Campaign to 'shame' messianics

By Ruth Eglash, September 22, 2011
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A "naming and shaming" campaign to expose Messianic Jews living in Israel is the latest in a series of attacks against the 15,000-strong community that believe Jesus was the messiah.

Anonymous residents of Mevasseret Zion, a town of 30,000 just outside Jerusalem, last month distributed hundreds of flyers displaying the photographs and addresses of ten Messianic Jews in the town.

The action came weeks after locals accused the community of trying to indoctrinate a high school student.

"There has been a clear campaign against Messianic Jews here," said one of those listed on the flyer, a Jerusalem-based, American-born lawyer who made aliyah in 1992.

He said a court case earlier in the summer in which community members were accused of proselytising had been thrown out by the judge.

"Most Messianic Jews just want to live their lives quietly and mind their own business," said the lawyer.

Roughly 30 Messianic Jewish families live in Mevasseret Zion and a further 30 live nearby on Yad Hashmona kibbutz. The rest are spread across the country and participate fully in Israeli life, including sending their children to mainstream schools and serving in the army.

    Last updated: 2:06pm, September 22 2011