those who purport to be “Messianic Jews” are in fact practicing Christianity, plain and simple, and are intent upon reaching out to and converting Jews to Christianity disguised as a “new” form of Judaism — which it absolutely is not in any manner or form.

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79 COMMENTS

  1. The Messianic movement is absolutely not a denomination or branch of Judaism. It's a movement within Christianity focused on converting Jews.

    You can argue that the moon is made of cheese, but that doesn't make it so.

  2. Adam ,that's not true,why would a Jew want another Jew to convert,if you're a Jew how can you convert to being another Jew,ir are you saying Messianic Hews are bot Hews,but secular Jews,or aJews who don't believe in Hashem are?"?doesn't make any sense..

  3. I'm a Christian, but I don't think soldiers should be bused to evangelical events. If they don't wish to go of their own accord it's not right to force them to go. Even though Christians are the best friends of the Jews in the world today.

  4. Gotta say I didn’t see anyone proselytizing anything. The worst they had in the (broken) youTube link they tried to post (Here in case you are interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oY-2Vtkyp8Y ) was a Christian Zionist declaring that his belief was that their messiah Jesus was Jewish (I don’t think anyone denies that he was indeed Jewish) At what point does that exactly constitute crossing a line. It looks like he was more declaring to the congregation than he was the soldiers (“I want to let us know tonight”) to inform those participating why they, as followers of Jesus, should relate to the Jews and support them. I don’t think a single solider there didn’t know that Christians believe that he is the messiah and that he was Jewish. None of that was shocking to any of them and I didn’t hear anyone trying to convince them of anything or that they need to do or accept anything other than appreciation.

    On the flip side: Jews don’t missionize? I have been called 20 or more times this month alone from some Rabbi this or Rabbi that with personal messages and blessings. I have been handed tracts countless time in town and even here in Gilo. Oh and Yad Leachim specifically magically signed me up for their anti-missionary / VERY missionary-like magazine ‘מחפשים’ which now comes every 3 months or so to my door.

    All that being said. Law is law and proselytizing should not be allowed. I know that there ARE organizations that do it and individuals that do it and they should be punished according to the law. This simply isn’t one of them. Yad Leachim uses inciting language to stir up fear and hatred. I wonder if we asked any of those soldiers if they felt they were being proselytized to…

  5. They don't know they're going to evangelical events. They think they're going to an appreciation dinner! It's deception! These Christians need to get out of Israel and leave the Jewish people alone!

  6. The international event supported Jewish Israel, honoring IDF actions.
    Druze IDF participants attended also, with their priest.
    Your article is damaging to the IDF, using fears and false accusations. No "pitch" nor "missionary activity" was done there.
    Your insecurity can heal if you realize that sons of Jacob are genetic.

  7. I’d like to thank the IDF for their service, too. Protecting political Israel from murderous extremists helps to protect the rest of the world from them. ANY moral country’s first aim is to protect their citizens from those who would do harm to them because of their citizenship!

    I don’t have time to watch the news clip, but the accusation of misconduct could SO easily be righted by making available video of the entire event. Is anyone bold enough to do that, or are we simply going to construct a barrier between Jews and Christians which will cripple us for any cooperation against our common, apparent, aggressive, arrogant zealots who would annihilate us?

    This Christian is grateful for Israeli soldiers, some of whom are undoubtedly “True Israel,” for their service, albeit mandatory!!

  8. They're Christian converts, and that's why they want Jews to convert to their form of Christianity. Counter-missionary work is not driving a wedge between Jews and Christians. Missionary work is what drives a wedge between us.

  9. Either you did not watch the video or wish to ignore the facts. When a preacher talks to Jews about Jesus being "moshiach" ("messiah") — that's what was being said in Hebrew — that's a pitch all right. One which fully goes against the fundamentals of Judaism. Your arrogance and wish to impose on others is the problem. And it is this behavior that is damaging.

  10. @Russel Taylor: No one said anything about not liking Christians! That doesn't mean we want to BE Christians. We are generally and innately happy with who we are – despite the persecution we face – and you should be too. Do you see us going around trying to convert Christians to Jews? Not only do the Messianic 'Jews' try to convert Jews to Christianity, the worst part is their sneaky way of doing it. Instead of praying, they are preying – usually on the most vulnerable people, too. I won't use the line "I have plenty of wonderful Christian friends who are friends of the Jews", but I could. And Messianic 'Jews' are not some of them. They are not friends of the Jews, at all. Missionaries, by their very name, have only one goal/mission in mind: to make you do what they do, believe in what they do, etc. Although it's a more gentle approach, it doesn't sound too different than the radical Muslims who believe anyone who isn't Muslim needs to be converted. Or in their particular extreme beliefs, destroyed. Just don't try to CONvert us please. A Jew is a Jew is a Jew.

  11. That said, I don't line the use of the term 'dragged' in the JP heading here. It just seems to be unrealistic and trashy over sensationalizing. Why jump on that bandwagon if you don't have to? The 'taking' of them is bad enough and hopefully those that need to be will be called into question ASAP over this.

  12. Tzippy Cohen-Perlstein Besides, now Christians are a little better then the way they were hundreds of years ag. But make no mistake, just like the Muslims forcibly convert everyone else nowadays, the Christians have been doing it since Christianity was born. Look at the Spanish Inquisition.

  13. If your money has strings attached, keep your damn money. Stop trying to make us no longer Jews. Conversion and marrying outside of Judaism is destroying the Jewish people. What you are offering we don't want. Our God is one, not three. Keep your recycled Mithraism to yourselves.

  14. Wait a minute… I was at that meeting… there was no 'conversion' attempt at all! These people, you call 'missionaries' are anything but! They were honoring these young people! Listen closely. Honor! That's all. Right now, Israel needs friends! Stop this foolishness! Stop slandering Christians who love Israel…Yad L’Achim is relentless in their pursuit of the boogey man! It's enough… you just don't slap friends in the face.

  15. So the speaker did not talk about his " messias' ?
    also we are not slandering Christians, but we fight the creepy Missionaries. We don't need their Money nor their Friendship because their Friendship is a false Friendship lasting only as long as they see a chance to convert a Jew to their Religion and we are deeply greatful to Yad L'Achim for their Fight on our behalf against these false People.No we don't want them in our Country and the day will come when a more responsible Government will disallow their activity.

  16. Did your Jesus ram his beliefs down anyone's throat? This is coersion and a shame on you. What kind of a statement is that to make, "Would it kill you to sit thru a sermon…?" We don't NEED your advice on how to live our lives. You are seeking to KILL our lives, yes it would kill us, it would kill our SPIRITUAL lives. There are plenty of lost sheep, go find them and leave us alone, meddlesome no-gooders.

  17. I support Israel in many ways. I find it hard to believe that these warriors were dragged to this event. I am a Christian who loves Israel and the God of Israel. I pray for these warriors. They could have easily walked out if they chose!

  18. If, as you say, Christians work tirelessly in the US to defend Israel, but expect Israeli Jews to sit through speeches about Christianity, I think it only right that Christians sit through speeches about Judaism, including its view of Christianity and other forms of idolatry. This is not about annoyance, this is about being coerced into religious activity. If you believe Israel is worth defending in the US, perhaps you should consider that missionary activities are more appropriate for the US or for…say, Saudi Arabia or Qatar, than for Jews in Israel. Presumably you're not out working tirelessly to defend Saudi Arabia or Qatar in the US…

  19. Man o man! At least get your facts straight. First of all the ICEJ was my husband's idea in 1980, and at NO time has there EVER been an agenda to convert the Jews – that is NOT in its policy. Secondly, no soldier was DRAGGED! How preposterous! Thirdly , only a very small proportion of Christians are "evangelists" or "missionaries". It's a complete misnomer – kind a like us saying that every Jew is a rabbi!!. As Christians WE have had to admit and deal with OUR former misconceptions about the Jewish people. Now it's time for YOU guys to do the same. We have NEVER evangelized Jews, nor do we plan to. This kind of stuff is totally erroneous journalism. An apology is due – so is some gratitude for the years and years we have laid everything down to defend your people.. We've lost friends and family over supporting you, and will continue to do so till our last fleeting breath.

  20. Fred Moncharsh – Even if Susan M Khaury /does/ give money or time to support Israel, that doesn't mean she's collectively buying up some Israeli Jews' time so that she can assault them, whether herself or vicariously through some missionary emissaries, with /anything/. What she does with her time and money is her business; it certainly doesn't buy her a right to foist her beliefs onto other people in a foreign country.

  21. Love that is dependent on something will not last, but love that is not dependent on anything will last. Christians (take Luther for example) are all full of love for Jews until they see that they have no chance of converting them. Then their love evaporates and is sometimes replaced with a sick twisted hatred (again, take Luther for example). The IDF is wrong to require Jews to sit through such an event.

  22. No one is saying that all preachers "do this". No one is hating at Christians in general. We are disturbed specifically because one of the key people speaking and on stage is in fact the head of a 'Messianic Jews' congregation, and seeing as our soldiers are predominantly Jewish, if any faith should be speaking to, preaching to, or attempting to inspire them, it should be our own. It may have been a gathering to honor them, but there was more… I wasn't at the event, and I know well how media can sensationalize things, but something wasn't right there. Still, most here are voicing a dislike specifically and only of the presence of Missionaries and 'Messianic Jews'- not all Christians (many of whom have been and continue to be our friends and partners for peace) – in Israel. I personally have been approached by Missionaries at least twice in Israel in the last 2 years (once outside a kosher supermarket in Bet Shemesh) and it was disturbing to say the least. I haven't been approached in a public place in USA/Land-Of-The-Free ever. It took a few minutes of conversing in Hebrew to realize what was happening and get to my "no thank you". It's time Israel takes a stand and starts 'Mission No Thank You'.

  23. I have known Rev. Stearns for many years. He has devoted his career to re-educating Christians about Jews to counter 2000 years of lies. He has made it clear that his goal is to change Christians, not Jews. Saw the recording. Yes, there are at times when certain expressions are used with different meanings to Christians and Jews, such as the term "Holy Spirit", Ruach Hakodesh, or referring to their messiah as a given fact. But that's just the way Christians talk. What was important in this engagement was to let Israelis know that not all Christians hate the Jews. Many do not know that. Jews should appreciate the fact that many Christians have done 'tshuvah', repentance for the unspeakable travesties that were committed in the name of Christianity.

    This event is part of that process of their T'shuva: To publicly honor and praise Jews. To let it be known that Evangelical Christians do in fact say prayers for Israel's welfare in their churches. They also support Israel politically in Washington. And even contribute funds for the welfare of Jews in need….. WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED. Really.

    I would never say this if I were not a witness and even a mashgiach that this is the case.

    Yes, it is important to add, that occasionally one or two of the people who come on his tours to Israel may want to engage in good ol' missionizing, but that's neither what it is about, nor condoned by them.
    They do not want to cause even more pain to Jews with this nor to violate the laws in Israel against missionizing.

    The author of this article made some poor observations and even worse conclusions, which should be taken as simply hysteria by someone who does not know any better.

    Their goal is to treat massive Christian anti-semitism, which can only be done by Christians for Christians. One tool is for them to go out of their way to honor Jews, Israelis and Christians who are allies. Try to wrap your head around that. These people are trying to disinfect Christians from anti-semitism and that's how they do it.

    They are only to be thanked and appreciated, but if not, they are very used to reactionary Jews who do not have a clue what they are about.

  24. I detest proselytizing. I carry summary information from Jews for Judaism and from the book, "You Take Jesus, I'll Take G-d" to give to those Christian "friends" that attempt to convert me. I also actively promote Judaism when I am asked about the difference between Judaism and Christianity. I would support providing information from Yad L'Achim to all IDF soldiers. Christians can be our friends, as long as they do not try to destroy Judaism by converting its adherents. When they do that, they become our enemies.

  25. I am not in favor of Christians converting Jews and turning them away from Torah. That being said, nothing in the article shows how these soldiers were forced to anything against their will. Were busses provided and soldiers voluntarily went or were soldiers ordered to go.

  26. "Messianic Judaism" is a Pentecostal Christian sect based on a literal interpretation of scripture, with a Jewish membership. It was popular about 20 years ago in the US but a lot of them ended up as Catholics, which seems to happen to many Pentecostalists in the end.

  27. Susette McLachlan God is Echad. (ONE)
    Your trinity which takes scriptural gymnastics to explain is a re-hash of many other religions that existed long before JE-ZUES. You lost me at "TRIUNE". You do not believe in one god, you believe in three, but dance around that fact. The minute you declared your messiah to be divine at the council of Nicea, you all wrote off the Jews. Also you can not be free from the law and still expect the conditional blessings that come with obedience. I know this because I was a Xtian and Converted to Judaism. You arguments are weak and transparent.

  28. If this had been an instance of a Jewish woman reading the Torah at the Kotel, there would have been protesters showng up in droves. This is a MUCH bigger threat to Judaism!

  29. Yes, Juhani, precious freedom of speech, which excludes missionaries from proselytizing at us Jews.
    Remember, construction of the Great Baha'i temple was allowed in Haifa PROVIDED that Baha'is never tried to convert our people.
    Similarly, wouldn't Christians (or others) be in contempt of Israeli law in any effort to proselytize Israëlis away from Judaism?

  30. This sounds like some miscommunication occurred. The Christian group truly seemed to want to acknowledge this group of IDF for their service during the war last summer. They also wanted the soldiers to know there were millions of Christians praying for them, standing with them, and supporting them. After there has been so much criticism against the IDF in the mainstream media, this Christian group wanted to let the IDF know not everyone is against them. Twice I heard the speaker tell the commander the soldiers could return to their seat off the stage. And I am sure, should the commander have led the soldiers out of the meeting right then, it would have been understood. I'm a Christian with several Jewish friends and I would never want anyone to feel forced to anything. The intent, I am sure, was not to do that. I saw no one trying to convert these soldiers at all! They were just having a meeting to honor and support the IDF. In fact, the speaker said they were gathered in the Name of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He also wanted them to know as a Christian, the atrocities of the Christians in the past against the Jews were not representative of all Christians. I heard no "preaching". I guess we need better communications between us?

  31. Paula, I am not attacking anyone but rather just asking questions. "J" is a polite reference to he who must not be named. Let me ask the question from another angle; Would ICEJ be willing to join arms with Mormons and let them speak at such events?

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