Benzi’s latest “Behind the Flames” column in Matzav HaRuach:
Missionaries – OUT!
More than once in this column, I have emphasized the dangers of missionaries, and the spread of missionary activity all over the country.
The truth is that the scourge of missionaries is not something new, and it has existed for dozens of years: It is a widespread phenomenon in its dimensions, and despite the fact that we live in the State of Israel, which is defined as a Jewish state – not one of its leaders, for generations, has ever been able to deal with this problem properly.
The problem can be found everywhere: Every day at least two reports are received in the war-on-missionaries headquarters of Lehava, of missionaries wandering around in key areas (e.g., the Jerusalem Central Bus Station) all over the country, trying to entice Jews, including minors, to sop up missionary materials. These materials appear to be texts which mention words of Torah, or scientific claims, but upon browsing through them and studying their content, it becomes clear that these are explicitly missionary materials whose purpose is to convince the reader to believe in Jesus and convert to Christianity.
But the main scourge can be found on the internet, on social media. There, missionary organizations, supported by millions of dollars, can work without any limitations to put up whatever they want: They distribute dozens and hundreds of videos on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Tiktok, and on every possible digital platform, to trap as many people as possible in their net. And at a time when Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok and YouTube are blocking with lightening speed every new account of Lehava because of our fight against assimilation, missionary content continues to hunt down more and more innocent/naïve Jews, whose lives are destroyed.
And where are the State of Israel and law enforcement authorities? Clause 368-A of the Penal Code rules explicitly that: “Whoever entices a minor via direct contact with him to change his religion, is liable to imprisonment for 6 months.” Then according to the court’s clause, it is forbidden for websites designated as intended for children, to permit missionary content. For the rest of the social media sites, this limitation does not apply, but there is no doubt that this is an important step.
However, this is not the main point: Even if law enforcement authorities had gone into the thick of things and further enforced the existing anti-missionary law, it would not have been enough. In the Jewish state, which was founded after almost 2,000 years of exile, it is forbidden to enable those who continue the path of the generators of the Inquisition to act, and then to excuse it on the pretext of “democracy”. With all due respect, no exile Jew who has come on aliya in the process of Redemption, which we have merited to see in our lifetime, prays piously every day to return to the Land of Israel to establish a democratic state. They dreamt of a JEWISH state. We must not violate their vision, which is the vision of all of us.
And from here, on the eve of the election campaign, I call upon MKs, both already serving and those competing in the elections – those who describe themselves as G-d-fearing: Publicly declare that in the next Knesset, you will fight missionary activity, and that you will work to enact a law that will remove them from Israel. For this you have been elected, for this you legislate. Fulfill your mission faithfully!
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