UPDATE: Christian Zionist settlers in Samaria?

Thursday, April 14, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

The Jewish online media scene is abuzz with a story published by Israel's Ynet news portal concerning a group of 1,000 American Christians who want to join the Israeli army and build a new settlement in Samaria.

According to the article, the group has signed a document stating its intentions, and its members' willingness to convert to Judaism.

The group is lead by Portland radio personality Baruch Avrahamovich, who has a large audience among the local Russian immigrant community.

Avrahamovich was raised as a Christian, but said that years ago he discovered that his roots are actually Jewish. Many Jews from Russia and other European countries were either forced to or scared into converting to Christianity over the centuries.

Avrahamovich has since worked tirelessly to help other Russian-speaking Christians to rediscover hidden Jewish roots.

"Ultimately, I understood that Judaism is the true religion and that my life's mission is to have Christians immigrate to Israel and convert," Avrahamovich was quoted as saying by The Jerusalem Post.

Last week, Avrahamovich secured a meeting with Israeli lawmaker Lia Shemtov (Israel Beiteinu), and presented her with his group's letter of intent. Shemtov responded very possitively and promised to help facilitate the move.

If their plans come to fruition, the group plans to undergo an Orthodox conversion to Judaism, join the Israeli army, and then purchase and settle a large piece of land in Samaria (the northern "West Bank").

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