Is he a Jew, or not?

Thursday, May 02, 2013 |  Ryan Jones

A few months ago, a Jerualem court finally convicted "Jewish terrorist" Jack Teitel with killing two Palestinians Arabs and trying to kill two Israelis, including Messianic Jewish youth Ami Ortiz. The court rejected the argument that Teitel was not sane.

One of the aspects of the case that stuck out to the Messianic community was the decision that Ami Ortiz would not be awarded the damages typically paid to a victim of terrorism.

The Israeli Defense Ministry approves damages to Arabs attacked by Jews, or Jews attacked by Arabs as victims of terrorism. But Jew-on-Jew violence is classified as crime, not terrorism, and therefore ineligible for such damages.

Wait, Jew-on-Jew violence? But doesn't the state officially reject the notion that Messianic believers in Yeshua are still Jewish? That's the question that many Israeli believers were asking following the ruling.

The State of Israel in many cases has refused to recognize Messianic believers as Jews when it came to the "Right of Return," the right to immigrate to the Jewish state.

Ami's mother, Leah Ortiz, told Israel Today that the situation is simply absurd. "When it is convenient, we are Jews, when it is inconvenient, we are not," noted Leah.

The Ortiz family is pleased that Israel is finally recognizing them as Jews, but that doesn't change the fact that the attack on Ami was a hate crime no less serious than Teitel's murder of two Palestinian Arabs.

"We have begun a campaign along with our lawyer to change Ami's status in the ministry of Defense which is responsible for declaring our attack as a terror attack," Leah said, explaining that Ami has decades of ongoing and expensive treatment ahead of him.

The Ortiz family has asked for all those concerned to please write to Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and request he change the classification of the attack against Ami. Minister Ya'alon's email address is:

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