Messianic Jews voice concerns following Ariel bombing

Friday, March 21, 2008 |  by Staff Writer

Israeli Messianic Jewish leaders voiced long-standing complaints of their community's mistreatment following Thursday's bombing of a Messianic minister's home in the Samarian Jewish town of Ariel.

The bomb was concealed in a traditional Purim gift basket and left on the doorstep of David and Leah Ortiz. Their 15-year-old son suffered severe shrapnel wounds to his neck when he went to retrieve the deadly package.

The working assumption remains that the attack was carried out by Palestinian Arab Muslim terrorists, who have threatened the Ortiz family on numerous occasions in the past over their ongoing efforts to bring local Muslims to faith in Yeshua.

However, some Messianic figures are not ruling out the possibility that the attack was perpetrated by extremist Orthodox Jews who insist the Messianic Jews are "Gentile Christians" in disguise and are out to "steal Israel's soul."

Roni, an Ortiz family friend and fellow Messianic believer, told Ynet following the attack that "Messianic Jews suffer a lot of harassment and from other types of violence – burning down meeting places, pestering (us) at home, the publishing of announcements with featuring our pictures and more."

Roni said the community would like to believe that Thursday's bombing could never be carried out by fellow Jews, regardless of how strongly they oppose Jewish faith in Yeshua and in spite of other acts of violence perpetrated against Messianics by Orthodox Jews in the past.

But Caleb Meyers, the primary legal representative for Israel's Messianic community, explained that "there is a campaign of harassment against the Messianic Jewish community by radical religious organizations that are trying to create dehumanization – especially in religious newspapers."

Propaganda that aims to dehumanize Messianic believers could produce in the minds of some radical Orthodox Jews a kind of justification for carrying out the bombing of an innocent family.

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